Baptism Questions part 1
Sunday, November 14, Taido Chino, our pastor to students, did some Q & A about baptism. We didn’t have time to answer all the questions during the service so our pastors answered those here.
1. What does Fellowship North believe about baptism?
Fellowship North is an interdenominational church and, as much as we
can, we try not to take a position on things that Bible believing churches
disagree on. However, since we have to administer baptism in a specific
way, strict neutrality is not possible. Therefore, Fellowship North
practices Baptism in the way it seems to us the way it was done in the New
Testament. The chronology in the Scriptures seems to be that faith comes
first and then that faith is declared and demonstrated through baptism.
Therefore, Fellowship North practices believer’s baptism by emersion. WE
do, however try to show sensitivity to other traditions in the following way.
The good desire of parents to dedicate their children to the Lord and to
publicly declare their intent to raise their child to come to know, love and
serve the Lord, is provided through our Baby Dedication Services.
Even though we teach and practice believer’s baptism by emersion, we do
not require this for membership. If someone sincerely holds to another
position for their own baptism, we have chosen to allow this diversity. Our
common way of expressing this is, “If you are happy with your baptism, we
are happy with your baptism.” Because of this diversity, it is possible that
someone might conclude that we do not think that baptism is an essential
part of following Jesus. We do believe that every believer should be
baptized and to neglect baptism is to disobey the clear instructions of the
2. What does your baptism signify to God?
It signifies that you have chosen to trust Jesus as your Lord and Savior and
that it your intent to declare that openly and to follow him as his disciple.
3. Can a person who’s prayed for salvation, receive the Holy Spirit without
baptism? What about Holy Spirit baptism? Is this something different?
When you come to faith and pray to receive Christ as your Lord and Savior,
you are given the gift of the Holy Spirit. That is Spirit baptism. Spirit
baptism is what causes a person to be born again and to begin the process
of becoming a new creature. Spirit baptism is the inner reality that water
baptism signifies. Water baptism is the God ordained public, outward sign
of the inner reality of the Spirit’s work.
4. Baptism by proxy? 1 Corinthians 15:29
Sometimes it seems as if every obscure reference in the Scriptures that
is not clearly defined is seized upon by someone who then pours their
own meaning into the text. That has been true about this text, where
some have built upon it the teaching that it is possible for someone to be
baptized for someone else who has died without a public profession of their
own faith. The Scriptures, however, are clear that we are each responsible
for our own lives. (2 Cor. 5:10)
5. If you sin after you are baptized, does your baptism go away?
It is the grace of God given to us in Jesus Christ that saves us, not baptism.
When we receive the forgiveness given to us in Christ, we are forgiven for
all our sins: past, present and future. It is foolish, therefore, to postpone
your baptism until later in life, since baptism’s purpose is for us to publicly
declare to the world through baptism that we want to honor Jesus who has
saved a sinner like me.