Have you ever been to a wedding? Even if you haven't, you probably know what happens at them. Everyone gathers to watch two people openly declare their love and devotion to one another. This public commitment important step, as it lets the world know that you are connected in a unique and powerful way. That is what baptism is for a follower of Jesus - a public declaration of your committed relationship with Jesus.
If you have never been baptized after salvation, this is your next step! If you would like to discuss baptism at Gretna, let us know!
The quick answer: Jesus tells us to be baptized (Matthew 28:19-20); and set the example by being baptized himself (Mark 1:9).
Doing as he asks shows we believe and follow Him. (1 John 2:3). Because Jesus went public about His love for us, we should go public about our love for Him. Getting baptized shows that we are turning away from a life of sin, toward Jesus (Acts 2:38-41).
Further, there is something personally tangible about making a public, physical commitment to Jesus. It's a huge step in learning to love him with all we are (Matthew 22:37).
NOW! For everyone who decides to follow Jesus, baptism is the next step. The example we see in the Bible is that everyone who chose to follow Jesus was immediately baptized...seems pretty clear that anyone who commits his or her life to following Jesus is ready to be baptized (Acts 8:12) by another follower of Jesus Christ.
It really doesn't matter to Jesus where you are baptized. We've done it in the church, in bathtubs, swimming pools, lakes, rivers (which, by the way, is where Jesus was baptized) and even horse troughs. The value is in the commitment, not the venue.
If you would like the people of Gretna to be a part of this, let us know!
That's a great question, that depends:
As parents, we can help point our children to Jesus, but they are the ones to decide if they will commit their lives to Him (Romans 10:9).
Any instance of baptism follows a person’s decision to trust Jesus for his or her salvation and commitment to follow Him (Acts 10:47-48). At Gretna, we wait until children are old enough to express their own decision to follow Jesus and understand the meaning of baptism.
Baptisms in the Bible were by immersion. The original word for baptism most often referred to being immersed or submerged in water. Jesus was baptized by being immersed in the water and rising out of it (Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10), so it seems fitting that we would baptize in a similar fashion.
While there is more than one way to be immersed, at Gretna we practice 'trine' immersion - meaning we submerse three times, representing our commitment to God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit (Mathew 28:19-20). We also baptize forward, as we look forward to the new life Jesus has laid out (2 Cor 5:17).
As stated above, we believe baptism is a choice every follower of Christ must make on his/her own as Holy Spirit guides them.
If you haven’t been baptized by immersion since you decided to follow Jesus, we want to help you take your next step of being baptized. Once you’ve taken that step, there’s no need to be baptized again.