Baptism at IGCB is a simple ceremony with a profound significance. It is not to be confused with the baptism of the Holy Spirit that happens at the point of salvation and is the baptism of the believer into the Body of Christ (Acts 1:5, 1 Cor 12:13).
There's nothing significant about the elements.
The significance of baptism is rooted in the commands of Jesus Christ and spiritual realities it symbolizes. Neither the water, the person baptizing, the place nor the date or time have any spiritual significance in themselves. Baptism relates to ones relationship with God and the Savior. It is not related to the local church or a Christian's lifestyle or behavior.
Jesus and the Apostle Peter commanded us who believe to be baptized.
Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit:
Act 2:38 And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Requirements for Baptism
The only Biblical requirement for baptism is faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God who died on the cross for the sins of mankind, who rose from the dead and is alive seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven. Faith is all that is required for salvation (John 3:16, John 5:24, Mark 16:15, Acts 16:31) and salvation is all that is required for baptism.
When is one to be baptized?
As stated above, the only requirement for baptism is believing in Christ as Savior. Examples in the book of Acts show us the order of baptism.
After believing in Christ the Eunuch in Acts 8 said, Act 8:36 "Behold, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?"
Concerning Cornelius the centurion who believed in Act 10:47 Peter said, "Can any man forbid the water, that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit as well as we?"
Finally, the Philippian jailor, after hearing the gospel and believing on Christ was baptized immediately after he believed - Act 16:33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, immediately.
Baptism is a symbol of Christ's Death, Burial and Resurrection
Rom 6:4 Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father; even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Col 2:12 Buried with Him in baptism, in whom also you were raised through the faith of the working of God, raising Him from the dead. Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses.
Who should be baptized?
- If you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He died and rose again for the forgiveness of your sins.
- If you understand what baptism is and what it means.
- If you would like to be obedient to God’s command to be baptized.
- Then sign up at the next baptism opportunity.
Though IGCB does not do baby baptisms we have a tradition of dedicating our children to the Lord. Child dedications happen upon request by parents.
This tradition of dedicating children is based on Hannah’s dedication of Samuel to the Lord in 1 Samuel chapter 1.
Samuel Given to the Lord
1Sa 1:21 And the man Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer unto the LORD the yearly sacrifice, and his vow.
1Sa 1:22 But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her husband, I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the LORD, and there abide forever.
1Sa 1:23 And Elkanah her husband said unto her, Do what seemeth thee good; tarry until thou have weaned him; only the LORD establish his word. So the woman abode, and gave her son suck until she weaned him.
1Sa 1:24 And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young.
1Sa 1:25 And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli.
1Sa 1:26 And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD.
1Sa 1:27 For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him:
1Sa 1:28 Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there.
Christian parents who dedicate their children are dedicating them to the Lord, not to the church. The dedication ceremony consists of an introduction of the parents and then an introduction of the child by his/her parents.
After reviewing the significance of dedication the presiding pastor ask the congregation to answer the following questions with “We do”.
Do you as a local church pledge to pray for the family and child?
Do you pledge to encourage the child and family in God’s grace and love?
The pastor will then lead in a pray for the family.
The parents will be asked if they would like to say anything.
The family members will be asked to come forward and a picture will be taken of the parents and the child and then of all the family together.
The parents will receive a Child Dedication Certificate and a digital copy of the photos.
Great Joy in Heaven
IGCB endeavors to allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through us to produce what is one of the vital activities of the local church – to seek and save the lost. The model derived from the Book of Acts is clear. Win the people in your city, those in the next city and those in the nations of the world. Our teaching produces a deep seated desire to win those who do not know Jesus Christ’s saving grace and work on the cross. Not all cultures in the world allow open evangelism but every souls can be won to Christ – some in open evangelism, others in house meetings and of course there is always one on one evangelism.
There is no substitute nor better method to win an unbeliever to Christ than a personal one on one, face to face, heart to heart sharing of one’s faith. People are people everywhere in the world and therefore the need to be heard, understood, answered and cared for exists in every culture in every country. Jesus, in the gospels, is recorded speaking more often to one person than to crowds. The gospel is most powerful when it is administered personally. Souls have been won while speaking English with students at a university in China, soul winning in a beautiful park in Finland, discretely sharing one’s faith with a co-worker at a workplace in Serbia, hearing a gospel message at a concert in Hungary or speaking with a family member at a Muslim family gathering in Turkey. Can you imagine the rejoicing of Our Savior’s heart each time one of His ministers shares the gospel and a person accepts what He’s done for them on His cross.
Joy in Heaven
Jesus’ message recorded in Luke 15 concerning His search for the lost includes these 3 statements that describe God’s attitude when the lost are found.
When the lost sheep was found - Luk 15:7 I say unto you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine righteous persons, who need no repentance.
When the lost coin was found - Luke 15:10 Even so, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
When the son returned to his father - Luke 15:22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: Luke 15:23 and bring the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat, and make merry: Luke 15:24 for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
The soul winner shares this joy when one person hears the gospel of God's gracious gift of salvation and believes on Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. It's the soul winners joy.
1Th 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of glorying? Are not even ye, before our Lord Jesus at his coming?
Come reach out with us at IGCB.
The Children's Ministries of IGCB are a work in progress. We are constantly striving to make our children programs action packed, fun, and spiritual. Our mission is to disciple, equip, and minister.
To disciple Christian youth, by word and example in the Spirit of God to love the Lord God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.