Baptism is a very special moment on the journey of faith. It is a moment when God's presence and blessing meets us, and it is a moment when we make our personal commitment of faith in Jesus as Lord.
The basis of our belief is:
1. That our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, is the sole and absolute authority in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as revealed in the Holy Scriptures, and that each Church has liberty, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to interpret and administer His laws.
2. That Christian Baptism is the immersion in water into the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, of those who have professed repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ who died for our sins according to the Scriptures; was buried, and rose again the third day’.
3. That it is the duty of every disciple to bear personal witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to take part in the evangelisation of the world.
Who are Baptists?
Baptist churches are found in almost every country in the world. As part of the world-wide Christian church, Baptists form one of the largest families of faith, alongside other trinitarian Christian traditions such as Anglicans, Methodists, Reformed, etc.For Baptists the concept of a family is important. The church is not so much a particular place or building, but rather a family of believers, committed to Christ, to one another and to the service of God in the world.Within the Baptist family everybody is equal, for everybody has a part to play in the service of God. There is no hierarchy of bishops or priests exercising authority over their members. Equality of status, however, does not mean that all have the same role.
Each local Baptist church appoints its own leaders – or ministers – to have particular responsibility for preaching, teaching and pastoral care. Working alongside these ministers are also deacons, who together with the minister(s) form the leadership team of the local Baptist church. (Church Constitution)Baptists are grass-roots people, with a particular emphasis on the local church. These local churches are self-governing and self-supporting, ranging in size from twenty or so members to many hundreds. Although each Baptist church is an independent entity, Baptists nonetheless have always believed in associating with one another – and so the churches come together in regional, national and international spheres to promote and support the fellowship of Baptists everywhere.
Baptism is a very special moment on the journey of faith. It is a moment when God’s presence and blessing meets us, and it is a moment when we make our personal commitment of faith in Jesus as Lord. Normally baptism takes place by full immersion in water as part of a public act of worship. It signifies the end of our old life and of being born again to new life in Christ. It speaks of repentance and cleansing, of being united with Christ in his death and resurrection, and of witnessing to the call of God upon our lives. As the Apostle Paul says, ‘We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.’ (Romans 6:3,4)
Because we believe that baptism is an outward profession of our personal faith in Jesus Christ, we do not baptise babies. Instead we dedicate them to God and the parents make promises to bring them up in the Christian faith with the support of the church family. They then make their own decision to be baptised when they are ready to confess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
My Testament of how my life is changing
I was baptised on June 4th on that special day of Pentecost. Before my baptism my life felt empty, I felt quite lonely, in fact I felt as lonely as I was when I lived alone in Derby. However I feel the reason for this was because I hadn’t realized that one had to turn fully and wholeheartedly to our Lord and Saviour. This is what was lacking in my life before I became a Christian and the more I read my bible the more I understood just how much Jesus cares for us and how he is always there for us.
I feel that we need to be open to the efforts of others to help us. We can comfort those in trouble with the comfort we have received from God. Jesus suffered and endured so much for us, so we need to show our love for Christ in the things we do in order to help and bring others to our Lord. If you let him help you your life will change as my life has changed and is still changing. I have never felt so happy or had so many friends since I became a member of God’s family.
After all these years my sister whom I haven’t seen for 54 years has come to see me from Spain, and another sister who lives in Wales has contacted me. I find that I have got several cousins, nephews and nieces who have also been found. People want to be with me now and it’s great. Before there was darkness, now there is light shining brightly for me and I have found by roots in the church.
I no linger need to hold my friends’ hand as I used to. God holds my hand and leads me forward into the future with his great strength behind me. I can now go forward to pastures new which I never thought existed or even possible. Without God none of this would have ever happened. It is very true that if one has an ounce of faith like a grain of mustard seed it can grow and be nurtured by God into wonderful things. Oh, what a wonderful change has come over my life. With God all things are possible in him who trusts and obeys.