Walnut Creek, CA


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To participate in our next baptism, please read the following and contact Wayne Phillips with any questions.

Why be baptized?

Because Jesus and the early church commanded it:
Jesus said, “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:18-19
Peter said, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38

To follow Jesus’ example:
At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Mark 1:9

To show you are a Jesus follower:
many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized. Acts 18:8

The meaning of baptism

To baptize (baptizo) means “to immerse”.

Baptism symbolizes Jesus’ burial and resurrection:
when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ. Colossians 2:12

Baptism symbolizes new life in Jesus:
For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Romans 6:4
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17

Symbolizes the forgiveness of sin made possible by Jesus:
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38
Ananias said, “Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name” Acts 22:16

Symbolizes immersion in the Holy Spirit:
On one occasion, while he [Jesus] was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 1:4-5
we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13

Symbolizes becoming a part of the body of Christ:
The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13

It’s a picture of turning away from sin and turning toward God, of dying to our old way of life and being raised to live a new life:
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 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. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin–because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Romans 6:1-11

A picture of being united with Jesus in His death:
Going down into the water it is a picture of 1) dying to your old sinful ways, to your old life lived apart from God, and 2) your sins being buried because Jesus died for them on the cross.

A picture of being united with Jesus in His resurrection:
Rising out of the water it is a picture of 1) your new life with Jesus, and 2) your decision to walk now with Jesus, in obedience to Him.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24
…buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. Colossians 2:12
See also Colossians 3:1-16, Galatians 5:16-25

Baptism is an external act representing an internal reality:
Baptism does not make you a believer; it shows that you are one. Baptism does not “save” you. Only faith in Christ does that:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith– and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Baptism is like a wedding ceremony. It’s the outward expression of a commitment you have made in your heart.

How do we baptize?

By immersion:
To baptize (baptizo) means to dip, to immerse, so immersion in water helps us understand the meaning of baptism.
Jesus was baptized by immersion (Matthew 3:16)
Every baptism described in the Bible was by immersion (Acts 8:38-39).

Who should be baptized?

Every person who believes the good news about Jesus—who He is, and what He has accomplished for them:
He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Acts 16:30-31
Those who accepted his message were baptized Acts 2:41
But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Acts 8:12

Am I ready to be baptized?

Baptism is for anyone who has put their faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins, and has decided to follow Him—to do life with Him, and live in obedience to Him. You are ready to be baptized if you have come to this point in your spiritual journey. This is the clear pattern of the early church: belief followed by baptism (Acts 2:41, 8:12, 18:8). Since belief is necessary we do not baptize infants, and we do not baptize children until they are old enough to understand the meaning of baptism and the choice it represents. Instead we do child dedications.

What if I was baptized as an infant?

We encourage people who were baptized as infants to consider being baptized to mark and proclaim their own decision to put faith in Jesus and to follow him. The purpose is not to devalue a prior experience but to follow the way Jesus commanded.

Baptism Logistics

When will it happen?
Baptisms take place 2-3 times a year, early in the service, after the first set of music and before the message. Please arrive at church 15 minutes early for final instructions.

What should I wear and bring?
Men and women should wear shorts/pants and a dark shirt that don’t show through when wet. Bare feet, flip flops, or wet shoes all work fine. Please be modest.
Bring a towel, bag for wet clothes, and a set of dry clothes to change into after you are baptized. The bathroom is available for a place to change.

What water will be used?
We have a portable baptism pool large enough for the person being baptized. Pastor Wayne stands outside the pool next to you.

What do I say, and what happens?
Pastor Wayne will introduce you and ask you to share why you decided to be baptized. Please write out your answer beforehand and keep it brief (150-200 words).
He will then ask you, “Do you confess that Jesus is Lord, and He has paid the penalty for your sins on the cross?”
Then you will want to hold your nose with one hand and put the other hand on that arm. Pastor Wayne will dip you back into the water, down and up.
You can go straight to the bathrooms and change without waiting for the other people being baptized. When you’re finished, come back and join us for the rest of the service.

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925 298-2358 | info@opentablechurch.org | Mailing address: 460 Center St #6841 Moraga CA 94570 facebook light blue circleTwitter light blue circle