We believe that being a Christian involves personal decision and commitment
: being born in the U.K. or being christened as a baby does not simply make you a Christian by default. So baptism is for those who have made up their own mind to put Jesus at the centre of their lives: that is why we are called ‘Baptists’. In the Bible we read that Jesus Christ died for our sins, that he was buried, and that he rose from the dead on the third day: this means that Jesus died to deal with things that we have done wrong; he took them with him to the grave, and then rose again to take charge of disordered lives. ‘Jesus is Lord’ is probably the earliest confession made by the first Christians when they were baptised.
Baptism carries profound symbolic significance. Water washes away dirt, so being baptised in water is a picture of being made clean on the inside from all those things that make us feel guilty or ashamed. We have a deep, full-length baptistry set into the floor of the church and we baptise people by immersing them completely in water. This is a picture of dying and rising again with Jesus: with Jesus we die to the person we used to be and his death releases us from our past way of living; we come up out of the water to live our lives a new way, this time with Jesus in the driving seat. That doesn’t mean we are suddenly perfect, but it does mean the orientation of our lives has fundamentally changed, away from ourselves and towards Jesus and that does begin to make a difference to how we live.
Jesus himself was baptised as the first step of identifying with us in our need of forgiveness, and when he did so, God sent the Holy Spirit to him in a fresh way and declared, ‘This is my Son, and I love him very much and am delighted with him’. We believe that God does the same for everyone who is baptised today.
If you are thinking about baptism
, contact our minister
. From time to time we run a five-week series of classes on baptism and church membership, that explain all of this very simply and there is no commitment to be baptised if you attend the classes. We would be delighted if you wanted to join us.
.... if you have read this far and you were looking for a ceremony to celebrate the birth of a baby, you probably will want to look at what we offer by way of dedication services
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