As followers of Jesus Christ, baptism is an essential step in our relationship with Him. There are varying views within churches surrounding baptism. We hope to clarify Fellowship’s position on the subject by answering your questions below.
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You want to follow Christ’s example (Matthew 3:13-17).
Christ commanded it. We commit to obey everything He commanded (Matthew 28:19-20).
It shows you are a Believer in Christ (Acts 18:8).
Obeying Christ’s command shows you know Him (1 John 2:3).
Baptism is the clear command of Christ. Matthew 28:19-20 NIV states, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” This is not an option but a command that is to be obeyed.
It was the clear practice of the New Testament Church (Acts 16:19-33, 8:12).
It publicly identifies a person as a follower of Jesus Christ. It is an important milestone in a believer’s life and a powerful testimony to others.
It publicly announces a person’s decision to receive Christ as Savior.
It’s a constant reminder to the church body that we are buried with Christ and raised to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:1-4). Verse 4 states, “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 might live a new life.”
Christ modeled it for us. He, too, was baptized through water as an example to follow (Matthew 3:13-17).
Baptism spurs us all to remember the significance of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Symbolic baptism points to the past, when we believed in Christ and were washed clean by His sacrifice on the Cross. It reminds us of the present, new life we have through His Spirit, and the future life we will share with Him in glory.
As an act of obedience to Christ, every sincere Christian should be baptized. Therefore, we believe that baptism is meaningful and appropriate only for the “born again” believer. Therefore, we don’t practice infant baptism. It is a sign for born again believers.
The New Testament commands that all believers are to be baptized. Acts 8:12 NIV states, “...when they believed... they were baptized, both men and women.” The Ethiopian Eunuch had his chariot stopped right after he had believed and asked, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” Then they “went down into the water and Phillip baptized him” (Acts 8:36-38). It’s clearly commanded in Matthew 28:19-20.
We believe that the requirement for membership in the local church (Fellowship) is the same requirement for the universal church. The local church is a regional “expression” of the universal church. The Scriptures teach that the universal church is the Body of Christ, made up of all who truly believe.
I Corinthians 12:13 teaches that membership in the universal Body of Christ takes place at the moment of conversion. Therefore, we believe the only requirement for membership, in both the universal and local churches, is genuine faith in Christ alone. (Compare I Corinthians 1:2 with Acts 26:15-18 and Acts 16:31 for further study.)
The story of the “Thief on the Cross” from the Gospels is one example of an individual who was never baptized who now is with Jesus in “paradise.” We believe baptism is a very important “sign” of belief, but not a Biblical requirement for membership.
Contact a Community Pastor from your congregation if you desire to be baptized.For Fellowship Rogers, contact the Fellowship Rogers Community Team.For Fellowship Mosaic, contact the Fellowship Mosaic Community Team.For Fellowship Bentonville, contact the Fellowship Bentonville Community Team.For Fellowship Fayetteville, contact the Fellowship Fayetteville Community Team.Any pastor can help arrange the date of your baptism in one of our regular worship services or can help you set up a time to be baptized in your community group.
If you have a child wanting to be baptized, contact the Family Ministry Team from your congregation and ask to have your child interviewed by one of our elementary leaders. They will help assure that your child is ready for this important step and can arrange for the baptism.For Fellowship Rogers, contact the Fellowship Rogers Family Ministry Team.For Fellowship Mosaic, contact the Fellowship Mosaic Family Ministry Team.For Fellowship Bentonville, contact the Fellowship Bentonville Family Ministry Team.For Fellowship Fayetteville, contact the Fellowship Fayetteville Family Ministry Team.