Baptism is a sacrament. In a sacrament, God uses common elements - in this case, water - as means or vehicles of divine grace. We baptize adults as a sign of their acceptance of God. We baptize infants as a sign of God's acceptance of them - and of their parent's acceptance of the task of teaching them to follow Jesus.
Q: Why do you baptize infants when they're too young to believe?
A: We baptize infants because we believe that baptism is more about God than about us. God is reaching out to us before we even know it. Infant baptism celebrates that fact. When a baby is baptized, three promises are made:
- The parents promise to raise the child in a Christian environment.
- The church promises to help the parents do that.
- God promises that when the child finally does believe, He will be there to forgive, cleanse, and make new.
Q: Does being baptized mean I am saved?
A: No, salvation is a lifelong process during which we must continue to respond to God's grace. Baptism offers the promise that the Holy Spirit will always be working in our lives, but salvation requires our acceptance of that grace, trust in Christ, and ongoing growth in holiness as long as we live.
Q: Do I have to be baptized in order to be saved?
A: No, but baptism is a gift of God's grace to be received as part of the journey of salvation. To refuse to accept baptism is to reject one of the means of grace that God offers us.
Q: Why should I be baptized?
A: Baptism says, “I belong to Jesus.” The water symbolizes the spiritual washing that you receive when you accept Christ.
Q: What will happen when I am baptized?
A: A pastor will pour water over your head – or immerse you completely in water – in a public ceremony that lots of people see. You may choose to be baptized by pouring or by immersion. As United Methodists, we recognize both as valid. The public ceremony is typically done during a worship service.
Q: What if I was baptized as an infant?
A: If you have been baptized as an infant or child, you do not need to be baptized again before joining the church. Your profession of faith upon joining the church makes your baptism “complete.”
Q: What if I was baptized in another denominations?
A: We recognize the baptisms of other Christian denominations as valid.
Q: What is the next step after baptism?
A: We recommend you get in a small group. Click here to learn more. Ultimately we hope you will express your faith by becoming an official member of Covenant.
Have more questions?