We are so thankful that you are interested in Baptism at Lake Forest Church. You may or may not be aware that different churches have differing positions on baptism but at the same time, there is essential unity as well.
Below you’ll find LFC’s practices and understanding of Baptism as well as answers to some frequently asked questions.
Baptism is recognized as one of two Sacraments. Sacraments are holy signs and seals of the Covenant of Grace, representing Christ and all His benefits. They confirm our relationship to Him and represent a visible difference between those who belong to the Church and the rest of the world. (Romans 4:11; Colossians 2:11-12)
When we say baptism is a “sign”, it is like a big billboard on the forehead of a person that announces, “This one is forgiven, cleansed, and washed.”
When we say baptism is a “seal”, we mean it is a mark of ownership, a mark of adoption. It says that “This one belongs to God!” It is a symbol of an inward reality: I have God’s DNA.
Baptism never makes a person’s adoption true. Baptism is a sign and seal showing that their adoption is true. In other words, baptism never “saves” a person.
First and foremost baptism should happen out of obedience to Christ. If you have chosen to be a follower of Christ, Jesus said this is what his followers do. It’s part of being a disciple and obeying the Great Commission. (Matthew 28:19-20)
Jesus was also baptized and we are called to follow his example. (Mark 1:9-11)
We believe that Jesus was baptized to show us that we are both body and spirit matter. They both matter because we need physical symbolism to remind us that this is not just a magical experience. Throughout the Bible, God uses physical symbols, outward signs, for people to remember the inward realities.
Lastly, baptism publicly declares to others that you have chosen to follow Christ and trust Him for your salvation alone. By the act of baptism, a person becomes a part of the visible Church. Therefore, it is a time where all the Church can celebrate!
LFC Ministry Partners: We baptize those who are choosing to become LFC Ministry Partners because we want to help a person make the decision to be a part of a local church and for that church to celebrate and commit to helping that person grow at their baptism.
Only those who have not been baptized before: We do not make any exceptions for those that have truly been baptized before. Our role as your pastors is to help you to appreciate your initial baptism and God’s faithfulness to keep his hand on you. He is fulfilling His promise.
For some, it is hard to discern if they were truly baptized before. As your pastors, we would love to help you discern this.
Infants/Toddlers of Ministry Partners: After sin entered the world, God set in motion a plan to heal the rift between himself and humanity. He made a covenant promise to Abraham, saying, “I will keep my promise to you and to your descendants in future generations as an everlasting covenant. I will be your God and the God of your descendants.” (Genesis 17:7)
At Lake Forest, we want to claim the promises of God. We do this by participating in infant baptism. We are not claiming salvation for the child, nor do we believe baptism saves them. Regeneration comes through Christ and faith in Christ, not through baptism. Instead, infant baptism is a sign and a seal. It is a sign of God’s covenant promise extended to the children of believers and a seal marking them as such.
While our deepest conviction is infant baptism, we do agree there is room in Scripture that allows a person to carry a deep conviction of not having their infants baptized before they are able to profess their faith.
So, to hold to our deepest convictions of the Scriptures and at the same time, not confuse our body, we only offer baptism of infants in our worship services. Yet, to give liberty to other’s convictions, all of our ordained ministers will dedicate children of Ministry Partners in a different community setting.
All baptisms at Lake Forest are done by an ordained minister in a community setting in order to protect it as a sacrament and to keep it as an event for the entire body of Christ. This is a time for the local body to also commit to helping the person being baptized grow in their journey with Christ.
Scripture is clear in that baptism is by water-a universal sign of cleansing. Ye,t we do not believe that Scripture is black and white in saying the amount of water or the method of the baptism.
Therefore, we again believe this is a non-essential and give liberty to the individual to decide if they would like to be “sprinkled” or fully immersed. For obvious reasons, all infants will be sprinkled.
The first step is to sign-up for LFC’s “Discovering Baptism” class. This is required for anyone wishing to be baptized or wanting their infants to be baptized. In this class, all forms to sign up are given out.
If you have taken the class before, there is no need to take it again. You can simply call the church office at 704.948.3232 and let them know that you or your infant would like to be baptized. If you are not a Ministry Partner, you will need to take LFC’s Welcome 101 class first.
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