Misunderstandings About Baptism
I was baptized or sprinkled as a baby.
An important thing to know is that if you were baptized as a baby, it is not the same as biblical believer’s baptism. Many parents have their children baptized as infants or small children as a sign of dedication to God, but the Bible clearly teaches that any person who receives Christ by faith should then be baptized.
I was baptized or sprinkled in another denomination.
First Baptist Carrollton believes that the method and meaning of baptism are both very important. If a person comes from another denomination that is not of “like faith,” we ask them to be re-baptized. In no way do we doubt the sincerity or importance of their prior commitment. We want the person to clearly identify with our understanding of baptism.
What is a church of "like faith?"
Baptism is one of the requirements for membership at First Baptist Carrollton. Scriptural baptism means that the person was baptized by immersion in a church of “like faith” to FBCC. A church of “like faith” to FBCC is one with the same or very similar doctrines to FBCC. The essential doctrines that must be considered are those relating to salvation and baptism. A church of “like faith” to FBCC will hold to these views:
- Salvation is by grace from God alone. There can be no element of works involved in a person’s salvation.
- Salvation is eternal. This is the doctrine of the “security of the believer.”
- Baptism is only by immersion. A church that uses other methods of baptism (e.g., sprinkling, pouring, etc.) is not of “like faith,” even if a church that practices other methods immersed you. The only method of baptism used in the New Testament was immersion. No one was given the option to be baptized in any other way. In fact, the Greek word translated “baptize” in the New Testament literally means “to dip, plunge, submerge, or immerse.”
- Baptism serves solely as a symbol or picture of a person’s salvation. Baptism has nothing to do with making a person a follower of Christ. It is simply a symbol of having already become a follower of Christ.
- New Testament baptism requires both a proper meaning and a proper mode to express that meaning. The meaning is a symbol of Christ’s redeeming work for and in the believer. Only immersion expresses that meaning. But even though a group may use the proper mode, if the meaning be sacramental it is still not New Testament baptism. Change the mode and the meaning is lost. Change the meaning and the mode loses its New Testament significance.”
Herschel H. Hobbs, The Baptist Faith and Message (Nashville: Convention Press, 1971 revised 1996), 72.