What is baptism?

Baptism declares to the world you’ve trusted Jesus, joined God’s family, and made a commitment to follow Jesus, heart and soul. It’s pretty special!

Baptism is intended only for those who have professed faith in Jesus Christ and can give sufficient testimony to the basics of Christian beliefs. We baptize by immersion because it is not only the original significance of the word but also best symbolizes the reality to which baptism points—our death and resurrection in Christ.

If you have not been baptized following salvation, we ask you to take this step before becoming a member. To help prepare you, please complete this form and a staff member will be in contact to follow up with you.


Six Common Questions About Baptism

  1. What is baptism?
    Baptism is an outward expression of an inward change. It’s a public declaration of how Jesus changed your life. Being baptized shows others that you’ve decided to follow Jesus, and allows them to celebrate this decision with you (Acts 16:31-34).

    Baptism doesn’t save a person; it’s a symbol and celebration of salvation (1 Peter 3:21). The power that brought Jesus back to life is the same power Jesus uses to change our lives – and that’s worth getting excited about!

  2. Why should I be baptized?

    Why does baptism matter? Jesus instructs us to be baptized and set the example by being baptized (Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 1:9).

    Obedience to Jesus shows we believe and follow Him. (1 John 2:3). Because Jesus went public about His love for us, we can go public about our love for Him. Being baptized shows that we turn away from a life of sin toward Jesus, the only one who can change us (Acts 2:38-41).

  3. When is the best time to be baptized?

    For everyone who decides to follow Jesus, baptism is the next step. Anyone who commits his or her life to following Jesus is ready to be baptized (Acts 8:12).

  4. Do you baptize children?

    As parents, we can help point our children to Jesus, but they are the ones to decide if they will commit their lives to Him (Romans 10:9).

    Any instance of baptism follows a person’s decision to trust Jesus for his or her salvation and commitment to follow Him (Acts 10:47-48). At FBC Starkville, we wait until children are old enough to express their own decision to follow Jesus and understand the meaning of baptism.

    Our children’s ministry offers a class entitled “Starting Point for Kids” every semester. This class is for children who have recently made the decision to follow Christ. Parents will attend this class with their children as we work together to begin the process of walking alongside these new believers and guiding them in living a life that honors God. Some of the topics your children will learn about are baptism, serving, the importance of attending church, and how to share the Gospel with others. Check out the fbcstarkville.com/events page to see when the next class is starting.

  5. What is the difference between immersing, sprinkling and other ways of baptizing?

    Baptisms in the Bible were by immersion. The original word for baptism most often referred to being immersed or submerged in water. Jesus was baptized by being immersed in the water and rising out of it (Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10).

    Submersion in the water symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Being submerged underwater represents our death to sin and old way of life, and being raised out of the water is a picture of how Jesus raised us and gave us a fresh start in life (Romans 6:3-5).

  6. Do I need to be baptized again?

    If you haven’t been baptized by immersion since you decided to follow Jesus, we want to help you take your next step of being baptized. Once you’ve taken that step, there’s no need to be baptized again.

    God never asks us to take a next step that isn’t good for us. He always gives us more than we deserve or can imagine, including the joy we receive from listening to Him and doing what He says.

    Is baptism your next step? Sign up by clicking here to talk with someone about it.