What is baptism?

Baptism is an outward expression of the change that has happened in a person’s heart with salvation. It is a picture of the believer being united with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. At Southlands, we practice baptism by full immersion because it is a vivid display of being dead to sin and raised to new life in Christ. “Full immersion” means a person is submerged completely under the water while being baptized.

An illustration of salvation and baptism is a marriage ceremony. In a marriage ceremony, a couple exchanges vows. In doing this, they commit their lives to each other. Next, they exchange rings. These rings are a symbol of the commitment that has been made. Salvation is like the marriage vows. It is our commitment to the Lord. Baptism, like the rings in a wedding ceremony,  is the outward display of this commitment. It does not bring about salvation. Instead, it is our response to what Christ has done in our hearts. Baptism is not a religious ritual that we do out of obligation. It’s something we joyfully do to show our decision to pursue a new life in Christ.

"Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life."
- Romans 6:3-4

Who should be baptized?

Not only is baptism a commandment for those who are believers, but it also points us to the beginning of our new life in Christ. As people are baptized, it displays their commitment and understanding to consciously turn away from sin and to trust in Christ alone. Because of this, we do not baptize infants. If you were baptized as an infant, we encourage you, in obedience to Scripture, to be baptized as a believer.

Should I be baptized?

A candidate for baptism...
- Has a Godly desire to be baptized.
- Has become a believer by faith and repentance through Christ.
- Is able to communicate what Christ has done for them through His death and resurrection.
- Has evidence of Godly sorrow over sin followed by repentance.
- Displays fruit of the Holy Spirit.
- Demonstrates a willingness to turn away from the world and live a life that keeps God’s commands and loves God’s church.

** Regarding children: Depending on their age, a child’s understanding of God may be at a different level than that of an adult. We want to ensure that a child has a clear understanding of the gospel as well as evidence of a life changed by Christ before the child is baptized. We strongly encourage parents to discern whether their child understands and is ready for baptism.

Sign Up

Take the next step!