What We Believe
One of the most significant events in the life of a person who follows Jesus is his or her baptism. Baptism is a visible sign of an internal change that takes place in the life of a Jesus follower the moment they trust in Christ for salvation.
It is a way of publicly declaring: “From now on, I am trusting in Jesus for salvation from sin and I desire to follow and live in obedience to Him.” It’s also an opportunity for others to celebrate your decision with you! If you’ve trusted in Jesus and haven’t been baptized, we strongly encourage you to consider taking this important step.
The word baptize comes from the Greek word baptizo, literally meaning to dip or submerge. Baptism was a common practice in Jesus’ day. During Jesus’ life, John the Baptist baptized people to symbolize that they needed to be forgiven of their sin and begin obeying God from the heart. In its original context, baptism symbolized cleansing from the old, wrong way of living and identifying with a new, God-honoring lifestyle.
The baptisms took place in public places so the community could see the difference Jesus makes in the person’s life. Romans 6:1-4, explains the symbolism of Christian baptism: “as Jesus died and was raised from the dead, we have died to our old way of life and have been raised to a new life as a result of trusting in Jesus.” That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. [Rom. 6:3-14 The Message]
Baptism was one of Jesus’ final instructions to His followers: “Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19 (NLT) We baptize people today because Jesus told us that after a person has become His follower (or disciple), they’re supposed to be baptized. The purpose of baptism is to show people both within the church and people within our community that they’ve become a follower of Jesus. Baptism itself does not bring us forgiveness or help us get to God’s heaven; the Bible does not teach this. Simply put, baptism displays an inward change through this outward expression of obedience given to us by Jesus for His followers.
Baptism should be done after a person has personally trusted in Jesus for forgiveness of his or her sins. Jesus tells us to make disciples and be baptized. This is the order Gospel Alliance follows and is also the pattern seen in God’s Word [Acts 8:38]. Because the decision to follow Jesus must be made individually, and then followed by baptism; we do not practice infant baptism. To ensure that the person being baptized fully understands his or her decision, a staff member from Gospel Alliance would be delighted to meet with the interested individual.
If you have been baptized as an infant or prior to trusting in Jesus for forgiveness of your sins, we encourage you to consider being baptized again.
Baptism is a visible sign of an internal change that takes place in the life of a Jesus follower the moment they trust in Christ for salvation.
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Communion or the Lord’s Supper was instituted by Jesus at the Passover meal He celebrated with His disciples just before His arrest and crucifixion. This meal graphically reminds us of what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross. Jesus told us to “do this” in His remembrance. He is our King and Judge, yet He invites us to regularly celebrate the fact that He took our sins upon Himself. The Apostle Paul quotes Jesus in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. Of the bread Jesus said, “this is my body broken for you.” The bread represents Jesus body, which was brutally nailed to the cross for our sins. The cup represents the New Covenant that Jesus made with all believers through the shedding of His blood on the cross.
Gospel Alliance Church normally has Communion on the first Sunday of each month, and on other special occasions. Everyone who has received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is invited to participate in this meal.
The age at which children should participate is a decision the parents should make. When the child has received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and understands the significance of the meal, they are also invited to participate.
Gospel Alliance Church does not baptize infants and children who are not old enough to express their own faith in Jesus Christ. We practice Child Dedication. The parent(s) express their understanding that their child/children are a gift from God, and that they are to raise their children to love and serve Jesus Christ.
Dedicating children is a Scriptural practice. Hannah and Elkanah dedicated their son, Samuel to the Lord (1 Samuel 1). Mary and Joseph also dedicated Jesus to the Lord (Luke 2:22ff.).
Child dedications are included in our worship services. They may be scheduled with one of the Pastoral staff.
CHRISTIAN & MISSIONARY ALLIANCE: STATEMENT OF FAITH