...in God the Father who is Creator of heaven and earth, Maker of all that is, seen and unseen.
...in God the Son, Jesus Christ, who is the Savior and Lord of all who believe and trust in Him.
...in God the Holy Spirit who is the Comforter, Encourager, and Counselor.
...that salvation is an unmerited and unearned gift of grace from God that comes through faith in Jesus Christ, and that each person has the freedom to respond to God's gracious gift of salvation with a personal profession of faith.
...that through Jesus Christ all believers have direct access to God.
...that the Bible is inspired by God, and that it is authoritative for the life of the Christian and the Church.
...that Jesus Christ is the head of the Church, and that under Jesus Christ churches should be autonomous communities of faith and fellowship.
...that the body of Christ, the Church, grows best as a nurturing community connecting people to Jesus Christ and equiping the Followers of Jesus Christ to make an impact on the world for Him.
...that each person should be granted religious freedom, and that sharing our faith should be done graciously in love, without coercion.
...that the New Testament teaches that believers should be baptised by immersion after their profession of Faith. Believers should refresh their commitment to Jesus Christ by taking the Lord’s Supper. Both baptism and the Lord’s Supper symbolize the Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
...that Christians should live in loving obedience to God and should be active in sharing the Good News about Jesus Christ through words and actions.
What is Baptism?
Jesus said all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:18-20). Baptism lies at the heart of this command. The word baptism means to be immersed or put under. When Jesus was baptized (Luke 3:21) he was placed under the surface of the water in the Jordan River. We are to follow the same method. The water used may be in a “baptistery” in a church or in a body of water elsewhere.
A person is baptized after making a commitment of his/her life to Jesus (profession of faith). Those who accepted his message were baptized (Acts 2:41). Any type of baptism prior to a knowledgeable commitment to Jesus Christ is not considered true baptism. Baptists believe the only way to baptize is immersion, rather than splashing or pouring water on a candidate’s head. Though baptism is considered an important form of obedience to the teaching of Jesus, it is not necessary for salvation.
Baptism is a public identification with Jesus and His Gospel. We are baptized as Jesus was. Our baptism declares our intention to follow Jesus. Jesus said, whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven (Matthew 10:32). Baptism is a picture of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. As we are lowered under the water, we picture putting away a life without Jesus. As we rise from the water, we picture the new birth, beginning a new life with Jesus. We were buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life (Romans 6:4). Baptism also symbolizes the inner cleansing and change that results from confessing our sins, turning away from a life without God, and committing to follow Jesus. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin (Romans 6:5,6).
What is a Profession of Faith?
Christians refer to a “profession of faith” as a commitment to put one’s faith in Jesus Christ as the only Savior and Lord (Master) of life. What is involved in this process?
Usually, a person recognizes the existence of God as a being wholly other and above all other beings. God is all-powerful, all-knowing and everywhere present. God chooses to love each person.
The Bible reveals the fact that we choose to live according to what we want to do. We may choose to rebel against God or any authority in our lives. We have an inner nature that sometimes reveals foul thoughts, ugly words or hurtful actions. All of us miss the mark of God’s best at some point in life. These missteps are called “sin.”
None of us can do enough right things to erase the separation from God created by life’s stains. God’s redemptive heart reached out to us to bridge the gap between what is and what should be before the holy God. God chose to address our sins on the cross of Jesus.
God gives us the choice of whether to believe in his existence. He gives the choice to accept or reject the redemptive work of Jesus. If we turn from a self-centered life (called repentance) and trust Jesus to forgive our personal sin (called salvation), we enter the family of God (called new birth).
How can I make a profession of faith? You commit life to Christ by praying a prayer worded something like the one below:
God, thank you for loving me. Thank you that Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins and failures. I admit to you that I am a sinner. I ask you to forgive me for my sins. I turn away from living only for myself. I invite the Spirit of Jesus to enter my life so Jesus may become my Savior and Lord. Help me live in obedience to you. Thank you for hearing my prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.
If you have prayed this prayer, the Bible says you are saved (Romans 10:13). Please tell someone of your commitment to Jesus. Please consider joining a church and growing with other Christians.
As a follower of Jesus you are encouraged to deepen your relationship with Jesus in several ways:
- Read the Bible every day to get to know Jesus better
- Talk to God every day (prayer)
- Tell others about what you have found and are discovering in Jesus
- Worship, fellowship, and serve with other Christians in a church where the Bible is believed to be the Word of God
- Follow Jesus as your only Savior and Lord
- Demonstrate your identity with Jesus through helping others
What is the Lord’s Supper?
The Lord’s Supper first occurred on the night before Jesus was crucified (Matthew 26:17-30). It was a part of a larger meal called the Passover. The bread became a symbol of the body of Jesus that was broken on the cross. ("He was hurt for our rebellion. He was crushed for our sins. He was punished so we would have peace." Isaiah 53:5) The drink became a symbol of the blood of Jesus that was shed. ("Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness." Hebrews 9:22)
Baptists interpret the bread and drink as symbols of the body and blood of Jesus. We picture the sacrifice Jesus made for our wrongdoing. ("He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed." 1 Peter 2:24) When we take the Lord’s Supper we remember Jesus’ sacrificial death and anticipate his return. ("Every time you eat this bread and drink from this cup you are telling of the Lord’s death until He comes again." 1 Corinthians 11:26)
Who should take the Lord’s Supper? People who have made a commitment to Jesus Christ and whose lives are in a proper relationship with both Christ and other people are encouraged to take the Lord’s Supper. ("Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself." 1 Corinthians 11:27-29) The church documents encourage a person to make a public commitment to a personal belief in the saving work of Jesus Christ and to be baptized before taking the Lord’s Supper. The church freely allows people who have made faith commitments to Jesus Christ and followed their faith commitments with baptism in other churches to participate in the Lord’s Supper in KIBC.
The passing of the plate with bread or drink allows each of us to determine whether our hearts are right with God before partaking in this supper. As we take the elements of this meal, we make a recommitment of our lives to live out our commitment to Jesus.