Jesus said in Matthew 28:19, “make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them.” Thus we at Calvary Chapel believe God has given the command for believers in Christ to be baptized.
However, we do not believe someone who has professed a belief in and commitment to Jesus Christ is not saved until they are baptized. The scripture is clear on this point. The apostle Paul said, “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel” (1 Corinthians 1:17). When asked by the Philippian jailer, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul and the other disciples responded, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved” (Acts 16:30-31). Romans 10:9 says, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
What then does baptism do? Romans 6:3-4 tells us “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life”. In other words baptism is an identifying work that demonstrates our connection with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. We go down into the waters of baptism just as Jesus was buried in the tomb. We raise up out of the water just as Jesus raised up form the dead. We are demonstrating to family and friends that our old life is buried, and our new life has begun.
Another question we are frequently asked is “In whose name are we baptized?” Should we be baptized in the name of Jesus only, or in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit? There are lengthy doctrinal discussions over which we could do, since there is Biblical precedence for both practices. But the short and simple answer is Jesus said in Matthew 28:19, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Simon Peter said in Acts 2:38, “Repent, and each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.” Whose command are you going to follow? We follow the command of Jesus and baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Which, incidentlally, also follows the command of Peter who didn’t say, “be baptized in the name of Jesus ONLY.”
Baptisms occur at Calvary Chapel of Kennett when someone expresses a desire to a Pastor to be baptized. We schedule them two or three weeks in advance, giving others the chance to step forward during that time to be baptized as well. If you have been born again into a new life in Christ, but not yet baptized, we encourage you to be obedient to the Lord and do so.