Here's a quick guide to help you start the conversation with your child and better help them understand this important step.
Baptism is the outward expression of an inward decision. Baptism is when we go under the water, symbolizing:
• Washing away all the dirty stuff - sins.
• Jesus' death and resurrection - Jesus died and came back to life again on the third day.
In those days John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began preaching. His message was, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” The prophet Isaiah was speaking about John when he said,
“He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming!
Clear the road for him!’”
John’s clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey. People from Jerusalem and from all of Judea and all over the Jordan Valley went out to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.
But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to watch him baptize, he denounced them. “You brood of snakes!” he exclaimed. “Who warned you to flee the coming wrath? Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.
“I baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.”
Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?”
But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” So John agreed to baptize him.
After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”
Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”
Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
“What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”
Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”
“How are these things possible?” Nicodemus asked.
Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony. But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven. And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
“There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”
"Does this mean you'll never sin again?"
John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him.
Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.
Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin.
"No. You do not need to live a life that chooses sin, but you will continue to make mistakes (sin). Only Jesus lived a sinless life."
"When you sin again, what do you do?"
Most kids are more concerned with getting in trouble with Mom or Dad than asking God for forgiveness, so it's hard for them to not connect "getting in trouble" when we talk about God and sin. Make sure they understand that it's by the grace and love of Jesus that our sins are forgiven.
"Confess or "say" your sins to God in prayer and sometimes to the person we have done wrong to."
Water baptism is a public declaration that we have turned away from our sins and put our faith in Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord (Acts 2:38). It is important to recognize that baptism does not save us; instead, we are saved by God’s grace as we trust in His Son who died for us on the cross and was raised from the dead (Romans 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-10). However, baptism identifies us publicly with Jesus Christ as His disciples, His followers. This is vital because Jesus Himself said, “If anyone acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will openly acknowledge that person before my Father in heaven” (Matthew 10:32).
Obeying God in this way is an important step toward spiritual fruitfulness and the fullness of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; Colossians 2:11-12). As we go down into the waters and come back up we demonstrate that our old life of sin has been buried with Christ and we have been raised with Him (Romans 6:1-4). Baptism is a celebration of God’s grace and an expression of our desire and intention to follow Him!
You should be baptized if you have turned away from your sins and put your faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord (Acts 2:38). Water baptism is a public declaration that you have been saved by God’s grace through your trust in His Son (Romans 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-10). Baptism is an important point of identification with Jesus as your Lord and an expression of your desire and intention to follow Him. Please note that you do not need to be a member of Church of the Redeemer to be baptized here.
Clothes that will not retain much water work best (jeans are not good). We will give you a baptism t-shirt to wear. You may wear dark-colored pants or modest length shorts (no short shorts please). Also, make sure to bring a change of clothes, two towels and a plastic bag for wet clothing.
If you would like to be baptized with your spouse and/or with your children, or if you would like your children to be baptized together, please let us know that when you register and we will do our best to plan for this. Of course, it is important that each family member has come to a point of personal faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior of their life before they are ready for baptism.