Preparing for One's Baptism Service
And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” (Acts 8:36)
Once you’ve taken the classes, been interviewed by the elders, and prepared a testimony, a day will be set when you will be immersed publicly. What should you do to get ready for that day?
AS THE DAY APPROACHES
First, and foremost, we recommend that you approach the day soberly and deliberately, examining yourself and confessing your sins. Believers who are about to participate in the other ordinance of the church, the Lord’s Supper, are reminded by the Apostle Paul: “Let a person examine himself, then...if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged” (1 Cor. 11:28, 31). While the Supper and baptism are different, they are both holy moments in the life of a believer and of the local church. Believers are supposed to engage in self-examination as a regular part of their Christian walk: “examine yourselves...test yourselves” (2 Cor. 13:5). And the purpose of this is to remind ourselves both of our need for, and the fact of, God’s forgiveness. When we examine ourselves and confess our sins, God forgives us: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Second, be in prayer. The Apostle calls us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thes. 5:17). Baptism is, itself, an enacted prayer, an “appeal to God for a good conscience” (1 Pet. 3:21). And so it is most fitting that one who is about to be baptized be in prayer as preparation for that baptism. One helpful way to organize your prayers is the “ACTS” acronym: prayers of adoration (praising God for who he is and what he has done); prayers of confession (admitting and bringing our sins to God and asking his fatherly forgiveness); prayers of thanksgiving (expressing gratitude for the blessings God has given you and others); and prayers of supplication (bringing requests and cares to God for help).
Third, invite friends and family! Baptism is an outward and public declaration, a visible confession of faith. Your local church family will, of course, be gathered to celebrate and thank God with you and for you. But please feel free to invite other friends and family, and especially those who do not yet know Jesus. Your baptism will be a great way to share your faith in Christ with them, and to introduce them to your new spiritual family. It will give them the opportunity not only to see the Gospel pictured through baptism, but proclaimed through Bible reading, preaching, prayer, and singing.
WHAT TO BRING
On baptism Sunday, here are a couple helpful pointers to prepare you:
• Clothing. Bring a change of clothes. Just before the baptism you’ll be given a chance to change into the clothing you’ll wear in the water. Usually something like a t-shirt and a pair of shorts is easiest, but depending on temperature (especially if the baptism is outdoors in cooler weather) longer sleeves and pants are okay too. Modesty is important, though, so choose your clothing accordingly.
• Towels. Bring one or two long towels. When you are baptized, someone will be standing near the water to give you your towel when you get out. Especially if the baptism is outdoors in cooler weather, you’ll want a towel that can wrap around you and warm you up!
• Sandals, especially if the baptism will be outdoors. When you get out of the water you can step into your sandals and proceed to where you will change into dry clothing.
DURING THE BAPTISM
• When you step in the water, lower yourself to your knees. It makes it easier to perform the baptism, and it requires less depth of water.
• In preparation to be lowered into the water, hold your nose with your right hand, and hold your right wrist with your left hand. Keep your mouth firmly closed. You can keep your eyes closed as you go under.
The pastor who baptizes will grasp your left wrist and place his other hand in the middle of your back—this makes it easier to lower and raise you. And this way you don’t come up out of the water sneezing or coughing!
• When you get out, get dressed in dry clothes as soon as practicable. People will want to congratulate you and talk to you—you don’t want to be shivering, especially if it’s cold! It’s okay for them to wait for a few minutes; get dry and warm.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK!
This has been just a brief guide to the most important parts of preparing for baptism. Don’t hesitate to talk to one of your elders if you have any questions about any of these things, or if you need help.
More in Blog
August 15, 2022Registration is LIVE for our "Zoomerang" VBS August 15-19!
June 14, 2022Means of Grace for June 14: God's Nature, Spurgeon's Evangelist, Culture War, Tradition & More!
March 16, 2022Preparing for One's Baptism Service