What is Baptism?
Baptism is the sacrament that depicts our initiation into the Christian life. It is a beautiful portrait of the gospel displayed as a Christian radically and publicly identifies with Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection as he/she is symbolically immersed (buried) into the baptismal waters and then raised with Him to new life (Rom. 6:3-4; Col. 2:12).
This ordinance also represents for believers purification and cleansing from sin (Acts 22:16; Titus 3:5). Immersed in Jesus’ life & work on our behalf, we have been rescued from the waters of divine wrath and the coming judgment (1 Pet. 3:21-22) and delivered to life eternal in a restored relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son.
Additionally, baptism signifies a believer’s entry into the new covenant community of the church and onto the path of life-long obedience to our King. True conversion is the giving and laying down of our lives to our Creator & Redeemer and His people, the church. Hence, we urge those of you who are being baptized to pursue covenant membership here at Maranatha or at whatever local church you will be a part of (Acts 2:37-47).
Baptism is, furthermore, an initial step of obedience (Acts 2:38). By responding to Christ’s call to be baptized, believers are submitting to Christ’s will for them and are publicly proclaiming their intention to follow Him as their only King.
What is Church Membership?
Our true nature as the church, and as Christians, is corporate.
Sure, we respond personally to the gospel and enjoy a personal relationship with the Father through the Son. But while our relationship to God is a deeply personal one, it is never a merely private affair. Throughout the history of redemption, God has been acting to save a people, not a disconnected group of isolated individuals (1 Peter 2:9-10).
It is a key assumption of New Testament teaching that the Christian life is to be lived out in relationship with other believers in the context of the local church. Although we enter into relationship with God as individuals, we nevertheless enter into something greater than our own individuality: the church – the community of God’s people.
Membership does not divide. On the contrary, it unites the local church and enables individuals to have greater opportunities to serve within the church and be on mission with the church.
Please talk to our pastors if you have any questions or would like to know more about how to become a member at Maranatha.
*If you are interested in Baptism or Membership, please contact Peter Park.