OWN YOUR FAITH
For many followers of Jesus, baptism is one of the believer’s first steps of public obedience to Christ. It is not salvific in nature, meaning that baptism is not required for salvation through Christ, but it is an outward symbol of what God has done in the life, heart, and spirit of His followers and naturally follows salvation by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8).
Rolling Hills believes that Scripture teaches the following regarding baptism:
- Baptism is an act of obedience to Christ’s command (Matthew 28:19-20).
- Baptism symbolizes a death to and cleansing from sin, and follows an individual’s decision to trust Christ for salvation (Acts 2:41, 8:12, 10:47-48).
- The only baptism practiced in Scripture was baptism by immersion, identifying the believer with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, and was modeled by Christ Himself (Mark 1:9-10; Romans 6:1-11).
The sanctity of the Church’s practice of baptism is a very important part of identifying with the body of Christ. That’s why at Rolling Hills, baptism is a requirement for partnership. For new followers of Jesus, Rolling Hills baptizes by immersion, as modeled to us in Scripture.
We recognize, however, that other Christian denominations sometimes observe varied methods of baptism which conform to their theology and historical practice. If you have experienced “believer’s baptism,” baptism which follows your personal decision to follow Christ, you have met the requirement of baptism for church partnership at Rolling Hills Community Church. If, however, you were baptized as an infant, Rolling Hills recognizes this as your parents’ decision on your behalf and does not signify personally redemptive life change that you have actively sought on your own. Rolling Hills views this, in a sense, as a “baby dedication,” the intent of your parents that, one day, you would decide to follow Christ. If you were baptized only as an infant, baptism as an adult should not be viewed as a statement against your parents’ personal beliefs regarding baptism, but can be viewed as the fulfillment of your parents’ wishes for you at the time they observed this practice in your former church.
All candidates for baptism must meet with a pastor to discuss their baptism decision prior to a baptism service. Baptism Classes are offered periodically as an informal time to learn about this significant step, hear the history of baptism, and provides an opportunity for questions to be answered.