And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:18-20 ESV)
Every christian should be baptized in obedience to Jesus. Biblical baptism literally means to get dunked or to be immersed into water. Full immersion baptism is not only the literal meaning of the bible word we know as baptize, but it also follows the pattern Jesus set for us in texts like Matthew 3:16 and Mark 1:10.
Christians are baptized in the name of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Who should be baptized?
Baptism is for every Christian (Mk 16:16). When someone responds to God’s Spirit, repents of sin and places their trust in Jesus Christ alone as their only hope for a life with and for God (Jn 14:6), they are saved (Rom 10:9-10), made righteous before God (2 Cor 5:21) and reconciled to him (Col 1:21-22). They are instantly baptized with the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16). Thus water baptism is our outward expression and confession of what God has done to and for us and in us.
While some traditions practice infant baptism, New City believes the pattern of scripture teaches hat those who are baptized are those who confess and profess faith in Jesus as their Lord, God and King. Thus, only believers should be baptized. While believing parents may dedicate their children to the Lord, baptism would be inappropriate as there is no biblical evidence of infants being baptized nor is an infant able to profess faith of their own accord.
At New City Church we limit baptism to those who are ages 8 and older because we think children who are 8 years old are able to articulate their faith and have a firm grasp of what baptism is. If a young child age 8 and older is saved, proper measures should be taken by parents and elders to ensure the child understands the gospel and what has happened to them. Otherwise they would not see the significance of their own baptism.
If a child is saved younger than age 8, we encourage parents to cultivate the anticipation being baptized and continue sharing the gospel with their child and helping them know, love and follow Jesus.