We Must Go - Jonah 1

Should I be re-baptized as an adult to affirm my faith as a Christian follow Christ, or is there not a need for it since it was already done when I was an infant?

Scripture shows that baptism is a sign of God’s covenant promise with his people, which is expressed as a sign of forgiveness and redemption and as a seal that signifies adoption into God’s family. This perspective of baptism is rooted in Genesis 15:1-6 and Genesis 17:1-8. According to this interpretation, God’s covenant with his people continues today, as illustrated in Galatians 3:7, which says, “Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.” Abraham’s covenant of salvation that comes by faith, and in the Old Testament, circumcision expressed it. In the New Testament, Jesus commanded baptism in Matthew 28:19. The sign of the covenant can be seen in Acts 2:38, Acts 8:12, and Acts 10:47-48, being expressed as a sign—like circumcision of the Old Testament—of God’s covenant promise to bless his people with faith in him.

In our denomination (the Evangelical Presbyterian Church or EPC), we believe that those who “have professed their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and have promised to be obedient to Him, along with the infants of one or both believing parents” may participate in baptism (EPC Book of Worship, 3-2). Biblically, baptism is observed once by each Christ-follower. Although the specific method of application is not essential, baptism is to be administered with water. Additionally, baptism does not guarantee or convey salvation.

Therefore, if you were baptized as an infant by Bible-believing parents, who are Christ-followers, there is no need for you to be re-baptized.

“Why isn’t Celebrate Recovery mentioned in what’s going on at N. Main Campus?”

This is a great question! Thanks for asking! First of all, let me say that I am thrilled that Celebrate Recovery is meeting at Gateway’s N. Main campus. This is an important ministry that is helping a lot of people and has the potential to help many more.

In the sermon, I did not mention Celebrate Recovery by name because it falls under all that Gateway’s doing for local community outreach at N. Main. I did mention community outreach as an area of emphasis at N. Main. I focused on the following broad categories: facility renovations, community outreach, prayer, and college ministry. If I had more time, I would have gone into more detail about each of these, such as details about current office renovations, architectural concepts, college Life Groups, Thursday night dinners, and specific outreaches...such as Celebrate Recovery. I chose to do a broad overview because the point of the sermon was not so much to provide a P. R. plug as much as it was to let people know the general scope of ministry that is currently taking place at Gateway’s N. Main campus. Although Celebrate Recovery is an important outreach, it is not the only important outreach taking place at N. Main, and I did not have time to highlight everything.

As Pastor Josh mentioned in the announcements, we don’t have time to highlight every important ministry taking place at Gateway on Sunday mornings. That’s why it’s especially vital to stay connected through the website, the Gateway Weekly (e-mail), and the N. Main prayer letters. Assuming promotion was the concern of the question, the most effective places to highlight Celebrate Recovery are in Life Groups and in the unchurched community. Additionally, Celebrate Recovery has been promoted in several recent editions of the LG Connect newsletter that is available on Gateway’s website and sent to Life Group leaders.