How do I join First Baptist Church Chandler?
First Baptist Church is a family of believers in Jesus Christ. You can become a member of the church family in one of four ways:
- Accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior and being baptized by immersion.
- If you have already accepted Jesus but have not been baptized by immersion, then following Him in believer's baptism.
- Transfer of membership by letter from another Baptist church or church of like faith and practice.
- Statement of having previously accepted Christ and experienced baptism by immersion as a member of another church of like faith and practice.
Does joining your church make me a Baptist?
Joining First Baptist Church is a decision to affiliate with a local group of believers who are accountable to the authority of the Bible, practicing their faith through their daily routines, using their gifts and talents to serve the community, sharing their resources to do the work of God and reaching out to spiritual seekers who do not yet have a personal relationship with God.
First Baptist Church happens to be a Southern Baptist Church. Southern Baptist churches are autonomous. This means that each individual church decides what it will teach and how it will minister in the community and the world. There is no governing body that regulates church activities, polity or staff selection. First Baptist chooses to affiliate with Southern Baptist Churches because we believe it is the best way to cooperate with other churches to work together to do things we could not accomplish alone. Through our financial gifts to the local, state and national conventions, we build hospitals, provide seminaries, do mission work and establish benevolent organizations worldwide for hundreds of purposes. When you join First Baptist Church you affiliate with this group as long as you remain a member of the church.
How do I begin a relationship to God?
Begin with the understanding that God loves you and created you for a purpose. He knows you and wants you to experience His love for you and to return that love to Him. In spite of your sin and disobedience, He continues to love you and draw you toward Him.
Some people think that going to church makes you a Christian. Sitting in church doesn't make you a Christian any more than sitting in a garage makes you a car. It's more than simply going to church.
Others think that getting to heaven is based on how many good things you do, as if God has a giant scale in the sky and when you stand before Him, He weighs your good and bad and sends you to heaven or hell based on your deeds. The Bible says nothing about getting to heaven based on your works, but in fact says in Ephesians 2:8-9, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast."
Some believe that being baptized makes you a Christian and that immersion in water washes away sin - but baptism is only a public demonstration of a private commitment of the heart.
Jesus died willingly on the cross not because He had to, but by His choice. He took your place, taking your punishment. When you ask, God forgives you and accepts Jesus' death as payment for your sin.
To become a Christian, pray to God in your own words. Acknowledge that you are a sinner and ask for His forgiveness. Believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay for your sins and rose from the dead three days later. Invite Him into your life to be the Lord, or boss, of your life. This begins a new relationship between yourself and God.
Why do I need to be baptized?
Jesus told those who wanted to follow Him to do two things: (1) Turn away from your sin and turn toward God, and (2) Be baptized. The first is the decision of the heart to seek forgiveness and give God control, while the second is a public act of obedience.
Baptism tells the story of how Jesus was buried with our sin on His shoulders and how the power of God raised Him from the dead - defeating the power of sin and death. Our sin was on Jesus' shoulders and through God's forgiveness, that same power will one day raise us from the dead. This is the message dramatized each time a person is baptized. It is a public demonstration of your faith in response to obedience to His command to be baptized.
What if I was baptized as an infant?
The Bible only speaks about baptism in regard to believers. An infant cannot believe, but is only responding to the leadership of his parents. Parent dedication of an infant is common in some denominations, but does not constitute Biblical baptism.
Infants do not need our protection, and baptism could not protect them anyway. God watches over those who have not yet reached an age where they understand and are accountable for their sin. Anyone baptized as an infant still needs to profess personal faith in Christ and be biblically baptized by immersion as a believer.
Why do I need to be baptized by immersion?
The Bible teaches immersion in several ways. First, the word itself in the original language "baptidzo" means to immerse. Second, Jesus Himself was baptized by immersion in the Jordan River. Third, the symbolism of death and resurrection implies immersion under the water and being raised from the water. Sprinkling was a practice of the church that began several hundred years after Christ in an effort to baptize infants without immersing them. It was not the regular practice of Jesus or His disciples.