Believers’ Baptism FAQ

We understand the scripture to teach that baptism is the act by which a new Christian publicly identifies with the work which Jesus Christ completed on the cross. It is a personal statement that the person believes in that work alone, to save them from sin. The person is saying, through his/her baptism, I believe Jesus’ atonement applies to me, and I have placed all my hope and trust in His promise. Baptism is also the statement of the believer’s intention to break with the old life and live by the power of the risen Savior. (Cf. DBC Constitution & By-Laws, Article II, Section 13.)
No, it does not. No act of human effort, religious or otherwise, can save from sin. Baptism should come soon after conversion (in accordance with the Scriptural precedent) as an initial act of obedience. But it is not ‘salvific’ (saving) in itself. This stands in opposition to those churches which teach “baptismal regeneration,” that is, you must BE baptized, to be saved. We hold to “believer’s baptism,” the baptism OF the saved, and view it as a commandment — like all other commandments of our Lord (Matt. 28: 19). Observation: From the standpoint of the Bible, we recognize that in every New Testament instance, baptism is very close in time to conversion. Nevertheless, we take baptism as the act of testifying that conversion has occurred, not the conversion itself. (Cf. Acts 11:47,48)
Because it is viewed as an act of obedience to the Lord, which should follow salvation immediately. While there is nothing “sacramental” about local church membership in the Bible, many churches see baptism as a sign of willingness to follow the Lord Jesus; as a sign of submission to the Word of God.
Because 1) of the association placed with “country religion” and the fear of being associated this; 2) of the perception that it is a humiliating experience (when in fact it is a wonderful experience); 3) of the fear of being immersed under water; 4) of the fear of being ostracized by family.
This is a sensitive issue, because many are sincere in this objection. And it is a matter of personal conscience. Nevertheless, if the person was not regenerated (born-again) at the time of baptism, any religious act would hold no meaning. Since baptism is the public statement made by a believer (the personal testimony of the reality of Christ in one’s life), having believed is logically necessary.
There are three appropriate modes of believer’s baptism; affusion (pouring) sprinkling, and immersion. Immersion is the most appropriate mode due to its symbolism and is therefore preferred (and required for membership in DBC).

“Believer’s baptism” is the practice of publicity identifying with Christ as the individual’s Savior and Lord after the time of conversion. In the New Testament, converts were always baptized soon after conversion to Christ.

Infant baptism is the practice held by the Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Episcopal churches whereby an infant is considered to be brought into the Body of Christ (regenerated) by the “sacrament” of baptism. After the age of accountability, the child must the CONFIRM his or her faith (and be confirmed by the church). Note: Bible-believing (evangelical) Presbyterians and Congregationalists practice a different form of infant baptism, which is derived from “covenant theology”, and which they feel is the New Testament rite of circumcision (the identifying of the males of the nation with the national citizenship of God’s chosen people).

Matthew 28: 19,20; Acts 2:38, 41; 8:12, 13, 16, 36, 38; Acts 9:18; 10:47,48; 16:15,33; 22:16; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12; Ephesians 4:5