What is water baptism? 

Water baptism symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is where we are immersed into water, at which our past lives of sin are buried and God further empowers us with the promise of his strength to live victoriously. Water baptism is also an outward expression of what God has done in our inward being. (Note: Your water baptism is a good opportunity to invite your family and friends to experience our church services and to witness your step of faith.) 

The origin of the word "baptism" comes from a Greek word baptizo that means to immerse or submerge. In Greek poetry, this word was used to describe the waterlogged wood of shipwrecks at the bottom of the ocean. (Note: Sprinkling water is not immersion; therefore, it is not baptism. Jesus was baptized by being fully immersed into water and thus gave His disciples the example to follow.) 

Pre-requisite For Water Baptism

Water baptism is for those who have believed, received, and committed to follow Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. 

Note: Because babies, infants, and very young children have not developed intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually to sufficiently understand water baptism, we do not water baptize them but will wait until they are older. We do assist parents in dedicating their young children to God. 

Why do we need to be water baptized?

Jesus was water baptized. 

"Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, 'I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?'Jesus replied, 'Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.' Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, 'This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.'" (Matthew 3:13-17) 

Jesus commanded His disciples to follow His example. 

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 18:19-20) 

What happens when we are water baptized?

We identify with Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. 

  • There is a DEATH to the ways of our former lives as our "old" selves and past lives of sin are nailed to the cross of Jesus. (Downward motion into the water) 
    • "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?... knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin." (Romans 6:3, 6 NKJV) 

  • There is a "burial" of our old nature with the water being symbolic of the grave. (Submersion into the water)
    • "Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death..." (Romans 6:4 NKJV)
  • There is a "resurrection" when we come up and leave the old behind, being raised up like Christ. (Upward motion out of the water) 
    • " ...that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection." (Romans 6:4-5 NJKV) 

We are placed and UNITED to God and His family - the church. This is why we should be a part of a Grace Group and serve in the church. 

"For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit." (1 Corinthians 12:12-13) 

We are seen by God as a NEW creation and given the power to live a new life of faith and obedience. 

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

  • We experience a spiritual “circumcision” where God does    spiritual surgery and cuts away the “body” or old nature of sin    from our hearts.      
    • “In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:11-12 NKJV)

We receive the family name of the Lord Jesus Christ and the tremendous power and authority that comes with it. The power of having the name of the Lord Jesus Christ upon our lives gives authority over sickness and disease (Acts 4:29-30), demons (Luke 10:17, Mark 16:17), and increases our access and favor to answered prayers. (Note: As a child of the King of Kings, we are now a “King’s Kid.”)

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (Matthew 28:19)

  • The name of the Father: Lord (Isaiah 42:8; Jeremiah 33:2)  
  • The name of the Son: Jesus (Matthew 1:21; Luke 1:31-32)  
  • The name of the Holy Spirit: Christ, which comes from the Greek words “charisma” (anointing) and “Christos” (anointed one)    
    • “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power…” (Acts 10:38)

We experience a remission of sins and a sense of freedom and release from our sins.

“Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” (Acts 2:38 NKJV)

How to perform a water baptism 


  • Select any body of water spacious enough for the candidate to be fully immersed with two people standing at the person’s   side: beaches, public and private pools, recreational centers, tanks, large tubs, etc.
  • Note: some beaches, such as Ko ‘Olina, do not allow water baptisms to be conducted at all. Be sure to secure proper permits and clearances for larger baptism gatherings at public beaches (50+). Also, watch out for rough surf which will make baptisms difficult.


  • Be sure the candidate is truly born again and has gone through the teachings on water baptism (see water baptism lesson). The main thing is to make sure the candidate is fully committed to follow the Lord and not just being baptized as a “nice” religious act.
  • Have female candidates come dressed in shorts and dark upper body wear that is not too clingy and cannot be seen through. For men, shorts and T-shirts or tank tops are fine. Be sure they come with towels and a change of clothes.


Water baptisms are especially effective for outreach to friends and family, who normally view this as a special moment in a person’s life. The presence of God at these times make for an effective witness to those who don’t know God. Having food and refreshments tops it all off as relationships are built during a time of mingling and fellowship.

Performing The Water Baptism 

  • Before entering the water, gather all people present and read Romans 6:1-10 aloud. Emphasize that entering water baptism    brings the person into full identification with the 1) death and burial of the sin nature, and 2) newness of life through Jesus’    resurrection power.
  • Upon entering the water, have one person stand on each side of the candidate.
  • If time permits and if they so desire, allow time for the candidate to share their testimony on what God has done for them and why they are being water baptized.
  • Designate one helper to pray for God to release the power and provision over the candidate.
  • Designate the other helper to pronounce the baptism with these words: “Upon the confession of your faith, we baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, into the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
  • Have the candidate hold his/her nose shut. The two helpers should gently guide them to lean backward, immersing them for about a second, then lift them back up out of the water.