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Rites of Passage: Adult Baptism
What happens during a believer's baptism?
Getting married is a sign of being serious about a relationship with someone else. In the same way, getting baptised is a sign of being serious about a relationship with God and being committed to living His way.
Before the baptism service, most churches have a baptism course, where the candidate will look at what the Bible says about baptism and living as a Christian. They may do this with the minister or pastor of their church, a Youth Leader or an older member of the church.
The person being baptised - the ‘baptismal candidate’ - usually asks a friend to hold their towel, and they may have some close friends who will pray for them during the service. There is usually a time when the candidate will talk about how they became a Christian and why they are being baptised - this may be an interview, or the person may just talk. This is called a testimony.
The baptising may be done by the church Minister or Pastor. In independent churches it may be done by an Elder or anyone who has had played an important part in the candidate's spiritual life. Young people may be baptised by their youth leaders or other young people in the church. Just like in a marriage ceremony, the candidate will be asked some big questions during their baptism:
Do you acknowledge Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord? Do you promise with the help of the Holy Spirit to love and serve God for the rest of your life?
When the candidate says ‘I do’ the minister lowers the candidate under the water as a symbol of them dying to their old life, and raises them back up again as a symbol of their desire to live a new life with Jesus as Lord.