What We Believe
We believe in the Triune God of the Bible as expressed through. . .
God the Father, the creator of the Universe who has revealed Himself to humanity through His written Word, the Bible, and whose greatest desire is to be in a relationship with mankind in whom our response is one of submission, gratitude, and praise.
God the Son, with God before the foundation of the world who came to earth through a virgin birth taking on human form for the purpose of redeeming mankind’s sin, His sin-free life and death on a cross provided the way of redemption. His bodily resurrection provided the authority for Him to offer eternal life to all who would believe. He is currently at the right hand of the Father interceding on our behalf. One day He will return to take those who are alive and have believed in Him. At the end of the world He will judge all humanity as to their faith in Him.
God the Holy Spirit, with God before the foundation of the world, He is given to each believer as a guarantee of our salvation. His work in our lives is to conform us into the likeness of Jesus Christ and to reveal the truths of Scripture. He is the source of our empowering and spiritual gifting given to each believer as the church has need. The more a believer surrenders control of his/her life, the more the Holy Spirit is free to fill that believer.
We believe salvation is a gift of grace given as a free gift from God to all who would place their faith in Jesus Christ as the source of their salvation.
We believe the Bible is the revealed word of God. It serves as our only source of absolute truth. It is infallible in its content, trustworthy in its teaching, and perfect in its application.
We believe in the Church universal and the church local as the Body of Christ. With Christ as the head, believers are brought into the Church as parts of the body, each with a specific function and role to benefit the local church and the universal Church. The purpose of our church is to lead people to become fully devoted followers of Christ. We accomplish that purpose by celebrating the Savior, converting the seeker, cultivating the saints and comforting the suffering. God calls pastors to lead His church, to equip the members for their roles in fulfilling the above purposes, and to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We believe in the priesthood of the believer. With the Holy Spirit’s indwelling and the restoration of our relationship with God, each believer is capable of communication with God on his/her own. We believe upon conception all humans are given eternal souls and deserve an opportunity to live. If a person places his/her faith in Jesus, then his/her eternal destiny is in a literal heaven. If a person does not place his/her faith in Jesus, then his/her eternal destiny is in a literal hell. Because God is a God of grace, children are not held accountable for a decision or concept they can not understand until they reach an age of accountability.
WHY SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
TO FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE SET BY JESUS. “At that time Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized by John in the river.” Mark 1:9
BECAUSE CHRIST COMMANDED IT. This shows my OBEDIENCE. “Jesus said, “Go then, to all people everywhere and make them my disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and then teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.”Matthew 28: 19-20
IT DEMONSTRATES THAT I REALLY AM A BELIEVER. This gives my TESTIMONY. “…many of the people who heard Him believed and were baptized.” Acts 18:8 “We know that we have come to know Him, if we obey His commands.” I John 2:3
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF BAPTISM?IT ILLUSTRATES CHRIST’S DEATH, BURIAL, AND RESURRECTION.“Christ died for our sins… He was buried…and He rose again.”
I Corinthians 15:3-4 “For when you were baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ.”
IT ILLUSTRATES MY NEW LIFE AS A CHRISTIAN.“When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. The old life has passed away and a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 “By our baptism then, we were buried with Him and shared in His death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead… so also we may live a new life!” Romans 6:4
Baptism doesn’t make you a believer – it shows that you already believe. Baptism does not save you –only your faith in Christ does that. Baptism is like a wedding ring – it’s the outward symbol of the commitment you made in your heart.
WHY DO WE BAPTIZE BY IMMERSION?
BECAUSE CHRIST WAS BAPTIZED THAT WAY. “As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water.” Matthew 3:16
EVERY BAPTISM IN THE BIBLE WAS BY IMMERSION. “…Then both Philip and the man went down into the water and Philip Baptized him. When they came up out of the water…” Acts 8:38-39
THE WORD “BAPTIZE” MEANS “TO IMMERSE IN WATER.” The Greek word “baptize” means “to immerse or dip under water.”
IT BEST SYMBOLIZES A BURIAL AND RESURRECTION!
The founders of THE MAJOR Christian denominations agree that baptism was done by immersion originally:
1. Martin Luther (Lutherans)… “I would have those who are to be baptized to be entirely immersed, as the word imparts and the mystery signifies.”
2. John Calvin (Presbyterians)… “The word ‘baptize’ signifies to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the early church.”
3. John Wesley (Methodists) … “Buried with Him, alludes to baptizing by immersion according to the custom of the first church.”
WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED?
EVERY PERSON WHO HAS BELIEVED IN CHRIST.
“Those who believed and accepted His message were baptized…” Acts 2:41
“Simon himself believed and was baptized…” Acts 8:13
“But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news… and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” Acts 8:12
WHEN DO WE BAPTIZE CHILDREN?
At Crosswater Community Church we wait until our children are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them.
Some churches practice a “baptism of confirmation” for children. This ceremony is intended to be a covenant between the parents and God on the behalf of the child. The parents promise to raise their child in the faith until the child is old enough to make his own personal confession of Christ. This custom began about 300 years after the Bible was completed. This is different from the baptism talked about in the Bible which was only for those old enough to believe. The purpose is to publicly confess your commitment to Christ.
At Crosswater Community Church, every member needs to have been baptized the way Jesus demonstrates, even though many of us were confirmed as children. We do offer a time when parents may “dedicate” their small children to God.
Usually we baptize during a worship service. We also seasonally baptize at the beach.
WHAT IF I HAVE BEEN BAPTIZED BEFORE?
Often people are baptized as children. This can be a great act of love and dedication by your parents. However, we strongly encourage you to make the decision to be baptized by immersion if you have never done so and make it an act of personal commitment.
WHEN SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
AS SOON AS YOU HAVE BELIEVED!
“Those who believed…were baptized…that day!” Acts 2:41
“Then Philip began with the Scripture and told him the Good News about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water, and the man said, ‘Look, here is water! Why shouldn’t I be baptized?’ Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ The man answered, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’ So they went down into the water and Philip baptized him.” Acts 8:35-38.
There is no reason to delay. As soon as you have decided to receive Christ into your life, you can and should be baptized. If you wait until you are “perfect,” you’ll never feel “good enough!”
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR WHEN I AM BAPTIZED?
Wear what you normally wear to church, but also bring the following items:
Clothing that is comfortable and that you don’t mind getting wet. (i.e. swim suit, shorts, T-shirts, etc.)
Bring a tote bag or plastic bag to carry wet clothing home in.
Bring a towel.
WILL I HAVE TO SAY ANYTHING?
Yes. At the beginning of the service, one of our Pastor’s will briefly explain the meaning of baptism. “Whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.” Matthew 10:32
The Pastor will introduce you just before he baptizes you and will simply ask you, “have you invited Jesus into your heart as your personal savior?” You will answer “Yes!”
HOW DO I ARRANGE TO BE BAPTIZED?
You may call the church office at 904-824-9800 or email us.