• What is Baptism?

    Baptism is not just plain water, but it is the water included in God’s command and combined with God’s word.

    Baptism works the forgiveness of sins, rescues from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare.

    The word of God in and with the water does these things, along with the faith which trusts this word of God in the water. For without God’s word the water is plain water and no Baptism. But with the word of God it is a Baptism, that is, a life-giving water, rich in grace, and a washing of the new birth in the Holy Spirit.

  • Why be Baptized?

    • God works forgiveness of sins.
    • God rescues from death and the devil.
    • God gives eternal salvation.
    • Adoption as children of God into the body of Christ where we continue to receive all that our Lord has promised to His holy people.
  • How to be Baptized

    Contact Pastor Timothy Ritter to set up a meeting.

    Baptisms normally are done during a Sunday or Wednesday worship service. Baptisms are done for members or those seeking to become members.

    For any questions regarding this, contact Pastor Timothy Ritter.

    For children, fill out this form.

    For adults, check out our Become a Member page.

Digging Deeper

What does the word “baptize” mean?

“Baptize” simply means to wash with water, whether by immersing, pouring, or sprinkling. Christian Baptism refers to washing with water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit according to the institution of Christ.

What does it mean to baptize “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”?
“To be baptized in God’s name is to be baptized not by human beings but by God Himself. Although it is performed by human hands, it is nevertheless truly God’s own act” (LC IV:10). In Baptism, God puts His saving name on us and is truly present to bless us with all His gifts as His children and heirs.

What is different about the water of baptism?

The water in itself is not different or holier than any other water, but because “God’s Word and commandment are added to it,” it is a “divine water."

  • Ephesians 5:25-26 "Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word.”

Who instituted Holy Baptism?

Our Lord Jesus Christ, after His death and resurrection, commanded His church to baptize all nations.

  • Matthew 28:19-20 "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

Why should babies be baptized?
Babies are included in the words “all nations” (Matthew 28:19)

  • Acts 2:38-39 "And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

Babies are sinners who need what Baptism promises, the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit

  • Psalm 51:5 "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me."

The Holy Spirit is able to work faith in babies

  • Matthew 18:6 Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Jesus invites children, including infants, to come to come and be blessed by Him.

  • Luke 18:15-17 Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them. And when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

Note: Faith is not to be confused with intellectual ability. Those who argue for “believer’s baptism” and reject the baptism of infants (or those with severe mental handicaps) often wrongly maintain that (1) infants are not guilty of (accountable for) sin or able to commit sinful acts; (2) faith is a human decision that infants cannot make; and (3) Baptism is primarily our promise to God rather than God’s promise to us. None of these views is based on Scripture.

Why does the church encourage sponsors at Baptism?
Sponsors are to confess the faith expressed in the Apostles’ Creed and taught in the Small Catechism, witness the Baptism of those they sponsor (whenever possible), pray for them, support them in their ongoing instruction and nurture in the Christian faith, and encourage them toward faithful reception of the Lord’s Supper. They are also to be examples to them of the life of faith and love for the neighbor.

Are all “baptisms” to be recognized as valid?
When Christ’s words and command are doubted, changed or ignored, such a “baptism”cannot be recognized as Christ’s work. No other names or titles are to be substituted for the name and words which Christ gives us (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit). The “baptisms” of groups that do not confess faith in the Triune God also cannot be recognized as Christian Baptism, no matter what words they use in baptizing. In Christian churches where Baptism is administered according to Christ’s institution (using water and His words “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”), there Christ fulfills His promise. Such Baptisms are to be recognized.