Frequently Asked Questions
Baptism is a ritual, commanded by God, where water is powerfully connected to God’s life-saving Word. And because God’s Word is present, we experience the forgiveness of sins; deliverance from sin, death and the powers of evil; and the gift of eternal life for all who trust in God’s promises.
At the end of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus gave this commission to his followers:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, 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 28:18-20
Baptism, then, is an obedient response to Jesus’ commission.
The apostle Paul, one of the leaders of the early church, wrote this about baptism to the Colossian and Roman churches:
“You were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.” Colossians 2:12
The Bible teaches that because of humanity’s rebellion against God, we live a life that is characterized by broken behavior, broken lives, suffering and, ultimately, death. This is what the Bible calls “sin.” Worse still, we are captive to sin and are unable to free ourselves from it.
But because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, God has set us free by forgiving our sin; reconciling us to himself; and setting us on the path of restoration, healing and eternal life. Through baptism, in a miraculous way, we are joined to Jesus and all these amazing promises.
This is what the apostle Peter meant when he wrote, “baptism now saves you.” (1 Peter 3:21-22). In that baptism, we encounter Jesus, the one who saves us from death and our own self-destruction and gives us an eternal life and forever friendship with him.
But baptism isn’t just about us! In baptism, God’s Spirit makes his home in us and over time transforms us with his love, so that he can reach out through us and touch others with the same love we’ve experienced. This is a major part of what we call the discipleship journey.
We baptize people of all ages, from infants to adults. Scriptures teaches that baptism is about what God does, not about what we do. This is what the apostle Paul meant when he wrote:
“God saved you by his grace when you placed your trust in him. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” Ephesians 2:8-9
Furthermore, Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
While the Bible does not explicitly command infants to be baptized, it also doesn’t forbid it. In fact, throughout the New Testament, whole households came to faith and were baptized (Acts 10:23-48, 16:16-33). Most likely these families had infants and small children who were baptized as well.
At Hope West Des Moines, we baptize every week after our 11:00 am Sunday Celebration Service and every second and fourth Sundays at our 9:00 am Sunday Traditional Service and our 5:00 pm Sunday Celebration Service.
Our baptism services contain a brief instruction on baptism; an affirmation of faith by the entire congregation; commitment questions to those being baptized (if adults), their parents and their sponsors; prayer for those being baptized; and the act of baptism itself.
To begin the process for anyone being baptized, please attend an upcoming Baptism Class. Hope West Des Moines offers this class on the first Tuesday of every month. After you register and complete the class, you will be able to schedule a baptism.
No, you don’t have to be a member of Hope to be baptized or have your child baptized. Anyone who trusts in Jesus as Lord and Savior is welcome to be baptized or have their child baptized.
Whatever you feel would make the day special for you. If you are having your child baptized, any head covering will need to be removable. If you are being baptized by immersion, a T-shirt and shorts are recommended.
Scheduling a Baptism at Hope West Des Moines
If you would like to schedule a baptism at Lutheran Church of Hope, please attend an upcoming Baptism Class. They are offered the first Tuesday of every month. After you register and complete the class, you will be able to schedule a baptism.
Still have questions? Please contact us at [email protected].