What is baptism?
When we are baptized we identify with Jesus in his death, burial, and resurrection. We publicly acknowledge our faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord by being submerged in water. Through baptism we are formally incorporated into the Church, the body of Christ.
We baptize people during our Sunday morning worship service at various times throughout the year. Our next baptism is scheduled for Sunday, August 6, 2023. If you would like to be baptized at Word of Life Church in St. Joseph, Missouri, please fill out the form below or contact Pastor Derek Vreeland by email at .
Why should I be baptized?
Baptism is how we officially become a Christian. It is how we begin our Christian journey. Everyone is encouraged to participate in worship, justice, and community before they are baptized. However baptism, like a wedding ceremony, is how we officially commit to following Jesus. It forms our identity as people who have died with Jesus and risen into new life.
What is the Apostles’ Creed?
The Apostles’ Creed is the earliest summation of Christian belief. It contains the essential statements of the Christian faith and gives us definition as Christ-followers. We are believers in Jesus because we believe these things. The Apostles’ Creed began (and is still used today) as a way to prepare for baptism. All those who are baptized at Word of Life Church are asked to come to a basic understanding of the creed and recite it with the congregation before their baptism. There are 12 lines in the creed describing a different part of the Christian faith.
What do each of the lines in the Apostles’ Creed mean?
Different local churches use different versions of the Apostles’ Creed. Below is the version of the creed we use with a brief description of each line:
1) I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.
God is both a father and a creator who cares deeply for all his creation, including human beings whom he created in his image. We can relate to him as a father, when we recognize he is the Father of all strength, might, and power.
2) I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
Jesus is God’s only son, who has always existed with God, the Father; and God, the Spirit. As Lord, Jesus is King and Ruler of the entire earth. He receives all of our allegiance and devotion.
3) He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
Jesus laid aside his authority and power, as God, to be born into the human race as a real human being. Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a virgin when she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit.
4) He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
Jesus was sentenced to a public flogging and crucifixion by Pilate, the local Roman governor. After suffering horrific cruelty and excruciating pain, Jesus died on a Roman cross. He was buried in a tomb donated by a wealthy man who had become a follower of Jesus.
5) He descended to the dead.
Jesus died a real human death as God, which means God, in Christ, experienced human death. Jesus tasted death so he could swallow it whole, ultimately defeating death in his resurrection.
6) On the third day he rose again.
Three days after Jesus died, God, the Father, raised Jesus back to life. The resurrection of Jesus marks the defeat of sin, death, and the enemies of the kingdom of God.
7) He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
Jesus’ ascension means he has been given a position of authority at the Father’s right hand. He now rules the earth from the “control room” of heaven.
8) He will come to judge the living and the dead.
Jesus will return to the earth to judge all the people of the earth, both the living and those who have died. We take great hope knowing God tempers his judgment with mercy.
9) I believe in the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is God. He is not the Father and he is not the Son, but together with them is the one, true living God. We believe in one God who has been revealed in three divine “persons”-- the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Spirit serves as the agent of God on the earth, assisting and helping the growth of the Church.
10) I believe in...the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints.
The word "catholic" means "universal." Our belief in the catholic Church is our belief in the connection of Christians all over the world. While we meet in a building we call “the church,” the actual church is made up of saints, other people who follow Jesus. It is important that we worship together and build relationships with others who follow Jesus.
11) I believe in...the forgiveness of sins.
Jesus died on the cross for our sins and the sins of the world, paving the way for restoration and peace on the earth. We forgive one another because God, in Christ, has forgiven us.
12) I believe in...the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
When Jesus appears, he comes to create a new heaven and earth, and a new humanity. Those who have died in faith will rise again to life. We will live forever with God in a new body on a new earth.