Baptism and Communion
Creekside does not have an age requirement for being baptized or taking communion. Our only requirements are: 1) Children have asked Jesus to be their Savior and Lord and believe that they have received forgiveness for sins and eternal life through Him. 2) Children understand the meaning of baptism and communion. 3) Children have permission from their parents. If a child wants to be baptized or take communion, we leave it up to the discretion of the parents to decide if he or she is ready.
Below are some questions, answers and discussion topics to review with your child to prepare them for baptism or communion. Parents and children are always welcome to make an appointment with John Bruce to talk about baptism and communion as well. .
Question 1: Who is God?
An Answer: God is the King of the universe. He created everything and is perfectly wise, good, loving, powerful and strong. He has always existed, knows everything and is everywhere. He is one God, but exists in three persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There is no one else like him.
A Bible Verse: "For God is King over all the earth. Praise Him with a psalm!" Psalm 47:7
A Discussion Question: How do we treat kings today? How should we treat the King of the universe?
Question #2: What is sin?
An Answer: Since God is King of the universe, He should be obeyed and treated with respect. Not obeying God and treating Him as King is called sin. Every human except for Jesus has sinned.
A Bible Verse: "For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard." Romans 3:23
A Discussion Question: Can you think of a way you have sinned?
Question #3: What is the punishment for sin?
An Answer: The punishment for sin is the death of our bodies and the death of our friendship with God. This means that we can't be friends with God and live with Him forever when our bodies die. Because everyone has sinned, everyone deserves this punishment. Sin doesn't just impact people. The entire world is spoiled because of sin.
A Bible Verse: "For the wages of sin is death." Romans 6:23
A Discussion Question: Can you think of one way the world has been spoiled by sin?
Question #4: Who is Jesus?
An Answer: God is one God, but exists in three persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus is the Son. He has always existed, but chose to come down to earth over 2000 years ago to take on a human body, be born as a little baby, and experience the same things we experience. But unlike us, Jesus never did anything wrong. Jesus came to earth to save us from the punishment for sin.
A Bible Verse: "This is a true saying, and everyone should believe it: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners . . ." 1 Timothy 1:15
A Discussion Question: What is one difficult thing about being a human that Jesus probably experienced on earth?
Question #5: Why did Jesus have to die?
An Answer: Jesus died on a cross to take the punishment for our sins. Even though He is perfect and never sinned, Jesus took the punishment that we deserved. He died so we could be forgiven and be friends with God forever. He died because He loves us so much.
A Bible Verse: "When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners." Romans 5:6
A Discussion Question: Pretend that you broke someone's window with a rock and need to be punished by paying for a new window. Can you think of a way that someone else could take your punishment?
Question #6: Did Jesus stay dead?
An Answer: No! Jesus died on a Friday afternoon and His body was laid in a tomb, but the Father raised Jesus from the dead on Sunday morning. This proved that Jesus was God and that He had taken our punishment. Jesus went to see His friends and they were able to touch Him and see the scars where He had been nailed to the cross.
A Bible Verse: "And Jesus Christ our Lord was shown to be the Son of God when God powerfully raised Him from the dead by means of the Holy Spirit." Romans 1:4
A Discussion Question: How do you think Jesus' friends felt when they saw that Jesus was alive?
Question #7: Where is Jesus now?
An Answer: After Jesus rose from the dead, He spent time with His friends for 40 days. Then He went back up to heaven and that is where He is today. One day, Jesus will come back to earth and transform it from spoiled to perfect. He will rule over it as King forever.
A Bible Verse: "They said, 'Men of Galilee, why are you standing here staring at the sky? Jesus has been taken away from you into heaven. And someday, just as you saw Him go, He will return!'" Acts 1:11
A Discussion Question: What do you think they new earth will be like when Jesus transforms it from spoiled to perfect?
Question #8: What is a Christian?
An Answer: A Christian is someone who knows they have sinned, believes that Jesus is the Son of God and that He took the punishment for their sins when He died on the cross and asks Jesus to forgive them and be their King. Christians are forgiven for all the sins they've ever done and all the sins they will do. They become friends with God and will live with Him forever when their bodies die.
A Bible Verse: "Jesus told her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in Me, even though they die like everyone else, will live again.'" John 11:25
A Discussion Question: True of False? We must do good things in order to become a Christian. (False)
Question #9: How do I become a Christian?
An Answer: You must admit that you have sinned, believe that Jesus is the Son of God and died to take the punishment for your sins and rose from the dead and ask Him to forgive you and be your King. You can pray to Jesus out loud or speak to Him in your head.
A Bible Verse: "For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:1
A Discussion Question: Do you think that once you have become a Christian, you can stop being a Christian?
Question #10: What happens when I become a Christian?
An Answer: 1. Your sins are forgiven and you become friends with God and will live with Him forever. 2. Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to live inside of you. The Holy Spirit helps us to follow Jesus, understand the Bible, and pray. The Holy Spirit is Jesus' promise to us that He will never leave us and that we will live with Him forever.
A Bible Verse: "And when you believed in Christ, He identified you as His own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom He promised long ago. The Spirit is God's guarantee that He will give us everything He promised and that He has purchased us to be His people." Ephesians 1:13-14
A Discussion Question: If you sin, does that mean you aren't a Christian anymore?
Question #11: What is the church?
An Answer: The church is made up of every Christian in the world. We need the church to care for others and help each other praise and follow God. Because we can't meet with every single Christian, the church meets in smaller groups all over the world. Creekside is one of these groups of Christians.
A Bible Verse: "Instead, we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ, who is head of His body, the church." Ephesians 4:15
A Discussion Question: Do Christians need a building to be part of the church?
Question #12: What are ways we can obey Jesus by ourselves?
An Answer: The church helps us obey Jesus and follow Him. But we don't always need to be around other Christians in order to obey God. We can show love to people in need, choose not to gossip, and encourage others with or without other Christians.
A Bible Verse: "You are My friends if you obey Me." John 15:14
A Discussion Question: What is one way that you can obey Jesus without being around other Christians?
Question #13: What are two ways we can obey Jesus only with other Christians?
An Answer: Jesus gave two commands that can only be obeyed when we are with other Christians. One is called baptism and the other is called the Lord's Supper or communion. We obey these commands together as a church. We cannot obey them alone.
A Bible Verse: "We know we love God's children if we love God and obey His commandments." 1 John 5:2
A Discussion Question: Have you ever seen baptism or communion? What was it like?
Question #14: What is the Lord's Supper?
An Answer: The Lord's Supper or communion is a time for Christians to remember how Jesus died on the cross to take the punishment for our sins. We remember this by eating bread or crackers that remind us of Jesus' body and by drinking grape juice or wine that remind us of Jesus' blood. We do this together with other Christians.
A Bible Verse: "For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord's death until He comes again." 1 Corinthians 11:26
A Discussion Question: How do you remember important things?
Question #15: Where does Jesus tell us to eat the Lord's Supper?
An Answer: Before Jesus died, He ate dinner with his friends. He gave His friends bread and said that it was a picture of His body. He then took wine and said that is was a picture of His blood. He told His friends to eat and drink these things to remember Him.
A Bible Verse: "Jesus took a loaf of bread . . . then He broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, 'Take it and eat it, for this is My body.' And He took a cup of wine . . . He gave it to them and said, 'Each of you drink from it, for this is My blood . . .'" Matthew 26:26-28
A Discussion Question: Why do you think Jesus chose bread and wine to remind us of His body and blood?
Question #16: Why do we eat the Lord's Supper?
An Answer: We eat the Lord's Supper to help us remember how Jesus died on the cross to take the punishment for our sins. When we eat the bread, we remember how His body was hurt and beaten to take our punishment. When we drink the wine or grape juice, we remember how His blood was shed to take our punishment.
A Bible Verse: "Then He took a loaf of bread; and when He had thanked God for it, He broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, 'This is My body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." Luke 22:19
A Discussion Question: Why is it important for us to remember Jesus' death?
Question #17: What happens when I eat the Lord's Supper?
An Answer: The church has many different ways of eating the Lord's Supper. Some groups of Christians eat bread and wine. Others use crackers and juice. Some go to the front of a room and dip the bread into a cup, while others pass around plates of bread and cups of juice for everyone to eat in their seats. Some do this every Sunday, while others do it once a month.
At Creekside, we eat the Lord's Supper once a month on the first Sunday of the month. Helpers will pass around a plate of crackers. Often music will play and sometimes a person will sing. Everyone takes a cracker out of the plate and holds it in their hand. While people are waiting for everyone to get a cracker, they spend time silently talking with God, saying they are sorry for bad things they've done and thinking about how Jesus died for them.
When everyone has a cracker, the pastor will say, "On the night He was betrayed, Jesus took a loaf of bread, broke it and said, 'This is My body, which is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.'" Then everyone eats their cracker. While you are eating, remember how Jesus sacrificed His body and died for you.
Then helpers will pass around special trays that hold cups of grape juice. Everyone takes a cup and holds it in their hand. While people are waiting for everyone to get a cup, they can pray and think about Jesus' death on the cross.
When everyone has a cup, the pastor will say, "On that same night, Jesus took the cup and said, 'This cup is a new covenant in My blood. Remember Me as often as you drink of it." Then everyone drinks their grape juice. While you are drinking, remember how Jesus shed His blood and died for you.
Question #18: When can I eat the Lord's Supper?
An Answer: At Creekside, you can eat the Lord's Supper if: 1) You are a Christian and have asked Jesus to forgive you and be your King. 2) You understand why you are eating the Lord's Supper. 3) You have permission from a parent.
We eat the Lord's Supper after the singing time on the first Sunday of the month. If you have permission from your parents, you can eat it at this time. If you feel you are not ready to eat the Lord's Supper or do not have permission from your parents, you can watch others at this time and see what it is like.
Question #19: What is baptism?
An Answer: Baptism is a way to publicly show others that we are Christians. People are either dunked under water or sprinkled with water. Wearing a hat that supports your favorite team doesn't make you a fan of the team, but it shows others that you are a fan. In the same way, being baptized does not make you a Christian, but shows other that you are a Christian.
A Bible Verse: "He ordered the carriage to stop, and they went down into the water, and Philip baptized him." Acts 8:38
A Discussion Question: Why do you think it is important to show others that you are a Christian?
Question #20: Where does Jesus tell us to get baptized?
An Answer: Before He went back up to heaven, Jesus commanded His followers to tell others about Him and baptize people. This is because part of obeying Jesus and following Him as King is getting baptized. It is a picture of how Jesus forgives and changes us.
A Bible Verse: "Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." Matthew 28:19
A Discussion Question: Why do you think Jesus wanted His followers to get baptized?
Question #21: Why do we get baptized?
An Answer: The word baptism comes from the Greek word for "dip." Greeks used this word to describe dipping something into dye. It would go in one color and come out changed. When we become Christians, we are changed too! We change from being unforgiven to forgiven. Enemies of God to friends with God. Baptism is a picture of the change that occurs when we become Christians.
A Bible Verse: "But now the people believed Philip's message of Good News concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. As a result, many men and women were baptized." Acts 8:12
A Discussion Question: How are we changed when we become Christians?
Question #22: What happens when I get baptized?
An Answer: Creekside sometimes has baptisms in a small pool during Sunday morning services and sometimes has them in a lake during the summer. Both are very shallow and you can easily touch the bottom.
If you decide to get baptized, you'll probably be one of several people getting baptized on the same day. One by one, the people getting baptized will get into the pool or lake and join our pastor, John Bruce, and another helper. If you want, you can have a parent help during your baptism.
Once you are in the water, Pastor John will ask if you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that He died for your sins and rose again and that by believing in Him you have eternal life. When you answer yes, Pastor John will say, "Then I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." Pastor John and whoever is helping him will gently dip you backwards into the water and then bring you out again.
You will probably want to wear clothes that you can get wet. A swimsuit with a t-shirt and shorts for girls and swim trunks and a shirt for boys are good choices. You will also want to bring a towel to dry off with after you get baptized. If you get baptized at Creekside, you may want to bring a change of clothes as well.
Question #23: When can I get baptized?
An Answer: At Creekside, you can get baptized if: 1) You are a Christian and have asked Jesus to forgive you and be your King. 2) You understand the meaning of baptism. 3) You have permission from a parent.
If you would like to get baptized, call the church office at (510) 430-0607 and ask when the next baptism is scheduled.
Question #24: Do the Lord's Supper and baptism make me a Christian?
An Answer: No! The only way that we are saved from the punishment for our sins, forgiven, and able to be friends with God is by trusting that Jesus died for us and asking Him to forgive us and be our King. Eating the Lord's Supper and getting baptized do not make someone a Christian. We eat the Lord's Supper and get baptized because we are Christians.
A Bible Verse: "He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of His mercy. He washed away our sins and gave us new life through the Holy Spirit." Titus 3:5
A Discussion Question: Why should we eat the Lord's Supper and get baptized if they don't save us?
Question #25: Do you have any questions?