Baptism is one of two ordinances that are observed at New Covenant. An ordinance is an observance or remembrance of a saving experience that has occurred previously. We believe that baptism is a symbolic act that represents what happened to the person at the moment of salvation. It is symbolic of: 1) the old life of sin, 2) death to the old life of sin, and 3) our new life in Christ. This ordinance has great spiritual and experiential significance, but for us, does not have a saving grace in and of itself.
We believe that Baptism is an act of obedience to the example of Jesus (Matt 3:13-17) and the command of scripture (Acts 10:34-48).
We practice believer’s baptism at New Covenant. This means that we only baptize those who have become disciples of Jesus Christ through repentance for sin and a public declaration of Jesus’ lordship in their lives. There is no set age requirement for baptism, but the individual must be old enough to understand their public declaration of faith.
We practice Baptism by Immersion at New Covenant. We do not require that a member be re-baptized by immersion if he considers his previous baptism to have been an equal experience and a valid testimony. We will re-baptize a new member by immersion if he or she desires.
Communion is the other ordinance we observe at New Covenant. Like Baptism, we believe that Communion has great spiritual significance and is very much an encounter with the presence of Christ through the Holy Spirit.
We believe that Communion is a celebration of remembrance of Jesus’ suffering and death. This was instituted at the Last Supper (Passover) by Jesus and has two meanings. 1) We believe that the broken bread is symbolic of Jesus’ physical suffering (brokenness), as well as a picture of the church, and 2) the cup of juice is symbolic of the sacrificial blood of Jesus that was spilled for the forgiveness of all the sins of all mankind.
We observe Communion at every worship service. It is considered the central act of worship in our services.
We do not baptize infants at New Covenant. We dedicate them to the Lord. We understand this family act to be a corporate experience where the whole congregation blesses the new child and accepts responsibility to pray for the child and be a part of raising that child in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Eph. 6:4)
The dedication is also the congregation extending its covering of faith over the child until such time as the child comes to a personal, saving knowledge of Jesus as his or her own savior.