We believe that water baptism is one of two ordinances (along with the Lord’s Supper) given to the church by the Lord Jesus Christ, as seen in His command in Matthew 28:18, "Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.'”
The Greek word for baptize means to wash or clean, and carries with it the idea to immerse in water. We also see from the words of Christ and from the practice of baptism in the early church that it was carried out on those who had come to personal faith in Jesus, trusting Him as their Savior. Therefore we believe that water baptism is an outward declaration of one’s new birth or faith in Christ. It is not a means of obtaining God’s gift of salvation in any way.
At The Chapel, since we do not have a baptistery, we hold our baptism service at beautiful Lake Michigan. We hold one service a year, usually in August, having from 20–40 individuals make this public declaration of their faith. If you are interested in being baptized as a believer, please contact the church office and one of the pastors will get back to you. Click here for information about our upcoming baptism.
We believe the celebration the Lord’s Supper is one of two ordinances (along with baptism) given to the church. Jesus established this remembrance of Himself in the midst of celebrating the Passover with His disciples the night He was betrayed. It was around the Passover table that Jesus commanded His followers to eat the bread and drink the cup remembering Him, Luke 22:19-20, "And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, 'This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.' 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.'" Paul adds these words to the church in I Corinthians 11:26, "For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Jesus took two of the elements in The Passover and used them to express symbols of His death."
We do not believe that the bread turns into the body of Christ, nor that the cup of wine turns into the blood of Christ. We see these as symbols which represent the body and blood of the Lord. This is clearly seen when Jesus said that “this cup is the new covenant in my blood,” Luke 22:20. That is a symbolic statement, as the cup which held the wine of Passover was not literally a covenant, but symbolized the new covenant. Also, we do not believe that Christ is mystically present in, around and through the elements of His supper.
Most of the time at The Chapel, we celebrate the Lord’s Supper on the first Sunday of the month. It is open to all believers, those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior. We express the same warning as Paul did in his letter to the Corinthians, that before we eat of the bread or drink of the cup we are to examine our lives to make sure we are not mocking the meaning of the Lord’s Supper, knowing that Jesus died for our sins (1 Corinthians 11:27-29). For this reason we give time to examine our hearts to make sure there is no unconfessed sin in our lives.
Child dedication is not an ordinance of the church, but is a public acknowledgement by parents of their desire to raise their child for the Lord Jesus. They realize that the greatest burden of responsibility rests upon them. However, they are seeking the prayers and help of the entire body of Christ. God has designed that the family and the church labor together as a community of believers to provide that godly environment in which Christ will be revealed to the children. In the church we not only accept responsibility for our own children, but we accept responsibility for all the children in the church family. We share together in the training of children through our teaching and by the examples we set before them. We do not see child dedication as a substitute for infant baptism, neither of which are a means of obtaining God’s grace or salvation. We hold that the Bible teaches that one is saved not by anything we do as Paul declares in Ephesians 2:8-9. Salvation is a gift of God which we receive by faith as we trust Jesus as the sacrifice, paying the penalty of our sin.
When parents want their child dedicated to the Lord, they simply need to call the church office (269-429-1041) and the details will be worked out. We hold child dedications throughout the year.