BAPTISM by immersion is the public announcement that the service of Satan has been forsaken and adoption into the heavenly royal family consummated. It is important that we make this a beautiful, solemn, and impressive occasion. This is first of all for the sake of the candidate taking this crucial step, second for those who have not yet made their decision, and third for those who have already been baptized but who will be blessed through a rededication.
Study volume six of Testimonies to the Church. The Lord has given some wonderful counsel to us as a people on the subject of conducting baptismal services:
"There is need of a more thorough preparation on the part of candidates for baptism. . . . None can depend upon their profession of faith as proof that they have a saving connection with Christ. We are not only to say, 'I believe,' but to practice the truth."—Ibid., pp. 91, 92.
"Parents whose children desire to be baptized have a work to do, both in self-examination and in giving faithful instruction to their children. Baptism is a most sacred and important ordinance, and there should be a thorough understanding as to its meaning."—Ibid., p. 93.
"The test of discipleship is not brought to bear as closely as it should be upon those who present themselves for baptism. It should be understood whether they are simply taking the name of Seventh-day Adventists, or whether they are taking their stand on the Lord's side. . . Before baptism there should be a thorough inquiry as to the experience of the candidates."— Ibid., p. 95.
"Bring the requirements of the gospel to bear upon the candidates for baptism."Ibid., pp. 95, 96.
"The one who administers the ordinance of baptism should seek to make it an occasion of solemn, sacred influence upon all spectators. . . . Nothing is to be made common or cheap, or placed on a level with common things. . . . In every church, baptismal robes should be provided for the candidates. This should not be regarded as a needless outlay of means. It is one of the things required in obedience to the injunction, 'Let all things be done decently and in order.'" 1 Cor. 14:40.—Ibid., pp. 97, 98.
"Everything connected with this holy ordinance should reveal as perfect a preparation as possible. The vows which we take upon ourselves in baptism embrace much. . . . Our life is to be bound up with the life of Christ."—Ibid., p. 98.
"He [the baptized believer] is to live to the Lord, to use for Him all his entrusted capabilities, never losing the realization that he bears God's signature, that he is a subject of Christ's kingdom, a partaker of the divine nature. He is to surrender to God all that he is and all that he has, employing all his gifts to His name's glory."— p. 99.
By God's help let us as ministers give earnest study to the preparation of our candidates for baptism. Let us be positive in our minds that they are converted and are giving evidence of such. Plan well in advance every detail of the baptismal service so that it will be smooth, sacred, and impressive. Do not hurry through any part, but make it worshipful and long to be remembered. Keep the children under control and quiet lest they disturb the beauty of the occasion.
When we have done our very best to make this service what heaven desires, angels will be present and the Spirit will hover near to enrich each soul.