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Biblical Water Baptism, The Mode, Episode II
Jn 3:5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water (ek hudeitos) and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
Jn 5:25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.
Ro 6:4-5 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.
! Corinthians 15:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
The Mode of Water Baptism
In the treatises before us we have come to the question: "Which mode of water Baptism is the correct one?" Evangelical Christians are divided on the question. Some denominations (typically those who believe that only believers should be baptized - called believer's baptism) think that immersion is the only valid mode; while other Evangelical groups (usually those who recognize the validity of infant baptism) consider all modes to be acceptable. Then there is the Orthodox who practice infant baptism by immersion. Before us, in the Q&A we will discover what the Bible teaches on the subject.
Question 10: What is meant by the phrase “Mode of Water Baptism?” ∼ Answer: The “mode” of a thing is the manner in which it is done or appears. In the case of Water Baptism, different modes are practiced by different Christian sects. These different modes include immersion (in which the person is completely submerged), affusion (that is, pouring), and aspersion (sprinkling).
Question 11: What does the Bible teach concerning the “Mode” of Water Baptism?” ∼ Answer: The Bible is not silent on the subject of the mode of Water Baptism. First, the word baptidzo (the Greek word from which our word baptism comes) means to immerse or to dip. (See Question 1.) Secondly, Paul teaches that Water Baptism pictures the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 6:4). This imagery would require an immersion in that the waters of the baptismal site would represent the grave. For example the teaching of Jesus in John 3:5, is that the baptized was to be born (ek hudeitos): “out of the water.”
Some who argue against immersion will offer Mark 7:4 and Luke 11:38 and point out that the same word translated "baptize" elsewhere in Scripture means “to wash by pouring,” not “immerse:” but in those texts the actual meaning (as historical information substantiates) is to “wash by dipping or immersing in water.”
Question 12: What is the significance of the symbolize of a burial, planting and resurrection given in Romans 6:4, regarding Water Baptism? ∼ Answer: When considering Water Baptism as a burial, planting and resurrection, immersion is the only mode that maintains the integrity of the imagery presented in Romans 6:4-5. One does not bury, nor plant by pouring or sprinkling; plus, one resurrects only from a grave; neither pouring nor sprinkling provides such an image.
Question 13: What examples do the Bible provide for the mode of Water Baptism? ∼ Answer: The Biblical examples of Water Baptismal modes are as follows:
- The Water Baptism of Jesus, by John, was by the mode of immersion; the Bible says “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water” (Matthew 3:16).
- John the Baptist seems to always have used the mode of immersion, because we read: “And John was also baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there” (John 3:23.)
- Philip baptized the Ethiopian by the mode of immersion: Acts 8:38, 39, “... and they went down both into the water. ... when they were come up out of the water.”
Question 14: How important is Biblical (Apostolic) example? ∼ Answer: Luke wrote that the first Christians “continued steadfastly in the apostle’s doctrine” (Acts 2:42). This included both their teachings and practices. Paul wrote of the Thessalonians, “For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us:” (Second Thessalonians 3:7). Also, the writer of Hebrews says “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken to you the Word of God: whose faith follow,...” (Hebrews 13:7).
The Biblical Physical Example Given, Demonstrates How A Biblical Command Is To Be Obeyed.
Question 15: Why is the mode of Water Baptism important? ∼ Answer: Symbols teach. The proper mode of Water Baptism (i.e. immersion) teaches the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 6:4); which is the Gospel by which all men are saved (1Corinthians 15:1-4). Moreover, Water Baptism is the believer’s testimony that he/she is identifying with these things. Further, it is the believers “first resurrection” (see John 5:25 and Romans 6:4).
☩ Jerry Hayes
Water Baptism Q&A, Q's 10-13
Read More From Bishop Hayes On Water Baptism
- Biblical Water Baptism (Its Importance), Episode VI
This episode on baptism picks up the Q&A at Q47 and runs through Q56. We examine the Bible's statements concerning the place of importance WB should hold in our order of religiosities.
- Biblical Water Baptism (Infant Baptism and Baptism for the Dead), Episode VIII
Here, in the concluding episode we discuss infant water baptism,baptism for the dead, and the types and shadows of water baptism from the Old Testament.
- Biblical Water Baptism (Salvific), Episode VII
This set of 9 questions and answers conclude the discussion on the salvific nature of water baptism.
- Biblical Water Baptism (Baptism of John), Episode V
Since John the Baptist was the forerunner to the messiah, and since he promoted water baptism for the remission of sin, we will address his baptism at this point in our Q&A.
- Biblical Water Baptism, Formula II, Episode IV
Our article covers questions 31-40 of the Q&A on Biblical Water Baptism. The formula is further examined as to the friction between baptism into the titles and baptism into the name.
- Biblical Water Baptism, The Formula, Episode III
This article examines the biblical formula to be invoked over the candidate in water baptism. We will review the formula and its purpose.
- Introducing Biblical Water Baptism
This article begins a series on biblical water baptism. Through a series of 70 questions and answers Bishop Hayes leads the reader through the many aspects of this most important subject.