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Introducing Biblical Water Baptism

Updated on March 2, 2014

Water Baptism, Introduction; Q's 1&2

Referenced Texts

Nu 19:8,18 And the one who burns it shall wash his clothes in water, bathe in water, and shall be unclean until evening. 18 A clean person shall take hyssop and dip it in the water, sprinkle it on the tent, ...

Mt 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Mt 18:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Mt 20:22 But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to Him, “We are able.”

Mk 10:38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”

Mk 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

Lk 24:47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Ac 1:5 ...for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Ac 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.

Ac 19:1-7 And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples 2 he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. 7 Now the men were about twelve in all.

Ac 22:16 And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Ro 6:4 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.

Ro 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: (KJV)

1 Cor 15:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: 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,

Ga 3:27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Eph 4:5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism;

Eph 5:26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,

He 6:2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

Biblical Answers to Commonly Asked Questions On Water Baptism, Episode I

Since the ministry of John the Baptist water baptism has been in the forefront of the believer's thoughts concerning one's relationship with God. Regardless of one's theology on the subject, water baptism's prominence in the New Testament narratives and theology can not be ignored. To help clarify the Bible's teaching on water baptism this writer offers the following humble Q&A.

May He who sits upon the circle of the earth illumine all in us that is darkness.

Question 1: What is the meaning of the word baptize? ∼ Answer: The word baptize is a transliteration of the Greek word baptidzo (Strong’s #NT907), Which means to make overwhelmed. From the root bapto, which comes from the dying industry and means to cover wholly with fluid (see Strong’s #NT911). Thus, the image of the word baptize is to immerse in order to change colors. Of course, the blood of Jesus does just that: “though your sins to be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;” (Isaiah 1:18).

Question 2: Where in the Bible is Water Baptism instituted? ∼ Answer: The Words of Institution for Water Baptism are found in Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Luke 24:47; and Acts 2:38.

Question 3: How important are the Words of Institution? ∼ Answer: The Words of Institution profess to give us the very words of Christ as He instituted the mystery of Water Baptism. Thus, each word carries the authority of Christ and must not be ignored nor discounted. By the Words of Institution, the Church is certain of her practice of Water Baptism.

Question 4: Who may receive Water Baptism? ∼ Answer: Water Baptism may be received by those who have believed upon Jesus Christ as their only Savior and have repented of their sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). Children born to believing parents may receive Christian baptism on the merit of their parents covenant relationship with Christ (see Q66, Q67, and Q68).

Question 5: Who may perform Water Baptism? ∼ Answer: While it is preferred that all mysteries (sacraments) of the Lord’s church be preformed by one of the three biblical officers of the New Testament church (i.e. bishop. presbyter, or deacon), biblically, Water Baptism may be performed by any baptized believer. It is required that the one doing the baptizing must have received Christian baptism, because one who is clean must administer the water of cleansing (see Numbers 19:5-19, but especially verses 8 and 18). One should see the words of Jesus in John 20:23, “Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them” as an illustration of how the one doing the baptizing becomes the administrator of the grace of forgiveness of another’s sins.

Question 6: Does the Bible teach of other baptisms apart from Water Baptism? ∼ Answer: Apart from Water Baptism, the Bible speaks of the Baptism of Fire (Matthew 3:11), the Baptism of the Spirit (Matthew 3:11; Acts 1:5), the Baptism of Suffering (Matthew 20:22; Mark 10:38). Also, see Hebrews 6:2 where we read of the doctrine of baptisms (plural).

Question 7: Since the Bible teaches a plurality of baptisms (Question 6), what is meant by the “one baptism” of the Ephesians 4:5?Answer: Paul is instructing the Ephesians - that in regard to water - there is but one baptism allowed. This is because the founding members of the Ephesian church had been previously baptized into the baptism of John the Baptist, and then re-baptized at the hands of Paul (see Acts 19:1-7 also Questions 4 through 46). Paul is reminding the Ephesians that the Water Baptism he administered unto them was the only Water Baptism recognized by the Lord’s Church.

Question 8: Since the Bible teaches different types of baptism, (Water, Spirit, Fire [judgment] and Suffering) how does one determine which type of baptism any given passage has in view? ∼ Answer: Most likely the passage will be specific, but if not, one must look to the context itself. Since Water Baptism is the most common and primary meaning of the word baptidzo (see Question 1) one should always understand baptism to be Water Baptism unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

Question 9: What does Water Baptism signify? ∼ Answer:

  • Water Baptism is the initiation into the Christian faith.
  • It also places the believer “into Christ” (Galatians 3:27).
  • The apostle Paul calls Water Baptism the “burial” of the old man (Romans 6:4).
  • Paul, further refers to the Water Baptism as a “planting together in the likeness of his death” (Romans 6:5).
  • Moreover, it signifies the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (Romans 6:4 - First Corinthians 15:1-4).
  • According to Colossians 2:11-12 Water Baptism is the fulfillment of Old Testament circumcision; and,
  • According to Ephesians 5:26 and Acts 2:38, Water Baptism is a washing of the Church (see Acts 22:16).

Apostolically Speaking

☩ Jerry L Hayes

Q&A on Water Baptism; Q's 3-5

Q&A on Water Baptism; Q's 6-7

Q&A on Water Baptism, Q's 8-9


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    • Bishop J L Hayes profile imageAUTHOR

      Jerry Lynn Hayes Sr 

      5 years ago from Texas City, Texas

      Since the ministry of John the Baptist water baptism has been in the forefront of the believer's thoughts concerning one's relationship with God. Regardless of one's theology on the subject, water baptism's prominence in the New Testament narratives and theology can not be ignored. To help clarify the Bible's teaching on water baptism this writer offers the following humble Q&A.


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