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BIBLICAL BAPTISM

Updated on September 24, 2014

WHY CORRECT BAPTISM IS NECESSARY?


Adam and Eve, our ancestors were created sinless, but they soon succumbed to sin. They were cast out from Paradise. Children born of man like the fallen angels lost their chance to live forever. Men were so wicked that God decided to destroy all mankind save only Noah (who was considered a virtuous man) and his family. It took Noah a hundred years in building the Ark, and man had opportunity to repent, but did not. Only the family of Noah (8 persons) were saved. God gave man another chance to be His children.

For about 4000 years, God chose the Israelites to be His Chosen People, giving them free will to choose their own actions. God resolved to help man to succeed by sending Jesus, His manifestion as His Son to the earth to bring man back into His fold. When Jesus died, the Holy Spirit took His place and dwell in the hearts of the believers to teach them the will of God.

We should follow the example of Jesus Christ in baptism for all men born of women are sinful. Psalms 51:5 says, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me."

Baptism in Jesus Christ will cleanse away our sins. Peter said, "Baptism, doth also now saves us ... (1 Pet 3:21),

Jesus said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5).

1 John 5:6-8 states: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin ..."

Baptism can have the effect of remission of sins, and wash away sins (Acts 22:16). "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."

Around the world, millions of people become Christians every year. Some are baptized as babies, others young adults who have joined the church of their choice. However,most of the rest are not correctly baptized.


The baptism of Jesus
The baptism of Jesus
Jordan River
Jordan River

TWO TYPES OF BAPTISM


JOHN'S BAPTISM FOR REPENTANCE

It is important to understand that there are two types of baptism mentioned in the Bible. The baptism of John the Baptist is for repentance (Mt 3:1-12, 3-17, Mk 1:4)


JESUS' BAPTISM FOR SALVATION

Baptism has the effect of remission of sins as "he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mk 16:16).

Once a baptized completed his baptism, his sins are wiped clean by the blood of Jesus in the water, his old self is buried and he is resurrected a new man. From then onward, he must follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. This is considered his first resurrection spiritually. He is a reborn creature.


EFFECTS OF JESUS' BAPTISM


Jesus' baptism has manifold reasons, namely for rebirth, remission of sins, justification and salvation, putting on Christ and finally adoption as children of God.


REBIRTH

  • The Lord Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (Jn 3:3).
  • To be reborn from water and the Spirit is the indispensable step of entering the kingdom of God (Jn 3:5).
  • Paul called baptism "the washing of regeneration" (Titus 3:5)


REMISSION OF SINS

During baptism the minister will pray for the blood of Jesus to be in the water to cleanse the baptized from sin. When Jesus died on the cross a soldier pricked his side and water and blood poured out. This is a phenomenon. When any part of the body is pricked, only blood comes out, not blood and water as in the case of Jesus Christ. Baptism is carried on the earth, not in heaven, and the blood of Jesus is in the water. It is the blood of Jesus that cleanses us from sin.

One must believe that the blood of Jesus is cleansing the baptized. Belief is the faith of the baptized. Without belief, one cannot be a Christian.

1 John 5:7-8 states: "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these are one.

(8) And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

That is why in baptism, the Spirit, the water and blood must be present at the time of Baptism.

  • "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38).
  • 1 John 5:6-8 states: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin ..."
  • Baptism can have the effect of remission of sins, and wash away sins (Acts 22:16).
  • "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."


JUSTIFICATION and SALVATION

  • Salvation means the redemption from sin in the world and in future entry to the heavenly kingdom. Baptism has the effect of remission of sins as "he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mk 16:16).
  • Peter said, " eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereto even baptism doth also now save us" (days of Noah - 1 Pe 3:20-21).
  • We are "justified by his (Jesus) blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him" (Rom 5:9, 3:25-26).


PUTTING ON CHRIST

  • Before baptism, we were "without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world" (Eph 2:12).
  • By the precious blood of the Lord "out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" God had redeemed us (Re 5:9-10).
  • "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ ... And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Gal 3:27-29, Rom 6:3).


ADOPTION AS CHILDREN OF GOD

  • Originally, man was the son of God (Lk 3:38). He lost the honourable position by disobedience.
  • God sent Jesus "to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons" (Gal 4:4,5).
  • We are redeemed by the blood of Jesus (1 Pe 1:18,19). His precious blood has brought us back to God (Heb 10:19-22), and has adopted us as the children of God (Eph1:4.5).


Around the world, millions of people become Christians every year. Some are baptized as babies, others as young adults who have joined the church of their choice. However, most of the rest are not correctly baptized.


THE BAPTISM OF JESUS


Jesus came to John to be baptized in the river Jordan, but John told him, "I need to be baptized by you." John himself wondered why Jesus asked to be baptized. So Jesus replied, "Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness" (Mt 3:15)

Fulfilling all righteousness means to be free of all sins and that is why baptism redeems us from sins. Christians must strive to be righteous. Jesus was sinless and He did not need to be baptized, but He did to set us an example.

John then consented and baptized Jesus. As Jesus came up out of the water, heaven opened, and the Spirit of God, like a dove, descended upon him. Witnesses to the baptism heard a voice from heaven saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Mt 3:17, Mk 9:7, Lk 3:22, 9:35, 2 Pe 1:17).

1 John 5:6-8 states: " This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ ... the Spirit that beareth witness, ... the Father (God), the Word (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit" bear record in heaven. ,,, "three bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one" (1 Jn 5:8).

During baptism the Holy Spirit, the water and the blood must be present. The belief that the blood of Jesus cleanses us must be present when the person is baptized for the blood in the water cleanses us of sins spiritually.


Aerial Map of Baptism Site
Aerial Map of Baptism Site
The Yardenite baptismal site along the Jordan commemorates the place where Jesus was baptized by John
The Yardenite baptismal site along the Jordan commemorates the place where Jesus was baptized by John

MODE OF BAPTISM (1) MUCH WATER


Baptism in the days of Jesus was done in River Jordan which separates Israel from Jordan. Other places mentioned in the Bible are the Red Sea, fountain and in places of much water as in the case of Philip and the eunuch.


Baptism in the River

  • Jesus' baptism was in the river Jordan which separated Israel from Jordan. Christians should also be baptized in natural waters made by God such as seas, lakes, rivers, not in man-made tanks which become polluted in time. If 3000 people (as recorded) are baptized in a man made tank of water, you can image how filthy it soon becomes. Are man made tanks filled with constantly flowing water? In natural waters, the water is not stagnant. Jesus has set an example of baptism in River Jordan. All around the world are rivers and there is no reason why baptism should not be done in rivers, streams, sea, etc.


Baptism in the Sea

  • 1. "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
  • And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea (1 Cor 10:1-2).
  • 2. "... and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea (Mic 7:19).
  • 3. "... that made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over (Isa 51:10).


Baptism in Much Water

  • Philip baptized the eunuch unto a certain water, which apparently was much water for in Acts 8:38-39 it showed much water for both "went down both into the water ,,, (39) And when they were come up out of the water."

Though in Zechariah 13:1, it was mentioned that a fountain would be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness, no example of baptism was found in the Bible. Remember to keep in mind, the disciples knew that when they baptized anyone, they remembered that they were baptized unto His death and burial. Burial means completely under the surface of the ground, so sprinkling of water or pouring of water on the head will not suffice. In baptism, it has to be in the likeness of Jesus' death and burial.


The Baptism of Christ Painting Status: This painting is owned by Saint George Cathedral, Jerusalem.  Painting by Daniel Bonnell.    Note: Head bending down
The Baptism of Christ Painting Status: This painting is owned by Saint George Cathedral, Jerusalem. Painting by Daniel Bonnell. Note: Head bending down

MODE OF BAPTISM (2) FACE DOWN


HEAD FACING DOWNWARD

A sinner would be ashamed and not face God when he is going to repent of his sins and be baptized. His head probably would look at his own feet. It is very unnatural for a person to be baptized bent backwards into the water with two assistants so he cannot fall. There is no evidence that when John the Baptist baptized the Jews, he had assistants to help with the baptism. When Philip baptized the eunuch, he was alone and he had no helper (Acts 8:38-39).

  • 1. Romans 6:5, 8 tells us that to be "planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection."


(8) Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:"

  • Jesus died on the cross, so his body was erect as like a person standing up. He bowed His head and died unlike others who most probably died on their beds. John 19:30 states, "When Jesus therefore had receive the vinegar, he said, It is finished; and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."
  • 2. "Iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up" (Ps 40:12).
  • 3. "And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner" (Luke 18:13).
  • 4. "If I be wicked, woe unto me; and if I be righteous, yet will I not lift up my head, I am full of confusion; therefore see thou mine affliction (Job 10:15).


MODE OF BAPTISM (3) BAPTIZE IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST

Jesus said in Matthew 28:19, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." The word "Father" is a common noun and "father" is not a name. The "Holy Ghost" is not a name either, but "Jesus" is a name.

Throughout the whole book of Acts, all baptisms are carried out in the name of Jesus. Though Jesus mentioned earlier in Matthew 28: 19 to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, the apostles baptized all the Jews in the name of Jesus. Were all the apostles disobedient to Jesus? Certainly Not! They were His apostles and understood what Jesus meant and that was why the apostles baptized in the Name of Jesus. Besides, the word "name" is singular and not plural. If there were three people, there would be three names.

  • " Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:38)


  • "For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." (Acts 8:16)

John 17:11 states: "Now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee, Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

The name of the Father and Jesus are one. John 5:43 says: " I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not; if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive."

Jesus gave us two clues as to the name of the Father, one in John 17:11 and John 5:43. What more further proof would you want?The Apostles knew this mystery, so they baptized believers in the Name of Jesus (Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5; 22:16)


Approaching the Jordan River on the Jordan site, Israel is across the River Photo by Richard Beck
Approaching the Jordan River on the Jordan site, Israel is across the River Photo by Richard Beck

THE ADMINISTRATOR AND THE BAPTIZED


REQUIREMENTS FOR THE BAPTIZED



BELIEF

  • Believe that Jesus Christ is the only Saviour (Acts 4:12, 16:31-33),
  • Believe that Jesus died for me and resurrected on the third day (1 Cor 15:3,4, Rom 10:9).
  • Believe that His precious blood cleanses my sin through baptism (1 Pet 1:18,19, Rom 3:25, Heb 9:13,14,22, Jn 19:34, 1 Jn 5:6-8, Zech 13:1).


REPENT

  • Confess sins (Mt 3:6, Ps 32:3-5, Acts 19:18-19).
  • Repudiate wickedness (Acts 3:26, Jon 3:5-10, Ps 37:27).
  • Turn to God (Is 55:7, Acts 26:20, 20:21).
  • Follow righteousness and do good deeds (Lk 3:7-14), Mic 6:6-8).


BE DETERMINED

  • Bear the cross and follow the Lord (Lk 14:25-33).
  • One must pass through much tribulation to enter the kingdom of God (Act 14:22), 1 Thes 3:3).
  • Must not look back but should stand fast (Lk 9:61,62, Mt 24:13, Acts 20:24).
  • Should have a sincere faith (Acts 2:37-41, 8:36-38, 16:15, 30-33).


THE ADMINISTRATOR OF BAPTISM


The administrator must be one who is himself clean (Num 19:19).

  • Peter was a chosen apostle of Jesus Christ and was qualifed to baptize others (Acts 2:38-41). Three thousand were baptized.
  • He must be commissioned by God.
  • "And how shall they preach , except they be sent? (Rom 10:15)
  • Jesus said, "Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you" (Jn 20:21-22).
  • "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor... To preach the acceptable year of the Lord" (Lk 4:18,18, Jn 1:32-34).
  • The Administrator has power to remit sins in the baptism he officiates (Jn 20:22-23).
  • "Whose sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosoever sins ye retain, they are retained.

The efficacy of the baptism in the remission of sins depends on the precious blood of Jesus Christ, man's faith. the name of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.

  • This is found in Romans 3:25, and 1 Corinthians 6:11.
  • Anyone who performs baptism does not have the Holy Spirit, then God neither sends him, nor is with him (1 Jn 3:24).


BAPTISM IS NECESSARY TO BECOME A CHRISTIAN


From the foregoing, baptism is definitely necessary for a believer to become a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ. Baptism has the power to remit sins and power is given the administrator to remit sins only during baptism. Other than baptism, no one has the power to forgive sins. The administrator is acting on behalf of Jesus Christ in this case. The apostles were given the power to baptize others, but not to judge nor forgive sins. Jesus was without sin, but He submitted Himself to be baptized by John as an example to fulfil all righteousness.

Some do not believe that baptism remits sins, but the Bible shows us that it does. How can one say that he believes in Christ and does not believe that baptism saves us from sin. Baptism through the Holy Spirit (Spirit of God and Spirit of Jesus), water and the blood of Jesus (in the water of baptism) save us. It is only through baptism that a believer dies in the likeness of Christ's death and is resurrected following baptism. This is the First Resurrection of a believer and follower of Jesus Christ.

May the Lord Jesus Christ open our understanding of the scriptures. God bless.


Biblical Baptism

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© 2009 einron

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    • einron profile image
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      einron 7 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      DreamLiving

      Good thought. God be blessed.

    • profile image

      DreamLiving 7 years ago

      Wonderful article that hopefully will touch many lives.

    • einron profile image
      Author

      einron 7 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Thanks for the comments. Hope you understand the topic of baptism. Pray and ask the Lord for understanding more about baptism. God bless.

    • profile image

      starbug5052 7 years ago

      good hub enjoyed reading this article for I am going to be baptized within the next 3 weeks. It helped me understand a bit about being baptized.

    • einron profile image
      Author

      einron 8 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Judah's Daughter,

      YOU WROTE: They were forgiven before they were baptized in water. Indeed, after receiving the baptism of the Spirit of God, they went to be water baptized as a confession of their repentance and faith.

      ANSWER:

      Their repentance and faith are importanct, but God's forgiveness is shown in the baptism of His blood, water to wash sins away with the presence of the Holy Spirit in sight.

      It seems those who receive HS before baptism may not have the HS dwelling in them all the time. Probably, God gave them the HS because they were very fervent at that time, or the HS to comprehend some truth. But the HS leaves them after a period of time.

      We cannot ignore the verses which says that baptism remits sins.

      •Acts 2:38," Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."

      •Acts 8:16, "For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus."

      •Acts 10:48, "And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord."

      •Acts 19:5, "When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus."

      •Acts 22:16, "And now why do you delay? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.

      Sometimes we are not really clear of what the Bible is really saying, and that is why we must continue to pray for understanding. Human understanding is often limited, and we are human.

      Have an open mind on this topic. Pray constantly and fervently asking God to reveal to you Himself just as He revealed the 7th DAY SABBATH TO YOU. DO NOT GIVE UP UNTIL GOD ANSWERS YOU.

      May God open your understanding!

    • Judah's Daughter profile image

      Judah's Daughter 8 years ago from Roseville, CA

      Acts 10:44-48 shows us that the Gentiles received the baptism of the Spirit while hearing the Word of God preached by Peter. They also began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Now, keep in mind that they had to be forgiven of their sins before the Holy Spirit could indwell them! They were forgiven before they were baptized in water. Indeed, after receiving the baptism of the Spirit of God, they went to be water baptized as a confession of their repentance and faith.

      As with the case in Acts 19:2-6, Paul asked the believers if they had received the baptism of the Spirit, and they answered they didn't know if there was any Holy Spirit (yet they had been water baptized). Paul then laid hands on them and they received the Holy Ghost.

      For me, I was the latter case. I was baptized in water and did all the Christian things (going to church, etc.) and I loved the Lord, but something wasn't fully there, as I saw in others. When I inquired, they told me about the Baptism of the Spirit, and they also laid hands on me and my life was changed dramatically since. That's the first time I ever heard the voice of God in my spirit. It was awesome!

    • einron profile image
      Author

      einron 8 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      judah's Daughter,

      YOU WROTE: it shows that some received the baptism of the Spirit before water baptism, some upon water baptism, and some long after water baptism.

      ANSWER: True, what you said. Even those who received the Spirit before water baptism must still undergo water baptism. In this case, probably the Lord wants to show them His love and power of believing Him. This was an impetus to follow God regarding Cornelius, the Roman and Peter (Acts 10).

      It seems those who receive HS before baptism may not have the HS dwelling in them all the time. Probably, God gave them the HS because they were very fervent at that time. But the HS leaves them after a period of time.

      However, those who receive the HS after baptism have the HS indwelling in them unless they sin and the HS leaves them.

      In the OT, God sometimes gives the Israelites the power of the HS to accomplish some feat, but after the task was completed, the HS disappeared from the scene.

      The third instance you described takes a long time before they get the HS is because maybe they are not totally committed to the Lord for some reason, and also they do not really wish for the HS to dwell in them.

      God bless.

    • Judah's Daughter profile image

      Judah's Daughter 8 years ago from Roseville, CA

      I understand where you're coming from. In my hub, it shows that some received the baptism of the Spirit before water baptism, some upon water baptism, and some long after water baptism. It seems it should all happen at the same time, praise God!! One thing's for sure, "He who believes and is baptized shall be saved!" Amen. I'm so glad you explained the Name of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, not just the baptism of John, which was unto repentance, because before John, the Messiah, let alone the Holy Spirit was able to baptize anyone :-)

    • einron profile image
      Author

      einron 8 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      JUDAH'S DAUGHTER,

      YOU WROTE: Water baptism is that of repentance; Spirit baptism is that of forgiveness (salvation), according to my studies.

      ANSWER: John's baptism was of water.

      Matthew 3:11 states: "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance:"

      Mark 1:4, Luke 3:3, Acts 13:24, 19:4 all preach about repentance. One repents but Jesus has to forgive your sins.

      Before becoming a Christian, the believer must first believe and repent that Jesus is the Lord.

      Blood of Jesus cleanses us (1 Jn 1:7). "That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word" (Eph 5:26). In baptism through the blood and water, we are cleansed of sins. It is absolutely important to invoke the blood of Jesus in the water when one is baptized.

      Otherwise, the baptism has no effect.

      Before becoming a child of God, you must be completely righteous and that is where water baptism together with the blood of Jesus and the Holy Spirit cleanse us of sins.

    • einron profile image
      Author

      einron 8 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      HOOWANTSTOKNOW,

      Thanks for the comment.

    • twill4jc profile image

      twill4jc 8 years ago

      Good hub einron.

    • Judah's Daughter profile image

      Judah's Daughter 8 years ago from Roseville, CA

      einron, we're really close on the presentation of baptism, however Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Spirit and with fire; thus called the "baptism of the Spirit". I have a hub called "John and Jesus: About Baptism". Water baptism is that of repentance; Spirit baptism is that of forgiveness (salvation), according to my studies.

      Regarding the "first resurrection", this is mentioned in Revelation 20:4-5 "Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection."

      You helped me so much to realize the Sabbath is to be observed on Saturday rather than Sunday, and I pray we will continue to study more and more, for there's so much in the Word of God, we will never go "hungry"; amen!

    • HOOWANTSTONO profile image

      HOOWANTSTONO 8 years ago

      Howzit Einron

      Things going well

      Bless you