Revealed Truths

Baptism before salvation is meaningless.

Baptism is to be by total immersion in water.

Baptism is not optional.

Some key verses:

Mt 28:19, Mk 16:16, Ac 2:40,41, Ac 8:12, Ac 8:36-39, Ro 6:3-11

Exposed Falsehoods

It is false to think that infants and young children are ready for baptism.

It is false to think that baptism by sprinkling is appropriate.

It is false to think that baptism may be delayed until a future time.

Some key verses:

Mt 10:32,33, Jn 3:23, Ac 16:31-33, Ac 22:16

Baptism Represents Christ's Death, Burial, and Resurrection

Baptism represents Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. (Lk 12:50, Mk 10:38,39, Ro 6:3,4)

Note on Lk 12:50: Straiten - "To distress" (Webster's Dictionary 1828)

Note on Mk 10:38: The cup that Christ drank of was His death. (compare Mt 26:38-45 and Lk 22:19,20)

Note on Mk 10:39: Withal - "[with and all.] With the rest" (Webster's Dictionary 1828)

Baptism Represents the Death of our Sinful Life

Baptism represents the death of our sinful life. (Ro 6:1-3,6,7) (compare 2Co 5:17)

Baptism, as a symbol of death to sin, is also seen through its association with circumcision. (Col 2:8-12)

Like baptism, circumcision represents a necessary spiritual conversion. (Ge 17:7,10,11,14, Dt 10:16, Ro 2:28,29)

The removal of the foreskin flesh represents the removal of the power of sin. (Php 3:3)

Through Christ, we are to be spiritually, rather than carnally, minded. (Ro 8:6-10, Ro 13:14, 1Co 2:16, Gal 5:16,17,19-21)

Baptism Represents the Burial of our Sinful Record

Baptism represents the burial of our sinful record. (compare Ps 103:12, Isa 43:25, Eze 18:21,22, Mic 7:19, Ac 10:15, Ro 8:1, and Heb 8:12)

Baptism Represents the Resurrection to our New Life in Christ

Baptism represents the resurrection to our new life in Christ. (Jn 3:5-8, Ro 6:4,5,8) (compare 2Co 5:17)

We should allow Jesus, our Righteousness, to live through us. (Jer 23:6, Jn 15:4,5, 2Co 5:21, Gal 2:20, Php 1:11, Php 3:9, Heb 13:12)

Salvation is the Prerequisite for Baptism

The steps to salvation

Hear the truth (Ro 10:14,15, 1Pe 1:23)

Repent from sin (Mk 1:15, Lk 13:1-5, Lk 24:47, Ac 3:19,20)

Through faith, receive Jesus as Saviour and Lord (Jn 1:12, Jn 3:16, Jn 14:15,21,23, Ro 10:9)

The steps to salvation are also mentioned as prerequisites to baptism

Hear the truth (Mt 28:19, Ac 8:35,36, Ac 10:44-48)

Repent from sin (Mt 3:1,2,6, Ac 2:38)

Through faith, receive Jesus as Saviour and Lord (Ac 2:41, Ac 8:12, Ac 8:36,37, Ac 16:31-33)

The physical act of baptism by water does not save us. (1Pe 3:20,21)

Baptism is to be our first public act of allegience/obedience after being saved. (Mt 28:19, Mk 16:16, Ac 9:17,18)

Baptism is to be by Immersion

The word for baptism [baptisma (bap'-tis-mah)] means to dip (completely submerge)

Used when submerging a fabric for dying.

Used when scooping a cup of water from a well.

Immersion is the only method that correctly symbolizes death, burial, and resurrection

The whole person is involved.

The breath is temporarily suspended (as in death).

A new breath is taken (as in the breath of life given by God).

Biblical examples indicate the correct method to be immersion.

John baptized where there was much water. (Mt 3:6, Jn 3:23)

Jesus "went up straightway out of the water". (Mt 3:16)

Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch "went down both into the water". (Ac 8:36-39)

Those in the ark during the flood. (1Pe 3:18-21)

Surrounded by water (rainy downpour and stormy sea).

The nation of Israel when it walked through the Red Sea. (1Co 10:1-4)

Surrounded by water (cloud above and walls of separated water).

Apostate Baptismal Practices

There is only one true baptism. (Eph 4:4-6)

Baptism of infants and very young children is apostate.

Infants and very young children are not mature enough to be taught, to repent, and to accept Jesus.

For older children, note that their pure, trusting, childlike faith is accepted by God. (Mt 18:3, Mt 19:13,14, 1Jn 2:12,13)

Baptism by sprinkling is apostate.

Sprinkling does not symbolize death, burial, and resurrection.

Baptism by immersing three times (for Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is apostate.

We are to be baptized in the name (singular) of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Dt 6:4, Mt 28:19)

Jesus died one time, not three. (Nu 20:7-12, Heb 6:4-6, Heb 7:22-27)

Baptism is Not Optional

Jesus was baptized as an example for us. (Mt 3:13-15 Jesus Baptism, 1Jn 2:6)

Jesus commanded that we be baptized. (Mt 28:18,19)

Willful disregard of the command to be baptized by water would indicate a false faith. (Mk 16:16, Jn 3:5, Ac 2:38, Ac 22:16)

The thief saved on the cross was certainly willing, but unable, to be baptized. (Lk 23:40-43)

An infant or child who dies is circumstantially prevented from baptism.

God recognizes an age of innocence. (Isa 7:14-16, Isa 11:6 (little children in heaven), Mt 19:14)

Baptism is our public identification with Jesus.

Genuine Christians are not ashamed of Jesus. (Mt 10:32,33, Lk 9:26, Ro 10:11, 2Ti 1:7,8)

We are Baptized into the Church

We are baptized into the church. (1Co 12:13,14,27,28 compare Col 1:18)

Church membership and participation is not optional. (1Co 12:14-21, Heb 10:24,25)

We become members of spiritual Israel. (Gal 3:26-29)

Baptism is the earthly wedding ceremony in our marriage to Jesus. (Jn 3:22-30, 2Co 11:2, Eph 5:25-27,32)

The church is the bride of Christ and we are baptized into the church.

Candidates should be fully instructed and prepared for this eternal commitment.

We are Baptized into Ministry

The Holy Spirit anointed Jesus for ministry at the time of His baptism. (Mt 3:16,17, Lk 4:18, Ac 10:38)

The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts for ministry to each believer. (1Co 12:4,11, Eph 4:11-13)

Every believer is to be involved in the gospel ministry. (2Co 5:18-20, Eph 2:10)


Why did Jesus choose not to baptize with water? (Jn 4:1,2)

Note that Jesus' disciples performed the water baptisms.

It was promised that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit. (Mt 3:11, Jn 1:32-34, Ac 1:4,5)

This special outpouring of the Holy Spirit was not to occur until after Jesus was glorified. (Jn 7:39, Ac 2:1-4,32,33)

Is rebaptism advocated? (Ac 19:1-5) (Only rarely)

Rebaptism is appropriate if fundamental prerequisites were not met.

Paul's question in Ac 19:2 shows that he expected believers to possess the Holy Spirit. (compare Ro 8:9)

Paul's statement in Ac 19:4 shows that the people had not accepted Jesus.

These disciples had not been adequately prepared to receive and live the Christian life.

Were people baptized for the dead? (1Co 15:29) (Not literally)

The context is the resurrection of the dead. (1Co 15:35,42-44)

The apostles were "baptized" into a ministry of saving the dead through the gospel message.

The apostles risked death daily to save people from eternal death. (1Co 15:30-32)

The point being made is that their continued risks prove their confidence in the resurrection.

Will a genuine Christian sin after being baptized? (1Jn 3:6,9) (Yes)

We are to move toward perfection through the Spirit of Christ. (Mt 5:48)

We are to sin less and less. (Mt 16:24,25, Ro 6:11-13,18, Ro 8:1-4)

We are to become more and more like Jesus. (2Co 3:18)

However, in this world we will not achieve perfection. (1Jn 1:8,10)

When we fall, we should seek His cleansing and confidently renew our heavenly ascent. (Heb 4:16, 1Jn 1:7,9)