water-baptism2There are many different views of Baptism which causes a great deal of confusion. The real question is what does the Bible say about baptism? So let’s begin by asking God’s Word some questions about baptism and see what it has to say.

1. Who Should Be Baptized?

  • Baptism is for born-again believers. It comes after your salvation experience. There is not a single Biblical example of baptism before conversion. The New Testament order is “believe and then be baptized” (Acts 2:38-41). Notice the order of salvation and then baptism in the next three passages.
  • Acts 2:38–41 (ESV) And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

Day of Pentecost

  • Acts 2:41 – “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.”

Phillip and the Ethiopian

  • Acts 8:36–38 (NKJV) Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” 37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.

Phillipian Jailer

  • Acts 16:30-33 – “And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” {31} So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” {32} Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. {33}And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.”

So who should be baptized?

  • So the answer of who should be baptized is only those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. These are the ones who have been born-again (John 3).
  • It is not possible for babies and little children to understand their need for salvation, so we do not baptize babies or little children. But we do have child dedication for those parents who wish to have their children dedicated to the Lord. This is really a parent dedication, because the parents are dedicating themselves before God and the church to raise their child to love and follow Jesus.

2. Why Should I Be Baptized?

Jesus Commanded all Believers to be Baptized.

  • Matthew 28:18-20 – “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. {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, {20} “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Jesus set an Example by being Baptized.

  • Matthew 3:13 – “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.”

Christian obedience.

  • Acts 2:41 – “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.”

3. How Should I Be Baptized?

Baptism is with water.

  • (John 1:26 NKJV) John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know.

Scriptural Baptism is by immersion (under the water).

  • The word “baptism” comes from the Greek “baptizo” which means “to immerse, dip or plunge.” Both archaeology and church history testify that immersion was the mode of baptism used by the church. Notice in the next passages of how they were in the water and coming up from the water. Baptism is by immersion in water.

Baptism of Jesus: Jesus was immersed in Water

  • Mark 1:9-10 – “It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. {10} And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove.”

Baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch: The Ethiopian was immersed.

  • Acts 8:38 – “So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.”

4. What Are You Saying at Baptism?

A. You are a follower of Jesus.

  • You are a saying you are a follower of Jesus Christ. You say you believe in Him and follow Him. You are saying you have trusted in Christ alone for your salvation. You are not trusting in water or any acts of men for salvation, but only in Christ’s death on the cross.

B. You are saying your life has been changed by Christ.

  • Baptism is an outward sign of a previous inside change.
  • You have been “born-again” (John 3) and now you are obeying Jesus’ command to be baptized.
  • Second Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

C. You identify publicly with Jesus Christ.

  • Baptism is a picture of Jesus’ Death, Burial, and Resurrection. Just as Jesus’ baptism identified Him with humanity, your baptism identifies your life with His life.

Baptism picture3

  • When we are under the water, we are identifying with his death and burial. When we come up out of the water, we are identifying with his resurrection and our new life in Christ.
  • Romans 6:3-5 – “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? {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. {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,”

D. You do not follow the world anymore.

  • Matthew 16:24 – “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”

E. You have a new association – the church. – 1 John 3:1

  • Acts 2:41-42 – “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. {42} And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

5. What Baptism is NOT.

A. It is NOT a means of Salvation.

  • Ephesians 2:8–9 (NKJV) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

B. It is NOT a way to wash away sins or get forgiveness.

  • Ephesians 1:7 (NKJV) In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
  • Forgiveness in only found by faith in Christ’s death on the cross for your sins, not in any kind of work, sacrament, ordinance, etc.


6. What If I Refuse To Be Baptized?

  • Disobedience: “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” – James 4:17
  • Loss of testimony: “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.” – John 8:31
  • Loss of fellowship: “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” – John 15:14

Baptism at our church?

  • We practice baptism because the Bible commands it.
  • We are not rejecting previous spiritual or church experiences – only completing them.