Respecting What God Says About Baptism
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” – Ephesians 4:4-6
Hey all! Thank you for staying along for the ride! I’m so glad that you keep reading, and I appreciate you!
We know that God speaks to us today through His Son – through the Word, through His apostles, through the New Testament. And we must respect what He says and what He doesn’t say. That includes what He says about how we are to worship Him and how to become a Christian. We must also respect what He says about baptism.
While there are different baptisms mentioned in the Bible, there is only one baptism that saves us by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 4:4-6 makes that point clear. Most people won’t dispute that there is one God, one Lord, or one Spirit, as those verses tell us. But there are some who dispute that there is one baptism.
In Acts 19:1-5, there were people who were baptized previously with a different baptism than the one that saves, and once they realized it, they were baptized a second time with the correct baptism. If a person finds out that he or she has not been baptized as the Bible says, that person should be rebaptized.
Let’s look at five requirements of Bible baptism.
- It must be done by the authority of Christ. Jesus said that all authority has been given to Him in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18-20). It’s not by the preacher’s authority or a priest’s or anyone else’s. The only One who has the right to say how baptism is to be done and for what reason it is to be done is Christ.
- There must be the proper subject – one who believes. In Mark 16:16, Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. A baby cannot believe; he or she does not have the cognitive skills in order to do so. So a baby or young child is not the proper subject.
- There must be the right element: water – and enough water for people to go down into it. Recall Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-39. When Philip preached the gospel to him, the eunuch believed, and “both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him” (Acts 8:38).
- It must include the right action. Romans 6:3-4 tells us that we are baptized into Christ – buried with Him through baptism into His death, then raised to newness of life. The right action is immersion (burying); it’s not sprinkling or pouring water over someone’s head.
- There must be the right purpose for baptism to be the one baptism of Ephesians 4:4-6. Acts 2:38 says, “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.'” The purpose for baptism must be for the remission(forgiveness) of sins. The wrong purpose is for baptism to be an outward sign of an inward change, as some purport.
If you were not baptized by the authority of Christ, as one who had the ability to believe and believed, submerged in water, and specifically in order to receive forgiveness of sins, then you were not baptized with the one baptism of the Bible and need to be re-baptized under the right conditions as outlined by the Bible.
God is speaking today about Bible baptism. Will you listen?
Photo by Rahul Pandit on Pexels.com
Adapted from God Speaks Today lessons by Jerry A. Jenkins