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What Does The Bible Say About Baptism?

What is Believer’s Bapitsm?

  1. Baptism is like a wedding ring: Just as a wedding ring symbolizes marriage, baptism symbolizes salvation.
  2. Believer’s baptism is the act in which a believer in Jesus Christ is submerged, immersed, or dipped into water thereby signaling the removal of sin and their union with Christ.
  3. Believer’s baptism symbolizes the washing away of sin (going under the water) and new life in Christ (coming out of the water).
  4. The words in the Bible used to refer to baptism (baptismos, baptidzo) always refer to this act of immersion in water.
  5. That is why every baptism in the Bible is by immersion and not by sprinkling:
    1. Matt 3:16 “After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water.”
    2. Mark 1:5 “They were being baptized by [John] in the Jordan River”
    3. Acts 8:38-39 “And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Phillip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him When they came up out of the water..”
  6. Only immersion symbolizes the reality of what baptism signifies.
  7. Thus, Biblical baptism occurs when a person who has trusted Christ for salvation is immersed into water to symbolize their identification with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  8. For this reason, infant “baptism” is contrary to the New Testament.

Why should believers be baptized?

The Bible says that all true believers in Jesus Christ should be baptized for four reasons:

  1. To follow the example set by Jesus
    1. Mark 1:9 “In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan”
  2. To obey Christ’s command
    1. Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
  3. To symbolize their union with Christ’s death and resurrection
    1. Romans 6:3-4 “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”
  4. To demonstrate they are a Christian
    1. Acts 18:8 “and many of the Corinthians when they heard were believing and being baptized.”

Why are some believers not baptized?

Four reasons:

  1. Ignorance- They do not understand what the Bible says about baptism or have never been taught.
  2. Pride- They have gone a long time without being baptized and, to be baptized now, would require them to humble themselves and be obedient
  3. Indifference- The do not care about Christ’s command to be baptized. They know about His command but it is just not a priority in their life.
  4. Disobedience- They refuse to obey Christ’s instruction. Possibly they are courting sin in their life and to be baptized would be hypocrisy.

F.F Bruce- “The idea of an unbaptized Christian is simply not entertained in the New Testament. It is not a personal choice but a divine command.”

Charles Spurgeon- “Nothing is more plainly taught in the New Testament than that it is the duty of every believer in Christ to be baptized.”

-Have you been baptized according to Christ’s instructions?

-You should be baptized by immersion if:

1. Any of the above attitudes are true of you.

2. You have not been baptized by immersion since coming to faith in Jesus Christ.

3. You were sprinkled as an infant.

4. You were not a true believer when you were baptized.

If you would like to know more about the doctrines held at Maranatha, please visit our Doctrinal Statements page.