Imagine my Bible student’s surprise when we studied Bible baptism and he learnt that the Bible teaches just one method of being baptized. The word baptize literally means to immerse or to submerge. The Bible never uses the words “sprinkle” or “pour” in reference to baptism.
My student became even more convinced when he learnt the manner in which Jesus was baptized, and joined me in reading God’s Holy Word from the book of Mark chapter 1 verses 9-10. These verses tell us that Jesus came up out of the water! Jesus was baptized in water by full immersion!
My student’s next surprise: John chapter 3 verse 23 – And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there…!
- The death of your old life.
- The burial of your old life.
- Your new life in Jesus
While baptism itself does not secure the gift of salvation-salvation comes by grace through faith in Jesus Christ-baptism is a vital part of the Christian experience. If the form of baptism is incorrect, the symbolism-and therefore the meaning-of baptism is radically changed. Only baptism by immersion can signify that spiritual reality.
The Bible makes no mention of this form of baptism. In fact, the Bible makes clear that infant baptism is inappropriate. Mark chapter 16 verse 16 clearly supports this belief: “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved.” Those who were baptized in the Bible were mature people who made a personal decision to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and who chose to live surrendered to the will of God. Jesus himself was baptized as an adult. Baptism by immersion is referred to as “believer’s baptism,” because those who are baptized personally believe in Jesus. An infant cannot meet any of the prerequisites for baptism: recognition for personal sinfulness, belief in God, confession of sin, repentance, and surrender to the will of God. Rather than being baptized, infants should be dedicated to God by their parents as Jesus was. (Luke chapter 2: verses 21-39). Baptism is an exciting yet very serious decision. Jesus wants you to get to know Him and fully understand the commitment you are making!
Where did other methods of baptism come from?
This certainly did not come from the Bible, nor from Jesus and His disciples. Baptism by immersion was the widely accepted method of baptism in the Christian church for hundreds of years after Jesus died. New methods of baptism entered the church over time and became established traditions. Many churches that today no longer practice baptism by immersion did so in years past! Baptistries can be found in old churches where today baptism by immersion is replaced by sprinkling or pouring. Today’s unbiblical methods of baptism rests solely upon tradition. God’s word is very plain: Acts chapter 5 verse 29 “…we ought to obey God rather than men.” Along with that verse I am reminded of a few others: 1 Peter chapter 1 verses 24 and 25 “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” Isaiah chapter 40 verse 8 “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand forever.” Matthew chapter 24 verse 35 “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
God bless you as you study and embrace the Holy Scriptures.