Should Christians be Baptized?
Should Christians be baptized? Is it a Biblical requirement? Biblical baptism, I believe, is an important part of the Christian walk. Is baptism part of our worship and service to God in spirit and truth? The Bible reveals how important baptism is and what it represents.
Mark 1:4-5 ...'John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.' ... So John the Baptist's role was to prepare the way for Jesus Christ, preaching repentance and baptizing. The meaning of 'baptize' is to immerse or be submerged in water. So we know from this how we should be baptized. Not with a little sprinkling of water, but to be fully submerged in water. We can also see that baptism is linked to repentance of sins.
"Most assuredly, unless one is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God."
Christening, or sprinkling of so called holy water is not biblical baptism. For starters, the water is not holy, it's just plain water. The water in baptism doesn't do anything itself, it's the symbol of the person dying to their sins in the water and then being resurrected out from the water a new person. The water doesn't magically change the person. Its the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that changes a person. And secondly baptism is linked to repentence, but little babies cannot know what is happening to them or what it means, so therefore the whole process of christening does nothing and is pointless.
Matthew 3:11 ...'I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. But he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.' ... Again, baptism is linked to repentance of sins. Now repentance is of great importance to a Christian, because if we don't repent of our sins, then God cannot forgive us, and we reject Jesus who died for our sins. Notice, John started the way for baptism of water, and Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 3:16-17 ...'And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.' ... So Jesus was baptized by John, and then God's voice was heard saying that He was pleased with Jesus, His son.
Now if we accept that Jesus set an example for us of how we should live as Christians, and we should follow His example, then it should be that we should follow His example in baptism also, and be baptized ourselves. Let's not pick and choose what we want to follow, but follow Jesus in everything.
Mark 16:16 ...'He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.' ... There is a teaching that many Christians have accepted that if you believe, you will be saved. Does the above verse say that? No, it says if you believe AND are baptized, you shall be saved. Does it mean that anyone who believes in Jesus and is baptized will be saved? No, your heart must be right with the Lord, and you must also walk with Him everyday. A lot of Christians hold on to one or two verses and base their whole doctrine and beliefs on those couple of verses. But this is wrong, we must take the whole Bible in context, not take bits and pieces here and there. Baptism is part of the process of turning to Jesus and following Him.
Luke 7:30 ...'But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.' ... This is an interesting verse. It says that because the Pharisees wouldn't be baptized, they were rejecting the will of God. Are you rejecting the will of God in your life?
Acts 2:38 ...'Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.' ... If you think that Biblical baptism was purely for those during the time of John the baptist, then take a look at this verse. This was some time after Jesus death and resurrection, and yet Peter is still giving the message to the people that they should be baptized in Jesus name. Again baptism is linked to the remission (putting off) of sins. Now notice in this verse there are two baptisms. One of water and one of the Spirit. Now take a look at this next verse ... John 3:5 ...'Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water AND of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.' ... How important is baptism for the true Christian? It's vital, as Jesus confirmed, unless you are baptized with water and the Holy Spirit you cannot enter into God's Kingdom. Friend, I hope you are hearing this important Bible truth.
Are there any conditions set out in the Bible for baptism? Take a look at the next verse ... Acts 8:36-37 ...'And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.' ... You must believe with all your heart that Jesus is the Son of God. You must also want to follow him with all your heart also. Remember, the devils believed in Jesus also, but they are not saved. You must want to give your all for Jesus, and follow him in spirit and truth.
Acts 10:47-48 ...'Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.' ... While Peter was speaking, the Gentiles were filled with the Holy Spirit, and then Peter commands them to be baptized with water in Jesus name.
Acts 19:3-5 ...'And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.' ... This verse shows that baptism is an important Christian act, because these people in this verse were already baptized in John's name, but they didn't know Christ. Once they realized they needed to believe in Jesus, they were baptized again in Jesus name.
Peter "commanded" followers to be baptized.
Was Paul baptized? Yes he was ... Acts 22:16 ...'And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.' ... Ananias tells Paul to be baptized, and what does he link baptism to? The washing away of sins. Our sins are covered by the blood of Jesus, but baptism is an outward symbol to God and to others watching that we have died to sin and now walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. This following verse explains perfectly what baptism is all about ... Romans 6:3-4 ...'Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.' ... Paul now understood the meaning of baptism. In Bible baptism, we are buried with Christ and when we raise up out of the water, our old sinful life is left behind and we start walking in newness of life with Christ.
Now there is an issue with many different denominations out there. A lot of people believe they have to be baptized in a particular denomination. But this is not Biblical. Look at what Paul said ... 1 Corinthians 1:12-15 ...'Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name.' ... This is really important. We should not be baptized into any particular church denomination, but ONLY in Jesus name. There is only ONE baptism, and that is the baptism into Christ Jesus, NOT a church ... Ephesians 4:5 ...'One Lord, one faith, one baptism.'
I believe the Word of God in the Bible teaches us that baptism is an important part of the Christian walk. It is a step of faith and obedience. It is an outward sign that we have put off our old self, and have now put on Christ. We leave our sins and old ways behind in the water (dead to sin), and walk in newness of life with Christ. If you have not been baptized yet, then there is only one thing for me to say to you. If you believe with all your heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and if you want to follow Him, then go and be baptized in Jesus name.
I plead with you to give your all to Jesus and worship Him in spirit and truth, and be baptized according to the Bible.