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Friday, December 27, 2019

Common questions about baptism

Getting Baptism Right

For your baptism to be as God has commanded it, the following must be understood and accepted:

1.   Baptism is a burial in water in which you are spiritually buried with Christ into His death, and raised to walk a new life in Christ, just as Christ was raised from his death and burial. In other words, in baptism one is born again.

2.   Baptism as burial is why baptism must be immersion, which is what the Greek for baptism means.

3.   The idea that saving baptism, as referred to in places like Romans 6; 1 Corinthians 12:13 and Galatians 3:27, is a Spirit baptism and not water baptism, is proven totally false by reading Matthew 28:19; Acts 22:16, 8:36-39 and 10:47-48 and Galatians 3:2-9,22-4:7,28-29. The Spirit is given by God when the repentant believer is baptized in water in the name of Jesus Christ.

4.   It’s the Holy Spirit who puts the Christ into Christianity. John 1:29-34; 3:3-7; 6:63; 7:37-39; 16:7-15; 20:17-23; Acts 1:6-8; 2:1-39; Romans 8:1-11; 15:13; Galatians 3:13-14; 5:5; 2 Corinthians 3:1-18; Ephesians 2:11-22.

5.   Water baptism brings about the new birth of water and the Spirit. The water terminates the old; the Spirit germinates the new. Compare John 3:5 with 1 Peter 1:3,18-25 and 3:18-22 and you see that being born again happens when you obey Jesus in water baptism - Christ then baptizing you in the Holy Spirit. “The washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:5.

6.   Baptism is for believers only – not for little babies who do not understand what they’re doing.

7.   Baptism can only be legitimate if the person being baptized is committed to repentance – a change

       in the direction of one’s life. See Acts 2:37-41.

8.   Baptism is where God saves you through faith; it is not a symbol of salvation by faith before

    baptism. If you compare Romans 5:1-2 with Romans 6:3-7, you will see that being justified by faith happens when baptism frees you from sin. The word “freed” in Romans 6:7 is actually the same Greek word as “justified” in Romans 5:1. A few translations render Romans 6:7 with the word “justified.” See ASV, ERV, Darby and Douay Rheims. “Freed” in Romans 6:18,22; 8:2,21; John 8:32 is a common Greek word for free. The justified are those legally freed from sin! As one of God’s true teachers of His truth, you will understand this if you “do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15. Too many so-called preachers will not be approved of God because instead of putting in the work to properly understand God’s word, they are merely passing on the traditions of their denominations – traditions that contradict God’s word. See Matthew 15:1-14. The Brethren Movement (Gospel Hall) use the Darby version that has “justified” in Romans 6:7, but they do not teach the truth on baptism!! Thus they contradict what their own Bible version teaches!!

9.When you are being baptized, you must have faith that in your baptism God is causing you to be born again spiritually. You should know and trust what God is doing in the water of your baptism.

10.      Assuming that any baptism, for whatever purpose, is legitimate – just as long as you are baptized -  is a false assumption because such a view would legitimize every false teaching on baptism.

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore

and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy

Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the

end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:15-16

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. John 3:5

for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise. Galatians 3:26-29

Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 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. Acts 2:37-41

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7For one who has died has been set free from sin. Romans 6:1-7

In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by cancelling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. Colossians 2:11-15

And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. 2 And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John's baptism.” 4 And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying[i]. 7 There were about twelve men in all. Acts 19:1-7

… one Lord, one faith, one baptism…  Ephesians 4:5

“As I was on my way and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone around

me. 7 And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ 8

And I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’

9 Now those who were with me saw the light but did not understand the voice of the one who was speaking to me. 10 And I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Rise, and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.’ 11 And since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and came into Damascus. 12 “And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well-spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, 13 came to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that very hour I received my sight and saw him. 14 And he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear a voice from his mouth; 15 for you will be a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’ Acts 22:6-16

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be

born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead … knowing that you were

ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or

gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown

before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for “All flesh is like grass  and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, 25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you. 1 Peter 1:3,18-25

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him. 1 Peter 3:18-22

There is no Scripture that says that baptism is a symbol of your previous salvation by faith alone, otherwise explained as the outward sign of an inward grace. This is a lie Satan is using to deceive millions.

There is no Scripture that authorises the baptizing of babies. “Household baptisms” in places like Acts 10 and Acts 16 refer to those households in which all the householders baptized were able to understand the gospel and obey the command to be baptized.  Read those chapters in Acts yourself to see this.

The water-baptized, born again believer, spiritually accesses God and Christ in the Holy Spirit. Mark 1:8; Acts 11:15, 10:47, 1 Corinthians 6:11, 12:13, Ephesians 2:18.

If you don’t believe all of this, then your baptism is worthless. Wake up and see the light!!

for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” 15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:14-17

Note that in the earliest days of the church in Ephesus (see Acts 19:1-7 above), the disciples there had to have their understanding of baptism corrected so that they could receive the Spirit when they were properly baptized. They had previously been wrongly baptized under the influence of Apollos’s teaching that misunderstood the one baptism that was appropriate in the New Covenant. Many of today’s so-called Christian preachers misunderstand and even distort God’s word. 2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Peter 3:14-18.

Believing in the death and resurrection of Christ will lead to being saved by that death and resurrection, Romans 10:9-10, when, in faith, we connect to His death and resurrection in the waters of baptism and thus receive the gift of God: eternal life in Chri


[i] The speaking in tongues and prophesying that accompanied this baptism was God’s way of confirming the legitimacy of this salvation of the Gentiles through faith and baptism. Notice how such confirmation was also promised by Jesus in Mark 16:15-20. As Ephesians 4:5 points out, there is one Lord, one faith and one baptism. All people being saved are saved in the same way. We make disciples of all nations the same way for each disciple.

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