The doctrine of water baptism is important in the Christian life. It is the believer’s fundamental covenant pledge made by confessing our sins, which enables us to walk in the newness of life, to keep the commandments of God, and to grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ in preparation for eternal life. It is often referred to as assurance of salvation.
What is water baptism?
Some sermon illustrations and sermon series preached water baptism as a church discipline while some sermon topics or sermon outlines preached it as spiritual disciplines.
Water Baptism is simply a Christian religious ceremony that involves immersing an individual in water or pouring or sprinkling water on the individual which serves as a symbol of washing away our sins and guarantees our spiritual purification.
It is the public declaration and confession of our faith in Jesus Christ.
What is the purpose of Water Baptism?
Water Baptism marks the beginning of our personal relationship and identification with Christ. After salvation, it is what unifies believers with Christ.
It is also a commandment from Jesus and a very vital part of His ministry. The good news is that we are baptized into the divine nature of Jesus and the image of God.
It is often called the baptism of Jesus.
Jesus said in Mathew 28 verse 19 to 20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
What is the significance of the baptism of Jesus?
The significance of the baptism of Jesus is can be seen in Matthew 3:13-17. Emphasis on verse 16-17 “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
The record of the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist did not only occur in Mathew 3:13-17, but also in Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-22, and John 1:29-34.
The gospel of John describes the descending of the Spirit on Jesus which occurred when Jesus was baptized but it does not directly describe the baptism itself.
What are the three types of baptism by water?
This type of baptism is conducted by submerging individuals in bodies of water. This symbolizes the idea of being completely buried with Jesus and risen with Him as the individual is being raised from the body of water.
Eastern Orthodox churches and some Protestants like Anglican, and Baptist church practice this method of baptism.
In Aspersion method, water is sprinkled on the forehead of the one being baptized. This method is mainly practiced by Catholics and Anglicans.
Some Protestant denominations also practice this type of water baptism.
This type of baptism is being carried out by pouring water over the head of the one being baptized. This method is also practiced by Catholics and Anglicans.
How many times can you be baptised according to the Bible?
Baptism should be done only once if you are baptized according to the instructions and doctrine of Jesus, However you can be baptized as many times as possible if the previous one was not done properly or was for wrong reasons.
One may also choose to re-baptise if you now have a better understanding of the purpose.
There will be a need to re-baptise if you did it as an infant or child. Little children may not have a proper understanding of the doctrine.
Any adult that also chooses to be baptised for this reason should be received. At this time, they do it with their faith and obedience, not the faith of their parents.
Most Christian denominations today also believe baptism by water immersion is the only acceptable method. This is the baptism that pictures the burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The word of God in Romans 6 verses 3 to 4 reveals this picture, “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. ”
When you are baptised by water immersion, you are seen as a sinner buried in water just as the Lord was buried and then raised together with Him from the dead.
There is a great awakening now that people that are previously baptized by sprinkling or pouring water also get re-baptised after this understanding.
Can anyone baptise a person?
Following the procedures of baptism is the key. Anyone who was saved and has been baptised can baptise another person.
As long as the baptiser will ensure the person to be baptised will be obedient to the commandment to repentance, confession, and believe.
We have many small churches with younger Christians, without pastors or any ordained ministers, we also have some places where there are no churches but they have understood the doctrine and the importance of baptism. Are we going to deprive them?
As long as the baptiser and the person who is being baptised both understand the meaning and can follow the steps, there is nothing wrong with it.
However, it is preferable if the baptizer is a pastor or ordained minister as those are expected to have full knowledge and understanding of the doctrine.
Can you be baptized at any age?
There is no particular age for someone to get baptised. Water baptism has nothing to do with the age of the person but with the personality.
A child can get baptised if he or she understands repentance, confession, and acceptance of Jesus as the Lord and personal Savior. In the same vein, one cannot be too old for baptism. God hates the proud.
His will can only come to pass in your life if you are subject to His instructions. You can be wrong, but not right to stay wrong.
You may have been baptized religiously as a child, no time is too late to re-baptise after your improved spiritual growth. It is not wise to be shameful of what is gainful.
Where can someone be baptised?
The power and the final authority of God’s forgiveness and living a new life is found in Jesus, not in a special body of water. You can be baptised anywhere.
What are the 4 basic steps of water baptism?
Fill the baptistery with warm water ahead of time if you have a baptistery or find a body of water which may be a river, pool, lake, or the ocean side. Let the people know what to expect.
Tell them about how you will lower and then raise them back up. Speak with them to relax and be calm and assure them that you will support them since the feeling of falling backward may cause the person to be nervous.
Ensure the person wears appropriate clothing. Some churches have specifically designated clothing for baptisms. Dark, shorts, and tight-fitting clothing are often the best.
Walk into the water and position yourself in a way that your chest is next to the shoulder of the person to be baptised.
You can stand facing the audience while the person being baptized will face sideways or the person being baptized faces the audience while you stand at their side.
The most important thing is for the baptiser to be able to support the person being baptised.
Confession of faith
Confession of faith depends on the church and the people involved. It is the personal acknowledgment by the person being baptised that Jesus is the son of God and He is ready to accept Him as his Saviour and be committed to obeying Him as the Lord.
The person is expected to emulate the life of Jesus after baptism.
Say the confession of faith in phrases and let the person repeat the phrase.
A simple example of confession of faith is “
“Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God?
Do you believe that He died and was raised to life?
Do you trust Jesus as your Savior and commit to obey Jesus as your Lord?”
The person must repeat Yes I do after every phrase.
After the confession of faith, release the blessing to the person.
You can say “I now baptize you in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”
Performing the baptism
Tell the person to plug their nose to prevent water from entering it or tell them to cross their arms over their chest, whichever one they prefer.
Place one hand on their back and one on their front. The hand in front should be used to either hold the arm they are using to plug the nose or be placed onto their crossed arms.
Lay the person down into the water and back up.
What is the symbolism of Water Baptism?
Baptism simply symbolizes a person dying to sin and living unto righteousness. It is an act of our death and burial with Christ and then being resurrected to new life.
God’s word in Colossians 2 verse 12 reveals the real picture of the symbolism of water baptism.
“buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. .”
Going into the water symbolizes death and burial. Coming up from the water of baptism symbolizes resurrection from the dead and the beginning of a new life.
Water Baptism and Holy Ghost Baptism
The difference between water baptism and Holy Ghost baptism is in the purpose of the two types of baptism.
Water Baptism is an act of obedience that follows inward repentance to identify with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and walk in the newness of life. Believers enjoy the divine nature of Christ after water baptism.
Holy Ghost baptism is the promise of God to us. Its purpose is to endue believers with power for effective witnessing of Jesus.
This is clearly stated in Act 1 verse 8, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
This passage of scripture indicates that the Holy Ghost is the custodian of God’s power.