Baptism

For one who has died has been set free from sin. -- Romans 6:7 (ESV)

This means that the only way to get freed from you sin, is to die from sin (old life) and to get reborn into a new life.

Christians refer to this burial / reborn event as "Baptism".

However, the word "baptism" actually means:

Original Word       : βαπτίζω
Transliterated Word : baptizo
Phonetic Spelling   : bap-tid'-zo 

Definition:

  • to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk)
  • to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water, to wash one's self, bathe
  • to overwhelm

-- Bible Study Tools

As you can see the word "baptize" has a very broad meaning. For the sake of repentance, I will specifically refer the "Baptism of Repentance" (Acts 13:24, 19:4) also known as the "Water Baptism". There is only one baptism into repentance and only one way to get saved (Ephesians 4:4-6).

However, this should not to be confused with the "Baptism with Fire" which is a concept that refers to the trail and judgement that everyone will receive as John, the Baptist, warned:

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He (Jesus) who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. -- Matthew 3:11-12 (NKJV), Luke 3:16, Revelation 2:5

The purpose of the Baptism of Repentance

  • It releases believers from the legal requirements of the laws. (Colossians 2:11-23, Romans 6:14)
  • It releases believers from sin by the burial of the old life (Acts 22:16, Acts 2:38)
  • It is converts believers into new people by giving them a new life (Colossians 2:12-14, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 6:3-14, Acts 19:4)
  • The water is one of the witnesses that testifies that believers' sins are forgiven. (1 John 5:6-7)
  • It is a physical sign of salvation for good conscience. (1 Peter 3:21)
  • It is a requirement to enter the kingdom of God. (John 3:5)
  • It restores righteousness with God (Matthew 3:15) and fellow believers. (1 Corinthians 12:13)

It is the example set by Christ Himself:

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. -- Romans 6:4 (ESV)

Who may be baptized into repentance?

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. -- Mark 16:16 (ESV), Romans 1:16

As they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water!”

“What prevents me from being baptized?”

And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”
And he replied, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.

-- Acts 8:36-39

How Baptism of Repentance should be done

  1. You should be completely submerged in water. This is how Jesus (Matthew 3:16) was baptised and also how it was understood to be done by the first believers (Mark 1:5, Romans 6:3-4).
  2. Baptism should take place in the name (authority) of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19, Acts 2:38, Acts 19:5).

The correct pronunciation of God's name

Some people claim that you are not saved unless you were baptized in the correct pronunciation of God, His Son's or the Holy Spirit's names.

However, if you look at the above definition of the word "name" in Greek:

Original Word     : ὄνομα, ατος, τό
Part of Speech    : Noun, Neuter
Transliteration   : onoma
Phonetic Spelling : (on'-om-ah)
Definition        : a name, authority, cause

Note that the intention is that you should be baptized in the authority of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In other words, you have permission from God if you do it God's way with the correct intention.

The "name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit" is not some magical phrase that saves people. It is the authority of God and the act of the obedience by the believer that saves.

In which names to baptize

Do not get baptized in any other name or authority. Some "church" leaders idolize themselves by baptizing people in their own name or in their church's name. Paul also had to address this issue in his lifetime when people started to idolize him.

I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. -- 1 Corinthians 1:10-13 (ESV)

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 (ESV)

"Baptizing" by sprinkling of water

Some churches claim that to sprinkle a few drops of water on a baby's forehead counts as baptism.

However, according to the original Greek meaning of the word "baptism" is "to submerge", "to cleanse by dipping", "bathe", "to overwhelm". The tradition of water sprinkling is not recorded in the Bible. Instead, we read that Jesus' went "up from the water":

When Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water -- Matthew 3:16 (ESV)

Paul also wrote:

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 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. -- Romans 6:3-4 (ESV)

Water sprinkling is not a very effective burial.

And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. -- Mark 1:5 (ESV)

Baptism is not optional

Some will Christians claim that Baptism is optional, but Jesus said that Baptism is God's will:

But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him. -- Luke 7:28

Who may baptize?

Some people would claim that you need an expert with a pastoral university degree or approval from some priest or church or something before you are allowed to baptize people. However, the bible does not mention any such special requirements. People should baptize in God's authority (name) and not in their own name, qualifications, reputation or in their church's name.

Some examples of people who baptized in the Bible:

  • John the baptist (Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16)
  • Jesus' disciples (Matthew 28:19)
  • Philip the apostle (Acts 6:5; Acts 8:12)
  • Ananias the disciple who was not one of the 11 disciples close to Jesus (Acts 9)
  • Paul (1 Corinthians 1:14,16)

If the man doing the baptism needed some particular qualifications in order for baptism to be valid, then we would likewise need to be sure that he in turn had been baptized by one who had the proper qualifications. In this way we would need to somehow trace the qualifications of people who did the baptizing back through history to make sure they all had the proper qualifications. If anyone in the chain was not properly qualified to do a baptism, but they did it anyway, then the person they baptized would not be saved. Then anyone that person baptized would not be saved, etc. So we would need to know that the person who baptized us was baptized by someone who had the proper qualifications, etc., back through history. This would seem to make it almost impossible to know if our baptism was valid. Such a tracing of qualifications is unnecessary, however, because the validity of the baptism depends on what is done, not on the character or spiritual standing of the man who does the baptism. -- The Gospel Way

Contacts

If you do not know any believers in your area who can or is willing to baptize you with water into repentance, then you could use The Last Reformation's map to locate believers in your area.

(Note we are not affiliated with the Last Reformation movement. We cannot guarantee or take responsibility for any of these contacts' advise or behaviour, but we do hope and pray that you will be able to get into contact with a believer who is able to assist in your request.)