Baptism into Christ—According to the Bible

by Mark E. Mountjoy

Introduction

Rampant confusion exists in the Christian world concerning the intent, purpose and mode of water baptism. Is it sprinkling, pouring, or immersion? Is baptism for infants or for those at the age of accountability? Should baptism be performed in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; or in the name of Jesus Christ'? The truth about baptism can be known only if men and women allow their conclusions to be defined according to the Bible.

Statement One:

According to the Bible, baptism into Christ was a command given by Christ after his resurrection.

"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen" (Matthew 28:18-20).

 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:15-16).

"And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and he said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things" (Luke 24:44-48).

"For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth" (Hebrews 9:17).

It is important to understand that baptism into Christ began after he commanded it. Therefore, water baptism has no bearing on the salvation of the thief on the cross. Not only was he a son of Abraham by birth and by circumcision, he died before the commandment was given.

Statement Two:

According to the Bible, the baptism of John and the baptism of Jesus Christ did not serve the same purpose.

"Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him." (Matthew 3:13-15)

"And when the messengers of John were departed, [Jesus] began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously appareled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, and I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. For I say unto you, among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him" (Luke 7:24-30).

"And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, he said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 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." (Acts 19:1-5)

Baptism into Christ has a different and greater significance than the baptism of John.  If the refusal to submit to John's baptism was a rejection of the council of God, how much more the baptism of Christ?

Statement Three:

According to the Bible, baptism requires going down into the water.

"And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Isaiah the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Isaiah, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the Scripture which he read was this,

'He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;

and like a lamb dumb before his shearer,

so opened he not his mouth:

in his humiliation his judgment was taken away:

and who shall declare his generation?

for his life is taken from the earth.'

And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 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. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing" (Acts 8:26-39).

"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 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" (Romans 6:1-4).

"Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea..." (1 Corinthians 10:1-2).

"And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead" (Colossians 2:10-12).

These New Testament examples show that water baptism is immersion. In all cases baptism is a picture of a passage under the surface of water--even as it was during Israel's Exodus from Egypt. The Israelites were surrounded by water both above and on either side . In the New Testament, water baptism symbolizes a death, burial, and resurrection with Christ.

Statement Four:

According to the Bible, the purpose of baptism is to wash away sins.

"And [Saul] said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, “Arise, amd go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.” And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus. And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him. And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:10-16).

"Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed on him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification" (Romans 4:23-25).

"And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead" (Colossians 2:10-12).

"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior..." (Titus 3:5-6).

"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water" (Hebrews 10:22).

"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us, (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ..." ( 1 Peter 3:18-21)

Baptism is not a work of righteousness which we have done, but its effectiveness is because of what Jesus has done as revealed in his death, burial and resurrection. We receive the benefits of his saving blood by being baptized into his death where his blood was shed; we rise to walk in newness of life by his resurrection.

Both repentance and baptism are necessary, for the remission of sins. For example, even after seeing, talking to, confessing Christ, repenting, fasting, and praying for three days; Paul was still told by Ananias: "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16).

And in answer to the heartfelt cry of concerned Judaeans, the Apostle Peter commanded them to, "repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins;" some say "for" means because of. However such a claim proves too much!  Because whatever "for" means in relation to remission of sins, the same holds true for repentance!  In other words, this would mean that baptism AND repentance is because of the remission of sins which makes no sense because repentance is joined to baptism by the conjunction "and."

Statement Five:

According to the Bible, baptism is the point at which one is born again.

"There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be horn? 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. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must he born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and wither it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit.  Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?" (John 3:1-12).

"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 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" (Romans 6:1-4).

"Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead" (Colossians 2:12).

"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience; and our bodies washed with pure water" (Hebrews 10:22).

"And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son hath not life" (1 John 5:8-12).

The word of God teaches that it is necessary to be born again, of the Spirit and of water and of blood. The Spirit, water, and blood bear witness on earth and together make up the one baptism.

Statement Six:

According to the Bible, baptism is the way one gets into Christ, where new life is.

"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of 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" (Romans 6:1-4).

"For ye are all the children of God by faith IN Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (Galatians 3:26-27).

"Therefore if any man be IN Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Corinthians 5:17).

“And ye are complete IN him, which is the head of all principality and power. . . “ (Colossians 2:10).

“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is IN his Son.  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son hath not life” (1 John 5:11-12).

“And I heard a voice saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die IN the Lord FROM HENCEFORTH: yea, Saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them” (Revelation 14:13).

The Most High God designates water baptism as the crowning action of putting on Christ his Son. Therefore, the 'Sinner's Prayer,' 'tarrying', confessing Christ as one's personal Savior, signing a decision card, or supernatural experiences are, strictly speaking, without precedent as a final or consummating step to conversion, in a Biblical sense.  These methods are not what God has told mankind about how to get into Christ or put on Christ.

Statement Seven:

According to the Bible, baptism into Christ is the answer of a good conscience toward God.

"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness" (Romans 6:16-18). "But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:22-23).

"Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience through the things that he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him" (Hebrews 5:8-9).

"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering, (for he is faithful that promised;)" (Hebrews 10:22-23).

"The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 3:21).

"And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him" (1 John 2:2-5).

In the Bible, baptism is an answer to God (not men) in obedience to the gospel call, and by his grace God gives salvation to all those who obey him. The Bible does not teach that one is saved before baptism, or that baptism functions as a public profession of one's faith in Christ.

Statement Eight:

According to the Bible, the apostles baptized in the words of triune formula Jesus declared upon his resurrection from the dead.

"Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the Apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and he 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. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call" (Acts 2:36-39).

"Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand before you whole. This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:10-12).

"While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. And they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 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. Then prayed they him to tarry* certain days." (Acts 10:44-48).

"And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, he said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 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. And when they heard this they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 19:1-5).

"Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God 1 baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; lest any should say I baptized in mine own name" ( I Corinthians 1:13-15).

"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him" (Colossians 3:17).

"And this is the commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment" (I John 3:23).

"These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God" (1 John 5:13).

In the Acts of the Apostles baptism was done only in the name of Jesus Christ. This is the name of the Son of God. "And whatever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus..." Jesus told his apostles to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 28: I 8- 20) As Paul was alerted that the Ephesians had not been baptized into Christ by their not having ever heard of the Holy Spirit, this tells us, by direct implication that the Triune formula of Matthew 28:19 was a standard practice among the early Christians.  Therefore, Atavist Biblical Churches baptize according to Christ's post-resurrection declaration and in doing so this important action is accomplished in his name or authority.

Statement Nine:

According to the Bible, baptism is applicable to those who are able to hear, believe, and obey the Gospel. Infants and little children of Christians have a period of innocence in which they are considered pure in the eyes of God.

"Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 18:10).

"Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence" (Matthew 19:13- 15).

"What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: their feet are swift to shed blood: destruction and misery are in their ways: and the way of peace have they not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes" (Romans 3:9-18).

"For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy" (1 Corinthians 7:14).

The baptism of infants is not really a baptism at all, it washes away nothing because nothing can be repented of. Infants cannot comprehend, believe, repent, confess, or obey the gospel from their heart. The innovation of infant baptism is not authorized in the Word of God. The angels of little children always behold the face of God and the kingdom of heaven belongs to them, and those who come to Christ as children; the children of even one Christian parent are holy. However, concerning Romans 3:9-18, it has been taken out of context and made to teach that people are born totally depraved, this is not true, but it creates an artificial need to convert those who have not sinned yet. The text in reality speaks of the degeneration of wild youth and adult people involved in the dangerous folly of sedition and Jewish Nationalism, which came to a catastrophic head not very long after Paul penned that epistle.

Statement Ten:

According to the Bible, hearing, believing, repenting, and confessing Christ as the Son of God precede a Biblical baptism.

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved:" (Mark 16:15-16).

"And that repentance and remission of sins should he preached in his name..." (Luke 24:47).

"Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 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 he 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. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him" (Acts 8:35-38).

"And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them, And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's hands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and all that were in his house. And took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway" (Acts 16:25-33).

All of these steps of obedient faith combined* lead to baptism into Christ where one becomes a Christian. There are no examples of anyone praying a sinner’s prayer or asking Christ to be `Lord of their life' and to come into their heart ** in the entire New Testament from the beginning of Christianity in Acts 2. Did you become a Christian the way they did in the New Testament?

*The sound principle of synecdoche by which a whole of a thing is put for a part.... (McKechnie, 1851) An example can he found in Acts 8:35 -36 where Philip preached Jesus unto the eunuch and, by implication, told the eunuch his need to be baptized.

"Some go to Revelation 3:20 to support such practices, when in fact the passage was written to a Church in the city of Laodicea.  And since it was a Church, Jesus was speaking to people who already Christians. His admonitions to them were to avert the danger of their being spit out of the body of Christ (Revelation 3:14, 16).

**There can be no doubt that Saul was praying to God from the time he met Christ on the Damascus Road and the time he was baptized; there can be no doubt that God met him where he was--the story itself tells us this much.  Therefore, it not "wrong" or "forbidden" but completely natural for men and women to be prayerful as they consummate their journey towards baptism into Christ. In actuality, the Atavist Biblical Church has no ax to grind about prayer and baptism, but a concern to uphold the Scriptural significance of a believer's baptism as it was revealed through both Christ and the Apostles.

Summary:

*Baptism was a command given to the Apostles after Jesus arose from the dead. From the first day of Christianity onward it is the consummating point of the conversion process and the only way anyone can become a Christian.

*The baptism of John the Baptist was surpassed and made null and void by the baptism of Jesus Christ. A rejection of water baptism as demonstrated in the New Testament is a rejection of God's covenant.  See: The Jewish Mikvah and Baptism into Christ and On Water Baptism in the Christian World After A.D.70—Is It Still a Valid Practice?

*Immersion is the only mode of baptism found in the New Testament.

*We receive the benefits of Jesus Christ's saving blood by being baptized into his death were his blood was shed. Our old man is buried with him in baptism where we receive a new nature. Then we rise to walk in newness of life by his resurrection. Paul, even after seeing, talking to, confessing Christ, repenting, fasting, and praying for three days, was still told by Ananias: "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and he baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

*According to the Bible, baptism is necessary to he horn again. In baptism, we are born of water and of the Spirit, and sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ. These three agree in one and together form the one baptism into Christ.

*Water baptism is how one gets into Jesus Christ were new life is; just as one cannot be in his clothes without putting them on one cannot be in Christ without putting him on in baptism.

*The Apostle Peter said baptism is the answer of a good conscience toward God, and is not designed "to show the world one is already saved." Of course God hears the prayers of those seeking him.  Of course God meets people were they are. Of course God recognizes people's intentions and has regard for those who are moving closer to him in their thoughts and in their heart.  But until one has been baptized one has not fully answered God.

*Baptism was done in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, according to the commandment and name (authority) of Jesus Christ.  When we obey the Son, we are acting in his name.

*Baptism is for the remission of sins.

*Infants cannot comprehend, believe, repent, confess, or obey the gospel from their heart. Infants and little children of Christians have a period of innocence in which they are considered pure in the eyes of God. Therefore infant baptism is unnecessary and is without command or example in the New Testament.

*Because baptism puts one IN Christ, baptism is at the same time the last step in the New Testament for becoming a Christian. These steps are: hearing the Gospel, believing that Christ was crucified, dead, buried, and raised the third day for your sins, repenting of your sins, confessing Christ to he the Son of God, and being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. Thereafter rising to walk in newness of life as a Christian.  The need for mankind to be in this relationship to the Son of God continues “henceforth” from God’s A.D.70 judgment of Jerusalem and the historic Christian church has always understood it so.

Become a Christian Today!

It is also well to mention that baptism is not an end unto itself, but the beginning of a new relationship with God through forgiveness of sins and obedience to the lordship of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul instructed Christians to live their lives in the following manner:

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God has said, 1 will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: and I will receive you, and I will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (2 Corinthians 6:14-18; 7:1).

Q & A

1. Baptism into Christ was a command given by Christ before his resurrection. True/False?

2. "A testament is of force_________men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth" (Hebrews 9:17).

3. The baptism commanded in Matthew 28:19 has no bearing on the salvation of the thief on the cross. Why not?

4. The baptism of John and the baptism of Jesus Christ serve the same purpose. True/False?

5.How did the Lord view the rejection of John's baptism by the authorities of Israel?

6.What did the disciples of John the Baptist do when they discovered that John's baptism was no longer valid? (a) They argued with Paul and left in a rage. (b) They made excuses about why water was not important anyway. (c) They obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ by being baptized in his name.

7.Baptism into Christ had a lesser significance than the baptism of John. True/False'?

8.Was the refusal to submit to John's baptism a rejection of thecouncil_______ of God?

9.Baptism requires going down into the water. True/False?

10.Examples in the New Testament show that immersion was the standard mode of baptism for the early church. True/False?

11.Does the Bible ever say to ask Christ into your heart to be a 'personal Savior'?

12.Baptism is an act of obedient faith and is not a work (something done for merit). True/False'?

13.Can one be born of the water and of the Spirit before one gets to the water?

14.One gets into Jesus Christ were new life is, by (a) signing a decision card (b) repeating Jesus' name over and over (c) by being baptized into Christ.

15.Can one be in his clothes without putting them on? or can one be in Christ without putting him on in baptism?

16.The purpose of baptism is to show the world that you have been saved already. True/False?

17.If you have not been baptized into Christ, have you answered God?

18.Can you be taught wrong and baptized right?

19.The Bible teaches that the children of just one Christian parent are holy. True/False?

20.Is there any example in the New Testament where an infant was baptized?

21.The Bible shows that water baptism is the necessary step of faith before one actually becomes a Christian. True/False?

Answers

1.False. (Mark 16:14-16)

2.after (Hebrews 9:17)

3.He died before the commandment was given. (Hebrews 9:17)

4.False (Acts 19:1-5)

5.By rejecting the baptism of John, the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves. (Luke 7:29-30)

6.(c) They obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ by being baptized in his name. (Acts 19:5)

7.False (Galatians 3:26-27)

8.Yes, and thus rejection of baptism as Christ authorized is also a rejection of the council of God. (Matthew 16:18-19; John 15:John 15:20; Revelation 22:14)

9.True. (Acts 8:38)

10.True. (Romans 6:1-4; Colossians 2:10-12)

11.No, the Bible never says for non-Christians to ask Christ

into their hearts to be their 'personal' Savior.

12.True. (Titus 3:5)

13.No. (Acts 2:38)

14.(c) by being baptized into Christ. (Galatians 3:26-27)

15.No, it is impossible in both cases. (Galatians 3:27)

16.False. The Apostle Peter said that baptism is the answer of a good conscience toward God (1 Peter 3:21).

17.If you have not been baptized you have not answered God (I Peter 3:21).

18.No (Acts 19:4-5).

19.True (1 Corinthians 7:14).

20.No, it cannot be found.

21.True (Mark 16:15-16; John 3:3-5; Acts 2:38; 22:16;

Romans 6:1-4; Colossians 2:11-12).

May God bless everyone who visits this site.  I pray and encourage everyone to do what God has called you to do and make that stewardship your top priority everyday of your life.  Tell others about Jesus Christ and what he has done for you in your personal life. If Jesus has truly saved you from your sins and shame, then you will be able to tell someone else that Jesus can save them from their sins and shame too.  Be an example of the believers and teach, baptize and teach new Christians, mentoring and discipling them in the way of the Lord. Wherever you are, let's remember that our faith is seen by what we do and not merely by what we believe and think.  I encourage those of you who are followers of Christ and spiritual companions with me, to be loving, mild-mannered and zealous for Christ and be a bright light for good to those whom you know and can influence. If there is any way I can be of assistance to you, or if there is a question or issue you would like see addressed, feel free to let me know.  God bless.