Biblical Water Baptism
To all the saints in Christ Jesus, grace to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I write this unto you saints that I might more firmly establish you in the faith by the word of God, by the which you have been born, and which also liveth and abideth forever (1 Peter 1:23). If you are not yet in the body of Christ, then I invite and encourage you to read this epistle.
In these last days, there have arisen heretical misunderstandings about the correct formula, purpose, and means of water baptism; this epistle provides what the word of God says about these things.
Biblical Baptism is in the Name of Jesus Christ
All throughout the Book of Acts, it is made very clear that the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ baptized believers in the name of Jesus Christ:
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.
(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
There is a widespread misunderstanding of a certain verse which has led many to be baptized and to baptize without calling upon the name of the Lord Jesus; this hugely misunderstood verse is written below:
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Largely due to the non-Scriptural doctrine of the Trinity, this verse has been mistaken to mean that when one person baptizes another, the one performing the baptism is supposed to repeat the words of this command; in other words, the person would say something like, "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost", and then baptize the one receiving the baptism.
Matthew 28:19 is a command given by Jesus after his resurrection to his disciples. In this command, Jesus told his followers to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; this name is Jesus Christ. The disciples understood what the Lord Jesus meant, and they proceeded to baptize in the name of Jesus Christ. For more verses concerning this, read this epistle.
Biblical Baptism is for the Remission of Sins
Acts 2:38 and Acts 22:16 (can be read above) state plainly that baptism is for the remission of sins. It is not, as many people falsely teach, simply a symbol of an inward change; it is how you get your sins remitted (after repenting of them, of course).
It is also written that baptism saves us:
1 Peter 3:20-21
20 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.
21 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:
Below are more verses to read:
Mark 16:15-16 (Jesus speaking)
15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
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.
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;
1 John 5:8
And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
Biblical Baptism is Done by Immersion in Water
There is yet another tradition of men which has sought to pervert the good word of God; I write of the practice of simply pouring water over a person's head and calling that 'baptism'. This has no standing in the Bible, as can be clearly discerned in the following verses (he that hath ears to hear, let him hear):
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 straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon 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.
It is also written in the word of God that one gets buried with Christ in baptism:
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 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.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
11 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:
12 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.
Would you bury someone by sprinkling dirt on their head? Of course not; you would fully submerge that person under the ground. Likewise, if a person has died to their sins (through repentance) and wants to be buried with Christ, that person needs to be fully submerged under the water in the name of Jesus Christ.
Infant Baptism is Not Scriptural
The idea of baptizing infants is also non-Scriptural. A person is not supposed to be baptized unless he believes, as it is written:
36 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?
37 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.
These verses of Scripture make infant baptism a non-Scriptural practice because a new-born infant cannot comprehend or believe the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. A person must be able to understand and communicate clearly that they believe on the Lord Jesus Christ before they can be rightly baptized according to the gospel.