Note: The English word baptize is from the Greek "baptizo", meaning "to immerse". In the Bible, "to bury beneath the water".
According to Jesus, how important is baptism?
"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". John 3:5
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved". Mark 16:16
Who was first to administer baptism in the New Testament?
"In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand... Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins". Matthew 3:1-6
Why was John baptizing in the wilderness?
"And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized". John 3:23
Note: John needed "much water" to baptize. The practice of sprinkling or pouring for baptism crept into the church during the twelfth century AD. History preserves this record: "For several centuries after the establishment of Christianity, baptism was usually conferred by immersion; but since the twelfth century, the practice of baptism by infusion (pouring) has prevailed in the Catholic Church, as this manner is attended with less inconvenience than baptism by immersion. The Church exercises her discretion in adapting the most convenient modes, according to the circumstances of time and place". James Cardinal Gibbons, Faith of Our Fathers, 94th edition, pg. 277 (emphasis supplied).
How do we know that Jesus was baptized by immersion?
"And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him". Mark 1:10
Why was it necessary for Jesus to be baptized?
"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 fulfil all righteousness". Matthew 3:13-15
Note: "Jesus did not receive baptism as a confession of guilt on His own account. He identified Himself with sinners, taking the steps that we are to take, and doing the work that we must do. His life of suffering and patient endurance after His baptism was also an example to us". E.G.White, Desire of Ages, pg.111.
Bible Conditions For Baptism:
1. "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". Acts 2:38
2. "And the eunuch answered Philip, and said..., 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". Acts 8:34-37
3. "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". Matthew 28:19, 20
Peter preached Jesus as "Christ" on the Day of Pentecost. How did the people respond?
"Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls". Acts 2:41
What instruction was given to Paul after he understood the Plan of Salvation?
"And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord". Acts 22:16
What spiritual lessons are experienced in baptism?
"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. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin". Romans 6:3-6
Note: By baptism we declare our faith in our Savior's death, burial, and resurrection. Being baptized into His death, we die to our sins. Being buried with Him by baptism, we bury our past sinful life. Finally, we are raised to new spiritual life "in the likeness of His resurrection".
"For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ". Galatians 3:27
"Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever". Jude 24,25
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