Chapter Seventeen: Baptism (pg 25 of 29)
Chapter 17. BAPTISM
a. Proper Mode of Baptism. The religious world recognizes many modes or methods of what it calls "baptism." However, the scriptures teach only one method of baptism. The word "baptize" means to "immerse"; and that is the Bible mode of baptism. God's word does not authorize baptism by any other means. The following verses clearly declare that baptism is by immersion:
Baptism, as taught by the above scriptures, is an immersion in water to show forth the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. No form or mode of water baptism teaches that lesson as well as the scriptural mode, which is burial under water and being brought forth from the watery grave! Sprinkling pouring or any other means of "baptism" does not teach this and is not consistent with the instruction of scripture.
It should be remembered that baptism is not an ordinance to save us or cleanse us from sin, but rather it is an act of obedience and following the example of Jesus:
Baptism does not put away sin or the filth of the flesh, but it is a figure to teach what Christ has done for his children. It is the responsibility of every child of God to follow the example of their Lord in baptism.
b. Proper Subject of Baptism Scriptural instruction regarding baptism requires that there be a proper subject or candidate for baptism. A proper subject for baptism must exhibit a change of life by showing a repentance for their sins and a faith in God and his work. This principle was applied by John the Baptist when he told the Pharisees and Sadducees that came to his baptism:
A propert subject for baptism should also show forth a belief and faith in God. When Philip preached the gospel to the eunuch, the eunuch ask what hindered him from being baptized? Philip instructed the eunuch:Matthew 3:7-8 O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:... .
c. Proper Administrator of Baptism Just as scriptural baptism requires a proper mode of baptism and a proper subject for baptism, it also requires a proper administrator of the baptism. Scripture is clear that there may be immersion without there being scritpural baptism..A clear example of this is found in Acts 19 which records the circumstances of Paul encountering disciples at Ephesus. They informed Paul that they had been baptized unto John's baptism, but they had not heard whether there "be any Holy Ghost." Acts 19:3. Paul then preached Jesus to them:Acts 8:36-37 ... 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 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Obviously, these disciples had been satisfied with their baptism until they were taught better by Paul. Paul taught them the gospel of Jesus Christ, when when they heard this they realized that they had been immersed but that they had not been baptised. Whay was wrong with their baptism? They had been baptised by one that was not a teacher of gospel truth. They had not so much as heard whether there was even a "Holy Ghost." When they were instructed in the gospel truth, they then sought baptism by Paul.