Pastor, Why? #17: Why be Baptized (Again)?

“The devil himself could not invent punishments more severe. The ‘baptizers’ were scourged, stoned, and dragged about; their goods were plundered; red-hot iron plates were applied to their bare bodies; they were placed in instruments made to torture criminals; they were put into the deepest and darkest places of the prisons where they were afflicted with excruciating torments, and then slain.” Their crime: adult baptism [-Pieter J. Twisck, 16th century Dutch church historian]. Multitudes have died throughout history for obeying Christ in Biblical baptism. Yet some Christians see baptism as optional, and many who were sprinkled or baptized and later converted, have not seen the need to be rebaptized. Is it necessary to be baptized, or to be baptized again? First, three clarifications, then ten reasons why Christians should be Biblicall baptized.

Baptism is not necessary for salvation

  • The repentant thief on the cross went to heaven but was never baptized.   (Luke 23:43)
  • Cornelius was saved and filled with the Holy Spirit before he was ever baptized.   (Acts 10:43-48)
  • Paul was glad he had not personally baptized most of his own converts in Corinth.   (1 Corinthians 1:14-17)
  • The overriding gospel theme is that NOTHING we can do morally, ceremonially, religiously, ritually, etc. can possibly earn salvation or merit with God.   (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5)

Baptism is for born-again believers only  (Acts 2:41; 8:36-37)

  • This truth precludes infant baptism since no infant can profess faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.
  • This truth demands rebaptism if one was “baptized” prior to their true salvation. Read Acts 19:3-5 where John the Baptist’s own disciples were re-baptized after they fully understood the gospel and accepted Jesus as their Savior.

Baptism in the Bible was always in the water (never sprinkling)

  • “Baptize” comes from the Greek word “baptizo”, which, according to every Bible Greek dictionary, means to immerse.
  • In each Biblical description of a baptism, participants went into the water and came up out of the water (Matt. 3; Acts 8).
  • Baptism pictures burial and resurrection (#8 and #9 on back). Non-immersion methods of Baptism are man-made and unbiblical.

Ten Reasons why followers of Christ should be baptized (or baptized again Biblically)

1.    Jesus, our supreme example, was baptized. (Matt. 3:13-17)

2.   The Father was pleased with the baptism of His Son, as with all who obey Him. (Matthew 3:16-17; 1 Thess. 4:1; 2 Tim. 2:4)

3.   Jesus’ closest disciples were baptized.   (John 4:1)

4.   Jesus’ closest disciples baptized His other followers. (Matthew 28:19; John 4:1-2)

5. Jesus’ later disciples, (the early church believers) were baptized.   (Acts 2:4; 10:48; 16:30; 18:12)

6.   The apostles commanded “every” disciple of Jesus in Acts to be baptized.   (Acts 2:38; 10:48)  

7. Every disciple of Jesus today ought to be baptized if physically possible and if comprehending its significance. (Matthew 28:19-20)

8.   Baptism proclaims to the world the gospel message of Jesus' own death, burial and resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

 

Baptism in water meant one was willing to be “baptized in blood.”

9.   Baptism illustrates our death to the old life and resurrection to the new life in Christ. (Colossians 2:12; Rom. 6:3-4)

10. Baptism states that I am willing to follow Christ to the death, just as John the Baptist and all the apostles.

  • It publicly affirms my conversion to Christ. (Romans 6:3-4)
  • It publicly affirms my commitment to Christ. (Matthew 10:32-33; Romans 1:16)

Do we baptize children? The Bible does not set a minimum age for salvation or baptism. Just as we must make sure of a clear understanding before encouraging a child toward a salvation decision, so it is important to be certain of a clear understanding of baptism before a child takes that step as well. I prefer to wait until the later preteen or teen years to baptize youth, especially in light of baptism’s statement in #10 below.

In New Testament times and in every time and place of persecution since then, one who was baptized in water was declaring that he was willing to face baptism “in blood” (Matthew 16:24; John 15:18). If you have not been Biblically baptized by immersion after your salvation, why not publicly take your stand as a disciple of Christ with the multitudes of martyrs and disciples before us?