“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."
This scripture shows how baptism is part of the gospel that you must believe and obey to be saved.
I have heard many sermons saying that baptism is not really necessary for salvation. But the apostles who wrote the bible taught that baptism was needed very urgently after believing on Jesus. You find in Acts 2:38 how Peter on the day of Pentecost preached, “Repent and be baptized,” and the people who believed were baptized the same day. (verse 41)
The apostle Paul thought baptism was so urgently needed that he once baptized some people in the middle of the night after preaching to them. And Paul was still suffering from a brutal beating received just a few hours before. Part of Paul’s preaching that night obviously was the need to be baptized. Read the account in Acts 16:25-34.
These examples show us the “Faith that was once delivered to the saints.” Preachers today don’t do it like this because they have “learnt better.” The degree to which you differ from plainly revealed bible doctrine is a measurement of how far you have backslid from the truth. God wants us to return to the way things were done in the Bible.
Every place in the Bible where baptism is described, it is always complete immersion in water. This is how Jesus was baptized.
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water:
He had to first go
into the water before he could
come up out of the water. From
this we see Jesus was not sprinkled with water but immersed when baptized.
And Philip baptized the eunuch from Ethiopia. Notice how they went “down into the water.”
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.
descriptions of Biblical baptisms. Anything other than this does not fulfill the
command of Jesus to be baptized. Jesus himself gave us the example of how to be
baptized and we must do like him.
Baptism represents a death, burial, and resurrection. (Romans 6:3-11) Baptism would have to be complete immersion to be a type of burial. No one just sprinkles dirt on dead people, but they are completely buried.
What Should People Say When Baptizing Someone?
Jesus said, “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” Matt. 28:19
We know what name Jesus was referring to because the apostles baptized in the name of Jesus. The old testament name of God was Jehovah. The name Jehovah was mostly removed from the King James Bible and replaced with LORD. The only name we use now is the new testament name of Jesus. The Holy Spirit is also called the Spirit of Christ or Spirit of Jesus.
If someone is baptized using the exact words from Matthew 28:19, they have in effect been baptized in the name of Jesus since you would be referring to the same name that Jesus was referring to. But the correct method would be to say, “I baptize you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
You must be baptized to be saved
To refuse to be baptized would be disobedience and no one who refuses to obey God will be saved. The only exception would be people who want to be baptized, but for some reason cannot be baptized. For example, people in prison sometimes are not allowed to be baptized after hearing and believing the gospel. Or if a sick person hears and believes the gospel but is too ill to be baptized. Being ashamed to be baptized is not an acceptable reason. God will expect obedience from you if you are able to be baptized.
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