In light of the upcoming baptisms to take place at GLBBC during the Sunday evening service, this forum would like to provide a quick primer on the topic of scriptural Baptism. There is only one way to be baptized, and only one type of person that should be baptized. Clearly in scripture, baptism is commanded for the Christian.
1. Members of Baptism
Who can be baptized? Only those who have been saved by trusting Christ for salvation can be baptized. “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized…” (Acts 2:41) This would eliminate baptism as a rite to be performed on infants and unbelievers. Only as an individual gives testimony of salvation should he be baptized. Baptism comes only after salvation. “He answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God…and he baptized him.” (Acts 8:37,38)
2. Motives of Baptism
There are three reasons or motives for scriptural baptism:
A. Commanded by Christ
“And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord…” (Acts 10:48)
B. Example of Christ
Jesus’ baptism is recorded in Matthew 3:13-17. “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.” (Mt 3:13)
C. Identification with Christ
Baptism is an outward picture of an inward grace. Baptism is important because it presents a picture of the gospel, which is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. “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.” (Col 2:12)
3. Mode of Baptism
Since baptism is to be a picture of salvation, it is important that it pictures the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Hence, the method shown in the Bible is baptism by immersion. The word “baptize” means to dip, to plunge, or to sink beneath the water by immersion. “And they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.” (Acts 8:38)
Often when a person is baptized, the pastor will say something that shows the picture of the gospel, such as, “I baptize you my brother/sister in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; buried in the likeness of His death, raised in the likeness of his resurrection.” Would you like to follow Christ’s example in believer’s baptism?