Thursday, February 3, 2011

What the Bible Teaches About Baptism

What does the Bible teach about Baptism? If we look at the Bible, we can never see an infant baptized. The account where Jesus was brought to the temple does not indicate that Jesus was baptized but was presented to the temple as part of the Jewish custom and He was not an infant at that time.

The Bible teaches about believer’s baptism. This type of baptism uses baptism by immersion. In Matthew 3 we see Jesus baptized by John the Baptist and it mentions in verse 16 that Jesus went up out of the water implying that Jesus was immersed in the River Jordan. The word “baptized” in the same verse is the Greek word baptizo which means to immerse or submerge.

Biblical baptism also shows that only those who have repented of their sins and have trusted Jesus to save them were baptized. Obviously, infants do not have the capacity to make that personal decision that is why in our church we do not practice infant baptism or I do not accept infant Baptism invitations. Examples of those baptized are found throughout the book of Acts.

True, Biblical baptism does not make one a Christian. What makes a person a Christian is his decision to repent of his sins, ask God's forgiveness and put his faith in Christ as His Savior and make Jesus the Boss and Manager (Lord) of his life. After making this decision, then, follows baptism the purpose of which is as a public profession of his faith in Christ - much like a wedding ring is to the commitment a person makes in marriage. While the baptism that is taught in the Bible is not necessary for one's salvation, it is essential for a believer because it is commanded by Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20.