Baptism According to the
derivative of 911; to immerse, submerge; to
make whelmed (i.e. fully wet); used only (in
the New Testament) of ceremonial ablution,
especially (technically) of the ordinance of
Christian baptism:--Baptist, baptize, wash.
There are probably as many views
concerning baptism in the church of today as there are
denominations. Some churches believe baptism is an
option, and not really required, some believe it is a
requirement. Still others believe baptism is both a
requirement and necessary. There are those who say
baptism is only by total immersion in water and others
believe it is not necessary to be completely submerged.
Some baptize infants and small children, others reject
the very idea. Some believe in being baptized a second
time, others call it damnable to believe that.
Just what is the truth about
baptism? Where can we find the answers? How can we know
it is the RIGHT answer. After all, IF baptism is a
requirement, we would certainly want to be right in
following it wouldn't we?
The answer to
all of our questions lies in
the Word of God alone. No other doctrine, explanation,
book, dogma, church teaching, tradition, etc is needed.
The Word of God gives us everything we need to find our
Why the controversy? Why are there
so many people who hold different beliefs concerning
baptism? I thought there was a "common" salvation (Read
Jude...he spoke of it) that all men were required to
So why, then, are there so many
viewpoints and why do some "Christians" get extremely
angered over this? Only God Himself knows.
Perhaps it is because people
are ignorant of what the Bible teaches about
baptism. (Remember, the word 'ignorant' is not
really a bad word ... it simply means you DON'T
Perhaps people have not really
been instructed according to the bible, but have
rather been taught from some church doctrine, or
other book, letter, etc.
Perhaps people are indifferent
toward baptism. Maybe they have no beliefs
concerning it one way or another.
It could be that they are
afraid to come forward and admit that they have
never been baptized even though they know they
Perhaps they are just being
stubborn and rebellious against God. (Surely there
is no one in the church today who would act that way
In any case, let's study (as
instructed to do in 2 Timothy 2:15) the subject of
baptism to see what the bible has to say about it.
What is Baptism?
From Webster's Dictionary we get:
Main Entry: bapĚtism
Pronunciation: 'bap-"ti-z&m, (esp Southern 'bab-)
Etymology: Middle English baptisme
Date: 14th century
1 a : a Christian sacrament marked by ritual use of
water and admitting the recipient to the Christian
community b : a non-Christian rite using water for
ritual purification c Christian Science : purification
by or submergence in Spirit
2 : an act, experience, or ordeal by which one is
purified, sanctified, initiated, or named
Well, that doesn't give us a whole
lot, so let's look at the word as it is used in the
bible. In the passages dealing with the (as described
above in Webster's), "ritual" of baptism, we will
quickly find that we get the word BAPTIZO from the
Look at the Strong's definition of
baptizw baptizo bap-tid'-zo
from a derivative of 911; to
immerse, submerge; to make whelmed (i.e. fully wet);
used only (in the New Testament) of ceremonial ablution,
especially (technically) of the ordinance of Christian
baptism:--Baptist, baptize, wash.
See Greek 911
So we see that the word Baptize
means TO MAKE FULLY WET, to SUBMERGE, to IMMERSE. Since
the BIBLE is the final authority in all scriptural
matters, we must conclude that baptism is by IMMERSION
ONLY... by making FULLY WET ... or SUBMERGING the one
being baptized. From this point forward, when the
subject of baptism is being discussed, you should
automatically think "SUBMERGED".
"Sprinkling" as used in some
churches today is not a valid means of baptism according
to the Word of God. Basically put ... If you were not
'baptized' by being fully submerged under the water,
friend, you were NOT BAPTIZED at all according to the
As we continue in the study, we
will quickly see that there are NO examples of
"sprinkling" with water, but there are examples of
Now that we know what Baptism is
let's discuss it's purpose.
What is the Purpose of Baptism?
From the first time we see baptism
(I'm not referring to "figures, shadows, or fore types"
of baptism as found in many old testament passages), is
during the days of John The Baptist (or the Baptizer, if
you prefer). Let's look at Matthew chapter 3 and verses
1-11. (We'll cover the rest of the verses dealing with
this matter a little later).
In verse 2 and again in verse 6, we
see that John's message was one of REPENTANCE. We see
something in verse 6, though, that baptism and
repentance seemed to go hand in hand. Verse 6 states
"And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their
Verse 7 gets interesting: We have a
prophet, John by name, who is clearly acting according
to the will of God and under direction of God. He is
doing something that appears to be a new thing. Here he
is commanding people to repent and to be baptized, BUT,
as we will soon see, it wasn't meant for all people.
Let's continue this on the next