Baptism of Believers
In the N.T. there is no thought of a believer remaining unbaptized. Acts 2:41
It is God’s appointed way of confessing Christ by an action. Matthew 10:32,33
It follows upon profession of faith in Christ. Mark 16:16
No one should wait to be baptized until he or she fully understands its significance. Acts 8:35-38 Acts 9:18 Acts 10:47,48 Acts 16:15 Acts 16:33
Christians should always obey the truth already known. Further light and knowledge will come later. The only essential condition for baptism is that of true saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." Acts 8:37
In early Christian times, it often involved persecution and death. The same is true in many cultures today. It is a step which should not be undertaken lightly and not until sure of genuine commitment to Christ.
It is the first action of a true disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. Matt 28:19 Mark 16:15,16
It signifies and proclaims:
- Identification with Christ in His death burial and resurrection. Col 2:12
- Faith in Christ and commitment to Him.
- Identification with the Christian community
- Commitment to forsake the former sinful life and to live the new life in Christ. Rom 6:4
It does not save us but it symbolizes the spiritual baptism which does save us. 1 Peter 3:21 (See KJV) Rom 6:1-11 Col 2:12.
In Acts 2:38 where baptism is said to be for the remission of sins and in Acts 22:16 where Paul was told to "...be baptized and wash away your sins," baptism should be seen as an expression of faith in Christ, since the Scripture makes it clear that we have remission of sins and cleansing from sin only through the blood of Christ. Heb 9:12,22 1 John 1:7 Rev 1:5 Rev 7:14 Rom 3:25 Acts 15:9
It does not give us new birth. 1 Peter 1:23 James 1:18 John 3:8 John 1:13
Baptism by immersion in water is the only mode of baptism which represents death, burial and resurrection.
Baptism should be "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Matt 28:19 Acts 19:1-5
As long as this is done, any Christian may baptize another.