Summary: Requirements for scriptural baptism
I.Historical Aspect of Water Baptism
A.Baptism is first mentioned in the Bible in Matthew 3
B.John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, was preaching repentance toward God, then baptism after salvation.
C.As John was baptizing in the Jordan River, Jesus came to be baptized also. John however,felt unworthy. Jesus convinced him to do so, and he did.
D.After his baptism, Scripture tells us that God was pleased.
E.Baptism is mentioned only incidentally until the church was given the authority to baptize in Matthew 28
F.After this command, we find the church at Jerusalem preaching salvation and baptizing those who accepted Christ
G.Over and over in the book of Acts we find several people being won to the Lord, then being baptized
II.The Doctrinal Aspect of Water Baptism
A.There must be proper authority to baptize
1.John was given this authority
ii.Matthew 21:23-27 – John had authority from heaven
iii.Luke 20:1-8 – John’s authority could not be questioned
2.Christ did not do away with John’s baptism, but took pat in it and gave the authority to baptize to His church
3.In Matthew 3:13-17 we see that Jesus was baptized, fulfilling all righteousness.
i.God was very pleased
ii.This marked the beginning of Christ’s public ministry, just as our baptism and joining a church allows us to become involved in God’s redemptive work.
4.When Jesus gave the command to baptize to His church, He gave it only to His church.
i.Not to pastors – this is important
ii.Not to individuals as many today believe
iii.Only to the church body
B.We find that baptism must have the proper candidate
1.Acts 2:41 – those that received His Word were baptized
2.Acts 8:35-38 – the eunuch asked what hindered him from being baptized
3.Acts 16:14-15 – Lydia attended to the things spoken, then was baptized
4.Matthew 3:1-8 – John baptized those who had confessed sin and repented of it. He turned away the Pharisees who did not show forth fruits of repentance.
5.The proper candidate is a saved person.
C.Baptism must have the proper mode
1.Matthew 3:16, “When he came up out of the water…”
2.The word baptize means to dip, plunge or immerse; to overwhelm. This can only be done by completely submersing the candidate. We are to follow Bible examples and not the methods of convenience.
3.Baptism pictures the burial and resurrection of the believer who has died to sin, buried that old man, and has committed to walk in newness of life.
4.To baptize any other way than complete immersion is to mess up the picture.
D.Baptism must be done for the proper motive
1.1 Peter 3:21 says, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
2.Baptism is an act of obedience. It is not part of the plan of salvation. It has no saving power, nor can it help keep you saved.
3.It is only a picture of that which does save.
4.Commonly misused verses
5.There are many others, which would make for a good study, but the key thing to remember is that every verse of Scripture must harmonize with every other verse of Scripture.
6.Salvation is by faith through grace. It is the gift of God.
i.If a church teaches you can lose your salvation, we cannot recognize that baptism because that violates the proper authority in scriptural baptism.
ii.If a person was baptized before he was saved, we cannot recognize that baptism, because that violates the Bible teaching of the proper candidate. All the individual did was get wet.
iii.If the baptism was performed in any method other than by complete immersion, it is not valid.
iv.If the baptism was performed with the idea that it was a necessary part of salvation, it is not valid. Faith and works do not mix.
III.Practical Aspect of Water Baptism
A.Baptism is a beautiful picture of what Christ has done for each of us. He died, was buried and rose again. He did all this in order that we might have eternal life. Do you have that eternal life?
B.If you have never been baptized, or baptized scripturally, this is your next step of obedience as a child of God.
C.Those who have been baptized need to be constantly reminded that we have a purpose, we have committed to walk in newness of life.