Summary: 1. What is the meaning of water baptism? 2. Who may be baptised? 3. What is the method for water baptism? Includes Revision and Test exercises.

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Compiled by: Herman Abrahams (Senior Pastor), Cornerstone Faith Ministries, P.O. Box 740, Westridge 7802, Rep. of South Africa.


Note to the reader:

If you have been blessed with this sermon compilation, I would be honoured to receive an e-mail from you merely telling me where in the world you are based- I do not need any other information. This is merely so that I can have the pleasure of giving thanks to Almighty God that all over the globe the ministry which he has entrusted to me, is blessing the body of Christ and helping to extend the Kingdom of God. Thank you. Herman Abrahams, Cape Town, South Africa.


This study is taught in our church to new converts as part of our Foundation Series Bible Study Course. It is also used to explain the meaning of Water Baptism to potential Baptismal Candidates. Revision & Test Exercises are included.





In water Baptism the Christian declares his identification, or union, with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.

Read Romans 6 1-8

In Christ’s death (vs 3) - We also died, i.e. our old sinful nature died to sin.

In Christ’s burial (vs 4) - We buried our sinful nature.

In Christ’s resurrection (vs 4-5) - We were raised to a new life.

We experienced all this at our conversion. Therefore 2 Cor 5:17 says,

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come!” (NIV);

“When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same any more. A new life has begun” (The Living New Testament).

Baptism is an external symbol of an inward work of Grace which Christ has done.



Firstly one should note that the sacrament of baptism is not a theological deduction like, say, the doctrine of the Trinity, but something instituted by the Lord Jesus himself. This implies that He gave the commission to baptize on a specific occasion, and that those to whom He gave it - His disciples, and those who came after them - understood what He meant and applied it as He had told them.

In Matthew 28: 18-20 we read:

‘Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always to the very end of the age.”’

Together with this we should read Mark 16: 15-16:

‘He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptised, will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned”’.

Who then is to be baptised?

Those who believe or become disciples as a result of the preaching of the Gospel to all nations. That is how the disciples understood baptism and how they applied it.

In Acts 2: 14-36 we read of Peter’s sermon on the Day of Pentecost:

Those who were cut to the heart by it asked: “Brothers, what shall we do?” (verse 37).

In the following verse Peter answers them in this way: “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”. (NIV). In the 41st verse of the same chapter we read: “Those who accepted his message were baptised, and about three thousand were added to their number that day”.

In Acts 8: 5-12 we read that Philip preached the Gospel in Samaria.

And then, in verse 12: “ But when they believed Philip as he preached the Good News of the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptised, both men and women”.

In Acts 8:36-38 we read how the Ethiopian Eunuch accepted the faith. As a result he asked for Baptism and was baptised by Philip.

{N.B. All scripture quotations are from the New International Version of the Bible}.

We can see from the Biblical evidence provided that one must first believe (have faith/repent/accept the gospel message) and then be baptised.

{See also Acts 9:13-18, 10:44-48, 16:13-15, 16:30-34, 18:18, 19:1-5}


We have seen from the meaning of Baptism, that Baptism is a burial. This burial is symbolized by immersing (making fully wet) the one who has been converted and is now being baptised. Paul must have had immersion in mind when he wrote Romans chapter 6:1-8. The Greek word used for “baptism” is baptizo, which means, to make fully wet (to immerse). In the scriptural examples we see the following: “Much water” was needed for Baptism (John 3:23); The candidate “went down into the water” (Acts 8:38) and the candidate “came up out of the water”. (Mk 1:10; Acts 8:39)

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Ronnie Gautreaux

commented on Oct 4, 2006

This is an excellent teaching.

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