By Richard Boone
Numerous opinions exist about baptism. Let me assure the reader that I am not interested in my or anyone else’s opinions on any Bible subject. I am only interested in speaking as the oracles of God (1 Pet. 4:11). Having full assurance that we can understand the Bible (Eph. 3:3-5; 5:17), we shall let the Scriptures speak to us on this subject. In a very simple approach, consider some basics about Bible baptism with me.
What Is Baptism?
Many religious groups presently offer the choice of immersion, sprinkling, or pouring for “baptism.” However, what does the New Testament say that the act of baptism is?
According to Romans 6:3-4 and Colossians 2:12, baptism is a “burial.” Friend, one is not buried in water when the practice of sprinkling or pouring occurs. “Burial” can only be satisfied by the act of immersion. The other two actions are not sufficient to meet what the Scriptures say that baptism is.
Why Be Baptized?
There are several reasons given in the New Testament stating why one needs to be baptized. It is an act of faithful obedience to Christ who has all authority (Matt. 28:18-20). Just as Christ’s blood was shed “for the remission of sins” (Matt. 26:28), one is also baptized “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). Baptism washes away sins (Acts 22:16). It puts one in Christ (Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27). It saves (1 Pet. 3:21). Many people think baptism is not necessary for salvation. In light of these plain passages, what do you think?
Who Can Be Baptized?
Modem practice allows baptism for nearly anyone. Small infants are baptized as well as adults. Does this harmonize with New Testament teaching and practice?
The following conditions must be met before one is a proper candidate for baptism. One must believe that God is (Heb. 11:6). He must accept Christ as God’s Son (John 8:24; 20:30-31). Motivated by this faith, he must repent of his sins, as Peter told those believers on Pentecost (Acts 2:37-38). One must confess with his mouth that Christ is the Son of God (Acts 8:37; Rom. 10:9-10). Upon this confession, one is immersed into Christ (Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27) which gives one the remission of sins (Acts 2:38) by the blood of Christ (Matt. 26:28). These are the conditions set forth in the New Testament for scriptural baptism. As a footnote, infants and small children cannot meet these conditions.
Dear reader, have you complied with these Bible requirements to become a child of God? If not, why not? God does not require the impossible of us. He has given us his will which can be understood and obeyed. We will give an ac-count of our obedience to his will on the Judgment Day (2 Cor. 5:10). We stand ready and willing to assist you in your obedience to God at any time.
Guardian of Truth XLI: 3 p. 8
February 6, 1997