Bible Baptism, Immersion, Sprinkling, Or Pouring?

By Ron Halbrook

True faith in God moves and acts upon the basis of love for God. True faith in God comes by hearing his Word, not by hearing the theories and philosophies of men (Rom. 10:17; Col. 2:8). A professed faith which refuses to obey God is not genuine faith – it cannot save – it is dead (Jas. 2:17-26). Obedient faith is the genuine expression and natural result of love for the Lord. Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments. . . Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you” (Jn. 14:15; 15:14).

Christ commissioned his Apostles to preach the gospel, including baptism, so that sinners might be saved by his precious blood (Matt. 26:28; Mk. 16:15-16; Acts 2:38). If we truly believe the gospel and love the Savior,- we must be baptized, but what is this true baptism which is taught in the Bible? Are we to be baptized in rose petals, sawdust, sand, or water? Faith which acts by love will accept what the Bible says without changing it. What is the action of true Bible baptism – immersion, sprinkling, or pouring? The following chart shows that only one action performed in one element can match the full Bible description and definition of baptism.

Bible Baptism: Immersion? Sprinkling? Pouring?
Requires water (Acts 8:36) Yes Yes Yes
Much water (Jn. 3:23) Yes No No
Going unto the water (Acts 8:36) Yes No No
Going down into the water (8:38) Yes No No
Both the baptizer & the one to be baptized to go down into the water (8:38-39) Yes No No
A burial (Rom. 6:4) Yes No No
A resurrection (Col. 2:12) Yes No No
Born of water (Jn. 3:5) Yes No No
Body washed with water (Heb. 10:22) Yes No No
Coming up out of water (Acts 8:39) Yes No No

Do we believe and love God enough to do exactly what he commanded without changing it? God no more accepts sprinkling or pouring as the action of baptism than he accepts sawdust or sand as the element. We are ready to assist you if you never have been truly baptized for the remission of your sins.

Guardian of Truth XXXI: 15, p. 463
August 6, 1987