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  • Writer's pictureBenjamin Lee

A Shocking Truth About Baptism: Immersion

The word Baptism is found often in the New Testament scriptures. There’s a man by the name of John the Baptist in Matthew 3:1. He’s referred to as the Baptist, not because he was a part of the Baptist church, but rather because he baptized so many people. He had a message of repentance and baptism for the forgiveness of sins. Hence, the title John the Baptist.

 

Jesus, Peter, Paul, and others spoke about Baptism as they taught people. Questions arise when Baptism is discussed. Some questions include the following:

  • Is baptism an immersion or a sprinking?

  • What is the purpose of baptism?

  • Who can be baptized?

  • Is one saved before baptism?

 

I want to begin by addressing, “Is baptism an immersion or a sprinkling?” Biblical baptism is “an immersion” in water. That’s shocking for a lot of people to hear. That’s because many teach that baptism is nothing more than a sprinkling in water.

 

First, consider the word “Baptism.” The word in the language the New Testament was written in (Greek) is “baptize.” It means to immerse, submerge, to make whelmed (i.e. fully wet).

 

Second, consider how the word is used in the Scriptures.

 

Matthew 3:5-6 - “Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the district around the Jordan; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.” 

  • This was John the Baptist who was preaching a message of repentance and baptism.

  • Notice the crowds came to the Jordan River. They came to where there was much water.

 

Matthew 3:13-17“Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, ‘I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?’ But Jesus answering said to him, ‘Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he permitted Him. After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.’

  • Notice the text says Jesus came up immediately from the water.

  • That means He also went down into the water.

  • That’s because baptism is an immersion in water.

 

Acts 8:38: “And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing.”

  • Philip the Evangelist baptized this African man.

  • Notice they both went down into the water. Why? Because baptism is a burial in water.

  • They both went down, and they both came back up.  

Romans 6:3-4 “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore, we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” 

  • Baptism is a burial in water whereby faith one reaches the blood of Jesus that cleanses them of their sins.

 

Why is it then that so many teach Baptism is nothing more than a sprinkling? Many teach that because of the traditions of men, rather than following the New Testament pattern. To be pleasing and right with God, we must follow His standard. Is this shocking to you?

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