“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” Matthew 28:19
Water baptism is a command of Yahushua Mashiach / Christ to His disciples; this is what you every child of God should do as long they live after salvation. Water baptism is a symbolic burial, by which the new Christian publicly declares they have died, and are now beginning a new life, in Christ. Baptize is the English form of a Greek word which means to immerse: to place something into something else. In Christian water baptism, the believer is put completely under water, then immediately raised out of the water.
Water baptism is a statement of faith: my old life is behind me — I am a new person, with a new life.
Water baptism is a sign of repentance — repentance means change — a change so drastic that the old person is “buried.” It does not make you acceptable to God. As a work of righteousness, trying to obtain a good standing with God, it is worthless. Baptism before genuine salvation is meaningless, it is only after you experience genuine salvation that water baptism is to be obeyed.
Water baptism is a way of giving testimony to what has happened inwardly, and a clear commitment to turn from the old life.
Why Water Baptism?
Water baptism outwardly demonstrates what has happened inwardly.
Water baptism helps you to grasp the reality of the spiritual truth that the old “you” has died.
Water baptism is only as important as the participant believes it to be.
Water baptism is a public commitment. Unless the person really believes they died, there is no need for a burial.
It is not something we must do to impress God, but something to impress on our mind what happened to us inwardly. Water baptism is for our benefit — not God’s.
When To Do Water Baptism
Water baptism is about death — your death. (“Death” is the end of something.) Water baptism is your public declaration of your death. It is a public confession of faith: I have died to my old life and my old ways. By being baptized in water you are saying that you have died to sin, selfishness, and the world’s ways. Water baptism is a public burial of the old life. By asking for burial, you declare that you believe something has died. There is no need for a burial without a death. Burial is not absolutely required, but is recommended as the best course of action. So, generally, those who receive Yahushua Mashiach / Christ should normally be baptized in water.
In the book of Acts, water baptism always seemed to be done without delay. Although burial can take place at any time, the best time is immediately after death has been confirmed. Because of the system of various churches, one has to wait for time his local church organizes it.
Benefits Of Water Baptism
As we are baptized in water, we are in effect saying goodbye to our old life (self), and saying hello to a new creation who is IN Christ/Mashiach Yahushua. Because of death you are free from your old master the devil; now you have a new Master, the Lord Yahushua Mashiach / Christ.
A major benefit to the believer is the clean break that water baptism makes with their past. When the devil brings temptations and accusations concerning their old life — the believer can reply, “That person is dead and buried. I am a new person in Christ.”
Water baptism is a point of separation, dividing the old from the new. It says the past is dead and gone — drawing a clear line between the old life and the new, graphically imprinted on the mind of the believer.
At first glance, it seems that Yahushua coming to be baptized has no purpose at all. John’s baptism was the baptism of repentance (Matthew 3:11), but Yahushua was sinless and had no need of repentance. Even John was taken aback at Yahushua coming to him. John recognized his own sin and was aware that he, a sinful man in need of repentance himself, was unfit to baptize the spotless Lamb of God: “I need to be baptized by You and You are coming to me?” (Matthew 3:14). Yahushua replied that it should be done because “it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15).
Let me suggest a few
reasons that Yahushua submitted to baptism.,
1. This marked the “annointing” of Yahushua. This is when the Holy Spirit came on Yahushua in a special way. We do not know exactly what this means. In other words the Bible does
not make it clear exactly how Yahushua was changed when the Holy Spirit came upon him when he was baptized by John, but we have to assume that this was a very significant moment in the life and ministry of Yahushua. As it says in Matthew 3:16, it was
at that moment that the Spirit of God descended on Yahushua like a dove. This marked the beginning of the public ministry of Yahushua. This idea is enhanced by John 1:32-34. John the Baptist told the people that God had told him the one on whom the Spirit comes is the Son of God. This annointing of Yahushua was proof to John the Baptist, if not to others, of who Yahushua was.,
2. This event was the fulfillment of a prophecy in the form of a prefigure. The prefiguring event happened in 1 Samuel 16:13. When Samuel annointed David as scene which is a clear prefigure of the baptism of Yahushua occurred. Like David, the prefigure of the Messiah, on whom the Spirit came at his announting, the Spirit
came upon Yahushua
when he was annointed in his baptism.
3. The baptism of Yahushua served as a gesture of humility and submission of Yahushua to God and to the ministry of John the Baptist. This showed the humanity of Yahushua and his submission to the will of God.,
4. The baptism of Yahushua serves as an example to others. Yahushua asked all those who would follow him to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Math 28:19). Yahushua did not ask us to do something he was not willing to do. He did not need to be forgiven but he did need to demonstrate his submission to God and he did need to set an example to all of us in being baptized.
A Picture Sermon
Because it illustrates the central message of the Gospel, water baptism should be a tool for teaching and evangelism. Water baptism should help people understand the spiritual truths being proclaimed.
Water baptism pictures the most fundamental truths of the Gospel: the burial and resurrection of Christ, and of the believer in union with Him. By means of water baptism, we demonstrate to the world our identification with the crucified and risen Christ. By water baptism we testify that our old life is gone, and we are now joined with Yahushua. We are pledging ourselves to a new life, with Yahushua Mashiah / Christ Who died for us and rose again.
Water baptism also acknowledges that the person being immersed is indeed a Christian believer.
So, all who baptize should question converts, just as Philip did in Acts 8:37, to be sure of their commitment to Christ, before immersing them in water. Only those who accept the Lordship of Yahushua Mashiach / Christ should be baptized in water.
Which Formula Of Words?
MATTHEW 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
ACTS 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Yahushua Mashiach / Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Some people place great importance on certain words being spoken when a person is baptized in water. This is all religious tradition with no real meaning whatsoever. “In the name of Yahushua” can mean by the authority and command of Yahushua. Colossians 3:17 tells us our every word and deed should be in the name of the Lord Yahushua. Certainly, Colossians 3:17 does not mean we have to continually say, “I do this, or say this, in the name of Yahushua.” Claiming that certain words must be said at the time of water baptism, or that only certain special people can truly baptize you in water, makes water baptism into a magical rite — a work of man trying to be right with God.
The words spoken by the person baptizing you in water will not save you, or condemn you. Water baptism is not some magic ritual which makes you right with God. Water baptism is a testimony and picture-sermon of what God did in you, and not what God is doing at the moment. Water baptism simply dramatizes what happens when you experience genuine salvation of your soul.Even if no words are spoken over you during your water baptism, it is still a picture of burial and resurrection. Specific words are not what is important, but the attitudes and faith of the people involved are what matters.
When baptizing new believers, saying something like, “In the Name of the Lord Yahushua Mashiach / Christ, I baptize you into the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” is probably best. Then the devil cannot tempt them to think they were not baptized in the right name.
Must You Be Baptized To Be Saved, To receive Holy Spirit or To Make Heaven?
In Luke 23:39-43, we have the record of one of the criminals crucified with Yahushua acknowledging Him as Lord. LUKE 23:43 And Yahushua said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Yahushua told the repentant criminal he would be with Him in Paradise, even though he was not baptized in water.
Also, in Acts 10:44-48, Cornelius’ household became believers, received the Holy Spirit, and began speaking in tongues, before being baptized in water.
According to Yahushua (John 7:38-39, Mark 16:17), receiving the Holy Spirit happens only to those who are believers, and therefore saved. So, we must conclude that these believers were born again, and ready for Heaven, before they were baptized in water. TITUS 3:5, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” We are not saved by works of righteousness that we do. Many think, wrongly, of water baptism as a work that must be done to be right with God.
EPHESIANS 2:8-9, “ For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. “ If water baptism was necessary for salvation, then salvation would partly be by works, and not by grace.
1 CORINTHIANS 1:17, “ For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect.”
The apostle Paul, who received the Gospel direct from the risen Lord Yahushua, said he was not sent to baptize. If water baptism was necessary for salvation, that would not make any sense.
MARK 16:16 “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” What about Mark 16:16? Obviously, if water baptism was required for salvation, that requirement would be made clear throughout the New Testament — and it is not. Mark 16:16 could mean, “believes to the point of publicly confessing, by the act of water immersion.” Or, it could mean, “believes and is placed in Christ.” We should also note that the passage in question does not say, “He who believes and was baptized will be saved.” Only a present tense baptism guarantees a person’s salvation. That is to say: those who are IN CHRIST now, are saved.
Salvation cannot be dependent on physical surroundings — such as water being present for baptism — there are too many situations where water baptism would be impossible. Those who make this error do so because the word baptize was not translated and understood. Therefore, they think every mention in Scripture of the word baptize refers to water — which is not true.
Baptism in water is not necessary for salvation, but is beneficial for the believer. Water baptism provides a good foundation, if understood correctly.
Ungodly Church Practices Of Water Baptism
Some churches involve in ungodly practices in the process of carrying out water baptism; some of them are:
1, Sprinkling Baptism: Water baptism by sprinkling water is not biblical, the only biblical water baptism after salvation is by immersion. After your salvation, the convert needs to undergo water baptism by immersion.
2, Infant Baptism: Baptizing children is non biblical, only after a person is saved by his personal decision at the level of accountability that water baptism is necessary.
3, Monetary Attachment: Payment of money for water baptism is non-biblical, only worldly and lost churches demand payment of money, of any amount, from people who want to do water baptism. A Bible church will be ready to be responsible to take the financial responsibility of transportation to the location of baptism.
4, Mandatory Baptismal Card:Instructing people who are baptized to obtain a baptismal card or certificate free of charge or for money is unbecoming and ungodly. Baptismal card or certificate has nothing to do with water baptism. Water baptism should be simply carried out as commanded by Bible with the necessary things needed: Genuine salvation through repentance of the person to be baptized, water for immersion and a minister to baptize; anything more than these is ungodly and extra-biblical. A Bible church will stick to Bible instructions.
S U M M A R Y
The main points to remember about water baptism are:
* It does not make you a Christian, or right with God. It is only a symbolic act with no power to save you.
* It is a testimony of what has already happened inwardly in the believer — the death of their old life.
* Certain formulas of words are not vital.
* It is complete immersion into water.
* It is best done publicly.
* It should be done only by someone old enough to understand what they are doing.
* It should be done only by those who have received the Lord Yahushua Mashiach / Christ and are committed to Him.
Should you be baptized in water? Yes, if you understand clearly what you are doing, and sincerely mean what baptism signifies. Otherwise, you should not be baptized in water, because it will do you no good whatsoever. Water baptism could even harm you by giving you false hope.
Are you ready to rededicate your life to Yahushua now and start a new life? The repent! Confess all your sins, ready to forsake them all and ask Yahushua to forgive, cleanse you and save you.
GOD BLESS YOU!