STEP SEVEN – Exercise #4: Baptism

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The practice of baptism is based directly on Jesus’ command (Matthew 28:19). If you are concerned about obeying the Lord, it is very difficult to avoid the importance of this practise in the New Testament. If you are a follower of Jesus and are concerned with living in fellowship with the Lord and pleasing Him, you will be concerned about baptism.


Baptism is not:

Baptism is not the door to church membership. It is personal salvation that places one in the universal church of Christ. One is a member of the local church by virtue of his membership in the universal church.

Baptism is not the washing away of sins. The washing away of one’s sins (Acts 22:16) is by calling on the name of the Lord and not by baptism. Only by the blood of Jesus (by His death on the cross) can your sins be washed away.

Baptism is not a condition for salvation, but it is expected to accompany it. The essential for salvation is faith (Acts 16:30-31). In 1 Corinthians 1:17 the apostle makes a clear distinction between baptism and the gospel.


Baptism is:

Baptism is a confession of identification with Christ. The believer that is baptised identifies publicly with Christ in His death and acknowledges that the old man has been crucified and buried with Christ and raised to a new life. He also indicates his desire and intention with the enabling power of the Holy Spirit to walk in newness of life.

Read Romans 6:3-5 and explain in your own words what it means:





How should I be baptized?

Baptism is by immersion

Baptists believe that the immersion of a person’s entire body in water was the only biblical way to baptize. This mode of baptism is based on the Bible for several reasons:

o   The English word “baptize” comes from the Greek word “baptizo” and means “to dip, submerge, or immerse.”

o   John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan River by immersion as Jesus began his public ministry (Matt 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11).

o   Christ’s disciples were baptized by immersion (Acts 8:36-39).

o   Immersion in water is also theologically consistent with the symbolic meaning of baptism, declaring that Christ died, was buried and was resurrected to provide salvation, but also of testifying about our own hope of resurrection (Rom 6:5).

o   The New Testament teaches that immersion is a way to symbolize that a believer has died to an old way and is alive to walk a new way in Christ (Rom 6:3-4; Col 2:11-12).


Believer’s baptism vs. Infant baptism

Believer’s baptism involves a person that hears the gospel, accept Jesus as their personal Saviour and choose to be baptised whereas an infant does none of these things. With infant baptism, the choice is made by someone else.

Those who baptise infants hold to the believe that the act of baptising sets the child apart and secures salvation. However, the practise of infant baptism is never implied in scriptures. Since an infant cannot make an informed decision to follow Jesus, their baptism has no spiritual significance.

Some defenders of infant baptism claim that baptism replaces the Jewish practice of circumcision, citing Colossians 2:11-13 as New Testament support, and is therefore appropriate for infants. However, the Jerusalem council in Acts 15 was called to clarify circumcision, long after the practice of baptism was established. In the Old Covenant, males were circumcised. In the New Covenant, all male and female, Jew and Greek, bond and free were baptised.

We have already established the fact that baptism is not an essential to becoming a member of the church, your sins being washed away and a condition for salvation. However, there are biblical examples that show baptism usually immediately followed conversion.

Believer’s baptism is an important first step of obedience in following Jesus and therefore believers should seriously consider being baptised. Baptism does not contribute to salvation, but it is the result of salvation.


Have you been baptised? ____________________ When? ____________________________

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