Friday, June 27, 2014

5. Believer’s Baptism by Immersion

Baptists believe that baptism is one of the two ordinances instituted by Jesus Christ. The other is the Lord’s Supper. When Jesus gave the Great Commission to his disciples in Matthew 28:18-20 he said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (E.S.V.) In obedience this command, Baptists baptize believers in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Baptism is meant to follow repentance and faith. When Peter spoke on the day of Pentecost he said to the people in Acts 2:38, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Baptists also believe that baptism is to be administered by the local church.
Baptists also believed that baptism should be by immersion. The Greek word for baptism means to dip, plunge or soak. Also full immersion in water is symbolic of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection and the believer’s death to sin and rising to new life in Jesus Christ. Baptism is a step of obedience and an act of identification with Jesus Christ. Jesus identified with us sinners through his baptism. We identify with him through ours. Galatians 3:27 says, "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." It is also a public proclamation of faith and an initiation into the Church of Christ. Believer’s baptism is a requirement for membership in Baptist churches.

Question:            Should Baptist churches accept into the membership Christians who have been baptized as believers by a mode other than immersion?

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