Bible Questions

Bible Questions

What is baptism?

It is an act of obedient discipleship, appointed by Christ, and administered in the name of the Trinity. It symbolises repentance, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and confession of His Lordship, admittance into the family of God, entry into all the benefits of His death and resurrection, and the desire to live a new life through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Baptism was appointed by Christ Himself for all disciples.

Christ Himself was baptized, setting an example to all who would follow Him (Mark 1:9-11; Matthew 3:13-17; Luke 3:21, 22).

Speaking of His own baptism, He declared it an act of obedience in order to fulfil all righteousness, that is to say, in order to do all that God requires (Matthew 3:15).

Baptism was Christ's practice with regard to those who became His disciples during His ministry (John 3:22, 26; 4:1) although Christ did not Himself baptise, leaving it to His disciples (John 4:2).

Baptism was part of the great commission, given to the apostles, after the Resurrection, to be the first thing in which believers were to be instructed of all that Christ commanded (Matthew 28:19, 20; Mark 16:15, 16).

Baptism is an outward sign of repentance - of turning in repentance from sin to God

It is administered in the name of the Trinity.

It is to be administered always in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).

The identity of the baptizer is unimportant (John 4:2; 1 Corinthians 1:14-17) - this fact may explain why our Lord refrained from baptizing disciples (John 4:2), and why Paul and Peter appear to have done the same (1 Corinthians 1:14-16; Acts 10:48).

It is a symbol of the individual's reception of the gospel.

It is the consequence of the Lord having opened an individual's heart to give heed to the gospel (Acts 16:14, 15).

It is a mark of a person's reception of the gospel - of the Word of the Lord (Acts 2:37, 38, 41; 8:12).

It should follow immediately upon confession of faith in Christ (Acts 2:38).

It is the first act of obedient discipleship (Acts 9:18; 16:14, 15, 33; 22:16).

It is a badge of discipleship (Matthew 28:19; John 3:22).

It is an experience that every Christian is to share (Ephesians 4:5).

It is taken for granted in the New Testament that all believers will be baptized (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38, 41; 8:12; 10:47; Romans 6:3; 1 Corinthians 1:13; Galations 3:27).

It symbolizes repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Baptism is an outward sign of repentance - of turning in repentance from sin to God (Acts 2:38).

It is the personal expression of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His gospel (Mark 16:15, 16; Acts 8:12, 13, 36-38; 16:31- 33).

Participation in baptism is the confession of Christ's Lordship.

Baptism is always associated with Christ's name, in that the individual makes a public confession concerning Him (Acts 2:38; 8:16; 22:16).

It is the acknowledgment of Jesus as Lord (Acts 2:38; Romans 10:9, 10; 1 Corinthians 12:3).

It implies the beginning of committed fellowship with, and allegiance to, the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38-42; 10:47, 48; Galations 3:26, 27).

It is the public testimony of the individual that he or she has become Christ's property (Acts 16:15; 19:5) - the expression 'in the name' of someone being used commercially for the transfer of property.

As Lord, Christ's command is to be obeyed (Mark 16:16); to Him the believer must be faithful (Acts 16:14, 15).

It symbolizes admittance into God's family.

It marks the believer's admittance into God's family, the Church of Christ (Acts 2:38-47; 9:17, 18).

It is the outward sign of a believer's new birth into God's family (John 3:5).

It is a mark of his or her entry into the membership of Christ's body (1 Corinthians 12:13).

It symbolises entry into all the benefits of Christ's death and resurrection.

Baptism is a visual aid of the gospel, in that it portrays Christ's death and resurrection and the salvation that comes to men and women as they turn in repentance and faith to Christ (Romans 6:3, 4).

It is a picture of an individual entering into the benefits of the new covenant, sealed with Christ's blood, even as Noah, believing God's promise to him, entered the ark (1 Peter 3:18- 22).

It is, therefore, a picture of a Christian's cleansing from sin through Christ's death (Acts 2:38) - it is the outward and visible sign of inward and spiritual cleansing (Acts 22:16; Hebrews 10:22).

It speaks symbolically of the gift and blessing of new life by the gift and indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). To experience the reality of what baptism signifies, the individual must be born again of God's Spirit (John 3:5; 1 Corinthians 12:13).

Participation in baptism expresses the desire individuals have to live a new life through the power of the Holy Spirit.

It is a symbolical burial of believers' old life (Romans 6:3, 4; Colossians 2:12), and renunciation of their old relationship to sin, because Christ's death has become their death by faith (Romans 6:11, 12).

It is a symbol of the beginning of the new life in Christ, of participation in the resurrection life of the Lord Jesus Christ, that is possible by the help and power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:4, 5; Colossians 2:11, 12).

It is a symbol of believers' willingness to present their bodies to God, as instruments for the doing of God's will (Romans 6:13).

It symbolises the end of our service of sin, and the beginning of our committed service to God (Romans 6:16, 17).