Water Baptism

Baptism 7 in the series of 7 Baptisms

 

In the Old Covenant John baptized with water, a physical act under the Old Covenant law to wash away one’s sins. Jesus brought a new baptism into the New Covenant, the spiritual Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit could only be given after Jesus had atoned for our sins, by His sacrificial death on the cross. By His grace we can become spiritually holy, which allows the Holy Spirit to come into our hearts. And when we accept the Spirit into our hearts we become spiritually one with our God, His holy children.

*John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Mk 1:4 NASB+

*I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." Mk 1:8 NKJV+

 

The water baptism Jesus instituted before He ascended into Heaven was a culmination of all of the other 6 baptisms. Water baptism is not needed for our salvation. Only the baptism of the Spirit saves us, and can happen before, during or after our water baptism (See Baptisms of the Spirit).

*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, Matt 28:19 NKJV+

*You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. Ro 8:9 NIV+

 

To be saved we must be given the Spirit. We must live in the Spirit, and walk in His ways.

*And he preached, saying, "There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." Mk 1:7-8 NKJV+

*And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Gal 5:24-25 NKJV+

 

Jesus asked all who would follow Him to be baptized with water, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” All who really want to change their lives, want to follow our Lord, receive spiritual blessings as we are baptized.  As we trust in the words of Jesus, are washed with water, and receive the laying on of hands, our sins are forgiven, and we are given the Holy Spirit, spiritual gifts from Him. Physically we are showing what is spiritually happening within us, as we show all we are part of the body of Christ, members of His one true church.

*Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Ac 2:38 NASB+

*When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Ac 19:5-6 NKJV+

*so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Ro 12:5 NKJV+

 

Water baptism is either foreshadowed by, a combination of, or the culmination of the other 6 baptisms. See Seven Different Baptisms

 

1. Israel was baptized into Moses as their mediator, foreshadowing how we would be baptized into Jesus as our mediator. Israel was baptized with the mist from the Red Sea walls which they passed through. They were given the clouds to follow, which represented the Holy Spirit. We are baptized with water to show we are part of body of Christ, the one true spiritually invisible church. We are given the Spirit to follow all the days of our lives.

*Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 1Co 10:1-2 NKJV+

*For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. Gal 3:26-29 NKJV+

 

The physical action of being washed with water, of speaking words, will not save us if we are not spiritually changed. Most who had been baptized into Moses as their mediator, would not follow their God, were not saved. They did not spiritually believe in their God, believe in His promise to send a Messiah to save them. Likewise not all who receive water baptism will be saved. Only those who give up our human will, spiritually accept the Spirit into our hearts, and love our God above all things.

*all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 1Co 10:3-4 NKJV+

*But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. 1Co 10:5 NKJV+

*And it shall come to pass in all the land," Says the Lord, "That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, But one-third shall be left in it: I will bring the one-third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, 'This is My people'; And each one will say, 'The Lord is my God.' " Zec 13:8-9 NKJV+

 

2. John’s Baptism was a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. This foreshadowed the forgiveness we will receive through Christ’s atoning grace on the cross. We receive forgiveness in sanctification, in the Baptism of the Spirit, by repentant prayer. We also receive forgiveness in water baptism, because Jesus will forgive the sins of any who will give up their will, be baptized, and follow Him.

*If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1Jn 1:9 NKJV+

*And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.' Ac 22:16 NKJV+

 

3. Jesus was required to become righteous by being washed with water, before beginning His ministry. Jesus was then anointed by the Holy Spirit, becoming the first man to receive the indwelling of the Spirit. This foreshadowed the new baptism Jesus would offer and give to us in the New Covenant. Jesus would baptize us with the Holy Spirit, because through His death on the cross He atoned for our sins. This allowed our Heavenly Father to spiritually wash away our sins, allowing the Spirit to come into our hearts

*how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. Ac 10:38 NKJV+

*And John bore witness, saying, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God."  Jn 1:32-34 NKJV+

 

4. Jesus would be baptized, tempted with many trials. Yet He always did the will of His Father, including being brutally crucified to save us from our sins. When we come to Jesus, are baptized, we are also baptized into the many trials and temptations all believers will face. We will sin, but will have our sins forgiven by our faith in the atoning grace of Jesus. Those who do not pass the trials all believers will face, will not remain one with our Savior, will be cast by Him into the unquenchable fire.

*"I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished!  Lk 12:49-50 NKJV+

*But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized? "They said to Him, "We are able." And Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink you shall drink; and you shall be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized. Mk 10:38-39 NASB+

*John answered and said to them all, "As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. "His winnowing fork is in His hand to thoroughly clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into His barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."  Lk 3:16-17 NASB+

 

Baptism of the Spirit can happen before, during, or after water baptism. See Baptisms Of The Spirit

 

Before

*"Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have."  Ac 10:47 NIV+

 

During

*Peter replied, "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. Ac 2:38 NIV+

 

After

*When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. Ac 8:15-17 NIV+

 

We can also receive water baptism without receiving the Spirit, any baptisms from the Spirit. Any who will not give up their will, will not have their sins forgiven, will not receive the Spirit. 

 

5. Water baptism physically shows what is spiritually happening within us when we are baptized with the Holy Spirit. It symbolizes our Heavenly Father spiritually washing us with pure water to take away our inherited sin, all our other sins, through the atoning grace of Jesus. So we can become spiritually holy, can be given the indwelling of the Spirit. We can spiritually come into the body of Christ, His Holy Church. And we receive the laying on of hands to bring blessings from the Spirit.

*Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Eze 36:25-26 NKJV+

*who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. Ac 8:15-17 NKJV+

 

6. Water baptism physically shows what has happened to us if we have already received the baptism of the Spirit. It shows how our Heavenly Father has spiritually washed away our sins. The words, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” show we have come into the body of Christ. And the Spirit will give us baptisms, gifts, spiritual blessings, as through water baptism we show how great our God is to forgive us, make us His beloved children. 

*and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also--not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 1Pe 3:21 NIV+

*Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of

 

Who to baptize:

 

All who want to give up their will and come to our God should be baptized, men, women, children. Infants brought by a believing parent or guardian should also be baptized.  

*Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Ac 2:38 NASB+

*But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. Ac 8:12 NKJV+

*And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. Ac 16:33 NKJV+

Water baptism was foreshadowed by Israel being baptized into Moses as their mediator, baptism. Just as men, women, children, and those infants carried by them, received a washing from the mist of the Red Sea, and followed the cloud of the Spirit. So to should all be baptized into Christ as our mediator, into His Holy Church. Men, women, mature children, young children, and infants brought by a believing parent or guardian should be baptized into the body of Christ. Our Heavenly Father will offer us the indwelling of the Spirit to guide us all the days of our lives.

*For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 1Co 10:1-2 NASB+

*But Jesus said, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matt 19:14 NASB+

 

Infants, little children – While still in the womb, those known by God have a spiritual being, a spirit and soul, which is mature enough to know God, know right from wrong.

*I was cast upon You from birth. From My mother's womb You have been My God. Ps 22:10 NKJV+

*The wicked are estranged from the womb; They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies. Ps 58:3 NKJV+

*But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to meFor indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Lk 1:43-44 NKJV+

Infants can spiritually trust our God, can sing praises to our Savior. Our Heavenly Father can spiritually show them His truths.

*But You are He who took Me out of the womb; You made Me trust while on My mother's breasts. Ps 22:9-10 NKJV+

*At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, "I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. Lk 10:21 NASB+

*and said to Him, "Do You hear what these children are saying?" And Jesus said to them, "Yes; have you never read, 'Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies You have prepared praise for Yourself'?"  Matt 21:16 NASB+

Infants are kept holy through the Spirit by a believing parent, who can speak for their child. Parents should continue to pray for their children all of their lives, see they are correctly taught in the Word of God.

*For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 1Co 7:14 NKJV+

* and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 2Ti 3:15 NIV+

 

Jesus would have us bring the little children into the Kingdom of God, laying His hands on them to give them blessings.

*And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, "Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. "Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all." And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.”  Mk 10:13-16 NASB+

*and said to them, "Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great." Lk 9:48 NKJV+

 

A young child’s mind is receptive to our Lord. It becomes hostile to our God as we grow older, as we follow the desires of our flesh, and it becomes much harder to come back to our Lord. Become childlike in our faith once more, so we can accept the Spirit.

*and said, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Matt 18:3 NASB+

*For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Ro 8:6-8 NASB+

 

Our minds will become hostile towards our God as we grow out of our childhood. Unbelievers then need to be instructed in the Word about Jesus so they will give up their will, want to be baptized. But one does not need a complete educational course to be baptized, only the desire to come to the Lord.

*The Lord smelled the soothing aroma; and the Lord said to Himself, "I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. Gen 8:21 NASB+

*Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. 8:34 NIV+

*And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. Ac 8:38 NIV+

 

Peter brought the good news of Jesus to the crowd, and in one day 3,000 were baptized. Paul baptized the jailer and all of his family the same evening.

*So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. Ac 2:41 NASB+

*And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. Ac 16:33 NKJV+

 

The time will vary as to when one is ready to come to Jesus, want to accept Him. Some will need more teaching, others less, but when one believes in Jesus with all of their hearts they should be baptized. We should get the Spirit working the hearts of those desiring to come to Jesus as soon as possible. Then make sure we pray for, nurture, and help the new believers as they grow in their Lord.

*And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.' Ac 22:16 NKJV+

*Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay." So she persuaded us. Ac 16:14-15 NKJV+

*For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; Col 1:9 NKJV+

 

Baptism should not be withheld from anyone sincerely wanting to meet Jesus, let the Spirit come to all. For it is the Spirit alone that brings one to meet Christ, holds one in Christ, not the congregation, nor it’s leaders, nor any individual.

*For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." Ac 2:39 NKJV+

*I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 1Co 3:6-7 NKJV+

 

How to baptize with the water: There are three ways one can be baptized, washed with water.

 

1. By pouring out water on the head of the one who desires to come to God.

*Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. Ac 2:33 NKJV+

*Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Ac 2:38 NKJV+

 

2. By sprinkling water on the head of one who desires to come to God.

*Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Eze 36:25 NKJV

*let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Heb 10:22 NKJV+

 

3. By immersing one who desires to come to God in water. Do not immerse infants, small children, old people, or any with physical handicaps.

*let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Heb 10:22 NASB+

 

The most important part is not how we are washed, but our desire to come to our God, that we are washed with Christ’s holy words of baptism. The intent in our hearts is more important than the way we are washed with water. That we want to have our sins washed away, so we can accept the Spirit into our hearts, and become one with Jesus, come into His holy church. Each should use their own conscience on which way they would like to be baptized.

*Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good consciencethrough the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 1Pe 3:21 NASB+

*But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 1Ti 1:5 NASB+

 

Only one water baptism is needed. Paul tells us we only need to be baptized once, with water and Christ’s words. Then we can spiritually receive blessings from the Lord’s Supper, and continually receive spiritual baptisms, gifts from the Spirit.

*There is one body and one Spirit-- just as you were called to one hope when you were called-- one Lord, one faith, one baptism; Eph 4:4-5 NIV+

*Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 2Co 4:16 NASB+

 

A short baptism – Water baptism is usually performed by a Christian leader. Yet any true believer who is knowledgeable in the Word, can baptize if they know how to properly do it. The name of one to be baptized should be put in blanks below.

 

Short prayer (change to fit your situation)

Dear Heavenly Father please open the heart and mind of ________ to accept and know You as (his/her) God. For you spiritually wash away the sins of all who hear your call, through the grace of Jesus Christ. You then give the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to those who have been forgiven. Let ___________ receive these spiritual blessings You offer as (he/she) is now baptized, and comes into the body of Christ, His Holy Spiritual Church. In Jesus name Amen.

 

_____________ are you willing to give up your will and accept the Father, the Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as your only God?

Do you want to have your sins forgiven, and be given the Holy Spirit?

Do you desire to become children of God and be baptized into Christ’s Holy Church?

If yes to all the questions proceed. If one cannot answer yes to all of these questions, talk with them through the Word. Work with them and pray for them until they can honestly answer yes to all the questions.

 

While pouring or sprinkling water on their head say:

Their name, __________________ “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Christ’s words of institution for Baptism Matt 28:19).

 

The laying on of hands can be done after one has water poured or sprinkled over them (by the one doing the baptism, or including all those around the one being baptized).

Or the laying on of hands can be done while the water is poured or sprinkled by the ones around the one being baptized.

 

Do not immerse infants, small children, old people, or any with physical handicaps.

Before one is immersed say:

Their name, __________________ “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Christ’s words of institution for Baptism Matt 28:19).

 

Then immerse them in water.

 

The laying on of hands can be done after one has been immersed (by the one doing the baptism, or including all those around the one being baptized).

 

Then a closing prayer (change to fit your situation)

Dear Heavenly Father we thank and praise you for bringing __________ into the body of Christ, His Spiritually Holy Church. Please continue to bless ________, along with us, with gifts from the Spirit. That we all will be ready when our Savior comes to call us home, to be with Him in Heaven forever. 

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Baptism – Lord’s Supper

 

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Copyright 2010 amended 2011 by Ron Borkey

+ NIV Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

+ NASB "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission."

+ NKJV "Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."