Water Baptism, is a topic of concern in Christianity. Many ask, is water baptism necessary? Is it a passport to make heaven? What happens if I don’t want to be baptized? Quite important, water Baptism shouldn’t be tucked under the bed but discussed as it plays an important role in our identifying with Christ.
What is Water Baptism?
The word BAPTIZE is a greek word ‘baptisor’ which means to immerse ‘dip inside liquid‘.
Water Baptism is a Christian sacrament in which one is submerged in water as a public significance that an individual is dead, is been buried, and is now resurrected with Jesus Christ. It’s also one of the cardinal doctrines of Jesus christ during HIS life on earth and a commandment for the great commission at the place of HIS ASCENSION.
Is Water Baptism necessary?
Before we answer that question, we will look at a few stunning points that people question mostly.
A) WAS WATER BAPTISM IN EXISTENCE BEFORE JESUS COMMANDED IT?
Water Baptism before the arrival of Christ is a sign of covenant before God and a medium you must pass through to make your purity valid before God.
Though the first form of full immersion in water was officially carried out in the Bible by John the Baptist. However, there are some write-ups about Water Baptism existing from the time of the law, i.e. God asking the Israelites to wash their body whenever going out and coming in; this He specified saying, less they might have come in contact with the Gentiles (uncircumcised nations) or touch dead beings, purity was God’s watchword even for the Israelites, they are to be separate from the world, called and culled out.
We cannot say that these are enough backings for us to think that’s a reference to Baptism before Christ, but this singular act among the Israelites gives us an overview of what Baptism is and its significance.
A close study of Matthew 3:6-8 exposes our minds to the ministry of John, the Baptist who began to baptize people being the forerunner of Christ, this act signifies the establishment of baptism as a means of identifying with Christ even before the ministry of our Lord Jesus began.
So we see that water baptism started before the arrival of Christ, however, it is an open way for baptism with the better covenant. No wonder he says there is one that cometh which would baptize us with the Holy Ghost and fire Matthew 3:11,12.
Therefore to answer our previous question (Is Water baptism necessary)? Yes, it is necessary and it remains a must for every Christian because when the one who is to baptize with fire and Holy Ghost came, He commanded it, thus making it a must for every child of God to do immediately after conversion. This singular commandment was obeyed by His disciples in His presence (John 4:1,2). This brings our doubts to rest, and thus Water Baptism is a sacrament in which every Christians must partake, to fulfill the Master’s will. We wouldn’t want to disobey his commandment, will we?
Is Water Baptism Scriptural?
Yes!! It is Scriptural. Looking at what we said at the beginning, even before the arrival of our Messiah, John did baptize people who confessed their sins (Matthew 3:6). John was a priest unto God from the Aaron lineage, thus he receives every instruction from God. Also as a Levite, we can infer that the baptism of people was an instruction given to him by God.
What then makes it more concrete, mandatory, and even Biblical is the fact that Jesus practicalized it by baptizing others in John 3:22, and He also exemplified it by being baptized as seen in Mark 1:9. Even at the point of His ascension, He commanded it to every disciple and those who saw him ascend into Heaven in Matthew 28:19. If you seek Scriptural backings on the Essence of Water Baptism is to our Christian living, the written verses above are sure to help. Indeed, Water baptism is not only essential but scriptural.
Does Water Baptism have a Spiritual effect since it is physical?
Firstly, can we say, since salvation is through believing and confession of our sins, this physical exercise is of no spiritual effect? Or why does Romans 10:9 keeps emphasizing confession, since the only thing we need to do is believe in Jesus? Here is an answer to this; Confession must be also done because it is the proof of a fully convinced heart in the work of Calvary. Thus, Water Baptism although physical has an effect on our Spiritual state in Christ.
Many believers think that our faith in the new living of the time of grace brought to us by Jesus Christ is more of the heart than physical activities. So how does water baptism which is physical exercise affects our spiritual (heart) belief or right state of righteousness?
Yes, it has spiritual effects on our faith. looking at Jesus statement in Matthew 3:15 (And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all RIGHTEOUSNESS). This is to say that our righteousness is made completed as we observe water baptism, which when it’s not done, there’s a limitation to our righteousness in Christ Jesus.
Now, Another form of spiritual effect. Looking at verse 16(b¹) talking about the descending of the spirit of God upon Jesus. which makes it so evident that we receive the fullness of God’s spirit when we are baptized, even though it’s not physical like that of Christ Jesus.
What happens at the place of water baptism. Also in verse 16(b²), A lighting came upon Jesus, which is another spiritual effect upon every baptized Christians to shed light on their way to walk through the darkness of the world even as they walk with God. Those are the mentionable spiritual effects of water baptism at the place of baptism which seems to be unknown to many unbaptized believers.
Water Baptism has a lot of spiritual effect on a believer even though it’s a physical activity.
Is Water Baptism done once or thrice?
The significance of water Baptism, permits it to be done once. The place of immersion in water baptism portrays the death of Jesus, pertaining to how death occurs, human beings are to die just once and not thrice. This totally exemplifies, that you can only die once with christ and be buried once with HIM and likewise be resurrected once with HIM. This is how it should be done.
Some say how come water Baptism is to be done once and only in accordance to Christ since it even started before the appearance of Christ. NOTE: Water Baptisms to be done after the time of John the Baptist must be to the new covenant of God with man which is Christ Jesus and must be known that the time of John the Baptist is passed even if it is done countless times before the arrival of Christ.
In lieu of Romans 6:10 For in that he died, he died unto sin ONCE: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. HE only died once, so also they that died with HIM in baptism must die ONCE with HIM, which implies us to be baptized once and not thrice. Therefore water Baptism must be done once in the name of the Triune God.
If I am not Baptized, will I make it to Heaven?
There is a sin, called the sin of “OMISSION”. Here we will see how it affects a believer who omits water Baptism. James 4:17: Therefore to him, that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
What is good?
The good is the water Baptism to be done by a believer in Christ Jesus.
The person that knoweth is he/she who knows about water Baptism.
Who knoweth not?
This is the person who doesn’t know about water Baptism or doesn’t have the chance of doing it.
What becomes sin?
The sin is an individual not being baptized despite knowing what water Baptism is all about. Even he/she is opportunity to do it.
Looking at the hemisphere of life, not everyone will have the chance of accepting or hearing about Jesus Christ while fully doing well or in their best state of health. But some on the verge of death will be opportune to meet with a preacher who preaches Christ to them, and they accepted Christ and died not long after. Will they see God? Yes!!, because they do not have the chance of being baptized before death, so therefore it’s not a sin unto them.
But for the set of believers who ignored water Baptism or remained lackadaisical to this doctrine will find themselves damned in eternity. Why? It’s because they are guilty of the truth they know.
In Mark 16:15,16. Reading from verse 15 – And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. We are charged to preach to all and if they believe, something else follows in verse 16(b¹) – He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. That means anyone that believes must be baptized, these two phrases (believe & baptize) always hand in hand as Jesus commanded them.
But in verse 16(b²); but he that believeth not shall be damned. This means anyone that believed and omits Baptism will be damned. Such an individual had only fulfilled a part of the salvation process, meanwhile, believing and baptism are spelled together as the law of salvation. When the Ethiopian Eunuch, Philip preached to accepted Christ; he asked to baptize in the water saying; ‘What ought stop me to be baptized?’. Therefore, my question to you; what stops you to be baptized?
In Matthew 3:15 – And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him. Jesus was baptized with the statement that all righteousness must be fulfilled, which is to say, water Baptism is a fulfillment of righteousness towards God; thus obedience to this injunction is a sign of being part of Him in righteousness and truth.
So then, whosoever is not baptized with Christ is neither dead with HIM and cannot resurrect with HIM either.
Does Infant baptism count as Baptism?
Nowhere in the Bible did Christ command infants/babies to be baptized; now some traditions set up rules for baptizing a baby. But infant baptism doesn’t or will never qualify to be the Baptism Jesus Christ illustrated during the time of John; which was a testimony of sinners identifying with Christ. This post wrote more extensively on it; Should Babies be baptized? Note, baptizing an infant does not keep them from sin; neither is the baptism synonymous with a public acceptance of the Lordship of Jesus in their life.
2 reasons why you should not get baptized?
Don’t get baptized for the following reason:
- To make it right with God without confessing your sins. Baptism symbolizes an inward relationship with the Master; if you lack that relationship; there is no need to pretend you do. Just like, it is advised to marry someone you love, Baptism is not a magical wand to fix your relationship with Jesus. Get it right, and Get it done right.
- To please people around you and score points: Water Baptism is not done in abid to please your local pastor or your friends around you. Like I said, Baptism is a public acceptance of Christ; not a pleasing acceptance of someone you don’t know. Baptism is a decision you need to make for yourself, and by yourself alone; not because someone told you so or forced you to do it.
Read this post to know more: Four reasons why you shouldn’t get baptized