"Repent and Be Baptized"

1. A man or woman (not a child) who has repented of his or her sins (Mark 1:15; Acts 2:38) of breaking God's law, and who believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (Acts 8:37; Mark 1:15) and who believes the gospel of the kingdom (Mark 1:15) should be baptized (immersed) completely under water. "Baptizo" is a Greek word, left untranslated. The English definition of this word is "immerse." It means "to plunge into, put into, dip." It does not mean "sprinkle" or "pour." The Greek word for "sprinkle" is rantidzo, and "to pour" is cheo in Greek.

2. This means that a large bath tub of water or a river, lake or ocean must first be found (Matt. 3:13-17; John 3:23; Acts 8:38).

3. The one doing the baptizing doesn't need to be ordained. Neither Christ nor John the Baptist nor the twelve disciples nor Philip were ordained ministers (Acts 8:5-6,12; John 7:39). Christ is actually the one doing the baptizing because the baptizer says, "By Christ's authority" or "In Christ's name" I baptize you (Acts 2:38; John 4:1-2; Acts 10:46-48).

4. The one doing the baptizing baptizes "into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 28:19-20). The person is then baptized into Christ's body (the spiritual church organism) by the Holy Spirit and takes on the Father's name. We are baptized into Christ -- not a physical church denomination (Rom. 6:3).

5. The one doing the baptizing should also "teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you" (Matt. 28:19-20) and the one being baptized should "wash away thy sins calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16).

6. Then the one who has baptized the convert should pray "for him, that he might receive the Holy Spirit" (Acts 8:15-16; Acts 2:38). He does this by laying his hands on the convert's head which symbolizes the giving of some special spiritual responsibility (Num. 27:18-19; Lev. 3:13; 24:14; Mark 5:23; 16:18; 1 Tim. 4:14; 5:22; Acts 8:18).

7. Baptism pictures the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (Rom. 6:35). Just as Noah's faith and active obedience caused him to escape drowning in a flood that submerged and buried a sinful world (1 Pet. 3:20-21); and just as Israel's faith and active obedience caused her to escape drowning in the Red Sea that submerged and buried Pharaoh and his Egyptian army (Heb. 11:29; 1 Cor. 10:1-2; Rom. 6:6-7), so also baptism pictures the death and burial of our sinful past and resurrection of the new actively-obedient Christian due to his faith in Christ (Col. 2:12).

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