Definition: The word “baptize” comes from the Greek ba·ptiʹzein, meaning “to dip, to plunge.” (A Greek-English Lexicon, by Liddell and Scott) Christian water baptism is an outward symbol that the one being baptized has made a complete, unreserved, and unconditional dedication through Jesus Christ to do the will of Jehovah God. The Scriptures also refer to John’s baptism, baptism with holy spirit, and baptism with fire, among others.
Do persons who really believe God’s Word hold back from being baptized?
Matt. 28:19, 20: “Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you.”
Acts 2:41: “Those who embraced his word heartily were baptized.”
Acts 8:12: “When they believed Philip, who was declaring the good news of the kingdom of God and of the name of Jesus Christ, they proceeded to be baptized, both men and women.”
Acts 8:36-38: “Now as they were going over the road, they came to a certain body of water, and the [Ethiopian] eunuch said: ‘Look! A body of water; what prevents me from getting baptized?’ With that he commanded the chariot to halt, and . . . [Philip] baptized him.”
Christian water baptism—is it by sprinkling or by complete immersion?
Mark 1:9, 10: “Jesus . . . was baptized [“immersed,” ED, Ro] in the Jordan [River] by John. And immediately on coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being parted.”
Acts 8:38: “They both went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized [“immersed,” ED, Ro] him.”
Was infant baptism practiced by first-century Christians?
Matt. 28:19: “Go therefore and make disciples . . . baptizing them.”
Acts 8:12: “When they believed Philip . . . they proceeded to be baptized, both men and women.”
However, later on, Origen (185-254 C.E.) wrote: “It is the custom of the church that baptism be administered even to infants.” (Selections From the Commentaries and Homilies of Origen, Madras, India; 1929, p. 211) The practice was confirmed by a Council of Carthage (c. 252 C.E.).
Religious historian Augustus Neander wrote: “Faith and baptism were always connected with one another; and thus it is in the highest degree probable . . . that the practice of infant baptism was unknown at this period [in the first century]. . . . That it first became recognised as an apostolic tradition in the course of the third century, is evidence rather against than for the admission of its apostolic origin.”—History of the Planting and Training of the Christian Church by the Apostles (New York, 1864), p. 162.
Does Christian water baptism result in forgiveness of sins?
1 John 1:7: “If we are walking in the light as he himself is in the light, . . . the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” (Thus, not baptismal water but the blood of Jesus cleanses us from sin.)
Matt. 3:11: “I [John the Baptist] . . . baptize you with water because of your repentance; but the one coming after me [Jesus Christ] is stronger than I am, whose sandals I am not fit to take off.” (Verses 5, 6, also Acts 13:24, show that what John did was directed, not to all people, but to the Jews. Why? Because of the sins of the Jews against the Law covenant and to prepare them for Christ.)
Acts 2:38: “Repent, and let each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for forgiveness of your sins.” (Did the baptism itself bring forgiveness to them? Consider: This was stated to Jews who shared responsibility for the death of Christ. [See verses 22, 23.] Their baptism would give evidence of something. Of what? That they now put faith in Jesus as the Messiah, the Christ. Only by their doing this could their sins be forgiven. [Acts 4:12; 5:30, 31])
Who is baptized with holy spirit?
1 Cor. 1:2; 12:13, 27: “To you who have been sanctified in union with Christ Jesus, called to be holy ones . . . For truly by one spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink one spirit. Now you are Christ’s body.” (As Daniel 7:13, 14, 27 shows, such “holy ones” share in the Kingdom with the Son of man, Jesus Christ.)
John 3:5: “Unless anyone is born from water and spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (A person is ‘born from spirit’ at the time of his baptism with that spirit. Luke 12:32 shows that only a “little flock” have that privilege. See also Revelation 14:1-3.)
Do all who are baptized with holy spirit speak in tongues or have the gift of healing?
1 Cor. 12:13, 29, 30: “For truly by one spirit we were all baptized into one body . . . Not all are apostles, are they? . . . Not all perform powerful works, do they? Not all have gifts of healings, do they? Not all speak in tongues, do they?”
‘Baptism for the dead’—what does it mean?
1 Cor. 15:29, KJ: “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?”
The Greek preposition hy·perʹ, here translated “for,” also means “over,” “on behalf of,” “instead of,” “for the purpose of,” etc. (A Greek-English Lexicon, by Liddell and Scott) What does it mean in this text? Was Paul suggesting baptizing living persons in behalf of those who had died unbaptized?
The only other scriptures that directly mention death in connection with baptism refer to a baptism that the individual himself undergoes, not a baptism on behalf of another person, one who is dead
Col. 2:12: “For you [living members of the congregation in Colossae] were buried with him in his baptism, and by relationship with him you were also raised up together through your faith in the operation of God, who raised him up from the dead.”
Rendering in “New World Translation” is grammatically correct and in agreement with these other Bible texts
1 Cor. 15:29: “Otherwise, what will they do who are being baptized for the purpose of being dead ones? If the dead are not to be raised up at all, why are they also being baptized for the purpose of being such?” (So they are baptized, or immersed, into a course of life that will lead to a death of integrity like that of Christ and then to being raised to spirit life as he was.)
What results from baptism with fire?
Luke 3:16, 17: “He [Jesus Christ] will baptize you people with . . . fire. His winnowing shovel is in his hand to clean up his threshing floor completely . . . The chaff he will burn up with fire that cannot be put out.” (Its destruction would be forever.)
Matt. 13:49, 50: “That is how it will be in the conclusion of the system of things: the angels will go out and separate the wicked from among the righteous and will cast them into the fiery furnace.”
Luke 17:29, 30: “On the day that Lot came out of Sodom it rained fire and sulphur from heaven and destroyed them all. The same way it will be on that day when the Son of man is to be revealed.”
Not the same as baptism with holy spirit, which was for disciples
Acts 1:5: “John, indeed, baptized with water, but you [Jesus’ faithful apostles] will be baptized in holy spirit not many days after this.”
Acts 2:2-4: “Suddenly there occurred from heaven a noise just like that of a rushing stiff breeze, and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting. And tongues as if of fire became visible to them and were distributed about, and one sat upon [but did not envelop or immerse] each one of them, and they all became filled with holy spirit and started to speak with different tongues, just as the spirit was granting them to make utterance.”