Carefully Studying The Baptism Texts Of The New Testament (One)
It is written:
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
Over the years, I have seen much debate on the topic of baptism. The religious denominations teach many diverse doctrines regarding this topic, and several questions are raised through it all.
What exactly does the word “baptize” mean?
Is baptism today to be in water?
What about Holy Spirit baptism?
Who is eligible to be baptized?
Is there a verbal formula a baptizer must use when baptizing someone in order to validate baptism?
What about infant baptism?
Can someone be baptized in the place of someone else?
What is the baptism of fire?
Is Holy Spirit baptism for everyone?
Should young children be baptized?
Is baptism part of God’s plan of redemption?
Did the Hebrews practice baptism in the Old Testament?
What must a person know to be baptized?
Is there hope of salvation for those who have not been baptized?
What does baptism have to do with the church?
Is there a connection between baptism and marriage?
Did baptism take the place of circumcision?
What will God do in situations where a person wants to be baptized, but is not able to do so?
Does baptism have anything to do with Satan, the fallen angels, and the nephilim?
Is rebaptism ever necessary?
Does God forgive the sins of those who misunderstand the purpose (s) of baptism?
What about people who were baptized when they were infants or children-should they be baptized again?
These are SOME of the questions that I have been asked over the years as a Gospel preacher regarding the subject of baptism.
In this series of articles, we will do our best to carefully examine the texts of the Bible that discuss baptism, and to answer these questions.
As we enter into these studies, let us remember that while we as Christians must be willing to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3), we can contend without having a contentious spirit. Let us make it our aim to learn God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:15), and to lovingly share what we learn with others (Ephesians 4:15). While there is a place for rational discussion and debate (Acts 17:2-4, 11, 17), there is also a time for quiet reflection (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).
It is important to realize that the vast majority of passages in the New Testament regarding baptism were written to Christians who had been baptized but who had either misunderstood some element of baptism or who were growing in their understanding and appreciation of this wondrous act of God. Paul and the other Apostles often treated these Christians as disciples of Christ with kindness and gentleness (except when a firmer hand was required).
Lord, please bless us in our studies.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.