Water Baptism For Believers (7 Baptisms Explained)
If you read the New Testament of the Bible it speaks of 7 Baptisms:
1)Baptism into Moses
3)Baptism by the Holy Spirit into Jesus Christ & into his Body
4)Water Baptism for Believers
5)Baptism with the Holy Sprit and with Fire
6)Baptism in Suffering
7)Baptism for the Dead
Since there is confusion among believers regarding some of these baptisms, I have ventured to do a small study of these 7 Baptisms and put them in simplified form for easy understanding and application in life wherever it is needed.
Please read the pages of this study with an open heart keeping man-made doctrines aside for a while and the Holy Spirit will guide you into the truth.7 Baptisms have been described in this booklet. For more on Holy Spirit baptism refer to my booklet “Baptism in the Holy Spirit”
“Water Baptism for believers”or “Believer’s Baptism in water”is the topic of much discussion & argument. You can read about this first and then go through the description of the other Baptisms. This is just a personal study of what the Bible says. It’s my prayer that many may benefit from this study.
May the Lord Jesus richly bless you.
Water Baptism for Believers or Believer’s Baptism in water
This is very important because the New Testment speaks in very much detail about this subject. If it was unimportant there would have been only a passing reference of it here or there but that is not the case. Let’s study the topic together.If you have any doubts you can stop ay any point and check your Bible and then continue.
1)Water Baptism for Believers :Baptism after Believing in Jesus
There is hardly any passage/verse in the New Testament which speaks of a person taking water baptism before believing in Jesus Christ. The Bible does not advocate it.
“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”(Mark 16:16)
“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do? 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.”(Acts 2:36-38 )
“Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”(Acts 2:41)
“But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.”(Acts 8:12)
“Have you been water baptized after believing in Jesus?”
2)Water Baptism for Believers:Commanded by Jesus Christ“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”(Mathew 28:18-20)
Although “Water Baptism of the Believer”is considered a trivial act by some ,the fact is just the opposite .It is a public proclamation of faith in Jesus Christ .
Remember what we read in Colossians 2:15
“And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
It’s not only a proclamation to people around us, but also denouncing Satan publicly that we believe in the one and only One who made a public spectacle of Satan and his evil armies by the victory on the cross.
So to uplift the name of Jesus you should be baptized in water after you receive Christ as your Saviour”
3)Water Baptism for Believers : An act of obedience
“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”(Mark 16.16)
Some say that this part of Mark (16: 9-20) has been added to the Bible and that it was not part of the early manuscripts.Well if it’s still there in your Bible it’s genuine for God the Holy Sprit wouldn’t put any unwanted material in God’s Book.
And if it’s still there in your Bible it’s better to obey than to reject. God loves obedient children. Before God pronounces most of his blessings in his Word he always commands obedience.
“If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God.”(Deuteronomy 28:1)
You can check your life to see if some blessing that you desire has still not come your way because of your reluctance to obey God’s Word in taking water baptism after believing in Jesus Christ.
“Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.”(John14:23,24)
God wants to have a closer fellowship with you dear Brother, dear Sister So obey him in water baptism if you have still not.
4)Water Baptism for Believers:Apostolic doctrine for New Testament Church“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do? 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.”(Acts 2:36-38 )
Peter preached at Pentecost,”Repent and be Baptized”and we read ““Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”( Acts 2:41 )
It’s those who accepted the Word who were baptized ; those who could not understand or accept it with faith were not baptized AND so it should be even today.
This was same even in Samaria where Philip preached,
“But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.”(Acts 8:12)
Also we read of certain disciples who were ignorant during Paul’s time too.
“While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”“John’s baptism,”they replied. Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.”On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.”(Acts 19:1-6)
Is ignorance regarding the Word of God hindering any blessing in your life? Have you been following man made doctrines all along? Search the Word of God-the Bible that is with you and the Spirit of truth will guide you into all truth.
5)Water Baptism for Believers: Pledge of a good conscience “ For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 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.”(1 Peter 3:18-21)
8 people were saved in the ark Noah built on God’s command ; very few when compared to the great population on earth then .Peter says they were saved through water and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves us, not the removal of dirt from the body (sinful nature) but the pledge of a good conscience towards God
In all major game competitions like the Olympics, a pledge is taken by a representative for all the players involved .This is an outward symbol that each player would take part in the games in the right spirit and play fairly according to the rules
The flood symbolizes baptism & baptism symbolizes salvation .Baptism is a symbol of salvation in that it depicts Christ death, burial & resurrection and our identification with him in these experiences. (Romans 6:4).
In reality ,believer’s are saved by what baptism symbolizes : Christ’s death and resurrection .The act of baptism is a commitment on the part of the believer in all good conscience to make sure that what baptism symbolizes will become a reality in his /her life.
Have you pledged a good conscience toward God by being baptized? if not : “Now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’”(Acts 22:16)
6)Water Baptism for Believers:Outward profession of faith in Jesus Christ
Baptism is the outward sign of an inward work of grace.The Bible says,
“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.”(Romans 6:3-5)
There verse give a clue to the “how”of water Baptism .It’s says, “buried with him through baptism”.That means totally immersing the person being baptized into the water indicating the death, burial & resurrection of Jesus Christ.(The going down into the water indicating the death on the cross, the immersion part indicating the burial and the coming out part indicating the resurrection )
The word Baptize comes from the Greek word baptizein which means to immerse; baptize, substituted for earlier baptein, to dip (used in post-classical Gr chiefly in sense “to dip in dye”)
Also concentrate on this passage in (Acts 8:35-39)
“Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized? And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.”
Here both baptizer & the person being baptized go down into the water; then the person is baptized.
Now let’s concentrate on 2 passages that causes rifts as to who can & who cannot be baptized.
“At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.”(Acts 16:33-34)
“Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.”(Acts 18:7-8)
In both these verses we read of whole households believing in Christ and the jailer and his family being baptized.
There should be no controversy as such; if children have knowledge and are at an age where they can consciously accept Jesus Christ as Saviour & Lord by understanding his work on the cross they can be baptized. But that leaves out infants & small children whose mental faculties are yet to develop. Infants & small children are innocent and they are justified and righteous in God’s sight.
Accepting Jesus is an act faith which one has to do by oneself & not by force or external pressure from friend or family members.
Children brought up in the right knowledge of the truth of the Gospel respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and when He thinks it is the right time, then by faith they come forward to accept Jesus as Saviour and Lord .
7)Water Baptism for Believers: Fulfilling all righteousness
There are a few instances in the New Testament where believers received the baptism with Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking in tongues before they were baptized in water.
“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said,”Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.”(Acts 10:44-48)
Being filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues does not mean that one does not have to take water baptism.
It’s very clear in the above verses that Peter saw it right to baptize in water people who had received the Holy Spirit baptism & were speaking in tongues
Some say that these people were baptized because they were originally gentiles and not Jews.
Look at Saul of Tarsus who was a Jew;Jesus struck him down & he became blind ; for 3 days he neither ate nor drank anything.
Then in Acts 9:17-19 we read
“Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord-Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here-has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.”
Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit , received his sight and then he got up and was baptized in water.
Jesus the son of God need not have been baptized in water by John yet he wanted to fulfill all righteousness so he went down into the water and submitted to His heavenly Father’s will.
8)Water Baptism for Believers : An act of faith
In Colossians 2:11,12 we read
“In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.”
Water baptism is an act of faith (in the power of god) on the part of the person taking water baptism, wherein one declares that God will also raise us up as He raised up Jesus from the dead.
So water baptism after one accepts Jesus Christ as Saviour is a must for the following reasons:
1) It is the Lord’s command (Mathew 28:18-20)
2) It is an act of being obedient to God (Mark 16:16)
3) It is an Apostolic Doctrine for the New Testament Church (Acts 2:36-38,41)
4) It is a pledge of a good conscience (1 Peter 3:18 -22)
5) It is a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ &his victory over Satan(Romans 6:3-5)
6) Its is fulfilling all righteousness ( Acts 10:44-48) (Mathew 3 13-17)
7) It is an act of faith (Colossians 2:11-12)
Baptism into Moses
The apostle Paul while writing to the believers in Corinth, reminds them of some very important Old Testament truths.
We read in 1 Corithians 10:1-5,
“For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert.”
After the Lord had delivered the Israelites from 430 years of Egyptian bondage, when they journeyed through the wilderness to the promised land Canaan, God was with them as a pillar of cloud during the daytime and a pillar of fire during the nights .The pillar of cloud was over them guiding them along for 40 years.The Lord split the Red sea for them and led them through the sea on dry land. God destroyed Pharoah and his armies that chased the Israelites by drowning them in the Red sea.
15-20 lakh people submitted to Moses and did what he said, crossing the Red sea and living and travelling under the cloud .
No one objected to walking through the sea or following the cloud (God’s guidance).
In verse 3& 4 we read,
“They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.”
The Israelites who were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink from the spiritual rock Christ who accompanied them. Miraculously for 40 years they were fed by God with the bread of angels (manna) and they drank water from the smitten rock too.
Now observe verse 5:
“Nevertheless,God was not pleased with most of them ; their bodies were scattered over the desert.”
Do you know why God was not pleased with them ?
Do you now why their bodies were scattered in the desert ?
Do you know why most of them did not enter the promised land ?
Because they sinned against God and paid the price for it .1 Corinthians 10:6-10 describes the sins that the Israelites did in the wilderness:
Idolatory, pagan revelry, sexual immorality, testing the Lord and grumbling.
The Lord’s anger burned fierce against them because of these sins and many were destroyed. Except Joshua and Caleb, no one over 20 years of age entered the promised land of Canaan.
Kindly note-After escaping from Egypt,all these people were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea .But they were destroyed by God because they rebelled against him. Paul warns the Corithian believers that these things happened to the Israelites as examples and were written down as warnings for them .(1 Corithians 10:11) and he cautions them that they may not be overconfident of their spirituality and fall from grace.
John was a forerunner to Jesus Christ and his earthly ministry. He came to prepare the way for the Master. He preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. W e read in Mark 1:4,5
“And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.”
John rebuked the crowds and called them broods of vipers (Luke 3:7) and told them the plain fact that being baptized was not enough; they were to produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
He told them that self righteousness had no value and that judgement would come on all who did not produce any fruit.
Amazingly we read that Jesus too came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”(Mathew 3: 13-17)
Jesus was holy, without sin and didn’t need to take this baptism of repentance, yet in his own words we read he had come to be baptized to fulfill all righteousness (verse 15)
This was very important because after Jesus was baptized and he went up out of the water, heaven was opened and John saw the spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. John was waiting for this sign all the while that he baptized people for repentance of their sins because he had been told by God that “ the man on whom you see the spirit come down and remains is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit “(John 1:33).
In verse 31 of John Chapter 1 we read John saying this- “ I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”
John’s message to the people was clear “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance or judgement will come on you.”
Baptism by the Holy Spirit into Jesus Christ and into his Body
The “one baptism”of Ephesians 4:4-6(5) refers to this baptism.
“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; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
This is the 1st baptism a person undergoes when he comes to the knowledge of salvation through Jesus Christ and accepts Jesus as his/her saviour on the basis of Romans 10:9,10
“That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,”and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”
If we read the verses 4-6 of Ephesians chapter 4 carefully we can understand some great truths
Firstly it speaks of “One Body”
“And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”(Ephesians 1:22,23)
The “one body”is not a denomination or few denominations, but the true church which is Christ’s body [all who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour and are doing the will of God. ( 1 John 2:17)
Secondly it speaks of “One Spirit”
1 Corithians 12:13 explains this: “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body-whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free-and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”
The Holy spirit is the one who baptizes a person into the “one body”or “true church”or “Christ’s body”at the time of accepting Jesus Christ as Lord And Saviour
Thirdly it speaks of “One Lord”
Essential to every Christian is the confession that there is only one Lord.
Only “one lord”means that Jesus Christ’s work of redemption is perfect and sufficient and no other person can give eternal life other than him.Also “one lord”means that there is no other alternative or authority higher than Christ (either secular/religious)
Fourthly it speaks of “One Hope”
The blessed hope for which every Christian should long is “the glorious appearing of our great God And Saviour Jesus Christ “ and our union with him for eternity. (Titus 2:13) (Titus 1:2)
Fifthly it speaks of “One Faith”
One faith here refers to us not witnessing the crucifixion, death , burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ yet believing the same and waiting for His return and our gathering to Him by believing His Word which says so .
Sixthly it speaks of “One Baptism”
This “one baptism”is the baptism of all who accept Jesus as the Lord and Saviour by the Holy Spirit into Jesus Christ and into his spiritual body.
Seventhly it speaks of “One God and Father of all”
This term is self explanatory: Omnipotent , Omniscient, Omnipresent God.
Now lets concentrate on another verse: “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”(Galathians 3:26,27)
It says that all of us who are baptized into Christ have (or are to )clothe ourselves with Christ.
What does that mean?
It simply means to have “the attitude of Christ”
Philippians 2:5-8,Romans 13:14,Colosians 3:12 and 1 Peter 5:5 can edequately describe this.
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross!”(Philippians 2:5-8)
“Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”(Romans 13:14)
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12)
“All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”(1 Peter 5:5)
It is God’s will that all mankind be baptized by the Holy Spirit into Jesus Christ and into his body. Not only that but all who are baptized into Christ should clothe themselves with Christ.
Baptism with the Holy spirit and with Fire
John the Baptist emphasized this baptism in his preachings. Even Jesus before his ascension after the resurrection told his disciples of this .The following verses indicate the Baptism with the Holy Spirit that was to come and finally did come at Pentecost.
“For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”( Acts 1:5)
“The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ. John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. ( Luke 3:15,16)
“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”(Acts 2:1-4)
The “with fire”part in Luke 3:15,16 indicates the “authority”that comes with the “anointing”. Bible scholars are divided over the “with fire”part of the statement by John the Baptist.Some say it refers to the “judgement”that would come upon those who would not repent of their sins despite knowing the truth .They say”with fire”refers to judgemental fire (fire of hell) because in the very next verse of the passage in Luke 3:15,16 John continues by saying “His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”(Luke 3:17)
This need not be true because in this passage John indicates that the baptism with the holy spirit and “with fire”go together.
Perhaps Psalm 104:4 can shed some light,
“He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants.”
Here the servants of God (His ministers) are compared to flames of fire .The coming of the anointing makes them powerful to withstand and destroy the schemes of the wicked one.
Some also say that the “with fire”part refers to the passage in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15:
“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.”
It is doubtful that this fire is the ‘with fire”that John the Baptist meant.
Perhaps the “with fire”part can also be the power of the Word of God that can achieve great things (healings , miracles, deliverances) when it is ministered/spoken with faith by God’s servants.
A clue to that is Jeremiah 23:29 which declares,
“ Is not my word like fire,”declares the LORD, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?”
In 1 Thessalonians 5:19 we read.
“Do not put out the Spirit’s fire.”
The apostle paul indicates here that one can put out the Spirit’s fire with the rejection of the Holy Spirit’s supernatural manifestations such as miracles, healings and prophecies. Rejecting the gifts of the Holy Spirit can result in the loss of any of supernatural manifestations of his divine work too.
“Baptism with the Holy spirit and with fire”then would most probably mean the authority to perform supernatural manifestations as one is led by the Spirit of God.
This includes supernatural healings and deliverances, prophecies and miraculous intervention brought about by the Lord Jesus when faith is exercised.
For more on Holy Spirit Baptism refer to my booklet “Baptism in the Holy Spirit”
Baptism in Suffering
This is what Jesus underwent on the cross and before that when he was rejected by his own people . In Luke 12:50 we read Jesus saying,
“But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed.”
Jesus wanted to get over with the plan that God the Father had sent him to earth for.He knew he had to suffer the painful torture both physically and mentally and only then he could get victory .And he did just that.
Compared to what believers suffer, the sufferings of Christ was horrendous because he was carrying on himself the sins, pains, curses, sicknesses, rejection and weakness of the whole mankind.
A few years back I suffered from a problem in my chest for about 4-6 months. It was a bad time of suffering and one night I complained bitterly to the Lord.
In reply he showed a vision of the cross and Him on it and then asked me “It’s not as bad as this ,is it?”
No! Definitely not! I replied and took solace in the fact that the Lord had suffered worse.Finally I received healing but only by His stripes.
In another passage of Mark chapter 10 we read of Jesus telling his 2 disciples of certain future realities.
“Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,”they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”“What do you want me to do for you?”he asked. They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”“You don’t know what you are asking,”Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”
“We can,”they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with.”(Mark 10:35-39)
John the Apostle whom Jesus loved dearly had to suffer on the island of Patmos for his faith and testimony. (Revelation 1:9)
James his brother was killed by Herod for his faith. (Acts 12:2)
They both truly did undergo the Baptism in suffering that they and Jesus said they would.
Baptism for the dead
“Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?” (1 Corinthians 15:29)
At Corinth people were at that time (when apostle Paul wrote this epistle) being baptized for the dead. But because Paul does not give any more information about the practice, many attempts have been made to interpret the concept. Three of these are: 1. Living believers were being baptized for believers who died before they were baptized, so that they too, in a sense, would not miss out on baptism.2. Christians were being baptized in anticipation of the resurrection of the dead. 3. New converts were being baptized to fill the ranks of Christians who had died. Paul only mentions this custom almost in passing, using it in his arguments substantiating the resurrection of the dead, but without necessarily approving the practice.
It is a law of scripture that every doctrine must be proved by 2 o r 3 scriptures (2 Corinthians 13;Deuteronomy 19:15-18) but this verse is the only one casually mentioning the subject.The Corinthians were in many errors and heresies (1 Corinthians 11:19).Baptism for the dead was only one of them.There is no command or example of baptism for the dead in scripture.Salvation is a personal matter and cannot be obtained by proxy.Baptism in water does not save a living man who repents and meets the gospel conditions of salvation.Therefore it could not save a dead man who did not meet the conditions for being saved while he was alive.The apostle Paul here is showing the inconsistency of false teachers at Corinth in denying the doctrine of the resurrection and yet accepting the fallacy of baptism for the dead.
Water Baptism by itself does not guarantee a place for the believer in heaven. In other words one does not take water baptism to go to heaven.
The Bible says,
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast”(Ephesians 2:8,9)
But that doesn’t mean one should not take water Baptism. Water Baptism is taken by the believer for reasons already mentioned in this booklet. It’s a must. Some say, “Let God speak to me directly, then I’ll submit to this. He has spoken about it clearly in His Word. Perhaps He has been speaking but they are not hearing.
Let me give you an example.
One day as I travelled to my clinic in my car, I heard the still small voice of God telling me, “Sir has not taken Water Baptism yet.”Very unusual I thought because I hadn’t been thinking about that man or praying for him. God was referring to a man who left his vocation in teaching and administration to serve God. He is a good believer working for the Lord in his capacity; often I had been telling him for the past 2 years that Water Baptism is important and that he should take it. And now the still small voice tells me “Sir has not taken water baptism yet”
I parked my car and walked to the clinic; got busy with seeing my patients. After I had seen a few, guess who walked in? “Sir & his Wife.”After exchanging pleasanteries I asked him why he had come. And he said, “Doctor, did you forget? You told me to come here today. I was surprised. I asked him. “When did I ask you to come?”“Yesterday Night”he said.
“But I didn’t meet you yesterday night.”I replied smiling. “Well, I called you at 8.00 p. m. and you told me that I can come and meet you today at 10.00 a. m.””. It couldn’t have been. I was preaching at another place yesterday at 8.00 p. m. “But that’s impossible! I called you at home and you gave me an appointment today.
“Sir! I came home at around 10.00 p. m. yesterday and there were no phone calls after I had left home according to the servant of whom I enquired when I came back. “Look! He said; Isn’t this your number? You gave it to me three months back when I saw you last. When I saw the number, I immediately knew what this was all about. The number that he showed was of my phone which I had already cancelled and given back to the exchange. This was an astounding miracle that God had done just to bring this man once again to me so that I tell him to get Water Baptized. Sure, he must have dialled the number that he had. But perhaps God or his angel answered him on the phone and said “Come tomorrow, 10.00 a.m.”I laughed and told him the thing that God had spoken to me while I travelled to the clinic that morning. God’s voice being very clear “Sir has not taken Water Baptism yet”
He and his wife listened very intently as I once again spoke to them about Water Baptism; They left after a while astounded at what had happened. But the tradedy of it all
I met this man after about 3 months and while conversing I asked him, “Sir, so did you finally take Water Baptism?”
“No he said, God has yet to speak to me about it”.
Jesus once said, “In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving”(Matthew 13:14)
It is my prayer that you who read this booklet will obey the Lord and take Water Baptism after accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour.
If you have already taken Water Baptism, kindly give this booklet to someone who has not yet understood the importance of “Water Baptism for Believers”so that he/she may take a decision and do the Lord’s will.
“Praise the Lord”
Dr. Johnson Cherian MD. PhD.