Water Baptism

Updated: Aug 23, 2018

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Baptism is an act of obedience and sign of repentance. It is the sybolisism of death, burial and resurrection. What a joy to be baptised when religious understanding is shun.
FULL IMMERSION

TEACHINGS ON WATER BAPTISM

Introduction

According to The Father's House AG Church Statement of Faith, every born-again believer must take water baptism as a sign of repentance and as an act of obedience.

Salvation is three dimensional in operation. 

(1) Get Saved 

(2) Getting Saved everyday 

(3) One day when Jesus returns and takes His bride away, we will be finally Saved.

Water baptism is the second step towards our spiritual journey into eternity with Jesus Christ. One of the spiritual foundations of a believer, defined by Jesus Christ before His ascension to heaven, is Water Baptism. The Apostles defined and conformed it on the day of Pentecost i.e. the birth of the New Testament church.

Study of Greek word for Baptism:


1. Bapto, the root word for baptize and baptism, means to dip; dip under; sink; dip in; immerse; plunge; and to cover wholly with liquid. It is used 4 times in the Scripture.


1.a. Dip finger in water (Luke 16:24)

1.b. Dip bread in gravy (twice in John 13:26)

1.c. Garment dipped in blood to dye it (Revelations 19:13)


2. Baptidzo, derived from bapto, to make whelmed or wholly wet; immerse; submerge; sink; plunge; to dip under; and to baptize. It appears 80 times in the New Testament and is thus used:

2.a. Baptized in the river Jordan (Mathew 3:6; Mark 1:5, 9)

2.b. Baptized with (Greek in) water (Mathew 3:11; Mark 1:8; John 1:26, 31, 33)  

2.c. When he was baptized, went up out of the water (Mathew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Acts 8:38-39)

2.d. Baptized in the cloud and in the sea (1Corinthians 10:2)

I. BAPTISM OF REPENTANCE


Baptism of repentance was introduced by John the Baptist at the time of Jesus. 


Matthew 3:1-2, 6

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.


There were three groups of people who came to take baptism by John the Baptist.


1. Geographical group. (Mathew 3:5 ; Mark 1:5)

People of: (a) Jerusalem (b) Judea (c) region round about Jordan


2. Religious group.  (Mathew 3:7; Luke 7:30; John 1:19, 24)

(a) Pharisees and Sadducees (b) Lawyers of the Law (c) Levites and Priests.


3. Social groups. (Luke 3:12, 14)

(a) Publicans (b) Soldiers

These above groups of people came with different ideologies to John the Baptist. 

A. The first group (Geographical) came with repentance so that they can enter into heaven. 

B. Second group (Religious) challenged the authority of John the Baptist ministry.

C. Third group (Social) they just observed it as a ceremony to escape the wrath of God.


II. AIM OF JOHN THE BAPTIST


Baptist John was the last link of the Old Testament and he did a wonderful work in the hearts of the people in turning them to God. However, John the Baptist's ministry was aimed at establishing five different aspects of Jesus’ ministry.

1. Introduce Jesus Christ to the world


John 1:31

And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.


2. Call people and prepare for repentance


Matthew 3:2, 11-12

And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. 


3. Prepare a group of people for the Messiah


Luke 1:16-17

And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.


John 1:35-37

Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.


4. Lead people to become disciples of Jesus Christ


John 1:36-37

And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God ! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.


Acts 19:1-5

And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed ? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized ? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.


5. Fulfill the counsel of God


Luke 7:29-30

And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.


III. BAPTISM BY JESUS & HIS DESCIPLES


Baptist John was highly honoured by Jesus Christ in His speech to the disciples.

Matthew 11:11

“Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.


The baptism of John was a call to repent. There was no revelational understanding about the Holy Spirit in it. The present-day Water Baptism according to the Scripture was established by Jesus and His disciples. That's why Apostle Paul re-baptized believers in Corinth. (Acts 19:1-5) 


John 3:22

After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.


John 4:1-2

When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)

Three main aims at the Water Baptism by Jesus and His disciples

1. Separate those who believe that Jesus is Christ


John 1:41-42

He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

2. Prepare disciples for Jesus


John 3:22

After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.


John 4:1

When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,


Matthew 4:17

From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.


Mark 2:15

And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.


3. Lay a foundation for the New Testament water baptism


Acts 1:5

For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.


IV. SEVEN AIMS OF WATER BAPTISM


1. Establish the command of Jesus Christ. 


Matthew 28:19-20

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

2. Make believers into disciples of Jesus Christ.


Acts 2:41

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

3. Follow the model of Jesus Christ’s water Baptism.


Matthew 3:15

And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.


1 Peter 2:21

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

4. Prepare people for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. 


Acts 2:38-39

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

5. To Fulfill all righteousness of God.


Matthew 3:15

And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

6. At the judgement seat of Christ, the water is a witness of Water Baptism.


1 John 5:8

And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. 

7. Believers to become the bride of Christ.


Ephesians 5:25-27

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

V. Article of TFHAG Statement of Faith on Salvation and related teachings on Water Baptism.

4.4 SALVATION

We believe that we have no righteousness of our own and need to come to God pleading for the righteousness of Christ; and salvation is only through Christ Jesus. (Romans 10:10, 2Corinthians 5:21-23, Ephesians 1:13, 2:8, Titus 2:11, Philippians 2:12, Acts 4:12)

4.4.1 BORN AGAIN 

We believe that the change taking place in the heart at conversion and being born again is a very real one. (John 3:3-8, 1Peter 1:23)

4.4.2 WATER BAPTISM

We believe that water baptism is an act of obedience to the command of Jesus Christ. It is the fulfilment of God's counsel and His righteousness over a believer. Moreover, it is an identification of Jesus's death, burial and resurrection while we believe that Jesus died, buried and rose again.  It gives a higher conscience in a believer as a disciple of Jesus Christ to walk in the newness of life. We institute a full immersion baptism to our believers as the scripture teaches. (Matthew 3:13-15, 28:19, Luke 7:29, Acts 2:36-38, 8:16, 10:48, 19:1-5, Romans 6:4-5, 1Peter 3:19-21). 

VI.  WATER BAPTISM SPIRITUAL MEANING.


Water Baptism is an outward expression of an inward genuine repentance.


2 Corinthians 5:17 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.


A. What are the Spiritual Meanings of Water Baptism?


A.1 It means obedience to the commandment of Christ.


Mark 16:16. `

He who believes and is baptized shall be saved.’ 


Matthew 28:19-20

Go therefore and make disciples 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 things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.


Aeans following Christ example


1 Peter 2:21.

…because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us also an example, that you should follow His steps. 

Matthew 3:13

Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.

A.3 It means fulfilling all


Matthew 3:15.

‘Suffer it to be so now: for so it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness.’ 

What is righteousness?

Righteousness means right standing with God. Therefore, if Jesus was in need to fulfill the righteousness, how much more we need to do it.


2 Corinthians 5:21

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

A4. Identification with Christ’s death, burial and resurrection:


Romans 6:4-5

Therefore, we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:  


A.4.1 Identification in His death


Romans 6:5.

 … planted together in the likeness of  His death


A.4.2 Identification in His burial


Romans 6:4.

… buried WITH HIM by baptism into death.


A.4.3 Identification in His resurrection


Romans 6:4.

…like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of The Father, even so we should walk in newness of life.

A.5 Baptism is an act of obeying the counsel of God


Command of water baptism is the counsel of the Holy Trinity. John the Baptist, insisted Jesus to baptize him. He wants to do the will of, God the Father, who commanded him to prepare the people for Jesus Christ ministry.

John 1:32-34

And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”


Luke 7:29-30

And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.

A.6 Water Baptism is not washing of filth on the body


Water Baptism is neither a ceremonial activity nor a washing of the body after the born-again experience. Moreover, it validates a believer to be identified among other fellow believers in fellowship and prayer. It empowers them to walk daily from glory to glory.

A.7 Water Baptism is a prayer towards a good conscience


An act of anything always leaves a mark on our soul's memory screen. The very act of Water Baptism triggers a believer's soul to distinguish between what is morally good and bad, promoting to do the former and shun the latter, commending the right and condemning the wrong. This is due to the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit which made our dead spirit to become alive. Thus, we become God-conscious rather than world-conscious. The right consciousness becomes active due to the commitment to walk in the newness of life. 


1 Peter 3:21

The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

A.8 Water Baptism reminds how Noah got saved


Though Salvation is received through faith in the atonement of the blood of Jesus, which forgives multitude of sins, Water baptism is an act done physically by the person who believe in a righteous God who judges the world righteously. 

1 Peter 3:20

Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

A.9 Water Baptism identifies and differentiate a believer's authority in Jesus


Due to the righteous work of Jesus Christ, all authority in heaven and earth is subject to Him. The same authority is transferred to the believers who are called the disciples who obeyed the teachings of Jesus Christ. Thus, there is a difference in the level of authority when we exercise it in every facet of our spiritual life.


1 Peter 3:22

Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.


Matthew 28:18

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.


Ephesians 1:21-23

Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. 

A.10 Water Baptism entitles genuine walk with Jesus as a true disciple


Immediately after the repentance, a person starts producing the fruit of the Spirit. That's a visible mark of change in their attitude and walk. However, life must be re-orchestrated to accommodate the new change which the Holy Spirit dictates. The spirit of man becomes more conscious of God's voice than to the spirit of the world. 

As the person progresses on their spiritual pathway, he or she shouldn't wait for a long time to take water baptism. Water baptism changes the position of a believer to that of a disciple. Water Baptism is just the beginning of a long journey to eternity with Jesus Christ.


Matthew 28:19-20

Go therefore and make disciples 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 things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

VII. REQUIREMENTS FOR WATER BAPTISM


B. What are the Scriptural requirements for Water Baptism ?

B.1 Must hear the Gospel and understand and believe


Ephesians 1:13

In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

B.2  Must repent of the sins of past and present, so that sins shall be forgiven


Proverbs 28:13

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper:

but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.


1 John 1:7-9

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


Acts 17:30-31

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

B.3 Must confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior


Romans 10:9-11

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.


Luke 12:8

Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: