What is Baptism?
Baptize comes from the Greek word “baptizo” which means to dip, submerge, or immerse. Jesus had a very deep discussion with Nicodemus about being born again, which gives reference that water baptism is essential to salvation. Jesus’ cross, which all realize is of great importance, is mentioned numerous times in the New Testament. At conversion, the change in a person is major and the turning point is crucial in his/her life that Jesus said the event must be officiated by the great ceremony of baptism. To demonstrate its importance, He himself was baptized. He included baptism as part of His great commission to His church in (Matthew 28:18-20. John 3:1-21)
Jesus did not have to be baptized, but he explained to John that all of us do. So he set the perfect example for righteous living and was baptized. His baptism served for all who cannot be baptized due to certain circumstances, like the thief on the cross. Remember that baptism signifies the death of sin and the newness of life. (Matthew 3:13-17; John 1:29-34)
Misguided men have introduced other forms of baptism which God does not approve. Many were added because of convenience. Satan’s plan is to change whatever God wants us to do. He puts it in the mind of man that it is all-right, God understands.
Some forms of baptism used today are:
1. Immersion (entire body submerged backwards in water).
2. Trine immersion (entire body submerged face forward three times.)
3. Aspersion (being sprinkled with water).
4. Infusion (having water poured on you).
5. Having rose petals or salt sprinkled on you.
6. Being anointed with oil.
7. Having wine poured on you.
8. Dry cleaning method (no water).
9. Words spoken over the phone or sent by mail.
10. The Holy Spirit in the life.
11. Symbolic or figurative
God recognizes only one form of baptism. All other baptisms are not a baptism. “There is one body and Spirit, even as ye all called in one hope of your calling: One Lord, one faith, one baptism…” (Ephesians 4:4-5) According to the scripture, before baptism a person:
1. Must be taught and accept all the teachings of Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20)
2. Must believe these teachings from his heart (Mark 16:16)
3. Must repent (Acts 2:38)
4. Must turn away from sin (Romans 6:5,6; Matthew 3:7,8)
5. Accepts Jesus Christ as personal Savior (II Corinthians 5:17; John 3:3-5)