Biblical Baptism

Let there be no doubt, the subject of baptism is the single most debated and important issue as it relates to the churches of Christ and the rest of the religious world.  The root of the debate revolves around a few core questions:

  1. What is the method of baptism?
  2. What is the purpose of baptism?

These questions have driven the debate for decades with a wide variety of personal and organizational opinions, ideas and suggestions being argued.  With such a diversity of answers for the questions it is necessary to set a standard before we move forward.  We can easily accomplish this by changing the questions in a way that brings divine clarity to the questions.

  1. What is the correct and scriptural method of baptism?
  2. What is the correct and scriptural purpose of baptism?

Answering the questions in this manner will ensure we are answering them in a way that is pleasing to God and not for any other reason.  Like all theology questions our goal should be to discover God's will, understand it, and align our life after the pattern God has created.  This method will also allow us to set aside our preconceived notions and bring into focus the questions and their righteous answers.

Let's begin by asking a vital question that will sometimes stop the discussion before it starts.  "Is it okay for different organization or individuals to have a variety of answers to the questions and all still be pleasing to God?"  Many will suggest we don't need to have this study at all.  Perhaps you have heard a statement like "long as we all try to do the right thing as best as we can God will be pleased."  But are we really doing as best as we can if we do not compare what we think is best to the perfection of God's inspired Word.  Focusing on our topic does the Bible allow or prohibit diversity?

Eph 4:4-6 (NASB)
4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling;
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.

Notice how this passage establishes limits on several matters thus eliminating the right for mankind to diversify them:

  1. Body - The Bible often refers to the church Christ established as a "body."  This passage removes the idea of many churches all teaching different things and expecting the same results.  Our study of baptism is a great example of this.  The unity of all Christians is God's plan and was Jesus' prayful desire (John 17).  So much more can be said on this topic but in order to focus on our subject we will leave the discussion on unity for another time.
  2. Spirit - The Holy Spirit is divine.  No Christian would suggest there is more than one Holy Spirit.
  3. Hope - Our hope is the expectation of heaven achieved by the way we are called to live.  No Christian suggests there is more than one heaven.
  4. Lord - Jesus is Lord and no faithful Christian suggests there is more than one Lord.
  5. Faith - A Christian's faith is the belief in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and the promises we have in the Word entrusted to us in the Bible.  No Christian would suggest there is another faith.
  6. Baptism - Of course this topic is our focus and YES there is only one baptism, in the Christian dispensation, according to God's Word!
  7. God and Father - Again no Christians suggest there is more than one God the Father.

This passage tells us there are so many things which God has created in the singular form.  Most of the items on the list create no debate.  So why is it that baptism is the exception?  If the rest of the list is so easy to accept in the singular then we should accept that there is only one baptism as well as the scriptures say.  The idea of one baptism is reinforced throughout the scriptures in every instance where we see it practiced or taught during the formation and growth of the church.

Of course the letter to the Ephesians was written by Paul after the formation and establishment of the Christian church.  Before the Christian church as established there were other baptisms that we need to discuss and understand including when their period of effectiveness ended.  Let's look at the baptism of the Holy Spirit and John's baptism.

Baptism of the Holy Spirit

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a miraculous, visible and verifiable event sent directly from the God of heaven to those receiving it.  The recipients take no action to instigate the event.

Mark 1:8 (NASB)
8 "I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

Here John is telling those who are coming to be baptized that Jesus will come after him and would baptize with the Holy Spirit.  When did this happen?

Acts 2:1-4 (NASB)
1 And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.

Here we see the apostles, who were all Jewish, being baptized by the Holy Spirit.  This baptism, delivered directly from God, was distinct for several reasons:

  1. A great sound - Audio evidence heard by everyone that could not be misunderstood or doubted that is was from God.  This is not something we see in today's church.
  2. Tongues of fire - Visual evidence seen by everyone that could not be misunderstood or doubted that is was from God.  This is not something we see in today's church.
  3. Speaking in tongues - Miraculous evidence seen and heard by everyone present.  This was not what we see in the religious world today where unintelligible ranting is spoken.  Speaking in tongues was speaking in languages that were not known beforehand (read verse 6).  This is not something we see in today's church.

Acts 11:15-16 (NASB)
15 "And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, just as He did upon us at the beginning. 16 "And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, 'John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'

In this passage Peter is recounting his experience to the other apostles about the salvation of the gentile Cornelius and his household.  Notice how Peter ties Jesus' teaching and John's prophecy together.  Notice also how Peter says happened to them in the beginning which we just read about.

These instance are the only times in scripture that God directly sent the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Notice how he delivered in once to a group of Jews and once to a group of gentiles.  This shows that God is not partial (especially since the Jews thought God was only their God) (Ephesians 6:9).  John's prophecy was made, fulfilled with the Jews and Gentiles, was obvious and verifiable and never happened again in Bible times or now!

John's Baptism

New let's examine John the Baptist and his baptism.  In Matthew 3 we read of how John was baptizing in the Jordan River while preaching repentance from sin.  John's baptism was not related to the Christian church because the church did not exist.  Baptism was a common practice denoting submission to a master.  The people who John baptized were giving John credit as an authority on his subject of repentance.  This is why John did not want to baptize Jesus, but Jesus knew the message of John was righteous and must be fulfilled.

After the church was instituted by Jesus' death, burial and resurrection John's baptism was no longer needed and was even rejected by Paul.

Acts 19:4-5 (NASB)
4 And Paul said, "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus." 5 And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

These good people thought they had done what was right.  They thought they were pleasing to God.  However when Paul corrected their misunderstanding they corrected their error immediately.  Today when people discover they have not been practicing what God would want them to do they seem to seek to justify their actions, or correct God, instead of just correcting themselves.

Christian Baptism

Now we have seen the purpose, method and reason for baptism of the Holy Spirit, and that is has been fulfilled, we know this baptism is not the Christian baptism.  Likewise we see that the baptism of John could not make men pleasing to God after the church was established so we know it is not the Christian baptism.  So our next step is to answer the questions we posed at the beginning of the lesson.  Let's use our Bible's and find the answers that God has provided for us.

What is the correct and scriptural method of baptism?

Many methods are used in the religious world today to practice baptism with sprinkling, pouring and immersion being the most common.  The confusion is created only made worse by the word itself "baptize."  When the King James Version of the Bible was being translated the scholars came across the word "baptize" which means to immerse or overwhelm.  While translating the Greek to English the scholars knew the method of baptism being practiced by the church at that time was to sprinkle.  They faced a tough chose.  Change their method of baptism or change that meaning of the word.  Unfortunately they chose poorly and decided to transliterate the word (make the Greek word sound like an English one) and make baptize into the word baptize redefining its meaning as "the application of water for scriptural and religious purposes" thus the proper method of baptism became confusing.

Now let's look into the scriptures and see what they say about the method of baptism.

John 3:23 (NASB)
23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there; and they were coming and were being baptized.

While we have established John's baptism is not the Christian baptism we can see the method (and thus the word's meaning) required "much water."  If he was sprinkling or pouring he would not have needed a place where the world was deep.  He must have been immersing.

Matt 3:16 (NASB)
16 And after being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him,

Staying with John's example, here we see that Jesus "went up from the water."  This shows he was immersed and not sprinkled or poured upon.

Acts 8:38-39 (NASB)
38 And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch saw him no more, but went on his way rejoicing.

Here we see the story of the Ethiopian eunuch who believed the world and was baptized.  Notice how "they both went down into the water" and "came up out of the water."  Again this points clearly to immersion and not sprinkling or pouring.

In Romans 6:4 and Colossians 2:12 baptism is described as a burial and resurrection mirroring what Jesus did.  Burial is not accomplished by sprinkling or pouring dirt on the body but covering the whole body completely with the earth.

The Bible and the original Greek are clear.  The purpose method of baptism is to immerse the believer fully under the water.  Any other method does not right scriptural authority and divides the oneness of baptism.

What is the correct and scriptural purpose of baptism?

Now that we have let the scriptures instruct us in the proper method of baptism lets explorer the subject of its purpose.  As we have discussed previously this subject is a great controversy because of the wide range of teachings on the purpose.  Here are a few that are widely accepted:

  1. To join the local church congregation
  2. As an outward sign of an inward faith
  3. As a declaration of obedience after salvation
  4. So God can remove sins resulting in our salvation

Since there are so many different views, and as we have clearly read in Ephesians 4 that there is only ONE baptism, we must conclude that one of the views is correct or they are all wrong and the truth purpose remains a mystery.  We must go to the scriptures and test each purpose suggested to see if is proven.  In this portion of the lesson we will read passages related to baptism and ask if they fit the descriptions above using their line letter (A, B, C or D) to assign the best meaning.  It is impossible to cover ever passage related to baptism so the student is encouraged to do a more exhaustive study privately.  Also please go back over the passages we study in this lesson and careful read the context to ensure what we cover is sound and true.

Since we have established the baptism of John and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit do not apply to the Christian church we will include only Christian baptism as it relate to us today.

Mark 16:16 (NASB)
16 "He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.

As Jesus was giving his followers their final instructions before He ascended back to heaven He told them that whoever believes and is baptized shall be saved.  To misunderstand this verse takes work!  Some will say that since he didn't close the verse by saying "but he who has disbelieved and is not baptized shall be condemned" that baptism is not required.  However Jesus did not need to add the closing remarks about baptism because no one who does not believe would ever righteously submit themselves to baptism.  The insistence that the closing remarks must contain the added phrase denies simple sentence structure and reason.

The word "and" means plus in mathematical terms.  2 and 2 is 4.  Since Jesus was adding together actions in this verse we could say He was saying believed plus has been baptized shall be saved, or simply belief + baptism = salvation.  Leave off either side of the evolution and the final result is not the same.  It takes both to the saved!

Which purpose of baptism does this passage match?   A   B   C   D

Acts 2:37-38 (NASB)
37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?" 38 And Peter said to them, "Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

After Peter preaches the first gospel sermon the response from the crowd was immediate, pointed and simple.  They wanted to know what they should do (which is the most noble question anyone can ask of God).  The answer was likewise immediate, pointed and simple.  Repent (change your life to live for God) and be baptized in the name of the Lord.  For what purpose?  For the remission of sins.  Although this passage is very simple to understand some would twist it to suggest the word "for" means "because of."  The Greek word Peter used was "eis" meaning "into, unto or towards" and NOT "because of." Peter was simple stating that their obedient act of baptism was what God demands in order for Him to forgive sins.  Verse 41 tells us when the obedient were added, after baptism.

Which purpose of baptism does this passage match?   A   B   C   D

Acts 8:35-39 (NASB)
35 And Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. 36 And as they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch * said, "Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?" 37 [And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."] 38 And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch saw him no more, but went on his way rejoicing.

Phillip is teaching the eunuch about Jesus.  We don't know what Phillip says about Jesus and His gospel because verse 35 ends by just simply saying "he preached Jesus to him."  What happened between verse 36 and 36 was the meat of the teaching that happened that day and the majority of what was said is a mystery to us.  It might be that Phillip spent a great deal of time covering love, grace, joy, faith, Christian living, mercy and a host of other gospel principles.  We don't know any topic he covered accept one, baptism.  We know this from the eunuch's response to Phillip.  After hearing Phillip's teaching he asked to be baptized immediately.  Notice how Phillip was "snatched away" only after the baptism was completed because that was the point at which his mission was completed and the eunuch saved.

Which purpose of baptism does this passage match?   A   B   C   D

Acts 9:18 (NASB)
18 And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he arose and was baptized

Acts 22:16 (NASB)
16 'And now why do you delay? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.'

The apostle Paul had his vision removed from him by the Lord and was told to go see Ananias to be told what to do (Acts 9:6).  After healing him Acts 9:18 tells us he immediately arose and was baptized.  Acts 22:16 tells and little more about the encounter.  Ananias told Paul to not delay but to be baptized and wash away his sins.  Only after this was Paul ready to begin his life as a new Christian.

Which purpose of baptism does this passage match?   A   B   C   D

Acts 10:47-48 (NASB)
47 "Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?" 48 And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days.

11:14 (NASB)
14 and he shall speak words to you by which you will be saved, you and all your household.'

Returning our thoughts to Cornelius after it was obvious that after God had directly baptized them in the Holy Spirit those present still had to be immersed in water.  Peter's question was to the other Jews who were present proving to them that God accepts Jews and Gentiles alike.  Of course no one refused and they were all baptized immediately.  Peter's entire sermon to them and his words about baptism were the words "by which you will be saved."  That phrase means the words did not save but the actions created by those words ending in verse 48 with their baptism.

Which purpose of baptism does this passage match?   A   B   C   D

Acts 16:14-15 (NASB)
14 And a certain woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul. 15 And when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay." And she prevailed upon us.

Lydia was a worshiper of God.  She was trying hard to do what she thought was right.  As she was listening to Paul the Lord opened her heart and moved her to ACT on what she was hearing.  What was the action required.  Verse 15 plainly tells us it was baptism.  Notice that only after this she asks if she judged to be faithful.

Which purpose of baptism does this passage match?   A   B   C   D

Acts 16:31-33 (NASB)
31 And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household." 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house. 33 And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household.

God miraculously provided Paul with a chance to escape from prison, but Paul stayed and taught the jailed about the Lord.  In verse 31 Paul says that if the jailor believed he "shall be" (future tense) be saved.  After preaching in verse 32 the jailer and his household responded by washing Paul's prison stripes (either markings denote he was a prisoner or the striped made by a whip) as a sign of repentance and being baptized immediately.

Which purpose of baptism does this passage match?   A   B   C   D

Romans 6:3-7 (NASB)
3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin.

In the most beautiful language Paul describes how baptism is the point at which the believer contacts the death, and therefore the blood, of Jesus.  Notice how Paul compares the act of baptism to the sacrifice and resurrection of the Lord.  How can baptism not be necessary for Christians when it is like Jesus' great sacrifice and resurrection which was so very necessary!?  Verse 6 says this act is when the body of sin is done away with.

Which purpose of baptism does this passage match?   A   B   C   D

Gal 3:27 (NASB)
27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

When we are baptized we put on the protection of Jesus.  Wrapping ourselves in Him, like putting on clothes Paul says, in enjoy His blessings chief of which is salvation.  How is it that we achieve this?  By being baptized.

Which purpose of baptism does this passage match?   A   B   C   D

Col 2:12-13 (NASB)
12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions

When the Colossians were baptized God raised them up with Jesus like He was raised from the dead.  Verse 13 says they were dead in their transgressions but their baptism made them alive and forgave them these sins.

Which purpose of baptism does this passage match?   A   B   C   D

1 Peter 3:20-21 (NASB)
20 who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. 21 And corresponding to that, baptism now saves you--not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

This passage is so clear it take effort to misunderstand.  Relating baptism to the flood waters Peter definitively states that baptism now saves.

Which purpose of baptism does this passage match?   A   B   C   D

Why the confusion?

Since the scriptures are clear as to the method and purpose of baptism why is there confusion and such a lack of peace on the matter?  First and foremost we must not blame God since He is not the God of confusion but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33).  Since God is cannot be blamed then the confusion and lack of peace must originate with the force who work against God, Satan.  Satan cannot stand for God to win a single soul so he has injected much confusion.  Think about this.  In the first century Bible times there were not different religious groups preaching different things about baptism all claiming to be Christians.  Baptism was always for remission of sin resulting in God saving the soul.  As the gospel spread Satan had to stop the success so he confused the method and purpose of the very act that results in salvation so people would think they were doing right but would not be.  Satan has won many souls of people who refused to study the scriptures for themselves and just did what they were told, why they were told when they were told in arrogance and error.  Paul foretold of this when writing to Timothy.

1 Tim 4:1-3 (NASB)
1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods, which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth.

When we discuss baptism with people who hold an errant view they will not see what the Bible so plainly teaches.  Why?  Verse 2 says that once they fall away from the truth their consciences are seared (scared) over so much that their hearts are hard to penetrate even with what is plainly the truth.  Paul said  this was going to happen, we have seen it happen and still so many are lost!

Misused Scriptures
Another reason for confusion is bible verses misused by one trying to support their idea of the purpose of baptism.  Of course this logic is reversed from what God would want us to do.  He wants us to read His Word, find what we should do, do it like He says, why He says, for the reason He says.  When we want to believe a doctrine and go to the bible to intent on proving it to be true we are not handling the scriptures correctly (2 Timothy 2:15), but in reverse.  Let's review some of the verses that are often misused.

Luke 23:42-43 (NASB)
42 And he was saying, "Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!" 43 And He said to him, "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise."

While Jesus was hanging on the cross one of the thieves hanging beside them asked for His favor.  Since Jesus is God He has the power to forgive sins directly and so He granted the thief's request.  Some will suggest that since the thief was never baptized this proves it is not necessary.  This viewpoint is flawed for two important reasons:

  1. The Christian church was not established until after Jesus completed His sacrifice for us by dying on the cross, being raised on the third day and ascending back to heaven.  There was no Christian baptism for the thief because there was no Christianity at this point.
  2. Since Jesus is God He can forgive sins however He chooses.  If we ever find ourselves hanging on a cross next to the Lord we can ask directly Him for favor.  Until that happens we should do it according to His biblical pattern and be baptized.

John 3:16 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Many consider this to be the central theme of the bible in a single verse.  Jesus spoke these words to Nicodemus is response to questions he was asking of the Lord.  Many people suggest this verse says belief results in eternal life (salvation) but what they fail to do, however, is read this verse in its proper context and see that in verse 5 of this chapter Jesus has already told Nicodemus that a soul must be born again of the water (baptism!) and spirit.  Belief results in action.  When a person believes they ask "now what do I do" as we have seen many times in this lesson.  That "what" is completing the journey by being baptized.

Eph 2:8-9 (NASB)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, that no one should boast.

Some will misuse this verse and teach that Paul says grace alone will save the reader.  Notice however that Paul says by grace you "have been" (past tense) saved.  Paul is not telling the Ephesians how to be saved, but how that salvation was made available to them and how to it maintained (this is the same church he explains one baptism to later in chapter 4).  It is God's grace that saves when we submit to His will.  Some will say that baptism is a work and therefore is not needed but does baptism cause a person to boast?  Of course not!  Baptism is not a great work, it is a simply act of absolutely obedience to God.

1 Cor 1:17 (NASB)
17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, that the cross of Christ should not be made void.

This passage has been said to declare that since Paul was not sent to baptize folks it must not be necessary for salvation.  However a simple reading of the context reveals Paul was expressing regret that so many Christians were aligning themselves with the person who baptized them instead of Christ.  Paul was a missionary who traveled preaching and teaching wherever he went.  His job was to spread the truth and move on.  Because of this he did not baptize people who would be likely to hold him in a high regard once he left (we see this in the mission field today where the missionary is viewed as "higher" than those in the field).  Notice too that he does mention that he baptized several in verse 4 & 6.

Romans 10:9 (NASB)
9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved

This verse is used to teach that if you confess and believe you are saved. However it does not say that.  It says you "shall be" (future tense) saved.  So when does the journey to salvation end?  Verse 13 says that whoever calls on the name of the Lord "will be" (present tense) saved.  What does Paul mean by "calling on the name of the Lord?"  Has he ever done this?  What did he do when he did it?  Acts 22:16 tells us is absolute clarity.  He was baptized, washing away his sins!

Unscriptural Practices
During the past 2000 years the method and purpose of baptism has been changed from the Biblical pattern to satisfy the desires of mankind.  This has resulted in several unscriptural practices related to baptism.

Infant baptism - This practice was started after the first century.  Scholars disagree on the reasons that it began but the purpose suggested today is the practice removes the original sin of Adam which has been passed down through the generations.  This idea violated simple teaching found within our Bibles.

Matt 18:3 (NKJV)
3 and (Jesus) said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus Himself said that adults had to become like little children, innocent and pure, in order to be saved.  There is no need to baptize what is already pure.

Ezek 18:20 (NKJV)
The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

This verse tells us we are all responsible for our own sins and do not inherit them from prior generations.  We also cannot obtain glory based on our heritage either!

Baptism for the dead - There a religious groups who practice baptism for the dead.  After a person passes away, other living person is baptized on their behalf to forgive their sins and elevate the dead soul's status in the afterlife.  This practice is based on 1 Cor 15:29.

1 Cor 15:29 (NKJV)
29 Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead?
Never has a verse been removed from its rightful context more than this one.  Read the chapter starting in verse 1 and you will clearly see that Paul was combating those who do not believe in the resurrection of the dead (v12).  People were arguing that there will be no resurrection and Paul corrects them by pointing out that Jesus died, was buried and was raised (v3-4).  Many of the people who rejected the resurrection where Christians who were baptized believers (v14, 17 & 19).  In verse 29 Paul points out their error by asking two rhetorical questions. What will become of those who were baptized in the name of a dead man (if Jesus was not raised He is still dead)?  Why would anyone be baptized in the name of a dead man?


The scriptures paint a vivid and clear picture of the method and purpose for baptism.  Let's be frank, we must all now make a choice to either submit ourselves to the will of God delivered in His inspired Word or be misled into believing a lie created by Satan.  It is my prayer that if you have not been immersed for the remission of your sins so that God may save your soul that you will do so just as we see so many in scripture do, immediately.



Morning Bible Study
Sunday - 9:00 AM
Morning Worship Service
Sunday - 10:00 AM
Evening Worship
Sunday - 6:00 PM
Ladies Bible Study
Wednesday - 9:00 AM
Evening Bible Study
Wednesday - 7:00 PM


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There are no events on this day
There are no events on this day
There are no events on this day


Bob Jackson III
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Tim Rollins
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Barb Jackson
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Ed Alexander
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Charles Smyth
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