A Bible Study on Baptism
By Mark Swarbrick
Read Matthew 3:13-15
- John the Baptist didn’t want to baptize Jesus because
- He didn’t have time.
- He didn’t think baptism was important.
- John felt Jesus should baptize him.
- Jesus said He must be baptized because
- It would impress people.
- It was the right thing to do.
- It would make the Pharisees happy.
Read Acts 2:36-42
- After Peter’s sermon the crowd asked “What should we do?” Peter’s answer was:
- Just get baptized
- Just believe in Jesus
- Believe and get baptized if you want to.
- Repent and be baptized, everyone of you, for the forgiveness of sins.
- Peter recommended baptism for which people?
- Everyone who repented.
- Only those who wanted to join the church.
- Those who understood all the doctrines.
- People who felt ready for it.
- According to verse 41 who did the apostles baptize that day?
- Everyone in the crowd.
- Those who accepted Peter’s message.
- Anyone that wanted to.
- How many got baptized?
- According to verse 41, these people were baptized…
- At the next baptismal church service.
- Later, when it was convenient.
- That day.
- What exactly did the people do after they were baptized?
- Continued their regular life as before.
- Devoted themselves to joining a church.
- Neither a or b.
- Verse 42 says those baptized devoted themselves to…
- The apostle’s teaching.
- Breaking of bread.
- All of the above.
Read Acts 8:12
- When the people believed Philip’s preaching, what did they do?
- The men were allowed to get baptized.
- The women got baptized.
- Both men and women got baptized.
Read Acts 8:35-38
- When the eunuch believed, the first thing he wanted to do was…
- Join a church
- Get Baptized after he studied more.
- Have a bible study.
- Stop the chariot and get baptized at the roadside immediately.
Read Acts 10:27-48
- As soon as Cornelius’ household got saved they received the Holy Spirit and then…
- Peter ordered them to be baptized.
- Peter scheduled an instruction class.
- Peter scheduled a baptismal service for next Sunday.
Read Acts 16:25-34
- According to verse 33, when the jailer and his family believed in Jesus they got baptized…
- The very next morning.
- Immediately, in the middle of the night.
- Right after they ate.
- Before they ate.
- Both b and d.
Read Acts 22:2-14
- According to verse 16, Ananias said to Paul…
- Wait a while and get baptized when you feel ready.
- Join a church and then get baptized.
- What are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on His name.
Read Acts 6:1-7
Read Colossians 2:12-15
- According to this passage, baptism is a symbol of…
- Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.
- That we die to sin and are raised up into new life.
- Our sins have been washed away.
- All of the above.
Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
- Speaking of the Body of Christ, the Church, Paul says the believers were…
- All baptized
- Some were baptized.
Read Galatians 3:27
- According to this verse, who has clothed themselves with Christ?
- Members of the Church.
- Those who were baptized into Christ.
Read 1 Peter 3:21-22
- According to this passage baptism is:
- A religious ceremony
- An appeal to God for a good conscience
- Optional for believers.
There are two errors sometimes made in regard to baptism. One error is the false teaching known as baptismal regeneration which says you are not saved unless you are baptized. Baptism is something you do because you are saved, not to get saved. And you do it as soon as possible. But it is the repentance and faith that saves. Baptism is a picture of that and it solidifies the decision. The thief on the cross (who could not get baptized) to whom Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with me in paradise,” disproves the idea that it is baptism that saves. For a complete refutation of baptismal regeneration, see my article here:
The other error is that baptism is optional for believers, or that it can be done whenever you feel like it, that there is no urgency to it. The Bible is abundantly clear that it is expected for everyone who believes in Christ to get baptized as soon as possible. In the book of Acts, we see that those who put their faith in Christ were baptized immediately. The Bible gives a picture of salvation and baptism occurring the same day. As Ananias said to Paul, “What are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on His name.”
Being baptized is our first act of obedience to Christ. Even Jesus said he must be baptized in order to fulfill all righteousness. If He must, then certainly we must. If a person says they have come to Christ but refuses to get baptized, there is something lacking in their commitment. When one willfully disobeys this very simple but urgent command of Christ, they are being foolish. They are trying to begin a walk with Christ by disobeying Christ. That doesn’t work. They are setting themselves up for failure in their spiritual walk.
Jesus commanded the apostles:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)
Jesus told his apostles:
“The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.” (Luke 10:16)
Jesus commanded that believers be baptized. The apostles established the practice of baptizing people immediately upon repenting and receiving the Lord. Anyone who rejects that is rejecting the teaching of the apostles and Jesus said whoever rejects the teaching of the apostles is rejecting Him and the Father.
The requirements for baptism are clear in Scripture. One must repent and put their faith in Christ. In the Bible, no one is ever baptized unless this is done first. Since babies cannot repent and put faith in Christ, infant baptism is a concept found nowhere in the Bible. Thus, infant baptism does not count as a biblical baptism. There is no record of the practice of infant baptism until the 2nd century. It was unknown in the time of the apostles. It was an erroneous practice that sprang up long after the apostles were gone from this earth.
A close examination of Scripture shows that the mode of baptism practiced in the New Testament was baptism by immersion. Immersion most accurately illustrates the death, burial and resurrection to new life, and the washing away of sins, that is intended to be portrayed by baptism. Additionally, the Greek word translated baptize is Baptisma, or Baptidzo which means to become overwhelmed and fully immersed.