Water baptism is a practice many churches claim is necessary to be performed if one is to be considered born again and a christian. Does scripture teach this? John the baptist whose ministry performed water baptism was the forerunner to the Lord Jesus Christ whose ministry was far different. Many believe water baptism is still for our day and age and this teaching is taken from Matthew 3:13-17, only Jesus did not say when He was about to be baptized that it was to continue with water. John knew his ministry must decrease so Jesus ministry would increase. So what was the difference between Johns ministry and his way of baptizing with water compared to Jesus’ ministry and His way of baptizing?
John in his own words goes on to say exactly what our Lord would be doing as far as baptizing in His ministry. (Matthew 3:11,12) 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.
This event was first seen at the day of Pentecost as we read how Peters words come to pass of Jesus’ baptism of the holy spirit and fire! (Acts 2:1-8) And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
Later we see Peter teaching of the same baptism He had learned from Jesus and went on to preach this message. (Acts 2:38-41) 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. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Merriam Webster’s dictionary describes baptism as…… To purify, To cleanse spiritually, Purging one of their sin’s, To be sanctified. A christian sacrament marked by ritual use.
With the above definition it is easy to see how man has continued a worldly practice aside from what scripture teaches for us to do. There is also another reason why water baptism is wrong and that is the water baptizing of babies, which brings the question “WHAT SIN HAS A BABY COMMITTED TO HAVE TO BE BAPTIZED FOR?” or WHY WOULD A BABY NEED TO BE BORN AGAIN SINCE THEY WERE JUST BORN?” Surely they do not have to be purged from their sins, or need to be purified or cleansed spiritually. This practice makes it clear why Jesus told the Sadducces and Pharissees of His day and certainly some pastor’s and priest’s of today….. “You hold to your tradition‘s more than the laws of God, making the word of God void”!
In Jesus’ own words He tells us to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and water is not once mentioned! (Matthew 28:18-20).
The holy spirit guides us into all truth (John 16:7-15).