Water Baptism – Burial

An 1890 sketch for St. Vladimir's Cathedral, Kiev: The Baptism of Saint Vladimir by Viktor Vasnetsov.

An 1890 sketch for St. Vladimir’s Cathedral, Kiev: The Baptism of Saint Vladimir by Viktor Vasnetsov.

This is the third article in a four-part series addressing the subject of salvation and what it means to “believe the Gospel”. The first article was entitled Salvation – the Gospel. The second article was entitled Repent and Believe the Gospel!

The next step on our journey to the gospel plan is water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. Baptism was preached by Peter in Acts 2:38.

Acts 2:38 (KJV) – “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.”

 

Total Immersion

The proper method of baptism is by total immersion. This is how we identify with the burial of Jesus Christ. The word “burial” means: to put a dead body in the earth, a tomb, etc.; to hid or cover; to immerse. The only mode of baptism that can qualify as a “burial” is total immersion.

Romans 6:4-5 (KJV) – “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:”

The English word “baptism” is derived from the Greek word “baptizo” which means to dip, to plunge, or immerse. Since water baptism is likened unto a burial, it demands complete immersion. During a burial, I’ve never seen anyone just sprinkle a small amount of dirt over a dead body. A “burial” demands total immersion. Since the “old man” has died in repentance, he, therefore, must be “buried” in water baptism.

Water Baptism – Essential

The scriptures clearly reveal that water baptism is an essential part of the salvation plan. In Acts 2:38 were are told that sins are remitted in water baptism. The dictionary meaning of remission is to cancel a debt, charge or penalty. Indeed, the gospel plan cancels our debt of sin.

Mark 16:16 (KJV) – “He that believeth and is baptized.”

Many people place a heavy emphasis on “faith” and faith alone. However, it is impossible to separate faith and baptism. Baptism is an expression of ones faith and obedience.

John 3:5-6 (KJV) – “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

Here in John chapter three Jesus is referring to water baptism in His Name. Water baptism is an essential part of the gospel plan of salvation often referred to as the “New Birth”. A person must be born of the water and of the Spirit in order to enter into the kingdom of God. We will discuss the baptism of the Spirit in the final article of this series.

1 Peter 3:21 (KJV) – “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:”

Baptism in Jesus Name

The scriptures are clear on the mode and method of baptism. The Acts of the Apostles, which is a history of the early church provides numerous examples of water baptism.

In Acts 2:38 three thousand believers were baptized in Jesus name.

In Acts 8:16 the Samaritans were baptized in Jesus name.

In Acts 10:38 Cornelius and his household were baptized in Jesus name.

In Acts 19:5 the men of the city of Ephesus were baptized in Jesus name.

The scriptures reveal that baptism was by total immersion in water administered in the Name of Jesus Christ. The “name” that is above all names must be called or “invoked” over the candidate for baptism.

Acts 2:38 (KJV) – “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.”

Peter preached the first salvation message on the Day of Pentecost. He was the spokesman for the other apostle. In Matthew 16:18-19 Jesus Himself had given Peter the “keys” to the Kingdom. As Peter preached in Acts chapter two all of the Apostles were present (Acts 2:14-38). There is NO indication in scripture that they disagreed with Peter’s salvation message.

Acts 4:12 (KJV) – “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Baptism is an essential part of the plan of salvation, and the name of Jesus is the only saving name. That word “must” is a final, demand word. We “must” be baptized in the name of Jesus.

Colossians 3:17 (KJV) – “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

There are some folks who will do everything in “Jesus name” except submit to water baptism in that name. Baptism includes both “word” and “deed”.

Matthew 28:19 (KJV) – “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”

Matthew 28:19 has been the source of considerable confusion regarding the manner in which water baptism is to be performed. Many consider Matthew 28:19 as the proof scripture for water baptism. They might even declare that they would rather follow the commands of Jesus than the Apostles. However, please remember that there is no record in scripture of Jesus baptizing anyone. Matthew 28:19 is a command from Jesus. Jesus did not say repeat after me! His disciples carried out His command by baptizing in “Jesus name”.

Notice that the scripture points to “the name” that is singular. So we are commanded to “baptize” in one “name.” Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are not names but titles. I am a “father”, someone’s “son” and someone else’s “husband”. However, I only have one name, and it is not “father”, “son” or “husband”. I certainly couldn’t sign a legal document as “father” or “son”.

So what is the “name” of the “Son” in Matthew 28:19? Well, that one’s easy. The name of the Son is Jesus. Matthew 1:21 states that “thou shalt call his name Jesus.” Well, then what’s the name of the Father? Is it “Father”? The name of the Father is Jesus because in John 5:43 the scriptures declare “I am come in may Father’s name.” What about the “Holy Ghost”? John 14:26 states “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name.” The power of salvation is in the name of Jesus.  Jesus was the name of the father, son and Holy Ghost!

Luke 24:47 (KJV) – And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

This is Jesus Himself speaking in Luke chapter 24. He is giving a clear command that when repentance and remission of sins are preached it should be done in His Name. When a person repents and is water baptized in Jesus name remission of sins follows. Jesus clearly states that water baptism should be in His name. Aren’t you glad that the Lord has made away for us. He has a plan for you and me!

This was the third article in a series on the plan of salvation. The first article was entitled Salvation – the Gospel. The second article was entitled Repent and Believe the Gospel.

Scripture

Ron

Managing Editor at Scripture Revealed
I’ve studied and taught the good news of Jesus Christ and His kingdom since 1985. My goal is to reveal the biblical truths I’ve come to see through prayer and study. I believe that the scriptures are revealed to those that study and rightly divide the "Word of Truth.”
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Richard Brand
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I believe very strongly in the Apostolic Faith and their doctrine. Having understood the Old Testament prophecies of the New Covenant to include the promise of the Holy Ghost in becoming God’s people. The power in becoming a child of promise as an heir of God through Christ Jesus is in the Holy Ghost. The Kingdom of God is now and is eternal through Jesus. He will deliver it to God at the end of His reign according to 1 Corinthians 15:23-28 when God shall be all in all. The reign of Christ is until all things are put under… Read more »

Ronald Hannah
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Ronald Hannah

I really enjoyed this read… please continue the work.

Ralph Crawford
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Ralph Crawford

Enjoyed it Ron. Romans says it all.