|HM#144 - BAPTISM - HOW MUCH WATER?
There is very great danger that this topic could become a side track that detracts from other important issues. Some of these issues are:
1. Baptism is COMMANDED by Jesus. (Matt 28:19; Mark 16:16)
2. To be effective it requires both repentance from sin, and belief in the Gospel. (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38)
3. It is associated with a new beginning in life, which is likened to a symbolic death and resurrection. (Romans 6:1-13)
4. It is the doorway to discipleship. (Matthew 28:19 RSV)
5. It is the outward sign of a covenant made with God. (Heb 8:7-11)
6. It is the response of a “good conscience towards God”. (1 Peter 1:21)
7. There are promises that God makes, on his side of the covenant. (Hebrews 8:10; 10:12)
8. The token of God’s covenant is the HOLY SPIRIT, given to those who OBEY! (Acts 5:32)
And of course, unless you get those things right, it won’t matter how much water you use!
For the sake of this article we are going to assume that you already have all these other issues properly understood.
And we are going to assume that if your conscience towards God is as “GOOD" as it should be, you will want to make sure that you do it the way God says. And that will include how much water you use.
DOES THE BIBLE ACTUALLY TELL US HOW MUCH WATER TO USE?
It is often claimed that from the Bible's perspective, the amount of water used in baptism is never discussed as an issue. It is the individual’s response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ -- God's Word – that is always the central focus.
However this is faulty logic. When we look at the Greek word used in the New Testament, it soon becomes obvious that the question is resolved by the meaning of the Greek word used. The amount of water required is IMPLICIT in that Greek word. Baptizo means IMMERSE. You can’t immerse anyone in the few drops of water used by the mainstream Churches to “sprinkle”!
Let’s look at that a bit closer.
The Greek word is “baptizo”. (baptizo)
According to the lexicon attached to the Online Bible, Baptizo means
907 baptizo baptizo bap-tid’-zo
AV-baptize (76), wash 2, baptist 1, immersed
1) to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk)
2) to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water, to wash one’s self, bathe
3) to overwhelm
Let us emphasise that ……………… baptizo means “immerse”, “dip”, or “submerge”. And “immersed” requires that you go fully under the water.
That is what you must do to obey the command implicit in the word God uses!
IT DOES NOT MEAN “SPRINKLE”!
If you get “sprinkled”, instead of “immersed”, you have done something different to what God commanded!
There is no biblical authority for this change.
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY
From Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baptism
The usual form of baptism among the earliest Christians was for the candidate to be immersed, either totally (submerged completely under the water) or partially (standing or kneeling in water while water was poured on him or her).[a] While John the Baptist's use of a deep river for his baptism suggests immersion, pictorial and archaeological evidence of Christian baptism from the 3rd century onward indicates that a normal form was to have the candidate stand in water while water was poured over the upper body. Other common forms of baptism now in use include pouring water three times on the forehead, a method called affusion, (pouring water onto the head), and sprinkling. (splashing a few drops of water on the face)
By the third and fourth centuries, baptism involved catechetical instruction as well as chrismation, exorcisms, laying on of hands, and recitation of a creed.
In the early middle ages infant baptism became common and the rite was significantly simplified. Affusion became the normal mode of baptism between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, though immersion was still practiced into the sixteenth. In the sixteenth century, Martin Luther retained baptism as a sacrament, but Swiss reformer Huldrych Zwingli considered baptism and the Lord's supper to be symbolic. Anabaptists denied the validity of baptisms conducted outside their group and rebaptized converts. They also rejected the practice of infant baptism, as did several other Protestant groups.
In the 21st century, some denominations even go so far as to deny the necessity of Water Baptism altogether.
The English word baptism is derived indirectly from the Latin word, which was transliterated from the Greek nouns baptisma (baptisma), and baptismos (baptismos). Both of these nouns are derived from the verb baptizo (baptizo), "wash", or “dip” or “immerse”, which is used in Jewish texts for ritual washing, and in the New Testament both for ritual washing and also for the rite of baptisma. The corresponding Greek verb is bapto (bapto).
Early Latin translations transliterated it as baptizatus. Of course that could only have been a deceptive attempt to HIDE the REAL meaning of the Greek word. The Church had CHANGED what the Bible actually said, from “immersing”, to the man made practice of “sprinkling”, and instead of admitting that they had got it wrong, they simply hid the meaning behind a Latin transliteration to avoid the implications of their disobedience.
It is not surprising at all, then, is it, that the English mainstream Church which practises “sprinkling”, should also choose to perpetuate that same centuries old deception, by hiding the real meaning of the word to conceal the fact that they had changed from the real Biblical method commanded by God.
The mainstream churches went even further. They now use it to mean the “naming ceremony” they use for infants who can neither believe nor repent. And this results in further DECEPTION! People are made to believe they have been “baptized”, when in fact they have NOT.
And in our time, there are actually some churches which go so far as to say that the practice of “immersion”, instead of sprinkling, is a SACRILEGE!
A SELECTION OF NEW TESTAMENT VERSES PROPERLY TRANSLATED
Below is a selection of verses, in which baptizo has been translated properly instead of merely anglicised or transposed.
Matthew 3:16 And Jesus, when he was immersed, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is immersed shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Luke 3:21 Now when all the people were immersed, it came to pass, that Jesus also being immersed, and praying, the heaven was opened,
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be immersed 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.
Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were immersed: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were immersed, both men and women.
Acts 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be immersed, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
Acts 10:48 And he commanded them to be immersed in the name of the Lord.
Acts 19:5 When they heard this, they were immersed in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were immersed into Jesus Christ were immersed into his death?
Gal 3:27-29 For as many of you as have been immersed into Christ have put on Christ………And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
It should not be surprising that churches which practice this fundamental deception, also teach other disobedience to Jesus!
Check out what they teach about the Sermon on the Mount, on such fundamentally important issues as:
1. going to law,
Check out what they teach about
The promises to Abraham as a non-negotiable element of the Hope of the GospelEven if you do know how much water to use for baptism, these are things which, if you get them wrong, can adversely affect your inheritance of the Kingdom of God!
“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children,
and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple………..
So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”