Jesus insisted on being baptised by John Baptist before beginning his ministry. He said baptism was necessary to ‘fulfil all righteousness’. This means that it is something that God requires of us.
Matthew 3:13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
When Jesus began his ministry, his disciples baptised others to make them Jesus’ disciples. In this way, Jesus made more disciples than John.
John 3:22-26 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. 23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. 24 For John was not yet cast into prison. 25 Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying. 26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.
John 4:1-2 When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, 2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)
After his resurrection Jesus gave his apostles a commission to preach the gospel and baptise those who believed.
Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit:
Mark 16:15-16 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
At Pentecost when the Jews asked what they should do, Peter said:
Acts 2:38 …repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…
Here we are told that when we believe, repent, and are baptised, God forgives all our past sins. When Paul was converted, Ananias told him to wash away his sins by being baptised.
Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
Baptism is an act of faith necessary for salvation, An acknowledgement that we need cleansing from our sins.
1 Peter 3:21 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 is a symbolic burial with Christ and a rising again to live a new life.
Romans 6:4 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.
Our new life is to be lived by the commandments of Christ.
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
We find throughout the Acts of the apostles that those who believed were baptised.
Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: 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 baptized, both men and women.
Acts 8:13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.
Acts 8:36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
Baptism is total immersion in water, not sprinkling.
Paul was baptised
Acts 9:18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
The household of Cornelius was baptised
Acts 10:47-48 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Spirit as well as we? 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.
Lydia was baptised
Acts 16:15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.
The Philippian jailer was baptised
Acts 16:33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
Crispus was baptised
Acts 18:8 And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized
Some of John’s disciples found at Ephesus were re-baptised into Christ
Acts 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
When we are baptised, we are ‘born again’ of water.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5 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.
Being born again of the Spirit is the change in the way that we think and act which comes about by obeying the word of God contained in the commandments of Christ.
1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
By immersion in water we put on Christ, become Abraham’s seed, and heirs of the promise.
Galatians 3:27-29 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
The promises to Abraham of an eternal inheritance on the earth form the basis of the Gospel. Baptism is validated not by the person who baptises but by what is believed at the point of baptism.
‘He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved’
May I suggest that you read Why Baptism Really Matters (please click the title)
I hope you find this helpful.