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Baptism is one of the basic New Testament doctrines. Without baptism we cannot be saved.Jesus commanded His followers:

Mark 16:15...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.

 We cannot enter the kingdom of God without being born again and we cannot be ‘born again’ without baptism by immersion in water.

John 3:5 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.

‘Born of water’ refers to baptism in water. ‘Born of the spirit’ refers to the ongoing process whereby the way we think is changed by the word of God.

1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God...

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Below is an overview listing some of the New Testament references to baptism.

1.    Jesus sets the example to show that water baptism is necessary to fulfil all righteousness.

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.

2.    Jesus (via his disciples) baptised.

John 3:22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.... 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 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,)


3.    At Pentecost Peter didn’t say ‘repent and believe’. He said

Acts 2:38 ... Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins...

4.    Those that believed Peter 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.

5.    Philip baptised the Samaritans.

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.

6.    The Ethiopian eunuch requested baptism as a result of Philip’s preaching.

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?

7.    Philip didn’t say ‘It’s OK, you don’t have to be baptised, he said:

37 ... If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

8.    Philip baptised the eunuch.

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.

9.    Paul (Saul) had to be baptised to ‘wash away’ his sins.

Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

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.

10.Cornelius was told to send for Peter who would tell him what he ought to do

Acts 10:5 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter:6 ... he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.

11.Cornelius was baptised in water even though he had been baptised with the Holy Spirit.

Acts 10:47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.

12.Lydia was baptised

Acts 16:15 And when she was baptized, and her household...

13.The Philippian gaoler having been told ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved’ was baptised.

Acts 16:32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

14.Crispus and the Corinthians who believed were 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.

15.Disciples at Ephesus having been baptised by John the Baptist had to be re-baptised when Jesus was fully explained to them.

Acts 19:3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

16.Paul tells the Romans that baptism is symbolic of dying with Christ and coming out of the water symbolic of resurrection to a new life.

Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us (ie all of them) as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?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.

17.Paul speaks of the Corinthians being baptised (although Paul himself had only baptised a few).

1Corinthians 1:13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

18.Paul tells the Galatians that being baptised into Christ is to ‘put on’ Christ. Indicating that we cannot ‘put on’ Christ without baptism.

Galatians 3:27 For as many of you (ie all of them) as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

19.He tells the Ephesians that there is

Ephesians 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

20.He speaks of the Colossians being buried with Christ in baptism.

Colossians 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

21.Peter speaks of baptism saving us.

1Peter 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:

Only the thief on the cross was promised an entrance into the kingdom without water baptism but we must remember that he was ‘dying with Christ’ for real. He had confessed that he was receiving a just reward for his sins from which we might infer repentance. His belief in Christ being the Messiah who would come into his Kingdom was remarkable when all his disciples had forsook him because they didn’t understand.

"Salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22) in the sense that the promises concerning salvation were made only to Abraham and his seed. We become Abraham’s seed and heirs of those promises only by being baptised into Christ.

Galatians 3:27 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 principle is simple BELIEVE, REPENT and BE BAPTISED for the remission of our past sins. Baptism allows us to begin afresh.

Acts 2:38 ... Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins...

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 a new start to our lives.

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.

After baptism we will still sin but once we are ‘in Christ’ we can confess and ask for forgiveness and receive it.

1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1Jo 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

Baptism is valid if we believe the true gospel. It is not dependant on who baptises us but on what we believe when we are baptised. There is nothing ‘holy’ about the water that we are baptised in. Neither do we require the laying on of hands of some ‘church dignity’. We are baptised into Christ not into a church.

If we are baptised and subsequently realise that our beliefs at the time were not in agreement with the Bible, we can and must be baptised again as Acts 19:3-5 (above) makes clear.

Baptism by immersion in water washes away our sins and puts to death our old way of life that we might begin again and live a life acceptable to God and receive the reward of eternal life at Christ’s return.

Here is some information on the website which will be of use to you.

 Why Baptism Really Matters

I hope this helps.

Glenn Smith