River of Life Leadership and Word Ministry School : Baptism study sheet
1. What should be clearly understood by a person before he or she is baptized?
2. Can a person be too young to be baptized? Include in your answer whether or not it is all right to baptize an infant.
3. Does a person have to be baptized to be a Christian? What possible reason would someone have (if they have the opportunity) to NOT be baptized? What would you say to a believer who was hesitating to be baptized? State clearly what you would say to someone who just became a Christian regarding the need to be baptized.
4. Be crystal clear concerning the following: Is baptism a command the believer must obey?
5. Does the actual act of baptism cause a person to be MORE “born again” than before they got baptized?
6. Thoroughly explain what it is a person is doing when they get baptized.
7. I am being baptized into a NAME . What NAME should I be baptized into? I.e., “The Lord Jesus Christ” or “The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit"? Or, another name?
What does the word “name “mean? If I am being baptized into a “name” and it is the name of the Lord, then perhaps I should find EVERY name written in the Word that refers to the Lord and quote them all? OR, should I know what His NATURE is and get baptized into it without even mentioning an actual name? If I was baptized into the name of “the everlasting Father” or the “I AM” or “Jehovah-jireh”, or “ Jehovah-shalom”, would those names be all right to use? If it is not all right , should I do it all over again if it turns out I should have used a better name (or title)?
8. I am also being baptized in identification with some actions: What are those actions?
After I am baptized, I rise up into a new life. What is the nature of my new life? What should my new life look like?
9. Does it matter if I am sprinkled with water rather than being immersed into the water? If I was sprinkled (and I am told that was not “right”), should I now be immersed?
10. If I have been baptized one time but since then I backslid, should I be rebaptized? Or, even if we determine that this is not mandated by God, MAY I be rebaptized? Or, if I should be rebaptized after I backslide, then how badly would I have to backslide to make it necessary for me to be rebaptized? What if I ended up being rebaptized 30 times over a period of 60 years – would that be all right?
11. If I was baptized by someone who turned out to be a fake Christian, does that in any way lessen the validity of my baptism?
12. Is getting baptized in the Jordan River like Jesus was any more meaningful to God than getting baptized in my bathtub? Is getting baptized in the presence of my local church more meaningful than getting baptized by my spouse in my bathtub? Should baptism be something we all share together or can it be privately done?
13. May any believer baptize someone or does it have to be a recognized minister?
14. Are we free to establish some baptism “customs” that are not strictly Biblical? E.g., River of Life has no baptismal pool so we do it in someone’s pool in the summer. And then we have a pot blessing as long as we are all together anyway. And then we let people swim if they want to. So kids probably associate baptism time with both the Bible and with summer fun – is that ok?
Should baptism be a time of celebration and laughter or a time of somber reflection – or both?
15. Would it be better if ROL had a way to baptize year round?
16. What does the word “baptism” mean?
17. Before Jesus came John the Baptist preached repentance and baptized people. Why? Does this action correspond to anything we must experience today?
18. Why do you suppose Jesus got baptized by John?
19. There are other “baptisms” referred to in the New Covenant writings? What are they? Do we experience those too?
20. Is learning about baptism an advanced topic or “elementary”? What does the Word say is the topic we must move towards?
21. State if this is true or false and then make a comment on what the truth of this matter is: John begged people to get baptized when he was baptizing people because it was really important to him that – if people asked “Are you growing in your ministry?” – he would be able to have high numbers of baptisms to report to people.
Here are some scriptures to assist you on answering the above items. When one here is from the NIV, please also read the scripture from the KJV.
If while reading cross references and/or other corresponding scripture you discover more passages to include in your responses, great!
They are not in any particular order. Every passage is there because of one of the above items; however, it may not always be immediately apparent to you which item the scripture corresponds to. We will discuss this on 9 5 09. Meanwhile, you have this puzzle here to sort through. Have a happy and blessed adventure in doing so!
Also, some questions have no direct corresponding scripture and are meant for you to put together principles of the Word rather than precise “proof texts”. And perhaps some questions may take some more years for us to formulate and absolute answer.
Mark 1:4 And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6 John wore clothing made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And this was his message: "After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."
Mark 10:35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. "Teacher," they said, "we want you to do for us whatever we ask." 36 "What do you want me to do for you?" he asked. 37 They replied, "Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory." 38 "You don't know what you are asking," Jesus said. "Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?" 39 "We can," they answered. Jesus said to them, "You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, 40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared." NIV
Luke 3: 3 He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: "A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. 5 Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. 6 And all mankind will see God's salvation.'" 7 John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
Luke 3:7 John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 9 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire." 10 "What should we do then?" the crowd asked.
11 John answered, "The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same." 12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized. "Teacher," they asked, "what should we do?" 13 "Don't collect any more than you are required to," he told them. 14 Then some soldiers asked him, "And what should we do?"
He replied, "Don't extort money and don't accuse people falsely — be content with your pay." 15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ. 16 John answered them all, "I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." 18 And with many other words John exhorted the people and preached the good news to them. NIV
Isa 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. KJV
Acts 13: 24 Before the coming of Jesus, John preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel.NIV
Acts 18:24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately. NIV
Acts 19:1 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." 3 So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?" "John's baptism ," they replied. 4 Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." 5 On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all. NIV
Rom 6:1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey — whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. 19 I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Eph 4: 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit— just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism ; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. NIV
Col 2:9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. NIV
1 Peter 3: 18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, 19 through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison 20 who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also — not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand — with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
Matt 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.KJV
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.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.14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:16(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
Acts 10:44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,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. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.KJV
Col 3:17 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.KJV
Acts 2:38 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off — for all whom the Lord our God will call." 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. NIV
Acts 8:34 The eunuch asked Philip, "Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?" 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. 36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, "Look, here is water. Why shouldn't I be baptized?" 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.
Acts 9:17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord-Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here — has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit." 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength. NIV
Acts 16:13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. "If you consider me a believer in the Lord," she said, "come and stay at my house." And she persuaded us. NIV
1 Cor 1:13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? 14 I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized into my name. 16(Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don't remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel — not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. NIV
2 Cor 13:14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. NIV
John 10: 30 I and the Father are one." NIV
John 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.NIV
Acts 18:7 Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. 8 Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized. NIV
Gal 3:26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Eph 1: 18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. NIV
2 Tim 2: 19 Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness." NIV
Heb 6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so. NIV
Gal 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature KJV
2 Cor 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature : old things are passed
away; behold, all things are become new.18 And all things are of God, who hath
reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of
reconciliation;19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto
himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us
the word of reconciliation.20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though
God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to
God.21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be
made the righteousness of God in him.KJV
38 Peter Then unto them, Repent, said and be baptized every one
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of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission
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of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
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(Interlinear Transliterated Bible. Copyright © 1994, 2003 by Biblesoft, Inc.)
NT:907 baptizo (bap-tid'-zo); from a derivative of NT:911; to immerse, submerge; to make overwhelmed (i.e. fully wet); used only (in the N. T.) of ceremonial ablution, especially (technically) of the ordinance of Christian baptism:
KJV - Baptist, baptize, wash.
NT:908 baptisma (bap'-tis-mah); from NT:907; immersion, baptism (technically or figuratively):
KJV - baptism.
NT:909 baptismos (bap-tis-mos'); from NT:907; ablution (ceremonial or Christian):
KJV - baptism, washing.
NT:910 Baptistes (bap-tis-tace'); from NT:907; a baptizer, as an epithet of Christ's forerunner:
KJV - Baptist.
NT:911 bapto (bap'-to); a primary verb; to overwhelm, i.e. cover wholly with a fluid; in the N. T. only in a qualified or specially, sense, i.e. (literally) to moisten (a part of one's person), or (by implication) to stain (as with dye):
KJV - dip. (Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
NT:3686 onoma (on'-om-ah); from a presumed derivative of the base of NT:1097 (compare NT:3685); a "name" (literally or figuratively) [authority, character]:
KJV - called, (+sur-) name (-d). (Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
From online dictionary regarding the word “name”:
Name: Synonyms:1. Name, title both refer to the label by which a person is known. Name is the simpler and more general word for appellation: The name is John. A title is an official or honorary term bestowed on a person or the specific designation of a book, article, etc.: He now has the title of Doctor. Treasure Island is the title of a book. 4. repute, character, credit. 5. note, distinction, renown, eminence. 6. personality.
character, kind, or sort: two books of the same nature.
Nature: The fundamental character or disposition of a person; temperament
Name (according to #4 above) can mean “character” . “Character” is synonymous with “nature”.