What does the Bible
say about BAPTISM?

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What does the Bible say about baptism? Are we required to OBEY God before becoming a true Christian? Are there any other requirements we need to fulfill before receiving God's spirit? What questions can help us decide whether we are prepared, mentally and spiritually, for a lifelong commitment to God and the truth of his word?

According to the Bible, on Pentecost in 30 A.D. Peter preached a sermon that powerfully convicted his listeners. After their conscience began to stir within them regarding their sins, they asked what they needed to do. Peter answered that it was time for their baptism.

'Repent and be baptized (placed under the waters of baptism) . . . and you yourselves shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.' (Acts 2:37 - 38, HBFV).

According to Peter, repentance and baptism are required for our sins to be forgiven and to receive the Holy Spirit. But when we think about it, is this any different from what Philip required of the Eunuch who was from Ethiopia?

the eunuch said, 'Look, there is water! What is preventing me from being baptized?' And Philip said, 'If you believe with all your heart, it is permitted.' (Acts 8:36 - 37)
Was it possible for the Ethiopian eunuch to truly believe that Jesus had taken his sins upon Him and died in his place without being moved to profound repentance? Could anyone truly believe that Jesus suffered and died in his place and still wish to continue in sin? We are not told all that Philip explained to the Ethiopian eunuch, but it is plain that he required no less than Peter.

Like Philip, Peter required no lengthy probation period and no days of fasting and prayer. How could he, when he and the other disciples baptized three thousand people on the day of Pentecost alone (Acts 2:41)?

Will God still love me when I sin?
What exactly IS a Eunuch?
Did Jesus ever say he was GOD?

The most important decision

Baptism is an important decision - a turning point in a person's life. In fact, it is arguably THE most important decision someone will make, as it will affect every moment of his or her life on earth. Why did the apostles baptize people so quickly? What was the rush? The answer is simple. Peter and Philip knew that being baptized was required for salvation (see Mark 16:15-16).

For them, it was not enough that a person nod his head when he heard the Gospel. Even an oral profession of faith would not do. When a man or woman accepted Jesus Christ, he or she had to go under the waters of baptism. Without this simple ceremony, he or she could not be saved.

A call from God

God does not expect perfect obedience or any kind of perfection from those He is calling into His truth. What He looks for is a heart that is willing to listen and WANTS to obey Him and the words He inspired in the Bible. Any personal works of righteousness cannot save us. It is of grace, of God's mercy, out of His love for us.

When God begins to call a person it is His Spirit working with them. The Spirit prompts a person to begin taking him seriously and begin to obey him. A person begins to show submission to God by a changed lifestyle, by starting to produce good fruit.

Here are some things to consider when deciding if you are ready for baptism or not.

When you step out of the waters of baptism, you are a new life to God, just as a new baby is to a mother. God's Spirit has united with your spirit to form a new creature. You are a "babe in Christ" with much to learn! Thankfully, the way He wants us to live as Christians - the evidence that we are truly converted - is clearly shown in Scripture!

Additional Study Materials
Why did God create Man?
What does the Bible say about repentance?
Can ANYONE perform a baptism?
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