Who can baptize?
Q. Can ANYONE perform a baptism? I have heard that only those who are in the "ordained" ministry have the right to baptize.
(Submitted by: A. J.)
There is no Biblical specification as to who can perform a baptism on whom. After Peter and the other eleven Apostles finished speaking to the crowds on the day of Pentecost
, they baptized a large number of people.
"Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. " (Acts 2:41, NIV)
Consider the following. Peter started speaking at about 9:00 AM (Acts 2:15). If we assume his sermon took about an hour that would leave only about eight hours (480 minutes) left of daylight. If ONLY the twelve apostles did the baptizing and laying on of hands then each one would have had to baptize 250 people (3000 / 12). Each apostle would only have less than TWO MINUTES to talk with, baptize and lay hands on each repentant believer IF they worked non-stop for eight continuous hours without any breaks! In short, it would be nearly impossible for twelve people to do all the work.
Consider, however, if all 120 disciples (Acts 1:15) present on Pentecost and who received God's spirit participated in baptizing new believers. Each one would have to baptize about 25 people in eight hours - a far more realistic approach. In this scenario, the person doing the baptizing could devote 15 minutes to each person and STILL have plenty of time for breaks and to eat.
Each baptism would, according to scripture, be done "in the name of Jesus":
"And whatever you do in word or deed, do all IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." (Colossians 3:17, NKJV)
"Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that BY THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the 'stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.' Nor is there salvation in any other, FOR THERE IS NO OTHER NAME under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." " (Acts 4:8-12, NKJV)