Should you be baptized a second time?

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Question: I was baptized when I was twelve years old. Do I need to perform this ceremony a second time?

Answer: It is good that you are reflecting on being baptized just before you became a teenager. It may be that God is pricking your conscience and wants you to renew your relationship with him. It is unfortunate that, unlike you, most people in this world do not want to have a real relationship with their heavenly Father and therefore never reflect on their baptism.

There are logically only two possible outcomes that could have occurred when you were initially baptized at the age of 12. The first is God gave you the gift of his Holy Spirit after you rose out of the baptismal waters. The second is you did not receive God's Spirit and all you ultimately got after being baptized is wet. If you wish to delve further into the steps that constitute a Biblically proper baptism please see our article on what this ceremony symbolizes.

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The only justification for being baptized yet again is if you believe you did NOT receive God's spirit when you were young. If you did receive the Holy Spirit some fifteen years ago, then performing the ceremony again seems a bit redundant and unnecessary.

Baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch
Baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch
Gerrit Claesz Bleker, 1630 - 35

The decision to commit your life to God and become a Christian is the most important one a person will ever make. It is far more important than deciding whom to marry. While mates can come and go (sadly, due to the hardness of human nature) God will love, guide and stay with you no matter what unless you consciously and fully reject him and his ways.

Below are some things to ask yourself revolving around the first time you were baptized. If you are willing to honestly answer the below questions to yourself, then your ultimate decision will become much clearly to you.

The decision whether to be baptized again or not it yours to make. You should resist any pressure someone may try to place on you to decide one way or another. No one should make this pivotal decision "for" you. While others may help you decide by providing support, or pointing out things that need to be considered, it all comes down to you and God. After all, we are talking about a decision that will affect your life forever.

Pray to God and talk to him about being baptized again, asking him to somehow confirm (if you need it) whether or not you have his spirit in you. Our loving Father knows when it is best to call a person to repent, change their ways, and follow him. He alone knows when the time is right to give someone his Spirit.

Additional Study Materials
How can we become a mature believer?
Does God listen to prayers of sinners?
What is the New Covenant?
Can God learn new things?
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