The Motive for Baptism: Baptism is a command of the Lord.
  • The Lord’s Command: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age: (Matt. 28:19-20). Jesus’ word is sufficient warrant for the baptism of believers.
  • The practice of the Early Church: This reveals the application for the Lord’s words by those who heard Him speak. We read concerning the converts on the Day of Pentecost: “So then, those who had received his word were baptized” (Acts 2:41). Additional examples of apostolic practice include Acts 8:33-38; 10:44-48; 16:31-33; and 18:8.
The Mandate for Baptism: Baptism is for Christians alone.
  • Disciples- Christians are commanded to “make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them: (Matt 28:19).
  • Believers- “Those who had received his word were baptized” (Acts 2:41). The eunuch confessed his faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and Philip baptized him (Acts 8:30-38). The jailer at Philippi  “and all his household…rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household” (Acts 16:33-34).
  • Receivers of the Holy Spirit- While Peter was preaching to Cornelius, “the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message.” Peter then inquired, “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” He then commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord (Acts 10:44-48).
    • Note: We conclude that baptism is limited to disciples, believers, or those who have received the Holy Spirit. These different designations refer to the same people-namely, Christians. Therefore, all who were baptized before conversion must be baptized again, since baptism is a post-conversion act of obedience.
The Message of Baptism: Baptism is a method of identification.
  • Identification with Christ- This identification is with His death, burial, and resurrection. Paul asked, “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:3-4).
  • Identification with the Church- “So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41).
The Method for Baptism: Baptism is by immersion in water.
  • The Meaning- The meaning of baptize is “to completely immerse something.” It is evident that submerging one in the water and lifting him from it should be the method of baptism, as it give the most vivid picture of salvation (Romans 6:3-4).
  • The Example- The examples of baptism recorded in Scripture imply immersion (Mark 1:10; Matthew 3:16; Acts 8:38-39).