Agape Partners International - http://agapepartners.org
Christian Baptism
http://agapepartners.org/articles/19/1/Christian-Baptism/Page1.html
Leslie Verghese, LCSW
Leslie Verghese is the Executive Director of Agape Partners International and the Vice President of a premier Social Service agency in New York. Rev. Verghese is a licensed psychotherapist and is also a minister at the Shalem Tabernacle in Elmont, NY. Married to Jessy and has four children, Japhia, Joshua, Johana and Jaynah. He can be contacted at   lverghese@agapepartners.org.  
By Leslie Verghese, LCSW
Published on 01/7/2009
 
Baptism is an act of obedience by which a person who has accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and savior fulfills or completes the inward righteousness he already enjoys in his heart. This righteousness is a result of believing in Christ’s atoning death and resurrection

Baptism is an act of obedience by which a person who has accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and savior fulfills or completes the inward righteousness he already enjoys in his heart. This righteousness is a result of believing in Christ’s atoning death and resurrection
?    Baptism is instituted by God Himself – John 1:33
?    It is a divine ordinance – Mathew 3:15
?    Jesus Himself showed an example – Mathew 3:16
?    It is the final commandment of Jesus – Mathew 28: 18-20, Mark 16:16
?    It is the counsel of God – Luke 7:30
?    It is a New Testament doctrine – Acts 2:38
?    It is a prayer to God for good conscience – 1 Peter 3:21

Who is Eligible for Baptism?

Baptism is for the saved and not to be saved. It is administered to
?    Those who confessed their sins – Mathew 3: 5,6
?    Those who received the word of God – Acts 2:41
?    Those who believed – Mark 16:16
?    Those who become disciples of Jesus – Acts 19: 1-7

These verses clearly prove that baptism is given to those who have believed. The Bible speaks about the families of Cornelius, Stephen, and Lydia being baptized. Many people argue that the entire households including little children were baptized in those instances. This is not true. The Bible clearly states that the Holy Ghost came upon those who heard the word of God and believed. Using common sense one can understand that infants do not have the ability to listen to, comprehend, and act on a message of substance

What is the Purpose of Baptism?

?    To be joined to Christ – Romans 6:3. The children of Israel were redeemed by the sprinkling of blood and by the baptism in the red sea. The same way, the New Testament believers who are redeemed by the blood of Jesus, are joined to Christ through water baptism.
?    To be conformed to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and to be completely identified with him in word and deed. Galatians 3:27, Romans 6:3-5, Colossians 2:12 – Many people argue that the thief on the cross did not receive water baptism. He was stills offered a place in paradise. It should not be forgotten that he literally got the privilege to be a part taker in the death of Jesus. Unless we die to sin, bury the old self, and rise up from the waters as a new creation, we will not be able to a part taker of the experience of eternity with Christ.

How is Baptism Administered?

As baptism is symbolic of a burial, it is always done by immersion in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. In Acts 8:38, the Holy Bible emphatically specifies the method. Both the Eunuch and Philip went into the water. If sprinkling was enough to administer baptism, the eunuch would definitely have had water in the chariot as he was on a very long journey through the wilderness.

The same way as the word baptize denotes, a person who is dead to sin is dipped in the waters and taken out as a new man. A person who is born once dies twice, one a physical death and the other an eternal spiritual death. However, a person who is born twice (one who is saved through the born again experience) dies only once.

What happened after Baptism?

One who is baptized dies to sin and lives for righteousness continuing steadfast in Biblical Doctrines, Fellowship with Saints, Meditating God’s Word, and Prayer. A person who has received water baptism
?    Is Crucified with Christ – Romans 6:6
?    Dies with Christ -  Romans 6:8
?    Is buried with Christ – Romans 6:4
?    Rises up with Christ – Colossians 2:12
?    Lives with Christ – 2 Timothy 2:11
?    Suffers with Christ – 2 Timothy 2:11
?    Reins with Christ – 2 Timothy 2:11

Rise Up, Call Upon the Name of Jesus, Be Baptized, Blot out the Sins and Live Forever.