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Baptism

Baptism comes from the Greek word 'baptizo', which means to immerge. That is being done by letting new believers down in water (lake, river, basin). Baptizers are people with spiritual authority, such as pastors, elders, deacons, apostles, evangelists, or fellow mature believers.

The New Testament gives us many references to baptism.

1. The Lord Jesus was baptized by John the Baptizer. Mark 1:9-11 says: "At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.

2. The Lord Jesus gives an order in Matthew 28:19 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

3. The apostle Paul writes in the early church times, Acts 19:4 "John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." In this we see that John's baptism symbolized repentance, but baptism in Jesus' name symbolizes faith and salvation.

4. Paul explains to the Gentiles that baptism symbolizes death to the old life and resurrection into a new life; Romans 6:4 "We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."

5. The apostle Peter writes where salvation comes from and that baptism is a symbol of that; 1 Peter 3:21 "and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,"

6. Believers in the early Church in Asia Minor were taught; Colossians 2:12 "having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. "

7. Baptized Christians have Christ around them; Galatians 3:27 "for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ".

Questions

1. Do you get saved by baptism? No, people get saved by faith alone, believing in Jesus. We call that conversion. Not by undergoing any ritual. Confession of sin and repentance, acknowledging that Jesus is Lord and Savior based on the death and resurrection of Christ, is the condition to get baptized. If that is the case, we don't speak of a ritual.

2. Is it needed to be baptised in a church? No, the Bible does not prescribe that. Some churches connect baptism with church membership. There is no biblical basis for that. Every believer becomes a member of the worldwide fellowship of believers (the church), based on their testimony of faith in Jesus.

3. Is the way of baptism (dripping water on a persons head or full immersion in water) important? No, the way is not important. The faith that undergirds the believer is most important. Although, the best way to do baptism is the way Jesus was baptized. He was an adult, knowing what He was doing. He went completely under water. Children baptism with just a few drops of water is not found in the Bible.

4. What is "added" to your life with baptism, after your conversion? Much. Some people call it a "seal" on their conversion. Others experience a deeper indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Most people say that their faith had become stronger with/after baptism. For all Christians baptism is a certain point in time of maturation, in which they completely commit themselves to Christ. It is a sign to the world around us (and to Satan) that we have changed ownership. Jesus has undoubtly become your master and owner for the rest of your life and beyond.

5. What is wise for Chinese Christians (who may return to China) to do regarding baptism?