Question

Different denominations teach different methods of baptism. They are either sprinkled or actually pushed down into the water and then brought up. Are there any Scriptures that support this one way or another? It would seem that the pushing down and being brought back up actually demonstrates the dying and rising of Jesus Christ. 

Answer

Yes, there is much confusion as to the method or methods of baptism. Which is right? Is there only one method or several?

To answer this question, we will first look at the origin of the word “baptism”. Then, we will note some Scripture that will complement our initial observations.

Much of the confusion comes from a misunderstanding of the word itself. Baptism comes from the word “baptizo” in the Greek. The word means to dip, sink or submerge, immerse. Therefore, in the very definition of the word itself we have clearly portrayed to us the method by which were are to be baptized. To be baptized in water means to be submerged or immersed in water, to be placed under the water.

Confusion has come because the English word baptism is a transliteration of the Greek word baptizo. In other words, it was an English-sounding word that was created by the translators of the King James version in the 17th century. Therefore, it creates much controversy when there should be none about this matter.

As to Scripture to support this view, you are correct in pointing to Romans 6:1-7 to show that baptism (immersion) does most closely demonstrate the connection between Christ’s death, burial and resurrection to our own death, burial and resurrection (spiritually speaking). We die to sin, are buried with Him and then are raised up with Him to walk in newness of life, being forgiven of all our sins. This occurs when we having believed, repented and confessed His name, are immersed and raised up out of the water.

This is confirmed as we read the account of the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch who submitted to baptism. Acts 8:26-40. They both went down into the water and then came up out of the water.

Finally, this is confirmed further when we read John 3:23. Here, we note that John the Baptist baptized people in a certain place because there was much water there. Therefore, this implies that there had to be enough water to immerse people in that place.

The conclusion of the whole matter is, the only acceptable method of baptism is reflected in the very definition of the word itself, to sink, submerge, immerse. No other method such as sprinkling, pouring or any other, can be acceptable in God’s sight.

By Gary Hunt

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