While we recognize that Jesus commanded baptism (Matt. 28:19), as did the apostles (Acts 2:38), we should not say that baptism is necessary for salvation.

Believer’s Baptism – Adult conscious aware full immersion (vs. other types of baptism i.e. sprinkling vs. affusion – i.e. pouring on head)

1. The Argument From the New Testament Narrative Passages on Baptism.
The narrative examples of those who were baptized suggest that baptism was administered only to those who gave a believable profession of faith. After Peter’s sermon at Pentecost we read, “Those who received his word were baptized” (Acts 2:41). 
The text specifies that baptism was administered to those who “received his word” and therefore trusted in Christ for salvation. 

Similarly, when Philip preached the gospel in Samaria, we read, “When they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both “men and women” (Acts 8:12). 

Likewise, when Peter preached to the Gentiles in Cornelius’ household, he allowed baptism for those who had heard the Word and received the Holy Spirit—that is, for those who had given persuasive evidence of an internal work of regeneration. While Peter was preaching, “the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word” and Peter and his companions “heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God” (Acts 10:44–46). Peter’s response was that baptism is appropriate for those who have received the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit: “Can any one forbid water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” Then Peter “commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 10:47–48). 

The point of these three passages is that baptism is appropriately given to those who have received the gospel and trusted in Christ for salvation. There is a clear pattern of cognitive understanding related to age and will.* There are other texts that indicate this as well—Acts 16:14–15 (Lydia and her household, after “the Lord opened her heart” to believe); Acts 16:32–33 (the family of the Philippian jailer, after Peter preached “the word of the “of the Lord to him and to all that were in his house”); and 1 Corinthians 1:16 (the household of Stephanas)

The common practice of baptism in the New Testament was carried out in one general way: the person being baptized was immersed or put completely under the water and then brought back up again. Baptism by immersion is therefore the “mode” of baptism or the way in which baptism was carried out in the New Testament (now referred to as “Believer’s Baptism”). This is evident for the following reasons:

(1) The Greek word baptizō means “to plunge, dip, immerse” something in water. This is the commonly recognized and standard meaning of the term in ancient Greek literature both inside and outside of the Bible.

(2) The sense “immerse” is appropriate and probably required for the word in several New Testament passages. In Mark 1:5, people were baptized by John “in the river Jordan” (the Greek text has en, “in,” and not “beside” or “by” or “near” the river). Mark also tells us that when Jesus had been baptized “he came up out of the water” (Mark 1:10). The Greek text specifies that he came “out of” (ek) the water, not that he came away from it (this would be expressed by Gk. apo). The fact that John and Jesus went into the river “Mark also tells us that when Jesus had been baptized “he came up out of the water” (Mark 1:10). The Greek text specifies that he came “out of” (ek) the water, not that he came away from it (this would be expressed by Gk. apo). The fact that John and Jesus went into the river and came up out of it strongly suggests immersion, since sprinkling or pouring of water could much more readily have been done standing beside the river, particularly because multitudes of people were coming for baptism. John’s gospel tells us, further, that John the Baptist “was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there” (John 3:23). Again, it would not take “much water” to baptize people by sprinkling, but it would take much water to baptize by immersion. (see also Mark 16:16

When Philip had shared the gospel with the Ethiopian eunuch, “as they went along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, ‘See, here is water! What is to prevent my being baptized?’ ” (Acts 8:36). Apparently neither of them thought that sprinkling or pouring a handful of water from the container of drinking water that would have been carried in the chariot was enough to constitute baptism. Rather, they waited until there was a body of water near the road. Then “he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught up Philip; and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:38–39). As in the case of Jesus, this baptism occurred when Philip and the eunuch went down into a body of water, and after the baptism they came up out of that body of water. Once again baptism by immersion is the only satisfactory explanation of this narrative.”

Representative/Symbolic of Christ’s death and resurrection
(3) “In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of flesh in the circumcision of Christ; and you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:11–12; 1 Pet. 3:21; Rom. 6:1-18)
At one level, it was purely metaphorical: as I was pushed under the water, my union with the physical death of Christ was symbolized. As I surfaced, my spiritual resurrection in the physical resurrection of Christ was depicted.

The spiritual meaning of my water baptism was not possible without the physical death and physical resurrection of Christ. But the drenching of my baptism did not merely symbolize a past or present spiritual reality in me. I am now certain that when my physical death arrives and my body is placed in the ground, it will be planted like a seed, waiting to spring eternally in physical resurrection. The metaphorical act of my baptism symbolized what is possible only by the physical reality of Christ, and my spiritual union with him guarantees my physical future.

**We pray & desire that God gives us everything He has for us spiritually through baptism & communion and the other traditional Christian sacraments. 

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