Baptism – A necessary step of repentance
Matthew 3:1-2, 5-6, 11 (NKJV)
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”..Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins…I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance…
Baptism – For the forgiveness of sins
Mark 1:4 (NKJV)
John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission (forgiveness) of sins.
Baptism – To fulfill God’s will
Luke 7:29-30 (NKJV)
And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.
Baptism – To fulfill righteousness
Matthew 3:13-15 (NKJV)
Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.
John prepared the way for Christ and His kingdom. He instituted the practice of baptism as a necessary step of repentant faith for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus Christ, as our perfect example was baptized, to show us His righteous plan. The religious that refused to get baptized rejected God’s will.
John 3:5 (NKJV)
5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
Some try to argue that being born of the water isn’t referring to baptism. However, the major theme of John 3 is baptism. After professing that one must be born of water, Jesus proceeded to baptize his disciples.
John 3:22 (NKJV)
After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized.
When Jesus began baptizing, it signaled the end of John’s baptism.
John 3:25-30 (NIV)
An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.” To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.”
Just as the shedding of lamb’s blood for the forgiveness of sins was a precursor to the death of the true lamb of God. John’s baptism for the forgiveness of sins was a precursor to baptism in Jesus’s name for the forgiveness of sins.
This truth was explained by Paul to the disciples of John.
Acts 19:4 (NKJV)
Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Jesus commissioned His disciples to baptize in His name. He reiterated the need for baptism shortly before ascending to heaven.
Luke 24:45-47 (NKJV)
And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins (baptism) should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
He opened their understanding according to scripture. The clearest description of the identity of Christ is found in the book of Isaiah.
Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV)
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
The name “Jesus” describes more than just the baby boy born in a manger. This name refers to the:
1. Wonderful Counselor (the description of the Holy Ghost given by Christ)
2. Mighty God,
3. Everlasting Father.
Jesus clearly applied this scripture to Himself and His name while giving the Great Commission.
Matthew 28:18-19 (NIV)
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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,
Baptize them in the name? What is that singular name? What is “the name” of the Father, Son, and Spirit?
When we compare the text of Luke and the text of Matthew it is quite obvious. Jesus opened their understanding to the scriptures. The son that was given was the Mighty God and Everlasting Father. He was Jesus, Jehovah the Savior. He had all power in heaven and earth. They had the authority in His name, the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, to baptize for the forgiveness of sins.
Paul preached the same message concerning the identity of Christ and the need for baptism in His name.
Colossians 2:9-12 (NKJV)
For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God
1. The fullness of the Godhead dwells in Christ
2. He has all power.
3. You put off the sins of your flesh when you are baptized with Christ.
Paul was not alone in his belief that baptism was for the forgiveness of sins and should be performed in Jesus name. In fact, all the disciples present at the Great Commission left with this same understanding as evidenced in the Acts of the Apostles.
The gospel, good news, of Jesus Christ promises if we in obedient faith call on His name in baptism, he will forgive us of all sins.
1. "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins...he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." Those who accepted his message were baptized." Acts 2:38,40,41 (NIV)
2. "But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized,...baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." Acts 8:12, 16 (NIV)
3."Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus... and Philip baptized him" Acts 8:35, 38 (NIV)
4. "Then Peter said, "Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water...So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ." Acts 10:46-48 (NIV)
5. "They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved...he and all his household were baptized." Acts 16:31,33 (NIV)
6. "...He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." Acts 19:4-5 (NIV)
7. "And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’" Acts 22:16 (NIV)
There is one name with the power to save. There is one name with the authority to wash away sins. It is the name of Jesus.
1 John 2:12 (NKJV)
I write to you, little children,because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.
Acts 10:43 (NKJV)
To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”
Acts 4:12 (NKJV)
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
We demonstrate our faith in His word, and in His name when we are baptized for the forgiveness of our sins.
Romans 6:3-4 (NIV)
Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 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.
By faith, we believe that we will rise up in new life. The old things, sins and mistakes, will pass away, and we will begin a new life in Christ.
Baptism in Jesus's name is the proper response to the gospel. Faith without works is dead and can’t save. (James 2) We must respond to Christ invitation for new life. To believe in Christ, we must believe and keep His words. Jesus Christ commanded baptism in His name for the forgiveness of sins and the salvation of our souls.
Sadly, most Christian churches do not believe baptism is a part of the plan of salvation. This clearly contradicts the scriptures.
1. What the scripture actually says:
"Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved..." Mark 16:16 (NIV)
How it is interpreted by many Christians: Whoever believes and is NOT baptized will STILL be saved.
2. What the scripture actually says:
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit." John 3:5 (NIV)
How it is interpreted by many Christians: Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, SOME can enter the kingdom of God EVEN IF they are NOT born of water and the Spirit."
3. What the scripture actually says:
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins...Acts 2:38 (NIV)
How it is interpreted by many Christians: Repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ IF YOU WANT TO for A PUBLIC TESTIMONY BUT NOT FOR the forgiveness of your sins.
4. What the scripture actually says:
"And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’ Acts 22:16 (NIV)
How it is interpreted by many Christians: YOU CAN WAIT. Get up, be baptized WHEN YOU ARE READY. BAPTISM ISN'T NECESSARY TO wash your sins away ANYWAY, calling on his name IN BAPTISM ISN'T ESSENTIAL.
5. What the scripture actually says:
"This water symbolizes baptism that now saves you" I Peter 3:21 (NIV)
How it is interpreted by many Christians: This water symbolizes baptism that DOESN'T save you.
Does it really matter that church doctrine is so far removed from the scriptures? Why is baptism so important?
Jesus Christ established it as a means to identify with his death and burial, circumcise sin from our hearts, and receive forgiveness. Through baptism we put on Christ.
Galatians 3:27 (NKJV)
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
If you have been baptized in Jesus’s name, His sin free life now covers your past. He has promised to do what we can’t do, cleanse us of unrighteousness, if we will simply believe enough to follow His simple plan.
Titus 3:5 (NKJV)
not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
1. "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved..." Mark 16:16 (NIV)
2. "this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you..." 1 Peter 3:21 (NIV)
3. "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins..." Acts 2:38 (NIV)
4. "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 (NIV)
5. "what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name." Acts 22:16 (NIV)
What are you waiting for? Have you put on Christ?
For more information on baptism in Jesus' name:
For more information on re-baptism:
For historical references on baptism in Jesus' name: