What commission did Christ give to His disciples?
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" Matthew 28:19.
Before one is baptized, what is it necessary for him to do?
"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Acts 2:38.
Toward whom must men repent?
"Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." Acts 20:21.
Why should one repent toward God?
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23.
What effect does the law have upon sinners in conversion?
"For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died." Romans 7:9.
Why is it necessary for one to die in the sense here represented?
"Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." Romans 6:6.
If one thus dies, how is he to live again?
"Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him." Romans 6:8.
If one is dead with Christ, what should be done with him?
"Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in newness of life." Romans 6:4.
NOTE: "This passage cannot be understood unless it be borne in mind that the primitive baptism was by immersion." --Conybeare and Howson's Life of Paul, on Rom 6:4, page 587, people's edition.
How is one to be buried in baptism?
"For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection." Romans 6:5.
For what purpose is one baptized?
"Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead." Colossians 2:12.
NOTE: The principal object of the ordinance of baptism, then, is to show the faith of the recipient in the operation of God in raising Christ from the dead. After repenting of his transgressions of God's law, one must believe that although Christ died for sin, He was again made alive, to plead in the sinner's behalf. Then the ordinance of baptism is received to show to others that the candidate really believes in what is claimed to be necessary -- the burial and resurrection of Christ. The ordinance also shows one's faith in the resurrection of all the dead, based on the resurrection of Christ.
When baptized into Christ, what does one put on?
"For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." Galatians 3:27.
NOTE: That is, they have acknowledged Him in a public way. One may have espoused Christ before his baptism; but the act of baptism is the public ceremony which witnesses to all that the candidate has put on Christ. After that he will be regarded in a different light than before. He will have all the privileges of the Lord's house, by virtue of his public action, because his act has shown his faith, and his union with Christ.
What question did the eunuch ask after Philip had preached unto him Jesus?
"And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?" Acts 8:36.
What reply did Philip make?
"And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." Acts 8:37.
In administering the ordinance, where did Philip take the candidate?
"And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him." Acts 8:38.
NOTE: "It is needless to add that baptism was (unless in exceptional cases) administered by immersion, the convert being plunged beneath the surface of the water to represent his death to the life of sin, and then raised from this momentary burial to respresent his resurrection to the life of righteousness. It must be a subject of regret that the general discontinuance of this original form of baptism (though perhaps necessary in our northern climates) has rendered abscure to popular apprehension some very important passages of Scripture." --Conybeare and Howson's Life of Paul, pages 401, 402, people's edition.
The names appended to the foregoing note are those of eminent clergymen of the Church of England. Such an admission from this source, should carry some weight in favor of immersion, though we do not consider the "discontinuance of this original form of baptism," necessary even "in our northern climates."
How many modes of baptism are recognized in the Bible?
"One Lord, one faith, one baptism." Ephesians 4:5.
How many were added to the church on the day of Pentecost?
"Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls." Acts 2:41.
How many disciples were together on that occasion to engage in the work?
"And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said (the number of names together were about a hundred and twenty)." Acts 1:15.
NOTE: Should the query arise, how so many as three thousand could be immersed in one day, it may be met by the fact that so large a number were present to administer the ordinance. Had only one half of those present (sixty) engaged int he work of baptizing, each would have been obliged to immerse but fifty person to make up the number, which would have occupied only about an hour's time.
Should one wait long after conversion before being baptized?
"And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." Acts 22:16.
What is necessary before baptism?
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Mark 16:16.
NOTE: Then one must be able to believe before he can be a subject for baptism. This would exclude infants.
After the release of Paul and Silas from jail, how many of the jailer's family submitted to baptism?
"And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway." Acts 16:33.
To how many of them had Paul and Silas preached?
"And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house." Acts 16:32.
How many of them believed the truth that was preached?
"And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house." Acts 16:34.
NOTE: There were, then, none in the jailer's household too young to have the gospel preached to them, and to believe the message of truth prior to their baptism.
After baptism, what should one do?
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God." Colossians 3:1.
NOTE: There can be only one way to determine whether or not one has done wrong, and that is by some revealed rule of duty. Had Satan and the angels violated no law, there could have been no wrath manifested toward them, from the fact that they would have remained in harmony with God's revealed will. Sin is the same in all ages. What is wrong now, was wrong then and visa versa. It would be as wrong in the eternal ages to come, to go contrary to the revealed word of God, as it is now.
By what does one gain a knowledge of sin?
"What shall we say then? is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet." Romans 7:7.
What brought death into the world?
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." Romans 5:12.
NOTE: If it is the law that works wrath, and that was visited upon man from the first because of the course of Adam, it certainly follows that the law was present to enforce the penalty.
Did death reign all the time between Adam and Moses?
"For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come." Romans 5:13,14.
NOTE: That is to say, until the law was spoken on Sinai, sin was in the world. Then to enforce his point, the apostle says: "Sin is not imputed where there is no law." But was sin imputed back there? He has said in the previous verse that death came in consequences of sin, Then sin was set to the account of those people, which proves the existence of the law at that time.