BAPTISM is important because Christ was Baptized. Baptism is important because Christ commanded us to be baptized. Many times people are concerned about their baptism because it is so important. What does Christ want us to do? What does the Bible teach on the subject of rebaptism?
Only revealed case of rebaptism in the Bible is found in the 19th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles.
'And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, be said unto them, Have you received the Holy Ghost since you be lived? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost and he said unto them, Unto what then were you baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, "John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying, unto the people that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
"When they heard this they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his bands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve" (Acts 19:1-7).
These twelve men had probably been taught by Apollos who came to Ephesus and taught only the baptism of John. (See Acts 18, verses 24, 25.) They did not know about the Holy Spirit and baptism in the name of Christ Jesus because they bad not been taught by one having this information. These men had been taught by one who taught and baptized as John the Baptist taught and baptized. John baptized in the River Jordan. John baptized where there was much water. When Jesus was baptized by John be came up out of the water (Mark 1:5, 9, 10, John 3:23).
Yet the apostle Paul commanded them to be baptized again even though they had performed the proper act of baptism. This eliminates the idea of a sincere person doing wrong by performing the same act of baptism more than once. 'The difference in the two baptisms in Acts the 19th chapter is not in the act performed but the state of heart or mind prior to the act. They did not know about Christ Jesus or the Holy Spirit when -.they were baptized the first time. Paul taught them about Christ and the Holy Spirit and they were baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3, 4).
The conclusion we must reach is that it is not wrong to be baptized twice. In many cases it would be the right thing to do. Someone might say that we do not have a parallel case today because no one is teaching John's baptism. This is true but the story in the Bible still teaches us that if people do not have proper knowledge before they are baptized then their baptism is without meaning.
What Would Jesus Want Me To Do?
Jesus said, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19). Jesus wants us to be baptized. Almost all churches believe this. It is not a question of what your parents did for you but what did you do? Jesus said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved' (Mark 16:16). Did you do this?
Perhaps you had water sprinkled on you when you were a baby or a little child. Was this the baptism Jesus spoke of? is it possible that this is neither the act nor the time, when Christ wants men to be baptized' But we have always been taught that this is Christian baptism. Yes, but are the men who taught and practiced this infallible? Could they have been wrong?
There are millions of people today who confess their sins to a priest. Is this the, will of Christ in the Bible? The Catholic Church today is very different from the simplicity of the church in the New Testament. What happened? Men changed the practices of Christ some where between the time the apostles preached and this 20th century. During the reformation period men opposed the Catholic Church and pointed us to the New Testament of Christ in the Bible. They no longer confessed to a priest. They no longer followed the Pope as an infallible, guide. Did they change all of the practices that had been added by the Catholic Church? Did the act of baptism change? Was the baptism the Catholic Church practiced at that time the baptism of the Bible? There is only one way to find out. Go to the Bible and see if it teaches what you have believed Christian baptism to be. If so, be happy that you have obeyed God. if not, then obey God without delay. See Bible verses on Christian baptism at the end of this article.
It Is the, Will of God
This is not just a question of being baptized again. Many people are rebaptized to get into a denomination. Some are baptized because their parents or loved ones desire it. The real question is: What does God want me to do? Your answer to this question is the starting point for you. If you find that he wants you to be rebaptized and you really love him, you will do this without delay.
Your love for Christ will lead you to search the Scriptures on other matters. When yet find other doctrines which you embrace are not authorized by Christ, your love for him will lead you to obey his will.
The Choice Is Yours
When you find religious doctrines which you have been taught conflict with God's will there are two things you can do.
1.You can reject these doctrines but remain in your church and teach the truth. If the truth is not received, you will be supporting with your presence and money unscriptural practices.
2.You can reject these doctrines and obey God and try to find others who are not bound by creeds and man-made doctrines. I encourage you to choose the latter and try to find people who are just Christians. If you cannot, you can meet in the privacy of your home and worship God in spirit and in truth and pray for God to lead you to those who are obeying God without denominational rules and practices. This may not be easy to do but God will certainly reward you if you do his will.
Scriptures on Christian Baptism
'And he [Philip the preacher] commanded the chariot to stand still; and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water (Acts 8:38, 39).
"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 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 also should walk in newness of life . . ." (Romans 6:3, 4).
In the Bible baptism is spoken of as a burial and is symbolic of the Lord's burial and resurrection. Not once is sprinkling ever taught as Christian baptism. Not once is one ever baptized by followers of Christ who did not understand or have proper knowledge. If you have had water sprinkled on you, I implore you to search the Scriptures and find out what God would have you do. If you had a religious act called baptism performed on you when you were a baby or a small child, I plead with you to learn from God's Word what you should do. This is not a matter of little consequence. This is a matter of Jehovah God and his will for us. God bless you in your search for truth.