Baptism has been a topic of great controversy in the Christian faith for a long time. A lot of things have been said about it, but most of those things have been the opinions of men. What does the Bible say about baptism?

  • Baptism is by immersion. (Acts 8:38,39; the Greek word for “baptism” is “baptize” and means immersion. Whenever you see the word “baptism” or “baptize,” it should be translated “immerse/immersion.”)
  • Baptism was commanded by Jesus. (Mt. 28:19; Mk. 16:16)
  • Baptism was commanded by Peter. (Acts 10:47) * Baptism is for those who are believing adults. (Acts 8:26-40; 2:5-47)
  • Baptism is for the remission (forgiveness) of sins. (Acts 2:38)
  • Baptism saves us. (1 Pet. 3:18-22) * Baptism adds one to the church. (Acts 2:47; 1 Cor. 12:12,13)
  • Baptism is participation in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. (Rom. 6:1-11)
  • Baptism pictures the washing away of our sins. (Acts 22:16)
  • Baptism is part of the new birth. (Jn. 3:5; Titus 3:5)
  • Baptism gives us a clean conscience before God. (1 Pet. 3:21)
  • Baptism makes us alive in Christ. (Col. 2:12-14)

This may not settle all of the problems people have with the subject of baptism, but it fairly represents what the Bible teaches. And, this list represents what the Bible has to say on the subject instead of being a list of things men think ought to be taught on the matter. Is baptism important? Why should I be baptized? What do the scriptures say?

Gary Knuckles is minister of the Briensburg Church of Christ in Briensburg, KY.