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Should I Be Baptized Again?

by Owen Cosgrove

1. Are all baptisms equally acceptable to God? By what authority does one say "all baptisms"? The Bible teaches that there is "one baptism" (Ephesians 4:5). It is a burial or planting (Colossians 2:12; Romans 6:3-6) in water (Acts 8:36-39; 10:47,48) for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16), and to put one into Christ (Galatians 3:26-29; 1 Corinthians 12:13).

2. Aren't sprinkling and pouring also baptism? Emphatically, no! New Testament baptism requires water (Acts 10:48), much water (John 3:23), going to the water, going down into water, being buried or planted in water, and coming up out of water (Acts 8:36-39; Romans 6:3-6).

3. Aren't all baptisms acceptable, just so they are immersion? No, it is important not only that baptism be immersion, but that it be preceded by the right things and that it be for the right purpose.

4. What do you mean, preceded by the right things? In the New Testament, baptism is to be preceded by faith (Mark 16:15,16), repentance (Acts 2:38), and confessing one's faith in Christ (Acts 8:36-39; Romans 10:9,10; Matthew 10:32,33). Obviously, if one did not believe in Christ, or was not willing to repent, or denied the divinity of Christ, immersing him would be of no spiritual value.

5. What do you mean, baptism should be for the right purpose? New Testament baptism is for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38), or to wash away sins (Acts 22:16). Baptism that is not for the remission of sins or to wash away sins is different from the baptism of the New Testament.

6. Is there any example of people being re-baptized in the New Testament? Yes. In Acts 18:24-19:7, some disciples of John the Baptist had not been baptized in the name of Christ or in order to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, so they were baptized again.

7. I felt very good about my first baptism. If I am baptized again, won't I be admitting that I was wrong? We must walk by faith rather than by mere feelings. If one's former baptism was not according to the Bible, it was wrong. It is bad enough to be wrong and not to know any better. It is far more serious to know better and not to correct the situation.

8. My first baptism was when I was very young, and I have serious doubts about my understanding of what I was doing. What should I do? By all means, be baptized again and remove all doubt.

9. I am a little embarrassed after all this time. Christ was not too embarrassed to die for us. He wants you to make your calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:10).

10. What if I just decide to take my chances? Would you take your chances with a faulty car title or property deed if it could be so easily corrected?

11. I just hate to put others to any trouble over such a minor thing. This is not a minor thing. It is eternally important.

"...upon this rock I will build My church..." Matt.16:18

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