Wednesday, December 28, 2022

A Morning Bible Study - Water Baptism?

Leonard V Johnson    About

In the last ‘A Morning Bible Study’ we spoke of ‘Just What Is the Holy Spirit?’ Here we will be talking about Water Baptism – and more specifically, proper water baptism. When someone finally comes to recognize and understand that they have been living a life contrary to the holy immutable Law and very purpose of their Creator, what should they then do next!?

On the Day of Pentecost, and when the Day of Pentecost had fully come in the year A.D. 31, the apostle Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, stood with the eleven and raised his voice to the crowd in which many of them had a part in the conviction and murder of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And even though the crowd was amazed and perplexed, saying to each other, “Whatever could this mean?” Many others mocked them, calling them drunks! Still, after the words given by the apostle Peter, many were filled with guilt and shame asking, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

Here is the inspired answer given:

“ …’ REPENT, and let every one of you BE BAPTIZED in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” – Acts 2:38, New King James Version.

In the last study, we posted Minister Michael C. Garrett’s inspired sermon “A Willingness To Change.” A real repentance necessary for salvation. But the next step, as stated to us in Acts 2:38, is proper baptism. Let us look into the living word of God and learn of real and proper baptism, its purpose, and why it is a REQUIRED step in God’s Master Plan… From the Beginning for salvation.

Sadly, there is much confusion in this religious world concerning baptism. Some churches of this world merely sprinkle, and others merely pour only a small amount of water over someone; still, others practice complete immersion into the water. Yet, what does God’s living word instruct us in regard to this commanded practice!?

The method most often used throughout the majority of this world’s “Christianity” is sprinkling. The word sprinkle does occur in God’s living word – in the New Testament – but only a couple of times. And only in connection with the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ – never does it refer to baptism. Pouring is also referred to several times – but again, not in regard to baptism.

The very word baptize is not an English word per sē. The word is from the Greek word baptizō. The word means complete immersion. It says in Matthew that Jesus ‘came up out of the water.’ And John the Baptist was baptizing there at the Jordan – because ‘there was much water there.’ There was no sprinkling or dropping water droplets on a child – or something of that nature. They were actually going down into the water waist deep – as I was baptized at the Fort De Soto Park, North Beach in St. Petersburg, Florida in the Gulf in 2013.

Therefore, sprinkling and pouring are not forms of proper baptism. Now, many Protestants would disagree. The Unger’s Bible Dictionary, which was gathered together by Merrill F. Unger, a known Baptist – claims that “baptism is not essential for salvation.” 1 Yes, they “immerse,” but they incorrectly teach “[we] do so as a symbol of having been saved, not as a requirement for salvation” (as well as the fact that they DO NOT keep the LORD God’s commanded holy and immutable Law) – he writes concerning baptism –
“The word “baptism” is the English form of the Gr. baptismos. The verb from which this noun is derived ─baptizo─ is held by some scholars to mean “to dip, immerse. But this meaning is held by others to be not the most exact or common, but rather a meaning that is secondary or derived.” 2
Understand, our Lord Jesus Christ commanded baptism for salvation. It wasn’t just a request! It wasn’t as the Baptists say, “just a symbol of having been saved, not as a requirement for salvation.”!

’ Go therefore and make disciples [meaning, teach] of all the nations, BAPTIZING THEM in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. 20) teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I AM with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen” – Matthew 28:19-20; see also Acts 2:36-42.
1) Even though our Lord Jesus Christ had no sins to repent of, was He baptized by John!?
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14) And John tried to prevent Him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?’

15) 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” – Matthew 3:13-15.

Why was He baptized?

He was baptized for an example for us to follow. Notice –

“For this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, LEAVING US AN EXAMPLE, that you should follow His steps: 22) ‘Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth.’ – 1 Peter 2:21-22.

How does our Lord Jesus’ baptism prove to us that He was immersed?

“When He had been baptized, Jesus CAME UP immediately FROM THE WATER; …” – Matthew 3:16.
2) When Philip the Evangelist baptized a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority. Did they both go down into the water?
“So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch WENT DOWN INTO THE WATER, and he baptized him” – Acts 8:38.

So, there would have been no reason whatsoever for Philip to “go down into the water,” except that there was no other way to immerse the eunuch into the water.

The above examples plainly show us that complete immersion in water was the method practiced by the living Church which our Lord Jesus Christ founded. And that is the method we are to practice today.
3) What is the purpose of baptism? What does it mean?
The meaning of baptism symbolizes the death and burial of each repentant believer – a spiritual conjoining into the death of Jesus Christ. Through this baptismal death, the believer becomes a partaker of the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ, and His blood is applied as full payment for his or her sins. Rising up out of the water is symbolic of being conjoined into the resurrection of Jesus Christ. When the believer comes up out of the watery grave of baptism, he or she rises to newness of life. In order to become a new person, each baptized believer must be begotten with the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands. The believer is then led by the Holy Spirit to walk in loving obedience to God the Father and faith in Jesus Christ.

It demonstrates to the LORD God one’s willingness and desire to permanently put away his or her old life and begin a new life of OBEDIENCE TO GOD. And, let us make sure we understand this clearly.
4) AFTER our Lord Jesus’ suffering and death FOR OUR SINS, what happened to His dead physical body!?
“And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11) But if the Spirit of Him [God the Father] who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead WILL ALSO GIVE LIFE TO YOUR MORTAL BODIES through His Spirit [which] dwells in you” – Romans 8:10-11.

Only His begotten children who are truly filled and led by the Spirit of God will be in the first resurrection. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, THESE ARE [CHILDREN] OF GOD.” – vs. 14.


If we have the indwelling of God’s Spirit in us when we die, then “in the twinkling of an eye, at the LAST TRUMPET” we will be resurrected through the power of that same Spirit which dwells within us – at the second coming of Jesus Christ! Notice, just what happened to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’s mortal body will also occur to the begotten children of God! –

“For I [the apostle Paul] delivered to your first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4) and that He was buried, and that He rose again THE THIRD DAY according to the Scriptures” – 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.

Without getting into this subject here – the majority of this world’s “Christianity” teaches that our Lord Jesus was resurrected on a Sunday morning! No, He wasn’t!

He died on what we call a Wednesday afternoon, and He was resurrected on what we call a Saturday afternoon. And He was in the tomb three days and three nights. Not one-and-a-half days, like the people of this world believe. They keep Friday – they call it Good Friday – and then Easter Sunday – the rising of the sun. Well, Easter is not a part of the religion of the Bible. For more information, please read our articles “The Firstfruits From the Earth,” as well as “Are You But A Traditionalist?”
5) As stated, is baptism symbolic of one’s death, burial and resurrection!?
Notice here what Minister Michael C. Garrett writes – quoting God’s living word –
“There in [Acts] 2:38 – ‘repent and be baptized, for the remission of sin in the name of Jesus Christ. And you shall [not maybe] receive the gift of God’s Spirit.’ And that starts out as a small “seed.” A very small amount of God’s Spirit. But then with time that knowledge starts to grow in you, the understanding starts to grow in you, God’s Spirit starts to grow in you, the fruits of God’s Spirit starts to grow in you – because Christ is in you!

… if we’re doing the things we need to do, Christ lives in us! And He starts to remake us – and I like to say, He starts changing us from the inside out. You know, you can be baptized – in fact, some people get baptized every day, because they take a bath. And you can clean up the outward skin, but unless you have God’s Spirit, you’ll never get the inside cleaned up. And I’m talking about inside your mind – or as we sometimes say, heart. And that’s where you need God’s Spirit, inside of you, changing you – and making you into a new creature. … Destined to become eternal members of the family of GOD and the kingdom of God. That’s the goal! That’s what we all should be striving for. …

[Romans 6:4] “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death …” – and baptism is a symbolic death. Meaning, if you go underwater, you are at risk of dying. And so we are saying when we submit to baptism, “I am submitting to the very thing which happened to Jesus Christ.” Remember verse 3 – “…as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” You coupled yourself, you joined yourself, you joined yourself with Jesus Christ! “…that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory [and the power] of the Father, even so, we …” - if we submit to baptism if we submit to having the laying on of hands and the prayer, and we receive God’s Spirit. “…also should walk in newness of life.” CHRIST IN YOU equals newness of life equals New Covenant equals eventual eternal life! Now, folks, this was a Message which was NEVER taught …

Verse 5 – “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, …” – meaning, we’ve went through the process: 1) Being called. 2) Learning. 3) Repentance. 4) Baptism. We’re making this path, and eventually, we get to the step of baptism. “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death [meaning baptism], certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.” - Folks, that is the ultimate Good News of the New Testament! The Gospel! …

Verse 6 – “knowing this, that our old man …” – the carnal person. What does that mean!? It just means the natural human being. It’s not a bad word, it’s not a cuss word, and it’s not a dirty word. Carnal means you’re just a natural human being. You’re just flesh and blood. Devoid of God’s Spirit and God’s knowledge. Knowing that your old self “…was crucified [or put to death] with Him, that the body of sin might be [destroyed], that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” – we should walk in newness of life, as it says, following the example of Jesus Christ! …

Verse 7 – “For he who has died [meaning baptism, receiving God’s Spirit] has been freed from sin.” – and it doesn’t mean that you’ll never sin again. What it means is that you’re freed from the death penalty of sin. …

Verse 8 – “Now if we died …” - meaning we have been baptized, going through this progression of marching towards the kingdom of God, “…with Christ, we believe [or we know] that we shall also live with Him.” … this is the crux of the promise of the New Covenant! This is the goal that all of us should have!

Verse 9 – “knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.”

Verse 10 – “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.” – He’s not going to have to go through that again. He already did it! And He did it perfectly, you can’t do it any better than that! Verse 11 – “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, …” – meaning, sin will not have the power of death over you. “…but alive to God [through] Christ Jesus our Lord. 12) Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13) And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, …” but rather, here’s the key, “…but [yield] yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, …” – because you’re going to follow the example of Jesus Christ! He walked out of His tomb, became eternal. Someday you’re going to walk out of your grave, be changed for all eternity, or some people might still be alive as physical human beings – and some people will – and be instantly changed. “…and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. Verse 14 – “For sin shall not have dominion over you, …” – that’s the goal!” 3
“buried with Him IN BAPTISM, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13) And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses” – Colossians 2:12-13.

So indeed, getting properly baptized clearly shows that we have come to the grave realization of our own sins, lusts, our own wretchedness. It is an acknowledgment that our old self must die so that we might rise to live a new life of spiritual OBEDIENCE to God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ through Their Spirit. It shows the LORD God our ultimate surrender to Their will.

Have you been baptized? If so, was it done by immersion as God commands? Have you truly repented? Do you know what repentance is?

If you were baptized by immersion, did you fully understand that you were actually being “buried,” and that you were to be a “new you” as you emerged from this watery “grave”?

Did you have hands laid upon you and prayer given for the receipt of the gift of the LORD God – the Holy Spirit?

If you did not properly fulfill all these requirements for baptism that we have covered here in this and other studies, then your baptism was not valid in the eyes of the LORD God!

We certainly cannot cover every major point concerning proper water baptism here. For additional information, be sure to read our articles “Day of Pentecost and Healing – part 1,” “Baptism Is Commanded,” “What do you mean… ‘Born Again’?”

It’s IMPORTANT – no matter your history, you need to check up on yourself to see where you stand with the LORD God. □


1)  Baptists: Believer’s Baptism, Baptist Distinctives, Retrieved 23 December 2022.
2) Unger’s Bible Dictionary. Unger F. Merrill. Moody Press, 1966, “Baptism” pg. 122.
3) Garrett, M.C., Christ In You (Unleavened Bread) 2017 Day 4, 2019, pgs. 9, 10, 11, 12.

Scriptural Index:

Old Testament - ref. Isaiah 53:9; ref. Psalm 19:13; 119:133.
New Testament - Matthew 3:13-15, 16; ref. Matthew 12:40; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:36-42; 8:38; Romans 6:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10-14; 8:10-11, 14; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; ref. 1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Peter 2:21-22.

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