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Is sprinkling a form of baptism? God promised in Ezekiel 36:25 that He would sprinkle on His people to make them clean. 1 Peter 1:2 states that believers have been sprinkled by the blood of Jesus Christ. The author of Hebrews also confirms that our hearts

Sprinkling is not baptism. The word "baptism" is derived from the Greek word baptismos, which means immersion. The Greek word baptein (baptism) means "to plunge, to immerse, or to wash." (See "BAPTISM." The Encyclopedia of Religion ed. Micea Eliade, et al. [New York: Macmillan; London: Collier Macmillan, 1987]).

The language in Ezekiel 36:25-26 is figurative. It speaks of a "heart of stone" and "heart of flesh." So the cleansing through sprinkling is figurative of the inward cleansing. The reference to sprinkling comes from the ceremonial cleansing in Numbers 8:6-7.

1 Peter 1:2 does not refer to the physical action of baptism, but the spiritual cleansing by the sprinkling of Christ's blood. (Sprinkling of blood in the Old Testament is a prefiguration; see Hebrews 9:18-22). If the verse did refer to actual sprinkling, then one must be sprinkled by the physical blood of Christ, which is impossible.

Hebrews 10:22 cannot be a basis for sprinkling. On the contrary, this verse actually supports baptism by immersion. Notice that it is the heart, not the body, that is being sprinkled spiritually; the body is "washed with pure water" physically. (According to Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible, s.v. "baptism," "washed" means immersed, for the "external form of baptism was immersion in flowing water which is presupposed in Acts 8:22, Heb 10:22.") So when the candidate is immersed in water during baptism, his spiritual being is being cleansed.

Publisher: True Jesus Church