QAIs 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 have been cleansed by sprinkling (Heb 10:22).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]).
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.
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.