gave the commandment for water baptism?
commandment for water baptism came from the Lord Jesus. Prior to His ascension,
He instructed, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19);
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes
and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned”
of this, the True Jesus Church performs water baptism for whoever accepts the
complete gospel of salvation.
Q2 What effects does it have?
baptism brings about the following effects:
of our sins and giving us a clear conscience before God (Acts 2:38; 22:16; Heb
10:22; 1 Pet 3:21)
Spiritual rebirth and newness of life (Jn 3:5; Rom 6:3–4; Tit 3:5)
Enabling us to put on Christ and to belong to Him (Rom 6:3; Gal 3:27)
Justification before God (Rom 3:24–26; 5:9)
reasons, it is directly related to our salvation.
Q3 How does it remove our sins?
of Hebrews says, “And according to the law almost all things are purged with
blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission” (Heb 9:22). In the
Old Testament, priests used the blood of animals to atone for people’s sins on
a regular and on-going basis. This practice foreshadowed the sacrifice of Jesus
Christ on the cross: “Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own
blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal
redemption” (Heb 9:12). Today, the blood of Jesus is present in the water
during baptism by the power of the eternal Spirit, making it effective for the
removal of sins once for all (Heb 9:12–14; 1 Jn 5:6–8).
Q4 Why is the shedding of blood necessary?
shedding of blood for the forgiveness of sins was always a part of God’s
redemptive plan: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given
it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood
that makes atonement for the soul” (Lev 17:11). His ultimate will was to
overcome sin and to redeem sinners through the blood of Jesus Christ (Heb
additional note, because blood signifies life, Christians are not permitted to
consume blood or the meat of strangled animals (Acts 15:29; cf. Gen 9:4; Lev
Q5 Why does it have to be the blood of Jesus?
be the blood of Jesus because He alone is holy, sinless and worthy. “How much
more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself
without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living
God?” (Heb 9:14); “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible
things…but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and
without spot” (1 Pet 1:18–19).
Q6 What power does His blood have?
of Jesus has the power to:
about the forgiveness of sins (Eph 1:7).
us and make us holy (Heb 13:12; 1 Jn 1:7).
us and save us from God’s wrath (Rom 5:9).
our purchase (Acts 20:28).
us (Eph 1:7; Rev 5:9).
• free us
from the devil’s accusations (Rev 12:10–11).
peace and reconciliation with God (Eph 2:13; Col 1:20–22).
an everlasting covenant between God and ourselves (Mt 26:28; Heb
Q7 Jesus shed His blood 2,000 years ago. How can
it still be effective today?
of Jesus is still effective because it has enduring power. The writer of
Hebrews explains: “Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own
blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal
redemption” (Heb 9:12). It is present during water baptism through the work of
the “eternal Spirit” (Heb 9:14).
Q8 What is the fountain mentioned in Zechariah
prophecy in Zechariah 13:1 states: “In that day a fountain shall be opened for
the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for
uncleanness.” This fountain was opened up when Jesus was nailed to the cross.
His disciple, John, witnessed a soldier piercing His side with a spear, causing
a miraculous flow of blood and water (Jn 19:34). Hence, when writing First
John, he recorded specifically: “This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus
Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who
bears witness, because the Spirit is truth” (1 Jn 5:6).
this fountain is present whenever the True Jesus Church performs water baptism.
Through the power and witness of the Holy Spirit, the blood of Jesus is present
in the baptismal water for the remission of sins (1 Jn 5:8).
Q9 What makes water baptism effective for
highlights the factors that give water baptism its efficacy: water and the
blood of Jesus, the presence of the Holy Spirit, the name of Jesus, and the
power of the Lord’s word.
Jesus was pierced on the cross, both water and blood flowed out from His side
(Jn 19:34). This reveals that the two elements are inextricably linked and work
together to give water baptism its effect. Pertinently, when we study the
Bible’s references relating to water baptism alongside those relating to the
blood of Jesus, we come to equate water baptism with the presence and power of
26:28; Eph 1:7; Heb 9:22, 26, 28
16:16; Tit 3:5; 1 Pet 3:21
1 Pet 1:18–19; Rev 5:9
1 Cor 6:11; Eph 5:26; Heb 10:22
9:14; 13:12; 1 Jn 1:7; Rev 1:5; 7:14
6:11; Tit 3:5–7
with God and a clear conscience
10:22; 1 Pet 3:21
2:13; Col 1:20; Heb 10:19–22
of God’s righteousness
a person to belong to God/Jesus Christ
28:19; Rom 6:3; Gal 3:26–29
20:28; Rev 1:5–6; 5:9–10
from water and the blood of Jesus, the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit is also
at work during baptism: “And there are three that bear witness on earth: the
Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one” (1 Jn 5:8).
addition, water baptism is effective when it is conducted in the name of Jesus,
in accordance with the commandment of the Lord and the teaching of the apostles
(Mt 28:19; cf. Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5). This is because the name “Jesus”
has the power to save (Acts 4:12).
water baptism is effective for salvation because it is the word of Jesus (Mt
28:19; Mk 16:16; Jn 3:5). Jesus says, “The words that I speak to you are
spirit, and they are life” (Jn 6:63). Therefore, when we perform water baptism
in the way prescribed by the Bible, we are assured that it will lead to life
What is the spiritual significance of water baptism?
baptism has the following spiritual significance:
• It enables us to escape from the power of
darkness. The time before Jesus’ resurrection was a time of darkness (Lk
22:53). When He resurrected, He overcame the power of darkness and was able to
say, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore
and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:18–19). From these words, we
understand that Jesus established water baptism as the way to salvation for
mankind. It enables us to be transported from darkness into light, and into the
kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Acts 26:18; Col 1:13–14).
• It frees us from the Mosaic Law. “The
sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to
God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 15:56–57).
Through the shedding of His blood, Jesus paid off our debt of sin and redeemed
us from the law (Gal 4:4–5). The outcome is that, when we are washed in His
blood through water baptism, we are delivered from the law and its curse (Rom
7:6; Gal 3:13), enabling us to begin a new life under grace (Rom 6:14).
• We die, are buried, and are raised up with
Jesus. Paul teaches that water baptism signifies the death and burial of
our old self with Jesus, and our resurrection with Him to a newness of life
(Rom 6:3–4; Col 2:12–13).
Some Christians argue that we are saved by faith alone and that water baptism
has nothing to do with salvation. Are they right?
are not. When the Bible talks about salvation by faith, we need to understand
that faith not only entails belief, it also entails a practical expression of
that faith—namely obedience to the commandments of the Lord. Hence, elder James
reminds us that faith should be accompanied by actions: “What does it profit,
my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith
save him?” (Jas 2:14); “Do you see that faith was working together with
[Abraham’s] works, and by works faith was made perfect?” (Jas 2:22).
water baptism is the commandment of Jesus (Mk 16:16). Therefore, while faith is
certainly important, we also need to follow through practically by obeying
Jesus to receive water baptism. If baptism had nothing to do with salvation, He
would not have commanded it.
Q12 Today, there are different
beliefs and practices relating to water baptism: some churches do not perform
it; others do, but claim that it is not necessary for salvation. Are they
are not. Water baptism is the plan of God and an integral part of the gospel of
salvation (Mk 16:16; Acts 2:38; 10:48; 19:4–5; 22:16). We must therefore
believe that, through baptism, we can attain God’s forgiveness and salvation.
faith is revealed through obedience to the word of Jesus (Jn 8:31). Sadly, some
churches have gone against His teaching by abolishing water baptism. Other
churches perform it, but deny its power to save (1 Pet 3:21), remit sins (Acts
2:38) and to bring about spiritual regeneration (Tit 3:5). In effect, they
regard baptism as nothing more than a ceremonial rite. Such stances go against
the truth of the Bible.
Some Christians claim that water baptism does not wash away sins, as these are
forgiven when a person accepts Christ, or that baptism is merely a testimony
before God, man, angels and demons. Are they right?
are not. The workers in the early church urged people to receive water baptism
for the forgiveness of sins. For example, Peter preached, “Repent, and let
every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of
sins...” (Acts 2:38), while Ananias told Saul (Paul), “And now why are you
waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of
the Lord” (Acts 22:16). Nowhere in the Bible does it say that water baptism
merely serves as a testimony to others—and certainly not for indicating in
retrospect that our sins have been forgiven.
Bible describes a criminal who received salvation when he repented on the
cross. Does it not prove that water baptism is unnecessary?
23:39–43 is a unique biblical account of someone repenting at the point of
death and receiving salvation through the personal assurance of Jesus.
Pertinently, when it happened, Jesus had yet to complete His work of
salvation—to die, shed His blood and resurrect—and, therefore, to establish the
new covenant, of which water baptism would be a part (Col 2:11–13). Hence, it
was only after He resurrected—when He gained all authority in heaven and on
earth (Mt 28:18)—that He issued the commandment to perform baptism for the
remission of sins and for salvation (Mt 28:19; Mk 16:16; Lk 24:46–47). His
disciples proceeded to do this from the day of Pentecost onwards, once the Holy
Spirit had descended to establish the New Testament church (Acts 2:41). In
light of this, anyone who denies that water baptism is necessary for salvation
is, in effect, going against the teaching of the risen Lord.
When is it the right time to be baptized?
receive water baptism when we have heard and accepted the gospel of salvation,
and believe with all our heart that Jesus Christ is God, our Saviour (Acts 8:37). The Bible, for example, records:
people believing and receiving baptism on the day of Pentecost, after hearing
Peter’s sermon (Acts 2:41).
Ethiopian eunuch believing and being baptized by Philip on his journey home
from Jerusalem (Acts 8:36–38).
and her household being baptized when the “Lord opened her heart to heed the
things spoken by Paul” (Acts 16:14–15).
jailer and his family believing in Jesus and being baptized by Paul and Silas
in the middle of the night (Acts 16:25–34).
• the Corinthians
being baptized after hearing and believing (Acts 18:8).
Should infants be baptized and why?
should, for the following reasons:
are born with sin and are subject to its outcome, which is death (Rom 5:12,
14). Like adults, they need the salvation of the Lord.
says, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the
Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (Jn 3:5). This truth applies to
everyone, without exception.
Israelites were circumcised on the eighth day after birth in order to enter
into a covenant with God—an act that prefigured water baptism (Col 2:11–12).
Later, God established a new covenant with His people through the blood of
Jesus Christ, which we can now enter into through water baptism. Like
circumcision, the new covenant is inclusive of infants.
says that the kingdom of heaven is open to children: “Let the little children
come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.
Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a
little child will by no means enter it” (Mk 10:14–15).
Israelites would have crossed the Red Sea with their infants—an event that
typified water baptism (1 Cor 10:1–2; cf. Ex 10:9; 12:37; 14:21–31).
apostolic times, whole households received water baptism (e.g. Acts 16:15, 34).
In the original Greek, the word for “household” is oikos and refers to a couple,
their children, and any servants and relatives living in the home.
Infants are unable to believe in the Lord, so how can they be baptized?
have a duty to ensure both the physical and spiritual well-being of their children.
Therefore, as long as they have faith, their infants can be baptized. In fact,
the Bible puts great emphasis on parental faith (e.g. the healing of the royal
official’s son, Jn 4:46–53; the deliverance of a demon-possessed girl, Mt
their children have been baptized, parents should raise them up “in the
training and admonition of the Lord” (Eph 6:4). We can learn from the examples
of Lois and Eunice who brought up Timothy to have a genuine faith (2 Tim 1:5).
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not
depart from it” (Prov 22:6).
Where should water baptism be performed?
shows us that water baptism should be carried out in natural living water, such
as rivers, creeks, streams, lakes and seas. We note, for example, that John
baptized Jesus in the River Jordan (Mt 3:13; Mk 1:9). He also performed
baptisms in Aenon near Salim
“because there was much water there” (Jn 3:23). Philip baptized the Ethiopian
eunuch when “they came to some water” in the desert (Acts 8:36). Nowhere does
the Bible indicate that it is acceptable to perform baptism in man-made vessels
or bodies of water.
What is the correct way to baptize?
from the requirement to perform it in natural living water, the correct mode of
water baptism also entails:
• Full immersion. In the account of Jesus’
baptism, we learn that, “When He had been baptized, [He] came up immediately
from the water…” (Mt 3:16). Also, when Philip baptized the Ethiopian eunuch,
both of them “went down into the water” (Acts 8:38). Full immersion is
important because it signifies our death and burial with Christ (Rom 6:3–4).
• Bowing of the head. Paul says that
baptism entails our being “united together in the likeness of [Jesus’] death”
(Rom 6:5). The Gospel of John describes that likeness as the bowing of the
head: “...And bowing His head, He gave up His Spirit” (Jn 19:30). Furthermore, when
we bow our head, we acknowledge that we are sinners who need God’s mercy
and forgiveness (Job 10:15; Ps 40:12; Lk 18:13).
• Calling upon the name of Jesus. Jesus
told His disciples to baptize people “in the name of the Father and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19). The disciples correctly interpreted His
meaning by baptizing believers in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48;
19:5). The Bible states that there is no other name under heaven by which we
can be saved (Acts 4:12).
• Administration by a qualified baptist. The baptist should be an ordained minister of the
True Jesus Church who himself has been baptized in the correct manner and has
received the Holy Spirit. This could be an elder, deacon or preacher. In this
way, we can be sure that he has been sent by the Lord and carries His
authority, like the apostles (Jn 20:21–23; Rom 10:15).
many times can we be baptized?
only be baptized once. This is because Jesus died one time for us: “For by one
offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” (Heb 10:14).
However, the baptism we receive must comply with God’s requirements, for there
is only “one baptism” that leads to salvation (Eph 4:5).
importance of the correct water baptism is illustrated clearly in the Bible’s
account of the believers in Ephesus. Prior to their meeting with Paul, they had
already received John’s baptism for repentance. Nevertheless, Paul took care to
re-baptize them in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins (Acts 19:1–5).
This indicates that anyone who has not yet received the correct water
baptism—one that meets the standard of the gospel—will need to be re-baptized.
© 2012 True Jesus Church.