Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What every scripture teaches about believer's baptism

Matthew 28:18-20 "And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Last week I had posted a blog on how Southern Baptists understand the richness and meaning of baptism as given by the Lord to His church. The link for that post is here for the reader's review if they so choose: That post served as an overview or summary, however it was not exhaustive. Since that time I have been thinking of trying to gather together every New Testament scripture that deals with water baptism. Thankfully, resources such as "Strong's Exhaustive Concordance" and "Nave's Topical Bible" can aid greatly in achieving this task. For today's post, the aim is to list every New Testament Scripture and arrange them under topical headings for the purpose of understanding what the Bible teaches about believer's baptism. 

1. Over 20 Scriptures speak of John the Baptist and his baptism
Mt 3:5-8, 13-16; 20:22,23,21:25; Mk 1:4-5,8-10; 10:38-39, 11:30; Lk 3:3, 7:29-30;12:50; 20:4; John 1:26,33,4:1-2, 10:40; Acts 1:22,10:37, 11:16; 13:24, 18:25, 19:3-4. 

2. All the scriptures that speak of water baptism as an ordinance given by Jesus to His church. 

a. 4 times it is commanded, with two of the verses giving the most clear command.
Mat 28:18-20 and Acts 2:38-41. Also compare Mark 16:16 and Acts 22:16

b. Roughly 20 places speak of the practice of baptism 
Mt 28:18-20; Mk 16:16; Acts 2:38-41; 8:12,13,16,36-38; 9:18; 10:47-48; 16:15,33; 18:8; 19:3-5; 1 Cor 1:13,14,15,16 (2x), 17

c. Over 30 places speak of saving faith first, followed by baptism. Hence this is why we can call baptism - "believer's baptism"

i. All of the verses pertaining to John the Baptist's practice of baptism entailed baptizing those who had first received His message by faith
Mt 3:5-8, 13-16; 20:22,23,21:25; Mk 1:4-5,8-10; 10:38-39, 11:30; Lk 3:3, 7:29-30;12:50; 20:4; John 1:26,33,4:1-2, 10:40; Acts 1:22; 10:37, 11:16; 13:24, 18:25, 19:3-4

ii. Jesus Himself chose to allign with John's baptism, thus endorsing the pattern of faith, then baptism. 
Matt 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-23a; John 1:29-34

iii. Christ commanded (ordained) believer's baptism for His church
The Apostles followed suit. 
Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:22; 2:38-41;10:37, 11:16; 13:24, 18:25, 19:3-4; 1 Cor 1:14-16

iv. 10 passages that state the pattern of saving faith first, followed by believer's baptism
Acts 2:41; 8:12; 8:36-38; 9:18; 16:15; 16:31-33; 18:8; 19:4-5; 1 Cor 1:14-16; 1 Peter 3:21

3. 10 scriptures serve to unfold the meaning of  baptism

a. 6 unfold the meaning of water baptism itself
Matt 28:18-20; Acts 19:5; Romans 6:3-11; Gal 3:27; Col 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21

b. 4 refer to the Spirit's baptism or connection of the believer into Christ at saving faith, to which water baptism points as a sign signifying that prior reality
Matthew 3:11; Acts 10:47; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 4:4-5

4. Saving Faith, followed by believer's baptism, are prerequisites to participation in the Lord's table. Note the consistent pattern below:

a. Jesus submitted Himself to baptism, and then ordained His covenant meal on the eve of His crucifixion. 
Matt 3:13-17 & Matt 26:26-29; Mark 1:9-11 & Mark 14:22-25; Luke 3:21-23a & Luke 22:17-20; John 1:29-34 & John 13-16.

b. The early church baptized their converts, who in turn got to celebrate the "breaking of bread" or "Lord's supper". Acts 2:38-41; 16:30-34

c. Paul speaks of baptism at the beginning of 1 Corinthians and then later on speaks of the Lord's table in the same epistle.
1 Corinthians 1:14-17 & 1 Corinthians 11:23-28

Closing thoughts
This post has aimed to inform the reader as much as possible about all the New Testament scriptures that speak on the subject of believer's baptism. As always, I encourage people to reference each verse given in every blogpost to see for themselves what the scriptures say. May God be glorified!


  1. Very good word to start the day. Thanks neighbour!

  2. Blessings to you dear friend. Praise the Lord and have an awesome day in Jesus!