Doctrine of Christ

Water Baptism

The First of the Seven Baptisms
By: Eldon McNabb

John came "preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins." Luke 3:3. This baptism was water, as is shown in his own words in Luke 3:16, "I indeed baptize you with water."

When some came to be baptized, who apparently had not repented, he rebuked them. He said, "Who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance." Matt. 3:7,8.

The comments of three of Jesusí disciples, in Mark 1:5, Matt. 3:16, and Rom. 6:3-11, show that This baptism is administered by pushing the penitent beneath the surface of the water, and bringing him up again. As He said, they "were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan. And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water." "Know ye not, that so many of us that were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of The Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection."

Peter said, in 1 Pet. 3:20,21, that in the flood, "eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." It is impossible for the ritual of water baptism to wash away sins. Rather, it is by the public demonstration of raising up to a new life spiritually that we make ourselves strong to overcome the destructive influence of the flesh.

When we publicly declare our faith by submitting to water baptism, we are separated from our old lives and the influences of our ungodly associations, even as Noah and those with him were saved from the evil of "that world."

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