Question:

I am curious. Where in the New Testament does Jesus say that you must be baptized in water?


Answer:

These types of questions are based on a false precept that only statements in certain sections of the Bible are legitimate. In this case, it is an attempt to eliminate what the apostles wrote as if their writings were less authoritative than the writings that quote Jesus. As Paul pointed out, "If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord" (I Corinthians 14:37). You cannot be a Christian without acknowledging the teachers Christ send out into the world with the gospel.

Regarding baptism, Jesus said:

  • "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" (Matthew 28:19).
  • "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:16).
  • "Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God"" (John 3:3).
  • "Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God"" (John 3:5).
  • "After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized. Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized" (John 3:22-23).
  • "And they came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified--behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!"" (John 3:26).
  • "Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples) ..." (John 4:1-2).

As Paul points out, there is only one baptism significant to the church (Ephesians 4:5). That baptism involved water, just as Jesus said it must.

  • "Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing" (Acts 8:36-39).
  • "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord" (Acts 10:47-48). Notice that being baptized by the Holy Spirit (receiving the Holy Spirit) was not the same as being baptized in the name of the Lord. Even though they had received the Holy Spirit, they still needed to be baptized in the name of the Lord and that required water.
  • "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).
  • "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin" (Romans 6:3-7).
  • "That He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word" (Ephesians 5:26).

Baptism was commanded. It was required. It holds deep significance and meaning to the Christian. See: Which baptism is the baptism referred to in Ephesians 4:5?

I am sorry, I don't follow the Paulinite way. If it was so important why did Jesus himself not baptize people? I mean, you would think if it was really that important he would have done it himself, don't you think?

Since it was Jesus himself who sent out the Apostles (John 16:13-14; Matthew 28:18-20) and Jesus who commissioned Paul to teach to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15; 26:17-18), what you are saying is that you do not believe the Lord. Peter testified of Paul's apostleship. "And consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation--as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures" (II Peter 3:15-16). But you won't accept the truth being taught.

What is ironic is that Paul never taught anything but what the Lord said. There is no difference in any of the apostles' teachings and the teachings of Christ. "Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe's household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, "I am of Paul," or "I am of Apollos," or "I am of Cephas," or "I am of Christ." Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?" (I Corinthians 1:10-13).

Do you not realize that we only have the writings of the apostles and prophets? Jesus wrote none of the New Testament directly. The only way to accept Jesus is to accept his apostles. "He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me" (Matthew 10:40).

Worse, when proven that Jesus did teach baptism you attempt to force unnecessary additional criteria simply because you don't like the evidence. Jesus commanded Christians to baptize (Matthew 28:19). Jesus said you cannot be a part of the kingdom without it (John 3:3, 5). Jesus had his disciples do it in his presence (John 3:22-23; 4:1-2) and all knew that he had authorized it and that it made people his followers.

Since baptism is something any follower could do, it makes perfectly good sense that Jesus focused on what his disciples could not do at the time (teaching) while they took care of the crowds coming to be baptized. Remember that Jesus and his disciples baptized more people than John.

I hope one day you'll actually follow the Lord.

Yes, but research shows that his apostles did not write them either. And, no, I do not believe Peter even had the authority to have Paul made an apostle. Paul's teachings are not in line with the Master. He didn't teach what the Master said. He even went so far as telling believers to believe in him. So, no, I do not believe he was an apostle. More of the false prophet the master warned about.

It is amazing what people who claim to be religious don't believe about the religion they claim to follow.

It is clear you have no real evidence so you refer to "research" that is unnamed and undocumented to claim that the Bible is false, since the Bible claims to have been written by the Apostles and prophets. "Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior" (II Peter 3:1-2). Why Peter goes on to say that scoffers would come (II Peter 3:3). A scoffer is someone who doesn't believe much of anything -- much like you. That disbelief doesn't reside in any facts -- it is just personal opinion that anything you disagree with can't be true.

Peter didn't make Paul an apostle; that was something Jesus did personally (Acts 26:15-18; Galatians 1:11-12). Peter stated that Paul spoke by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and that his writings are Scripture (II Peter 3:15-16).

Since you did not document a teaching of Paul's that was contrary to Jesus, we can safely count this as mere speculation on your part. That you have decided to revive the false teachings of the Jews only shows you don't realize that your points were disproven 2,000 years ago. See: What Made Paul an Apostle?

And, no, Paul did not tell people to believe in him. The closest you can get is that Paul urged brethren to follow his example of following Christ. "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ" (I Corinthians 11:1).

"Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame -- who set their mind on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Philippians 3:17-20).

Do your own home work bud. I hear that statement about research all the time. Thay statement is only stated by people who refuse truth. As for your quotes concerning the point you are trying to make in no way can be proven outside if the bible. My original question was and still is: Where in the bible does Jesus say that you have to be baptized in actual water. To the ancients water symbolized the wholeness and oneness of all things. Spirit was represented by fire. I was just wondering what part validates your teaching. That is all. You see there are many things taught in modern christianity that does not come from the bible. Example: Hate the sin not the sinner. If you take the time to research truth instead of just following blindly you will find that the statement came from Budda. Now before you can say it. No I am not buddist. I just took the time, 30 years in fact, to learn how religions came to be. Now you will say show me things that prove my statements. I ask and challenge you to do that without the use if the bible, but we both know that you won't. We both know that you can't. In the end the work is yours to find truth. It is not mine.

Actually, "hate the sin and not the sinner" is not biblical. See: Hate the Sin, But Not the Sinner?

"For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence" (1 Corinthians 1:21-29).

You are correct. I'm not interested in the philosophies of men. But even there you fail. It is the obligation of the one making the assertion to prove his point. You are unable, or unwilling, to do so; therefore, logically your view can be ignored.

You asked where Jesus said you had to be baptized in water and I showed both the statement and the application. That you don't accept it has no bearing on the fact that it was shown, nor does your rejection of fact changes fact.

"A scoffer seeks wisdom and does not find it, but knowledge is easy to him who understands" (Proverbs 14:6).