Some say it is absolutely wrong to be baptized more than once and to not do it. Some say it is an outward sign to others, and one can be baptized more than once for various reasons. I have even read that water baptism is not necessary for salvation, which I can agree to a point. Such as if you find someone dying, and you lead them to salvation right before they die, then I think they would be saved. But for general circumstances, I think one should be baptized.
My issue is I have a faint memory of being baptized at 15 (I am in my sixties now) at an outdoor brush arbor meeting though it was later at the end of the revival. But after talking to my brother who said he was baptized later, I am now wondering if I have a false memory.
I am taking this very seriously and is always on my mind. I have email and messaged several sites and teachers of the word, but no one answers my emails, or they give a generic answer, which does not relate to my question. I have not found any website that gives a definitive answer from the Scriptures on being baptized more than once, so it may be a matter of conscience. And not really remembering if I have or have not been baptized, I do not want to err by doing something scripturally wrong.
Can you give me any insight on this?
My guess is that you were baptized because:
- You are asking if it is wrong to be baptized more than once, which can't happen if you were never baptized.
- You have always thought of yourself as being a baptized Christian up until recently when a discussion with your brother made you doubt your memories.
If something is false, it would be your recent doubts instead of what you always thought in the past.
But in regards to your question, it is not wrong to be baptized again. You only enter the covenant with God once. A covenant is a lifetime vow between two parties. Thus, in practical terms, it doesn't matter if one baptism or another brought you into the covenant with God.
Some people do get baptized again because their first baptism wasn't valid. We see this in Acts 19. When Paul ran across men in Ephesus who were baptized, he discovered they did not know about the Holy Spirit. Such could not be possible for those properly baptized since baptism is done in the name of the Spirit (Matthew 28:19) and a consequence of proper baptism is receiving the gift of the Spirit (Acts 2:38). The result was that these men who had been baptized into John's baptism were baptized again into the name of Jesus (Acts 19:1-7). Thus, a person baptized as an infant would need to be baptized because baptism is based on faith (Mark 16:16) and an infant can't have faith. A person baptized for the wrong reason or in the wrong manner, such as being sprinkled instead of immersed, would also need to be baptized properly.
Baptism is not an outward sign for others. Paul was told, "Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins" (Acts 22:16). Paul was told to do it for himself, not others. The same is true for those who heeded Peter's lesson. "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).
Regarding whether baptism is necessary, you stated your opinion, but what you or I think about something doesn't matter. It is God who does the judging. See: