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Page 384

 

Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?
And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered Him.
And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, l0, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

-Matthew 3:13-17

And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.
And straightway coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him:
And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.

-Mark 1:9-11

Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,
And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art My beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased.

-Luke 3:21-22

From thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old, all that enter into the host, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation.

-Numbers 4:3

 


10. The baptism of the disciples at Ephesus (Acts 19:5) Again, no reference is recorded of the method used when baptizing.

All ten examples of baptism in the Book of Acts support the Reformed position that the mode of baptism is not clearly specified in Scripture, and therefore, any of the three may be used -sprinkling, pouring, or immersing -as all picture cleansing and consecration. These ten examples contradict the Baptist and Mennonite teachings that immersion is the only acceptable mode of baptism and that it is the only mode used in New Testament baptisms.

In addition to the examples of baptism in the Book of Acts, three others are spoken of in the New Testament. The baptism of Crispus, Gaius, and the household of Stephanas by Paul; of Christ by John the Baptist; and the baptism of others by John. Let us examine each regarding its mode of baptism.

1. The baptism of Crispus, Gaius, and the household of Stephanas (I Corinthians 1:14-16) -No mention is made of the mode used when baptizing these persons.

2. The baptism of Jesus Christ (Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:9-10, Luke 3:21-22) -While certainty regarding the mode of Jesus' baptism may not be possible to establish perfectly, the following factors testify quite convincingly of its being a baptism by sprinkling or pouring.

  • Jesus was baptized "to fulfill all righteousness." As Christ's forerunner, John the Baptist's baptism was a baptism of repentance from sin to prepare the people for faith and deliverance through the Messiah to come. Therefore when John saw Jesus approaching him to be baptized, "John forbad Him, saying, I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?" (Matthew 3:14). But "Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness" (Matthew 3:15). After hearing this, John agreed and baptized Him. Why? What did Jesus mean when He said "to fulfill all righteousness"?

    Righteousness involves fulfilling God's law. God's ceremonial law is also referred to by the words "to fulfill all


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