Volume XXX Number 9 SEPTEMBER 20, 2006


He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.

Proverbs 18:13

Before entering the serious tension connected with the consideration concerning any controversy over doctrine, wisdom suggests that all participants in that discussion must agree on the definitions of the particular terms involved and must consistently use only those definitions. No honest and meaningful deliberation can be achieved should any of those involved, whether accidentally and unintentionally or slyly and surreptitiously, use special meanings, secret definitions, or private interpretations for the words or terms being discussed. Nothing results from such a conversation other than an unrecognized confusion among those involved or a purposeful deceit by one or more of the participants.

Among the sinister subtleties of cultic teachers, making them an exceedingly dangerous attraction (while at the same time, a deadly ambush) to immature or uninstructed, and therefore naive, believers and other gullible victims, is the effective practice that all false prophets utilize, the practice of insidiously altering the historical definitions of basic Bible words and of disingenuously rephrasing traditional Bible doctrines so that the customary and scriptural meanings of these words are mutilated beyond repair and mutated beyond recognition and then, with clever and deceitful skill, weaving these new, radically different unbiblical, even anti-biblical, malignant counterfeits into what appear to be commonly used spiritual or scriptural phrases. Consequently, the unsuspecting listener feels no urgency or necessity to seek any clarification connected with the words heard because he or she is certain the meaning intended is what is normally expected. This deliberate verbal duplicity weaves a skillfully camouflaged snare inviting the unwary "fly" into the "spider's web" from which escape is very unlikely. What appears to the listener as known and familiar terminology in reality is beguiling costuming, cleverly disguising the heretical doctrine.

These wondrous religious enchanters, wolves in sheep's clothing, survive by wresting Bible truths by "sleight of tongue" distortion and through using "tongue is faster than the brain" manipulation. Words that the listener, the dictionaries of the language, and historical Christianity all define in one way are corrupted and used (with deception fully intended) by these spiritual wizards with a purpose and meaning entirely different from what the hearer could rightfully (even if naively) expect or understand. Sadly, these human or satanic perversions of truths usually are not explained to the credulous initiate until that gullible individual is firmly ensnared and deeply "wrapped up" in the cult. Very often, this "strange fire," these bizarre, distorted meanings, are "unveiled" in the masquerade of a "new mystery revelation" available only to those "fortunate" enough to have been "let in" on "the secret."

Individuals and publications representing various groups (such as the Jehovah's Witness, the Latter Day Saint, the Roman Catholic, the Charismatic, the World Wide Church of God, Unity School of Christianity, the liberal [who most often desire to be called moderate] Baptist, the Methodist, the Lutheran, the Disciple of Christ, etc., and the Baptists) use the "same" words. The words "appear" to be the same in that they are spelled identically and even pronounced identically, but, upon careful study, those words are found to be not at all identical in meaning.

Bluntly stated, the use of the "same" words simply is no indication, certainly no guarantee, and never any proof at all that the same meaning is intended; this is true of even the most basic and ordinary of words. (As strange as it might seem to some, these dangerous alterations include words such as "saved," "justified," "born again," "heaven," "hell," "sin," "prayer," "grace"; even such words as "life," death," "angels," "God," "Christ," the "Holy Spirit" and many others receive the same insidious tampering.) "Baptism" must be included high on the list of these systematically and deliberately mutilated words.

Before entering this examination of the doctrine of baptism, it is imperative to define certain relative terms.

Christian: One who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Christianity: The religion derived from Jesus Christ, based on the Bible as sacred scriptures, and professed by Eastern, Roman Catholic, and Protestant bodies.

Christendom: The part of the world in which Christianity prevails.

(Reference source: Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, published by Merriam-Webster Inc., Springfield, Massachusetts, copyright 1989.)

These definitions are the basic and generally accepted meanings of those three words as they would be used by a daily newspaper or popular magazine, and as they are used by average typical people in daily conversation.

Though, from a biblical position, these applications are seriously flawed, because of this "normal" use, this paper will use these three terms according to these definitions to avoid any confusion of meaning. Even so, please notice carefully the following objections concerning how these words are customarily used in publications and conversation.

The word "Christendom" is used to encompass all citizens of any nation whose population is not predominantly Moslem, Jewish, Buddhist, or another non-Christian religion; this word has no suggestion of salvation or even personal acknowledgment of Christianity by a particular citizen of such a nation.

The word "Christianity" is used very broadly to suggest any individual or group that makes any claim whatsoever to accept the teachings of Jesus Christ in any degree or form.

The word "Christian" is used with a multitude of meanings ranging from "one who is commendable, decent, or generous" (Webster) to "one who has sincerely received the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Saviour."

Though this paper will use these words in compliance with these faulty definitions, the indisputable fact is to be emphasized, and strongly so, that the New Testament exclusively applies the word "Christian" to identify those individuals who are true (or genuine, saved, born again) disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The very first time the word "Christian" is found in the New Testament, the term specifically identifies those individuals who were faithful baptized members of the church at Antioch.

Acts 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

In the two other instances where the word "Christian" is applied in the New Testament, there is the clear and unmistakable generic use of "one who identifies completely and publicly with the cause of Christ and with His followers."

Acts 26:28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

1 Peter 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.

No use or application can be found in the New Testament of the word "Christian" (the only one of the three words defined above to be found in the New Testament) in any sense other than these very restrictive and narrow meanings.

While in Scripture, this word "Christian" has these unique and very precise limits of use, sadly, that does not hold true in either the "secular" or "Christian" world today; this variance (sometimes a deliberate manipulation, but all too often a careless mistake) of use very often leads to confusion over what is intended as the meaning of the terms "Christian" and "Christianity."

With the existence of the definite possibility that the term "Christian" will not be understood in these strict scriptural senses by all those who will read this paper, another New Testament term (also used in Scripture to identify the true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ) will be used instead--the word "believer" will identify (in this discussion) those individuals who have received, by personal faith and in the exercise of his or her own personal will, the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Saviour and who are not trusting in some work or act that he or she might undertake that would grant or obtain salvation, but who are trusting entirely and only in the atonement of the shed blood of the Saviour applied by and through the grace of God.

Acts 5:14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.

1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.



To some who claim to be Christians, baptism lacks any real purpose of meaning for individuals who are alive today and never was more than a practice restricted to those Jews who lived during the time span that began with the public ministry of John the Baptist and ended when the Apostle Paul publicly turned to the Gentiles. Others, however, insist that the Bible requires baptism of believers today.

Some teach that baptism is "the actual and effective means of washing away sin." Among this grouping, one finds wide latitude of belief. There are those who teach that baptism saved only those believing Jews who were alive and who were baptized during the specific era between the day that began the ministry of John the Baptist until the day of Paul's turning to the Gentiles. Others hold that while baptism did save the Jewish believer before Pentecost, both the Jew and Gentile (after Pentecost) are saved by grace, and baptism has a different significance now than it did before Pentecost. Others contend that today baptism washes away the sins of both Jew and Gentile.

Some teach that only "original sin" is removed by baptism, while others say that all sin is "washed away." In contrast, others declare that baptism cannot wash away any sin at any time past, present or future. To those individuals, baptism is an act of obedience after salvation and is therefore only for a saved person to experience.

Baptism is practiced by some as an action of pouring water upon the head of a person (most often a baby), while others sprinkle little drops of water on the head (again, most often an infant). Yet, there are others who practice baptism as immersion in water; some go as far as requiring flowing water. Some will only baptize outside, even if that should require "breaking the ice" to enable baptism in the winter months; others will baptize indoors or outdoors without distinction. Some baptize face forward, while others lay the person being baptized backwards into the water—and some require a threefold immersion, once in the Name of the Father, once in the Name of the Son, and once in the Name of the Holy Ghost.

Certain teachers insist that any mode, method, or manner of getting any amount of water upon the head of the person is acceptable and, yet, others contend that baptism “in this present dispensation” is not a physical action connected in any way with water, but is solely a spiritual undertaking performed by the Holy Spirit. Still others say baptism is both spiritual and physical.

Babies are baptized by some; individuals who are comatose are baptized by some. Others require a credible confession of faith. There are those who teach that any professing believer can baptize any other individual seeking baptism; others insist that baptism requires a proper authority. Baptism by proxy is practiced by some, and there are even those who baptize a substitute for someone who is already dead!

To some, "baptism of intent" is acceptable for those who "would have been baptized if they could have been, and yet were unable to be baptized.” "Baptism in blood" is allowed by some for those who died as martyrs "for the faith," but who for some reason never were baptized with water.

Some baptize immediately upon the profession of faith; others baptize as quickly as practically possible after an individual makes a public profession of faith, while others baptize only once a year.

As discussed earlier, baptism is often termed a "uniting." To what believers are joined by baptism is a serious issue of contention. Does baptism unite the believer to Christ or to a church? If baptism plays any part in a person's salvation, then obviously, it unites that person to Christ. If however, baptism plays no part in salvation, then just as obviously, baptism unites a person to a church. Is a person baptized into Christ for forgiveness of sins; or, is a person baptized to be added to the membership of a church.

Clearly, views regarding baptism are many and varied. It is equally apparent that the creeds of Christendom cannot be used as a safe guide to understand the meaning of baptism since they contain, at best, the sincere reasonings of religious humanity and differ widely in form and meaning.

The truth concerning baptism can be found in one place, and one place alone--the word of God, the Bible. For the sincere child of God there can be but this one source of authority for all matters of faith and practice. Human reasoning, however sincere and "religious," is never a safe guide. Therefore, each religious utterance of man must be carefully examined and judged in the light of the teachings of Scripture; otherwise, the will and word of man will be placed above the will and word of God. That inversion was the exact situation existing during the days of the earthly sojourn of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 15:7-9 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

It should be evident that any examination of the doctrine of baptism must be grounded firmly in the word of God and any conclusion reached must be based upon Scripture and not the commandments of men. Any other procedure in study is insincere and but folly.

In contrast to man-conceived doctrines and traditions, the word of God declares baptism to be two things.

First, baptism is the identification of the believer with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:4 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.

One particular passage often used to "prove" that baptism is "into Christ" (meaning "the means of salvation") is Galatians 3:27:

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

However, when the context of that verse is considered, it becomes obvious that to "put on Christ" is to speak of the newness of life in Christ.

Galatians 2:16, 20-21 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified... I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Galatians 3 (1-29) 1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? . . 6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. 10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. 13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. 15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. 16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. 19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. 22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

This “newness of life,” the putting “on of Christ,” is the same as the "new man" referred to in Romans, Ephesians and Colossians.

Romans 6:4 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.

Ephesians 4 (17-32) 17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Colossians 3 (1-25) 1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. 12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. 18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. 20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. 21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. 22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: 23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.

Second, baptism is the identification of the believer with the local church.

The apostle Paul declares that baptism is "into one body."

1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

The immediate context of this passage quite plainly identifies "the one body" discussed in this text as the local church of Corinth to whom this epistle was written. To observe the context of the entire Epistle, see APPENDIX I.

1 Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

Additionally, the record of Acts 2 is that those who were baptized were added to the church at Jerusalem (the only church then in existence) by that act of baptism. Baptism was, according to this verse, the actual step of adding the person to the church in Jerusalem. Quite properly, baptism is called the "introductory rite into the church."

Acts 2 (41-44) 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

The Bible is emphatic that baptism never had, or has, anything at all to do with obtaining salvation. Baptism never saved anyone nor did it, can it, or will it contribute anything towards the salvation of anyone under any circumstances or in any era of time. Within the New Testament, not a single example can be cited of an individual being baptized under the authority of a New Testament church other than a professing believer. One passage provides the example of Simon, who was baptized upon his profession of faith, and yet, was never a genuine believer

Acts 8 (13, 18-23) 13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done... 18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, 19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. 20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. 21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. 23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

As for a text to validate the baptism of babies, not one passage of Scripture that concerns baptism ever even mentions a baby. The irrefutable record is that no babies are baptized within the pages of Holy Writ. In exact opposition to such an idea, the Bible teaches that baptism is an act of obedience by a willing, consenting believer; baptism is never an act to be undertaken by a sinner seeking salvation.

The mode of baptism in the New Testament is immersion in water; no one is sprinkled with water and no one has water poured upon his or her head. Those facts are incontrovertible. No baptismal bowls or baptismal pitchers appear anywhere in the text of the New Testament; that also is undeniable. That baptism is immersion is shown both by the clear scriptural examples and by the precise symbolism declared to be involved in the act of baptism. No legitimate textual support exists for any statement purporting that baptism as practiced by John the Baptist and the apostles, including Paul, could be understood as anything other than an immersion of a professing believer in water.

Matthew 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

Mark 1:9-10 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:

Acts 8:38-39 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

Romans 6:4 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.

Baptism does not, indeed cannot, impart life; it does not regenerate. Instead of being a birth, either in the fact or in the type, baptism is clearly defined as a burial in type and an identification in fact.

Many excuses are offered to promote the suggestion that either (or both) sprinkling or pouring is or "could" be the mode of baptism employed--none of those pretexts, in spite of how well-sounding they may be, are based upon the undeniable meaning of the word itself, nor honestly could they be so based. Lacking either textual citation or linguistic support, there are those that promote "tradition," "convenience," "symbolism" or "new revelation as the authority for changing the New Testament pattern. Some insist that baptism is immersion, sprinkling, or pouring, whichever of these satisfies the individual. All of these are, at best, but reasonings of men who are in open conflict with Scripture, no matter how sincere they might have been or are.

Regarding "symbolism," baptism does not portray either the sprinkling of the blood or the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit. Baptism does not signify "the washing away of sins."

Baptism is indeed a representation; but, baptism is unquestionably presented in Scripture as the threefold picture (or the symbol) of the death, the burial and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:4 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.

Colossians 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

Besides the many examples described in Scripture and along with the symbolism portrayed in the act of baptism, the very Greek words (transliterated into English as baptizo, baptisma, baptismos, baptistes) that are translated into English (as baptize, baptizing, baptized, baptism, baptisms, and Baptist) can be understood literally only in the sense of an immersion, a dipping, a submergence. Absolutely no suggestion of pouring or sprinkling can be traced to the Greek words.

Even secular English dictionaries (such as Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, published by Merriam-Webster, Inc.), in giving the etymology of the English word "baptize," freely recognize that this word (and all the other related words cited above) is an English descendant from the Greek baptizo, “to dip.” Biblical Greek scholars readily and boldly declare this same truth. The Greek Orthodox (also identified as the Eastern Orthodox) Church interestingly enough baptizes only by "threefold immersion," including those babies that are baptized into Orthodoxy!

The word "baptism" (in any of its forms) can only mean immersion (and nothing except immersion) to any individual who desires to honor the universally accepted meaning of the word--whether in Greek or English--whether in the fact or in the type. Baptism does not portray "the sprinkling of the blood upon the altar" nor "the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost" nor "the washing away of sins"; the New Testament, the only reliable authority and source of definition, is emphatic and unequivocal that baptism pictures the death, the burial, and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Valid baptism was by immersion in the days of the New Testament, and continued to be immersion through the intervening ages, and remains immersion today. Baptism is immersion--and nothing else and nothing less! Tradition is wonderful to follow, and should be followed, but only when and if the tradition has a biblical basis.

2 Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

When any tradition does not rise from a biblical foundation, then that tradition is either a doctrine of devils (always bad) or a commandment of men (which may be good or bad). A good tradition may be worthy of being followed, but it is never binding. Tradition is not the same as Scripture.

1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

Matthew 15:2-3, 6 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? ... Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.

Mark 7 (1-13) 1 Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. 2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. 3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. 4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brazen vessels, and of tables. 5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? 6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. 10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: 11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. 12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; 13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

Some traditions are not of themselves evil or in conflict with Scripture and can safely be followed. Examples of such traditions would be Sunday Morning Services, Sunday Schools, the times services start and how long they last, and a host of others. Yet there are many traditions that are evil and are in conflict with Scripture and ought to be avoided, and, if need be, resisted strenuously. Examples of these would include special clerical garb, unmarried clergy, meatless Fridays, prayers to saints, indulgences, and a near unlimited list of commandments of men (and, let us not forget, of women).

If the tradition does not originate from Scripture, it cannot be "binding" and will most likely be in conflict with Scripture and therefore "damning." Any tradition that "lays aside" or "rejects" the commands of God cannot originate with God, but comes from humanity or devils. For a Christian to allow any tradition to alter the clear teachings of the word of God concerning baptism is to be "spoiled" and having a "vain" ("empty," "meaningless") conversation ("manner of life"). He or she is not following God, regardless how sincere or satisfied he or she might claim to be. Such an individual is simply following a leadership other than that of the Holy Spirit, and there are three possibilities as to the source (1) seducing spirits, (2) doctrines of devils, or (3) the tradition or heresy of some human. He or she may be sincere, but that person has been deceived.

Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

1 Peter 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

Any "new revelation" that would contradict Scripture or "supersede" Scripture is either Satanic or human in origin and, therefore, cannot be authoritative and must be rejected. No believer should ever allow anyone to use "new revelation" as the basis for anything! "Revelation" ceased with the closing of the canon of Scripture; there is no basis in Scripture to expect any "new revelation" today. In opposition to such vain anticipation, Scripture warns against "new" revelation that "alters" or "reverses" Scripture.

Deuteronomy 13 (1-5) 1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; 3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. 5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

Proverbs 19:27 Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.

Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

Matthew 7 (15-29) 15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. 28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Romans 16:17-18 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

Galatians 1:6-9 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

1 John 4:1-3 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

As for altering baptism from immersion to a more "convenient" mode, could it be possible that those who use "convenience" (such as the need to baptize comatose or dying individuals, those who have a physical inability to enter a baptismal pool, those who are infants, etc.) as the reason for "sprinkling" or "pouring" promote such deviation from Scripture because without exception the concept of salvation which they teach requires baptism as the means to remove or to wash away sin? Their doctrines of salvation require a mode of baptism for everyone, even if it must be a mode changed from the one taught in Scripture! Obviously, that is exact reason behind their tampering with Scripture. The teachers changed the mode of baptism to fit the theology that they taught, and which is still taught by the groups that follow them today.



Though many teach that a person is baptized to "wash away sin" or to "be born again," the Bible not only does not teach such doctrine, the Bible teaches the exact opposite. The water of baptism cannot remove the stains of sin,--let alone remove its presence. Sin is a spiritual issue between a person and the Holy God of Heaven; and therefore, it is not possible that physical water has the ability to remove for sin.

A believer is to be baptized, primarily, because to do so is to obey the clear command of the Lord Jesus Christ and not to do so is to disobey that command.

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

If the Lord Jesus explicitly commanded the disciples to baptize believers, (and He did!) He was at the same time, without question, also implicitly commanding the believers to submit to being baptized. Obviously, for a professing believer not to obey this direct command of the Lord Jesus Christ is for that believer to be disobedient, even rebellious.

Though there are those who profess that what they term "water baptism" (A term that never appears in Scripture!) is not a valid practice for believers today, it must be admitted by all that no command to cease baptizing believers can be found anywhere in the New Testament. Generally, these individuals refer to themselves as "Pauline," claiming, with that name, to follow Paul. As the authority for this change to the threefold commission of the Lord Jesus Christ, a phrase is lifted from 1 Corinthians, chapter 1, verse 17,

For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel.

Yet, the most casual reader of the context of this verse would quickly discover that the Apostle had a very specific issue in mind. The church at Corinth had divided into groups loyal to the preacher who had baptized them. Paul was strongly rebuking this factionalism.

1 Corinthians 1:1-3, 10-18) 1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: 3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ... 10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. 12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; 15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. 16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. 17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

The Apostle was dealing with the issue of sectarianism--not the doctrine of baptism. He was declaring that the loyalty of believers is supposed to be to the Lord and Saviour--not to the messenger. That message needs proclamation in this day the same as it did in Paul's.

Surely far more evidence of such a major change in the commandment of Christ must be required by any earnest and sincere believer than the mere assumption based upon one verse--and that verse having been lifted out of its context and considered as an isolated text! The doctrine that baptism is not valid for believers in "this dispensation" does not rest upon a declaration of Scripture, but is based instead upon an arrogant supposition made by those who approach Scripture with preconceived presumptions. This doctrine is certainly not based upon a clear declaration of Scripture and, moreover, repudiates the emphatic record of the ministry of Paul. If the Apostle taught that baptism was not to be practiced upon those who became believers through his ministry and if he ceased baptizing believers, some evidence of this must exist in the inspired historical account of that ministry, the Book of Acts. No such indication is found; and, in fact, when one studies the ministry of the Apostle, it becomes clear that Paul and his traveling companions did indeed continue to baptize converts.

Acts 16:1-5 Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek. And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem. And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.

(This increase in number is only understandable when cross-referenced to previous passages in the Book of Acts.

Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.)

However, for those who might consider that phrase as indirect evidence, unmistakable direct refutation is found only verses away in Acts 16 as the record of the journey of Paul and his company continues.

12 And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days. 13 And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. 14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. 15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us. 16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: 17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation. 18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. 19 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers, 20 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, 21 And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. 22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. 23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: 24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. 25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. 26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. 27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. 29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

In Acts chapter 18, we find the Apostle in the city of Corinth where he is actively connected with the baptizing of "many individuals." Most importantly, these baptisms occur after Paul declares that he will turn to the Gentiles! It is that "turning" that makes the alleged line of demarcation to the ultra-dispensationalist. The church at Corinth was founded after Paul turned to the Gentiles--and there is not one iota of evidence that he changed his message or his practices whatsoever.

Acts 18 (1-8) 1 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; 2 And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. 3 And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers. 4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. 5 And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ. 6 And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles. 7 And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man's house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue. 8 And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.

Not only did the Apostle and his companions continue to baptize believers and to do so after he "turned to the Gentiles," but the very night he baptized those believers, the Lord appeared to Paul and did not rebuke him for baptizing those believers.

Acts 18:9-11 Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city. And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

The ministry of the Apostle shows no indication of change anywhere in the following chapters of Acts.

Acts 19 (1-5) 1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. 4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

The obvious conclusion drawn from these verses and the only honest verdict is that baptism remains a valid commandment of the Lord Jesus Christ. The commission of Matthew 28 remains in effect; it has not been repealed or revised.

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

As previously shown, baptism is the public identification of the believer both with the Lord Jesus Christ and with the New Testament church authorizing the baptism. Therefore, a person is to be baptized personally as a public testimony of his or her personal faith. No hint of baptism by proxy is found in the New Testament. And, certainly, no possibility of baptism of an infant in the hope that one day he or she will believe! As for as baptizing someone as a proxy for a dead person as an attempt to impute obedience to the deceased, such a concept comes from somewhere other than an honest understanding of the Bible!

Through his or her baptism, the person declares, "I have been saved and I now intend to live for my Lord and Saviour"; he or she is making a profession of personal faith; that profession is a statement that there is an intention "to walk in newness of life." The believer is also declaring, by submitting to baptism, the intent not to forsake the assembling together with that church.

To emphasize, for a person to refuse to follow the command of the Lord Jesus to be baptized is a serious act of disobedience. Baptism is not a matter of individual personal preference. Baptism is defined in every regard by both clear command and certain example. The choice of whether to be baptized by immersion, by pouring, by sprinkling, or not to be baptized at all is not left to the individual; but rather the choices open to the believer are only two--either to be obedient or to be disobedient. The believer who honestly wishes to obey his or her Lord will be immersed under the authority of a New Testament church as soon as humanly possible after the confession of faith. He or she has no other option; indeed, the honest believer would desire none.



Baptism is only for a believer and only upon his or her personal profession of faith and only upon the authority of a local New Testament church. Therefore, only those who can give a credible confession of faith are to be considered acceptable candidates for baptism.

A scenario vital for an understanding of baptism is found in the ministry of Philip.

Acts 8 (26-39) 26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. 27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, 28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 32 The place of the Scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: 33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. 34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.

Notice that the specific question of exactly what might hinder (or prevent) a person from being baptized is both asked and answered in this passage.

And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

The only hindrance to the baptism of this Ethiopian official would have been his personal expression of unbelief; that is, he could not be baptized if he rejected the gospel message of salvation in Christ Jesus. The question of whether a person receives the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour must be settled before that individual enters the waters of baptism. Philip, the evangelist commissioned by the church at Jerusalem, then conducted the baptism of this man. This is the same pattern as is found everywhere else in the New Testament: baptism always follows faith and the declaration of that faith. Baptism is the public confession of personal faith.

John 4:1 When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John

It is clearly stated in this passage that the subjects of this baptism were "made" disciples before they were baptized. The old Baptist slogan, "Into the Blood before into the Water," states the case clearly.

The only procedure provided in the commission of Matthew 28 for a believing person to give a public confession or acknowledgment of his or her belief in the Lord Jesus Christ is by following His command and being baptized. Scripture does not speak about "walking an aisle" or "taking a preacher or soul-winner's hand" as a declaration of faith, but it does command each believer to be baptized in obedience to His command.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

John 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Matthew 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

—Pastor Manley

Since our format does not permit the completion of this subject in one issue. The discussion on baptism will continue in the October mailing.

We hope to have an announcement next month concerning publishing The Baptist Heritage on the internet at THEBAPTISTHERITAGE.COM