Baptized (John 1:24;25)

Read: Genesis 45:16-47:27

Now the Pharisees who had been sent questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
(John 1:24-25)


React: The Pharisees ask why John is baptizing and in the gospel of John gives a shortened version.  In John’s response to this question in the synoptics you also hear him saying about baptism, “I baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”

Baptism is an outward demonstration of an inward transformation. When a person goes down under the water it is symbolic of burial, their old self is dead. They are dead to their sin and their former way of speaking, thinking, and acting. When they come back out of the water it symbolizes new life. Paul says in his letter to the Romans, “And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.”

Baptism is an act of obedience. It is an act of surrender. Most of all it is a public demonstration that we are united with Christ in His death and resurrection. All of us, once we have made a commitment to die to our sins and live for Christ must be baptized. Getting a few sprinkles before we were even old enough to remember doesn’t count. It is a choice we must make for ourselves when we are mature enough to understand what that choice entails.


11 thoughts on “Baptized (John 1:24;25)

  1. This is such an important topic and your desire to spotlight it is great. I do believe that it is important to make sure that it is kept to what is writen in the Bible. While I have been baptized as you write, I feel it is important that it is recognized that baptism is not a prerequisite to being saved or to receiving the Holy Spirit. It is not a prerequisite to make it into heaven. It is as you state a public display and demonstration of your love, commitment and desire to follow the things written in the Bible and demonstrated by John the Baptist and Jesus. Jesus stated it best when he gave us his most important commandments. Love the Lord you God and love your neighbor. Some organized religions make baptism a prerequisite to become a part of the church family, to serve, to bring their talents and show their love for Christ. I believe that to be baptized by immersion is a very intimate and personal decision that needs to be made by an individual and not a prerequisite by an organized religion. It should not be preached as a required step to full salvation. Thanks so much for your spotlighting such an important topic.

  2. BJ, thanks for sharing this, especially the pictures of the river baptisms. My heart was lifted as I thought of those believers who gathered down by a river to bear witness to those acting in obedience. Certainly, many of those new believers became the foundation of thriving churches, discipleship groups, home Bible study fellowships, and individual witnessing that preceded our own entrance into the Kingdom.

  3. Both commentors above make good points but I’d like to throw my hat into the ring with my experiences.

    I was born and christened (English term) into the Church of England. People, my Godparents, made vows on my behalf and I was made a member of the Anglican Church and considered a Christian at that point. I should point out that none of my Godparents were practising Christians, more nominal of the “hatched, matched, dispatched” genre.
    I was then allowed to make my own confession of faith by confirmation. At the time you could only do this from age 11 upwards and having attended classes in which you were schooled in the ways of the Anglican Church and to be able to reaffirm your baptismal vows. I did so, at 11. Whilst I assured my mother it was because I had a deep desire to because of my faith, it was actually because a number of others were doing the same. I didn’t want to be odd man out. It was driven by wanting to follow the crowd.

    Roll forward to when I turned 14 and made a genuine confession of faith in Christ, my becoming born again. Genuine remorse for my sins, understanding that it wasn’t enough to pay lip service but that I was turning my life over to God and wanting Jesus to be foremost in my life. I was by now attending attending an Elim Pentecostal church who were keen for me to take Believer’s baptism. I didn’t because 1) my mother whole-heartedly disapproved 2) I felt I’d already been “done”.

    Roll forward 13 years and I was now attending another evangelical church. I wasn’t being pressured. People were respectful of my decision not to be baptised by immersion, even if they didn’t agree. But I was left alone and this was so very wise.
    I grew to have a strong conviction that actually, whilst I was born again I hadn’t yet made a public witness as stated in the New Testament by being immersed to show the move from death to life, sharing in Christ’s death and resurrection.
    So on 12 July 1992, I finally was baptised by immersion. I stood and gave my testimony to a full church.
    As Bill Forbes points out, it was an intimate and very personal decision that propelled me to a public confession of faith. I am not the only person to do this and friends of mine who remain in the Anglican Church have gone on to be baptised by immersion because they have felt the strong pull to make this statement. All of us can say how blessed we have felt to make this step.

    As a result, I would say that I no longer agree with infant baptism. But really it is down to the conscience of each person as to whether they believe they should or not.
    Just my thoughts and experience.

    Great and thought-provoking post.

  4. “Getting a few sprinkles before we were even old enough to remember doesn’t count.”

    This may be controversial & offensive to some whose denominations teach sprinkling & infant baptism, but you’re spot on & Biblically correct. That’s what really matters in the end.

  5. The point is, Harry, you and I may agree that it is Biblical, but those who believe in infant baptism also believe they are being Biblical. I have many good friends who think that way and they are far more godly than me. I believe this is an issue where we should agree to disagree.

  6. It’s our first step of obedience as a new believer. Thanks for the post. Baptism was a huge stumbling block for me for too many years…floundering around not knowing exactly what I was, spiritually speaking. Having been sprinkled as a small child, thinking “I’m good”, then hitting motherhood and my thirties, reading for myself what Scripture says and finally making the decision to follow Christ’s steps. He did it, his people did it, they tell us to do it, so we should. My eldest daughter, age 10, read the Scriptures, prayed and sought the Lord and recently made the decision to become a Christian and let Jesus be her Captain. It was clear to her that included baptism. It’s the wedding day so to speak. I could talk long on this, maybe I will. Might be great topic over on my blog. God bless!

  7. Pingback: John 4:1-3 (Baptizing) | The River Walk


    Which translation of the Bible is trustworthy? There are those who come dangerously close to labeling anyone who does not take the position, that the King James Version is the only reliable English version of God’s word, as heretics. Some congregations only allow reading or teaching from from the King James Version.

    The first question you have ask, is, did God wait 600 years before He gave us a Bible we could trust?

    The King James Version was originally translated in 1611 and it included apocrypha books. Do the King James “only” advocates use the original 1611 edition? No, they do not. The original 1611 KJV is for all practical purposes unreadable. Most translations of the 1611 KJV found in Christian bookstores are in fact the 1779 KJV.

    The 1611 KJV has been changed or revised in 1612, 1613, 1629, 1638, 1744, 1762, 1769, 1833 to name a few. If you are a KJV “ONLY” advocate, how would you select which revision is the only trustworthy English version of God’s word?

    For the serious Bible student I would suggest a word for word translation of the Bible; such as New American Standard Bible, English Standard Version, King James Version, or New King James Version.

    Can you read a word for word and thought for thought version; such as the New International Version and still understand the truth about the gospel of Jesus Christ? Of coursed you can. I have no doubt that you can read the NIV, as well as many other translations and still spend eternity with God.

    The problem with understanding the Bible does not come from reading the wrong translation, it comes from rejecting the simple truth found in Scripture. Just believe the translation that you read.

    1 Peter 1:23-25 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God ……25 BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER…

    It you believe God had the ability to create the heavens and the earth, why would you not believe that He has the power to give us more than one translation of His word that we can trust?

    (All Scripture quotes from: NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE

    • Thank you Steve for that informative but off topic, completely unrelated comment. Personally, I use the NASB for study and the NLT for casual reading and on here. Now back to the subject at hand…

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