What is the reason for baptism and
what procedure is to be followed?
Reason for Baptism
What should one do to enter the kingdom of God?
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. [John 3:1-7]
These words confused Nicodemus at the time, but we now understand that Jesus was talking about baptism.
What command did Jesus give to His followers in Mark?
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. [Mark 16:15-16]
The command was to go into the world, preach the gospel, and baptize everyone who believes. Did Peter follow the Lord's instruction?
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. [Acts 2:37-39]
The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: [1 Peter 3:21]
What does baptism typify in the book of Romans?
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 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. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: [Romans 6:3-5]
In John 3:3-5 baptism is called a birth, while in Romans 6:3-5 it's called a burial and a resurrection.
Procedure for Baptism
How did Philip perform baptism?
But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. [Acts 8:12]
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. [Acts 8:36-38]
We notice in Acts 8:12 that men and women were baptized by Philip. Not infants or children. Also note that Philip and the eunuch "went down both into the water". The baptism of the eunuch occurred in water.
Was the proper baptism administered by Paul in Acts 19?
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, 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. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. 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. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. [Acts 19:1-6]
John's baptism was good until he baptized Jesus. Then Jesus took on the responsibility of doing baptism from that time onwards. Therefore all who were baptized by John after Jesus was baptized, had to be rebaptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. John was sent to prepare the way for Jesus. John 3:30 says: He must increase, but I must decrease. In this age, a valuable baptism must be perform by one who is connected to the body of Christ.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. [John 15:4]
What should be done with the person after the minister brings him or her from the water?
Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. [Acts 8:14-17]
Is the laying on of hands a doctrine?
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. [Hebrews 6:1-3]
After coming from the water, the ministers present lay their hands with prayer on the person for the reception of the Holy Spirit. This completes two parts of baptism.
What name did Jesus say to use in performing baptism?
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: [Matthew 28:19]
What is the accepted name of the Father?
The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. [Psalms 110:1]
Here we have "Lord" as the accepted name of the Father.
What is the son's name?
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. [Matthew 1:21]
As this verse clearly states, the name of the Son is "Jesus".
What name was used for the Holy Spirit?
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: [Colossians 1:27]
Jesus is at the right hand of the Father, while the Holy Spirit dwells in all believers. Therefore the name used for the Father is "Lord", the Son is "Jesus", and the Holy Spirit is "Christ" in performing baptism. Baptism is to be done in the name "Lord Jesus Christ".
In order to become a child of God, one must repent of his/her sins and be baptized. Baptism is to follow the procedure demonstrated in the Bible. The person being baptized is to be completely submerged in water and baptized in the name "Lord Jesus Christ". After baptism, the laying on of hands is to perfromed for the reception of the Holy Spirit. Baptism signifies a person's acceptance of Jesus in their lives and therefore should only be performed on individuals capable of making this choice.
Key Verse: Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.