The Doctrine Of Baptism Part II: Requirements For Baptism

As there were conditions to be met for them that sought baptism from John (Refer to Part I of this series), there are also requirements to be met by those seeking Christian baptism.

There are 4 conditions to be met. This article is dedicated to explaining the 4 requirements and, most importantly, why you should be baptized.

The 4 conditions

Condition #1. Instructions
Christ’s command to teach new believers is given twice. They are to be taught before and after baptism (Matthew 28:19-20). Sinners must hear and receive the Gospel to become true believers. (Acts 2:41; 19:5; 16:14-15)

Before baptism, believers should receive enough teaching to understand its meaning. After baptism, they should continue to receive instructions in order to become mature Christians. Paul calls this “going into perfection” (Hebrews 6:1)

Condition #2. Repentance
Getting the instructions alone is not enough, . One must repent from his/her sin. During his ‘hot’ sermon on the day of Pentecost, Peter stressed that people should accept  this condition (Acts 2:37, 38). The two commands peter gave were repent and be baptized. Repentance comes before baptism.

Condition #3. Belief
Believing (faith) is a major requirement for anyone desiring to receive the Christian baptism (Mark 166:15-16)

The faith we’re talking of here is believing that in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. This requirement is well illustrated by the story of Phillip and the Ethiopian man who he met on the road from Jerusalem to Gaza.
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Phillip said to the eunuch that if he believed with the whole of his heart, he would be baptized. The eunuch replied that he did believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, and Phillip baptized him (Acts 8:36-38)

Condition #4. A good conscious toward God
The last requirement for baptism is a good conscious toward God. Peter compares Christian baptism within water with the experience of Noah and the family who were saved from judgment as they entered the ark (1 Peter 3:21)

Peter dismisses any idea that the purpose of baptism is any kind of cleansing of the physical body. He says the condition of Christian baptism is the inner relationship of the believer’s heart towards God. He calls this “a good conscious toward God.”


Why you should be baptized

When you repent and accept Jesus Christ as Savior, death to sin and the old life take place. There is creation of a new life of righteousness lived for God.

Christian baptism in water is a symbol of the death and resurrection of Christ. It symbolizes death to sin as you are immersed in that “grave” of water and resurrection into life lived for God in righteousness as you come up out of the water (Romans 6:3-5)

The believer who is raised up out of the water to live this new life does not do this in his own power. 

The new life is lived by the power of God, the same power that raised Jesus from the grave. The effect of the water baptism depends on the repentance and faith of the one being baptized. Without this, baptism is of no effect.

True Christian baptism means we’re baptized into Jesus Himself, not into a particular church or denomination (Galatians 3:27)