Bible verses about Baptism
Baptism is considered a rite of admission in Christian religions and typically includes water, which can either be used for sprinkling or immersion. In Matthew 3:13-17, we are made privy to the baptism of Jesus, which to date, serves as an example for believers and followers of Christ. Baptism is considered a public profession of your faith and demonstrates your allegiance to Christ and your willingness to change.
Baptism usually follows belief and repentance as you symbolize your death to your sinful nature and rise from the water to walk in the newness of life. Today, I will share with you some of the most insightful bible verses about Baptism.
Bible Verses about Baptism and Salvation
While we understand salvation is found only in Jesus Christ, we must admit that baptism is a crucial part of the process. Many will ask, do I have to be baptized to be saved? Others will say, you just need to call on the name of the Lord and be saved. Let us see what these verses in the New Testament have to say about baptism and salvation.
“There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 3:21 NKJV.
This verse can be considered a bit technical as Peter encourages the believers and establishes that water in the form of baptism now saves us. At first glance, it may sound as if it is the baptism that saves us, but Peter goes on to share that it gives us a good conscience toward God, and we are saved through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Peter also recommends a good conscience in 1 Peter 3:16, one that will prevent others from calling us evildoers and prevent us from bringing shame to Christ.
“He who believes and is baptized will be saved;but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:16 NKJV
Once you believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, the next step is baptism which is a public demonstration of your belief. One of our favorite bible verses is John 3:16, which declares, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
Those who do not believe will not be baptized, and by extension, they will face everlasting death. Those who are baptized do not only secure their salvation in Christ, but they also serve as a witness, drawing others to worship Christ as well.
“So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.” Acts 16:31, 33 NKJV
On the heel of the miraculous prison break of Paul and Silas, the jailer asked a critical question that we should all ask, "What must I do to be saved?" These verses are the responses to that question and a description of the activities that followed.
Hearing Paul's and Silas' answers, the jailer and his family entered the watery grave of baptism as a full profession of their faith. The truth is that belief requires action. It is not enough to just believe, but we need to demonstrate that belief to others through baptism. What a testimony!
“Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” John 3:5 NKJV
This bible verse is smack in the middle of Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus, a known Jewish teacher. Nicodemus was expecting the Messiah, and he realized that Jesus was different from the other teachers, having seen the miracles.
However, he wanted some answers to some spiritual questions about salvation, and Jesus affirmed that in order to be saved, he needed to be born again. This was not a physical birth but a spiritual one that shifted the focus from oneself to Jesus Christ through faith. Baptism symbolizes this rebirth and a desire to enter the kingdom of God.
Bible verses about Baptism of the Holy Spirit
At Jesus' baptism, the entire Godhead was present. As Jesus, God's Son, was baptized by John the Baptist, God, the Holy Spirit descended like a dove while God the Father spoke from heaven, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."
Matthew 3:16-17 In light of this example, most Christian churches baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost/Spirit. Let us see what the Bible has to say about baptism of the Holy Spirit.
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13
In this verse, Paul sought to establish to the believers that in spite of their nationality and statuses, they were all baptized of the one Spirit. Galatians 3:28 further supports this concept: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
The role of the Holy Spirit is to guide us in all truth. Through baptism, we all become a part of the family of God, with the same access to the Spirit of God. Belief is Christ unites us in the Spirit, just as our body parts work in harmony.
“Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38 NKJV
John had prophesied that the Holy Spirit would come with fire in Matthew 3:11, "I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." This was fulfilled in the earlier verses of Acts chapter 2, and now Peter was advising the audience that they needed to be baptized in Jesus' name, following which they would receive the Holy Spirit.
We know that the people responded as instructed because, in Acts 2:41, we read that about three thousand persons gladly received the word and were baptized. When we believe and are baptized, the Holy Spirit is dispatched to multiply our witness and build the church membership.
“I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Mark 1:8 NKJV.
This verse is a quotation from John the Baptist as he referred to the work that Jesus would do. Isaiah 40:3 had already prophesied that one would come who would: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight," and this was John. John was preparing the way for Jesus, whose ministry would be empowered by the Holy Spirit, as was manifested at his baptism.
Those John baptized repented and believed, but the baptism of the Holy Spirit would provide spiritual gifts for the believers (1 Corinthians 12) as well as the fruit of the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:22-23) as they embarked on the Christian journey.
“Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” Acts 10:48 NKJV
As Peter shared with Cornelius and his family, the Holy Spirit moved upon their hearts and convicted them of the need for repentance. While we often suggest that the order is the baptism of water, followed by the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we see here that God is not limited in his salvific work.
The Holy Spirit can be bestowed on the uncircumcised and unbaptized in order to lead them in a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Cornelius, the Roman centurion, and his entire family were baptized, with this moment also serving as an eye-opening moment for Peter, the Jew, and the others. This was another lesson that God is not partial to nationalities when it comes to salvation.
Bible verses about Baptism in the name of Jesus
Throughout scriptures, we are admonished that we need to believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. Salvation comes through faith, but more importantly, faith in Jesus Christ.
As we study the topic of baptism, we may already know that initially, many were baptized into John's baptism, but when Jesus began his ministry, they were happy to be baptized in the name of Jesus. Let us explore the scriptural support for baptism in the name of Jesus.
"For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." Galatians 3:26-27 NKJV
What a beautiful affirmation! Baptism in the name of Jesus affords us Christ’s covering of righteousness and the privilege of being called a son of God. Titus confirms this offer in Titus 3:7, “That having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life."
Eternal life is promised to all who believe, and we have access to this offer through the Lord, Jesus Christ. Would you want to be called a son or daughter of God? Believe on the Lord Jesus today! I praise God for this incredible privilege!
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV
More popularly known as the Great Commission, these verses serve as the foundation of our call to evangelism within Christian churches. While Jesus specifically gave these instructions to his disciples, this mission is applicable to all believers today. Our calling is to spread the gospel so that others can believe and come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior, whom to know is life eternal.
These new followers must be baptized in the name of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and be taught to obey God's commandments; obedience to God is the highest way to show our love for him.
Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Acts 19:4-5 NKJV
Paul reiterates the proclamation that John made Mark 1:8, that another would come who was greater than he and baptize the believers by the Holy Spirit. This was the Lord, Jesus Christ. As Paul preached, he explained to those who were baptized before the beginning of Jesus' ministry that the one John spoke of had come and they needed to now demonstrate their belief in Jesus.
As such, many were baptized in the name of Jesus. This shows that baptism in and of itself is not a saving tool; you must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved.
“But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.” Acts 8:12 NKJV
We can imagine that Phillip would have preached the good news of salvation and shared the invitation for men and women to become heirs to the kingdom of God through Jesus Christ. He must have taught the passion of Christ, his death, and resurrection. Both men and women followed through on their commitment to Jesus by an outward show of baptism.
When we believe that God sacrificed his Son, Jesus Christ, for us and understand that there is no greater love than this, we are compelled to repent and be baptized in Jesus' name.
Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Romans 6:3 NKJV
This verse forms a part of Paul's passionate speech on the meaning of repentance and baptism. With vivid symbolism, he described baptism in Jesus Christ as baptism in Christ's death. Baptism is the outward show that we believe that we have salvation through Christ's death, which frees us from the bondage of sin.
We cannot die to sin and continue to live in it. While all have sinned, baptism shows that we have died to our old ways and are now committed to rising to walk in the newness of life. Romans 6:4
Bible verses about Baptism and Communion
Communion is another fundamental tenet of Christianity, with some denominations even having weekly communion. Communion is a highly symbolic act where persons recommit their lives to God as they remember and celebrate his selfless sacrifice to save mankind through his Son, Jesus Christ.
May churches insist that those who participate in this sacred act of communion must be baptized, while others are more flexible about this requirement. The Bible does not have explicit verses that link baptism and communion; however, some relevant verses guide us on this topic.
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Matthew 26:26-27 NKJV
Jesus himself instituted communion (The Lord's Supper) among the disciples, and he led by example as he explained the symbols of bread and wine and their significance. These were the same disciples that Jesus would have given the Great Commission to go and make other disciples through baptism and teaching of the commands. It, therefore, suggested that the future disciples who would continue to practice the Lord’s Supper until his return would have entered the church through baptism.
Only those who believe in the Lord Jesus will want to commemorate his death, and the blood spilled for their sins (communion). Communion is also another outward show of allegiance to Jesus Christ. Therefore, if you are not willing to show this by baptism, it is very unlikely that you would want to partake in communion.
“For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.” 1 Corinthians 11:26 NKJV
In this verse, Paul reminds the believers of the purpose of the communion. It was not about having a grand social gathering, but it was to be a solemn reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. In Romans 6:3-4, he had already reminded that their baptism in Christ was also symbolic of their baptism into his death.
It therefore suggests that you can only commemorate something that you believe in, and as such baptism which follows your belief in Christ’s sacrifice for your sins, logically precedes communion, which is a celebration of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
“But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” 1 Corinthians 11:28 NKJV.
The believers were facing the judgment of God for partaking in the Lord's Supper in an unworthy manner. Since he was talking to the church members, it goes without saying that these persons were baptized. Paul reminded them that they should not take the act of communion lightly, and as such, they should examine themselves and ensure that their life is in conformance with the will of God.
Those who are not living to honor God risk facing sickness and even death when they partake in communion. While baptism does not guarantee obedience to God, it is a start as it shows your acceptance of Jesus as Lord and opens you to receive guidance from the Holy Spirit.
Baptism does not save you, but it is your way of showing the world that you have been saved. It signifies an outward show of your inner commitment to die to sin and live an overcomer's life by the grace of God. Baptism allows us to be held accountable for our faith, demonstrates our faith to others, and gives us access to a community of believers, as we await the kingdom of God, promised to all his heirs who are baptized in Christ.