Question: I was baptized once as an infant or child OR I was baptized
in another church; do I need to be baptized?
Answer: Did you understand the true meaning of baptism when you were
baptized? If not, should you be baptized again?
This is a vital question to many of you. Baptism is an important step in your
spiritual life, and it must be done properly -- at the right time and in the
right way -- after true repentance! Unfortunately, many people have not been
properly immersed. Here's how you can know if you have been properly baptized.
The key to this whole problem was given by the Apostle Peter on the Day of
Pentecost when he said: "REPENT, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of
Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the
Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:28)
Notice that repentance COMES FIRST! Baptism is second -- AFTER repentance!
You repent of SIN. And what is the Bible definition of sin? "...Sin is the
transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4). That is the Bible definition of sin --
breaking God's law! To be really converted, you must REPENT of breaking God's
law and believe that Jesus Christ paid the penalty of sin in your stead and is
your personal Saviour.
Jesus said: "...man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY word of God"
(Luke 4:4). You must repent of disobeying God's Law you need to be baptized by a
complete immersion as an outward sign of your very life to God and to Jesus
Christ as your personal Saviour, High Priest, and Master.
But frankly, most people attending the churches of this world and having been
"baptized" by them never really knew WHAT to repent of! This is especially true
of young teen-agers. They don't know WHAT sin really is.
At the time of early youth, most young people sincerely intend to "do better"
or to "follow their church." But since they have not been taught what sin
actually is, they completely fail to realize how ROTTEN and SINFUL they have
really been in God's sight. They are usually only sorry for having disobeyed
their conscience or their church.
They don't really REPENT! They aren't broken up about the wretched state of
their lives and their own human VANITY and selfishness which expresses itself
constantly in all of us.
After baptism in a worldly church, such people don't immediately begin to
study and UNDERSTAND the Bible. They just continue to go along with the customs,
the ways and the traditions of their friends and of this world. Their lives are
not actually CHANGED. They don't come to personally KNOW GOD! Such people have
NOT TRULY REPENTED, and their baptism was probably not valid! Theirs was only a
ritualistic "dunking" in the water.
If you are wondering about your baptism, ask yourself WHY you were baptized
in the first place. Were you baptized simply because many of the members of your
family were baptized, and you felt looked down upon, or had that "left out"
feeling? Did you stand in the water and go through the ordinance of baptism
simply to "join" the group with whom you had been fellowshipping? Were you
baptized because you temporarily thought it was the "right thing to do?"
If you were baptized for ANY of these reasons--YOUR BAPTISM WAS PROBABLY NOT
A VALID BAPTISM, because your motives were not right! You may have doubts about
whether you are properly baptized, and you need to be sure! First, go to God in
prayer and lay out all of your feelings and concerns before Him. Next, carefully
read Acts 2:38; Romans 8:9; and 1 Corinthians 12:13; and if there remains any
uncertainty in your mind, it is important that you counsel with a true minister
of God about it. If you want a faithful servant of God to counsel with you about
your baptism, then send your name and address immediately to Mr. Armstrong, P.O.
Box 1117, Tyler, TX 75710 or contact us
at the web site.
Read our doctrine on baptisms
Don't put this off any longer! It means so much to your spiritual growth.
THE ISSUE OF LAYING ON OF HANDS TO RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT
In addition to baptism, the next question is, did you receive the laying on of
hands to receive the Holy Spirit? Most have not. In addition, it is
important to have this done by one or more ministers of the same church Jesus
founded as that same Holy Spirit that was bestowed upon the first members of the
church in Acts 2 has been passed down through the ages from one minister to
another to the present day.
In almost all cases, new members will want to have this ceremony carried out
by a minister of God's church.
Read our doctrine on the Laying on of Hands
see our Heart and Soul of the Gospel page