The word we find in our English translations, baptism, was not translated but rather transliterated. In other words, it was brought over into English pretty much as it was in the Greek, just as déjà vu came to us from France. If it had been translated, there would have been no doubt as to its meaning which is to dip or immerse. In reading the scriptures, we should substitute the word immerse for the word baptize. Such would confirm the proper mode of baptism, that being by immersion in water.
So is this immersion in water important? Is it necessary? Many say it is not really important or it is important but not really necessary, which is to say, not really important. There was a time when I would have agreed, but there came a time when I could no longer ignore the many scriptures that speak to the importance, really necessity, of immersion.
Is there really a lot of information in the scriptures about baptism? Study the following with an open heart and prayer and judge for yourself.
Examples of baptism: Mark 1:4 John’s baptism “of repentance for the remission of sins”; Matthew 3:5-6 People of “Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan” baptized by John; Luke 3:12 Tax collectors baptized by John; Matthew 3:16 Jesus baptized by John.
John 3:22 Jesus and His disciples baptized others in the land of Judea.
After Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection: Acts 2:41 Three thousand “who gladly received (Peter’s) word”; Acts 8:12 Men and women of Samaria; Acts 8:13 Simon the sorcerer; Acts 8:38 The Ethiopian eunuch; Acts 9:18 & 22:16 Saul/Paul; Acts 10:47-8 Cornelius and those of his household who could receive the word; Acts 16:15 Lydia and those of her household who could receive the word; Acts 16:33 The Philippian jailor and his family who could receive the word; Acts 18:8 & 1 Corinthians 1:14 Crispus, Gaius, and many Corinthians; Acts 19:5 Disciples in Ephesus being re-baptized; 1 Corinthians 1:16 The household of Stephanus who could receive the word.
Commands regarding baptism: Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38
What does baptism do for us? Acts 2:38 Remission of sins; Romans 6:3 Baptized into Christ’s death; Galatians 3:27 Put on Christ; Colossians 2:12 Buried with Jesus in baptism; 1 Peter 3:21 Saves us.
Ephesians 4:4-6 tells us, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all”. Clearly, as there is only one God, there is only one baptism. What is that baptism? Why is that one baptism listed here with one God? I would encourage you to consider these scriptures for themselves, and you will see that the one baptism is immersion in water.