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I.     What Is Required For Proper Or Valid Baptism?
    At least four things are necessary for baptism:

    A.     Candidate – Salvation – One must be saved. Acts 8:36-37,

    B.     Mode or method – immersion, John 3:23, Acts 8:38, Matthew 3:16 (the word baptize in the New Testament always refers to immersion.)
    C.     Reason – shows the Lord’s death, burial and resurrection.
        Romans 6:3-6

    D.    Administrator – one who has the authority or right to administer the ordinance. Matthew 28:19-20 i.e. the church

II.     The Pollution Of Baptism.
    The Lord gave the Church two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We cannot change either (1 Cor.11:2) else we stand in jeopardy of the judgment of God. This is exactly what happens in 1 Corinthians. This church violated the commands for keeping the Supper and the results were devastating. Individuals were weak, sick and some had died because they corrupted the Supper (1 Cor.11:30). Why? Because it is one of two of the most stirring undertakings a church can perform. This church had taken the blood of Jesus and made it unimportant. What a travesty! In like manner, when a church pollutes the picture of the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord, it is an appalling thing! Imagine, what would be thought if someone desecrated the picture of one of the 911 victims. There would be an outcry from every corner. Yet, when a group takes this picture, baptism, and destroys it symbolism by sprinkling, or expecting it to give grace, what must it do to the Lord’s heart.
    When a group sprinkles an infant or even an adult, they mangle the truth of the picture and in fact there is no baptism. When a group, who has no authority, tries to do what God commissioned His churches to do, they are no better than the vagabond Jews, exorcist, in the book of Acts who tried to duplicate what the followers of Jesus had done. "Paul I know and Jesus I know, but who are you...."
    Groups of individual came from the Catholic Church during the Protestant Reformation, a group that had already become corrupt. Rome had long before the Reformation lost any legitimate right to take the gospel to the world. How can that which has no authority to baptize, give authority to her daughters? Not only had she long since forfeited any legitimacy she may have had, but also she passed on her failure to her children. How could she grant to another what she herself was not a possessor of?

III.     Is There Scriptural Precedence For Rebaptism?
Yes, there is.  See Acts 19:1-7
Acts 19:1-7
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, 2 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. 3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. 4 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. 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. 7 And all the men were about twelve.

    These twelve had every confidence their baptism was valid. Those who performed the baptism have every confidence their administration was valid. Those who knew the twelve believed their baptism was satisfactory. Yet we know without question their baptism was invalid.

    A.    Let’s examine those who were baptized.

        1.     They were without question saved. Therefore we know proper baptism requires more than salvation to have valid baptism.

        2.    They were immersed, yet still required proper baptism. We, therefore, know it requires more than immersion to have valid baptism.

        3.     They were "content" or satisfied they had valid baptism but we know from these scriptures it required more than contentment.

    B.     Let’s examine those who did the baptizing.

        1.     They used the proper method, immersion, but it was invalid.

        2.     They used proper candidates, saved individuals, but it was invalid.

       3.     They were themselves saved but we know it requires more than the administrator being saved therefore the baptism was invalid. Whoever baptized these individuals immersed them with reference to what John had been doing. They had no right or authority to do so.

IV.    The view among many Baptists today is this, if you were saved at the point of your baptism, and the baptism was by immersion, the baptism is acceptable. However, it is evident from these scriptures more than salvation is required, more than immersion is required, more than being happy with your baptism is required and more than saved individuals performing the baptism is required. One must be authorized to do this baptism. John was authorized (John 1:6,33.) The church was authorized (Matthew 28:19-20.) We find no other group that was commissioned or authorized to baptize.

V.    "I agree with everything you have said but why do I need to be baptized?"
    A little leaven will leaven the whole lump. (1 Cor.5: 6) How much error is too much error? I think any Christian would say that any compromise is too much compromise. If one were passing poison around in a glass, halving it each time it passed to another person and then added the same amount of water, would you want your child to drink the mixture when it got to him? If a group of people immerses, who has no authority to immerse, and those people filter out to other churches, how many of these individuals with improper baptism would you need before the church that accepted that baptism was wrong? You would need only one. A little leaven...
    In the 1500’s a movement began called the Protestant Reformation. There were some within the Catholic Church that took exception to a few of Rome’s doctrines. They split and it was from this "Reformation" or reforming that the Methodist, Lutherans, Presbyterians, etc. were born. (Baptist did not begin here for they were never a part of the Catholic Church.) It must be remembered that the Catholics at the time of this division had become idol worshipers. They were no more Christians than the pagans they sought to convert. They baptized infants, prayed to Mary, believed the seven sacraments were necessary for salvation, "There are seven sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony." Few, if any Catholics were saved, none, if they truly believed what the Catholic Church taught concerning salvation. Each of these groups coming from the Catholic Church retained the doctrine of the "mother church,"—works for salvation.
    These were lost people, baptizing infants, and the non-saved who then became a part of the church. It was these people who split from Rome.
    Surely no one would argue the point that those authorized to baptize would first need to be saved themselves. How could a lost man do what God has commissioned saved men to do? Surly no one would argue the point that those with the authority to baptize would need to have been baptized. How could a man who refused to obey the Lord in this command then act as God’s agent to carry it out in another? Finally I hope no one would argue that those authorized to baptize should be walking before the Lord correctly.
    Yet, in every case of the Reformation, men, lost men, left Rome to build their own work. Even if one allows that these people could have been saved, by what authority did they have to do what God had commissioned only the church to do?
    Would you accept baptism at the hands of a lost man or one who refuses to be baptized? Would you receive baptism at the hands of a drunkard or murderer? Certainly not. Yet, daily individuals accept baptism from the hand of a group that is made up of lost people. Do you think most of those in these groups are saved? Listen to the doctrinal statement of these folks:

    1.    Catholic – "Baptism cleanses us of sins and brings the Holy Spirit and his grace into our soul." Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth, 1996

    2.    Methodist – "Assures us that our sins are forgiven. " "As we are born from the womb, so in baptism are we born in Christian life." What Methodist should know about Baptism, 1996

    3.    Presbyterian – "Bestows the promise of God’s grace upon us." Assures us that God forgives our sins." About the Sacrament of Baptism, 1995.

    4.    Lutheran – "Baptism worketh forgiveness of sin, delivers from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe, as the words and promises of God declare." Smaller Catechisms

    5.    Church of Christ – (who did not come out of the reformation) "According to Peter, baptism is just as essential (to salvation) as baptism." Why I am a Member of the Church of Christ, 1945

    This list could be enlarged to include most of the "main stream Christians" of today. Do I believe there are people in the Methodist, Lutheran or Presbyterian churches that are saved? Certainly, but it is in spite of their doctrine not because of it. Based upon the doctrinal statements above, could you in good conscience accept as biblical their baptism? Better yet, do you think God would? They baptize for salvation, baptize unsaved individuals, is this not a pollution of the picture? Would God be happy with this distortion of His Son’s death?
    If First Baptist Church takes the baptism (even if by immersion) from the local Methodist Church and based upon what Methodist says they believe in their doctrinal statement, then has not First Baptist just received lost members into their fellowship? Yet, we have already said that a lost man cannot baptize nor should he be baptized. In receiving the baptism First Baptist has accepted both. They accepted the local Methodist Church as a legitimate authority to baptize. Yet, this church in every way pollutes the picture of the ordinance. Has First Baptist not just bid them God speed? Does not a little leaven, leaven the whole lump at First Baptist? If this trend continued when would First Baptist have more members that are lost than those that are saved? To say the very least, even their baptism becomes suspect. Why?  It allows the possibility of lost people in their congregation. They have agreed that baptism by the proper authority does not matter. By recognizing the Methodist’s baptism, they recognized what they do as right. Those without authority to baptize pollute the picture and First Baptist has said "amen".  First Baptist now has members voting in their meeting, taking the Lord’s Supper, and guiding the church who have yet to be saved or at the best failed to have baptism and therefore cannot be a member of a New Testament church.
    Remember those individuals who baptized the twelve in Acts 19? They had no right or authority to do so, yet both parties involved were saved. Paul immersed these people because there was no question as to their need of baptism. An individual who was baptized by a group of people who do not possess that right should, no, they must be rebaptized or properly baptized.

We recommend the 37 page book by Pastor Robert Sargent titled "What? I Must Be Re-baptized"  available from
Bible Baptist Publications of Oak Harbor, Washington.

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