Well, I let the cat out of the bag in my last blog, so I am going to have to clarify. I regularly define water baptism as one of the most divisive doctrines in Christianity. I’ll not revisit the reasons for this statement now. In my last blog, I mentioned the scriptural mode for water baptism is SPRINKLING. No, I’m not a Catholic, but I am a Bible believer. It takes very little study to see how clearly the Bible itself describes water baptism. Those of you that would fight over your immersion have no clue that the Bible DOES NOT support water baptism by immersion. You must understand NO water baptism is required in this age of grace, so I am not saying anyone should be sprinkled or immersed, but you should at least know the truth. You have most likely been preached at and taught your whole Christian life that scriptural water baptism is immersion. There is NO PROOF for this in scripture! I spent 7 weeks teaching specifically on water baptism, and the TRADITION being taught by pretty much every denomination and non-denominational church today. The handful of phrases used as proof texts by immersionists today can quite easily support sprinkling as well (“in Jordan” “much water” “down both.”) The truth is, there are NO verses to support baptism by immersion in scripture and there are dozens of verses to support SPRINKLING. Why don’t you know this? Ask the people you listen to and trust to teach you every week. The book of Hebrews was written to explain Israel’s new covenant (8:6). Hebrews explains baptism clearly as the “divers washings” Israel had to do under the law. Israel’s “washings” are very clearly explained as baptisms. It’s even the same Greek word. Hebrews 9:18-19 and 10:22 say in clear black and white that they were SPRINKLING! The OT set the precedent very clearly starting in Ex 12:22-24 that sprinkling would be an important part of Israel’s ordinances. Lev 14:1-7, + 49-53, Num 19:4-21, Ps 51:1-7, and other places are clearer than day. The OT formula for baptism was using a branch of Hyssop to SPRINKLE. In MANY sections of scripture, sprinkling is the common denominator. In Matthew 15 when Jesus corrected the Pharisees on the subject, the Disciples in verse 12 were quite alarmed that Jesus had offended them. Today when I show the clear teaching of scripture ALONE, many will also be offended at me. Why? Christianity will fight for its tradition and ignore the clear teaching of the Bible on the subject of Immersion. When John the Baptist shows up baptizing, he is following the OT example of Baptism which IS dipping Hyssop in the river and SPRINKLING hundreds of people at a time. How else can one man baptize the entire city of Jerusalem, Judaea, and the surrounding area? (Matt 3:5) I understand the immersionists will say that John’s disciples helped him. I have talked to enough Christians in the last few years to VERY CLEARLY understand that it does not matter that the Bible DOES NOT teach water baptism by immersion because most are unwilling to believe for even a minute that they could be wrong. If you have an interest in learning about this subject, get your concordance out and start studying “Hyssop” “sprinkling” “water of separation” and some of the other words I used in this blog. Don’t bother looking for “immersion” because it’s not in the Bible. I leave you with this to think about: John the Baptist was the forerunner to Christ and Baptized with water. Jesus then shows up as the one to offer the New Covenant to Israel as prophesied in Jer 31:31, and water baptism was part of his ministry and REQUIRED by him!! Ezekiel 36 very clearly identifies the baptism that would be part of this offer.
Eze 36:24-27 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
Baptism by immersion has no Biblical support. Sprinkling is clearly taught in scripture over and over. Why then do you still sit and listen to people telling you that you must be immersed either to be saved or to join a church? We teach how to believe your Bible literally every Sunday. Tradition has sunk its claws into almost all teaching and preaching today. Why don’t you come learn what the Bible teaches for itself?
Steve Schoenberger is a student of the Bible and the teacher at Abundant Grace Bible Fellowship, A Mid-Acts Dispensational Bible church teaching the Bible rightly divided according the the revelation of the mystery delivered to the Apostle Paul