Proper Mode for a Scriptural Baptism
Baptism must be administered by immersing, or submerging, the subject entirely under the water and raising him up again. Any other mode is no baptism, as it has no Scriptural authority or New Testament symbolism.
Since baptism is a "figure" of Christ's resurrection (I Peter 3:21), it must involve a burial in water and resurrection from water. Baptism must figure, or represent by illustration, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. No sprinkling or pouring can ever fulfill this figure at all. The corruptions of this text in modern versions are numerous and profane in attempting to justify both infant sprinkling superstition and baptismal regeneration.
Since baptism is burial with Jesus Christ and resurrection to a new life "like" His resurrection (Romans 6:4), it requires submerging the subject in water. Burial is not done by sprinkling a little soil upon corpses, but rather by submerging, or immersing, them under the soil. And there is no resurrection shown either in a mere sprinkling or pouring.
Since baptism is a planting in the "likeness" of Jesus Christ's death (Romans 6:5), it requires submerging the subject in water. Planting is not accomplished by sprinkling a little soil upon seeds, but rather by submerging, or immersing, them under the soil. And there is no "likeness" of a resurrection shown either in a mere sprinkling or pouring.
Since baptism is a burial and resurrection with Christ (Colossians 2:12), it must involve submerging, or immersing, the subject in water and raising them back above the water. Until our opponents demonstrate sprinkling or pouring shows a burial and resurrection, we shall continue to bury our subjects under the water and resurrect them from the water without regard to their fanciful sophisms and profane rebellion.
Scripture proves John baptized his converts "in the river" of Jordan (Mark 1:5). Why did he do it in the river, unless he was burying and resurrecting them from the water?
Jesus would not have needed to go to Jordan to meet John, nor have gone down in the water, nor have come "up out of the water", unless He was immersed (Matthew 3:13-17). His Father in heaven was very pleased with His baptism down in the water of the river.
John baptized at Aenon, due to the "much water" found there (John 3:23). What shall we do with this text? It sounds so Baptistic. Shall we deny John's baptism of immersion? Shall we write a volume or two of hallucinations that the crowd of John's hearers needed this large quantity of water to drink?
Philip and the eunuch would not have needed to "both go down into the water" nor "both come up out of the water" unless an immersion occurred (Acts 8:38-39). Why did the eunuch only mention baptism when he saw a certain water, when he could have offered Philip his can of warm water from Jerusalem (Acts 8:36).
Baptism by immersion for a "likeness" or "figure" of death and resurrection is the only solution to one of the most difficult verses for sprinklers (I Corinthians 15:29). Why does Paul include baptism among his arguments for the resurrection from the dead, unless baptism involves a likeness or figure of resurrection? Let Rome or any of her daughters decipher this text Scripturally and intelligently without confessing immersion.
What is the likeness and figure of sprinkling? Regeneration? God forbid. Regeneration is the creative work of God in quickening the human soul, and baptism is the answer of a good conscience for what Christ has done for it. They are not related at all Scripturally. Any attempt to describe the washing of regeneration as a mere sprinkling must deny total depravity.
What is the likeness and figure of sprinkling? Regeneration? God forbid. Regeneration is without means (John 1:13; 3:8), and baptism requires means (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 8:38-39). They are not related at all Scripturally.
What is the likeness and figure of sprinkling? Regeneration? God forbid. The washing of feet has as much connection to the washing of regeneration as does baptism (I Timothy 5:10; Titus 3:5). Baptism may wash our bodies, if we practice immersion; but it cannot touch our souls (Hebrews 10:22).
Baptism has no more to do with the Old Testament circumcision of boys than the Lord's supper has to do with the tokens of virginity of girls. Such vain connections are the superstitious work of Romish Judaizers. There are two covenants, and baptism is part of the new one, which means the old one has vanished away (Hebrews 8:13; Luke 16:16).
The Reformers, unable to completely reject the Pope and his sacramental system of religion, could not put down his infant rituals and join the Baptist churches continuing from the apostles. The only reformation God blessed was that of John doing away with the old covenant and introducing the kingdom of God by burial in water (Hebrews 9:10).
We could show by many authorities that the Greek word for baptism meant to dip, plunge, or submerge under water; but such evidence from a dead language would mean nothing in comparison to the plain teaching of preserved Scripture already documented.
We could show by many historians that the Catholics and Reformers understood immersion to be the apostolic mode of baptism; but such evidence would mean nothing in comparison to the plain teaching of Scripture already documented.
If sprinkling and pouring are just as good as immersion, why don't we simply lick our thumbs and press it to the foreheads of subjects?
Other Requirements for a Scriptural Baptism
The Scriptures require that the man who baptizes be an ordained teacher in the church. This point is easily confirmed by reviewing the record of the early church in the book of Acts. It was only the apostles or other ordained teachers who baptized in the New Testament.
The Scriptures teach that an individual to be baptized must first repent and believe the gospel. This requires the subject to be of sufficient age to comprehend the essential elements of the gospel and agree with them. The Scriptures know nothing of baptizing infants. The subject of baptism must have an active conscience in order to give answer.
The essential elements of the gospel that must be believed prior to baptism center around the Lord Jesus Christ and His role as the Son of God and the only Saviour from sin. It is the Person of Jesus Christ that is the basis of true doctrine.
Baptism does not put away sin. It is only a figure of how our sins were put away by Christ's death and resurrection. Baptism is simply an answer and testimony to God for what He did by Himself. It is the answer toward God of a conscience made good by the blood of Christ.