Proper Administrator
for Scriptural Baptism

Baptism must be administered by an ordained preacher of the gospel, with a succession from the Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles. John the Baptist, the first to baptize in the kingdom of God, was sent from God with divine authority to baptize. (Matthew 3:13-15; 21:23-27; Luke 1:13-17; 16:16; John 1:6,33)

Baptizing before Pentecost was done by John and our Lord’s apostles (John 4:1-2). There is no evidence of another line of baptizing preachers from John (Mark 1:5; Luke 7:29-30).

Jesus charged His eleven apostles to preach the gospel, baptize, and teach converts based on His power and promised Presence (Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:14-20). No man dared join these apostles, for Jesus Christ had magnified them with great authority (Acts 5:13). It is those Christ chose and enabled to preach who also baptize. Are all teachers (I Corinthians 12:29)? No.

Jesus Christ, after ascending to the right hand of God, gave gifts to men for the work of the ministry i.e. apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor/teachers (Ephesians 4:11-12). These are the preaching, baptizing, and teaching offices of the New Testament.

Philip is not an exception to this rule. Though ordained a deacon in Acts 6:1-6, yet he is identified as an evangelist in Acts 21:8. His baptisms in Samaria (8:5-17) and that of the eunuch (8:26-40) were by the authority and power promised by Christ (Matthew 28:18-20).

Paul left Titus in Crete to set in order the things that were wanting there, with the ordination of elders being one of his tasks (Titus 1:5). If baptisms were also wanting, then it was Titus who could set such matters in order.

Pastors should be willing and prepared to do the work of an evangelist preaching to those who have not heard and baptizing believers (II Timothy 4:1-5; Acts 21:8; 8:30-40).

All things are to be done decently and in order in New Testament churches (I Cor 14:40). An aspect of control over baptism is the qualifying responsibility of Christ’s servants (Matthew 3:7-8; Acts 8:36-37; 19:1-7). Ministerial succession is God’s ordained means of perpetuating the truth and Jesus Christ’s authority until He returns (II Timothy 2:2; Titus 1:5; Mark 13:34; II Timothy 1:14).

Other Requirements

Proper Subject

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.

Proper Doctrine

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.

Proper Mode

Baptism is an immersion of the subject completely under water. This is done to represent (show a likeness or figure of) the burial and resurrection of Christ, which put away our sins. As everyone knows, a thing is neither buried nor planted with only a sprinkling. Baptism must provide a figure of the resurrection of Christ, which is only done by immersion.

Proper Design

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.