Christian Apologetics Society

Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God."
- Matthew 22:29

Isaiah 55:11
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it
Gen 1:3
Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light
Matthew 26:26
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body."
Malachi 1:11
My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations," says the LORD Almighty.
John 20:23
If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.
James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
James 2:14
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
Luke 20:38
For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.
Rev 21:27
Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.
1 Cor 3:15
If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Psalm 51:5
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.
John 3:5
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Titus 3:5
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
1 Timothy 3:15
but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Acts 22:16
And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

Rebaptism: Is A Need for Rebaptism Biblical?

Michael Spencer, the iMonk, is hosting a very good discussion on rebaptism and questioning the need for rebaptism. Michael plans a multi-post discussion on rebaptism and the many apologies for and against the practice of rebaptism among many Baptist and evangelical congregations. Michaels says the practice of rebaptism is "an issue that has deeply affected and weakened my own denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention,...". With the continuing decline in Southern Baptist adherents and baptisms, Michael's discussion is timely and much needed.

What does the Bible say about rebaptism? Well, rebaptism is not demonstrated in any of the New Testament. There are many examples of baptisms, but no examples of rebaptism. Paul seems to implicitly instruct against the need for rebaptism in one of his letters:

    There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
    Ephesians 4:4-6


Paul in his letter to the Ephesians seems very clear that there is one and only one baptism. This section of his letter reinforces the oneness of God and the one faith established by Christ. Combined with the fact that there isn't a single example of rebaptism in the Bible, I am unable to understand how sola scriptura Christians can wander into the error of rebaptism and the confusion and doubts it creates in their congregations. But, then again, so many early Christians wandered into the error of rebaptism that the second Ecumenical Council in 381 specfically addressed rebaptism in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed of 381.

    In one holy catholic and apostolic Church; we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
    The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed of 381


In the interest of full disclosure, our congregation recites the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed of 381 at most services and also holds the early Christian doctrine of one baptism, as do we.

I encourage CAS readers to click over to the Internet Monk blog and join in the conversation taking place regarding the need for rebaptism. As always, be charitable!

Related Posts:
Baptism by Immersion Only
Baptism by Immersion - Clothed or Unclothed?
The Holiest of Nights

Source: Rebaptism: What Is It?

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5 Comments:

Blogger László V. Zoltán said...

I would like to mention a couple of things regarding your position on rebaptism.
1. You state that there is no Scripture evidence for rebaptism. I recognize, this is true in the case of the four Gospels. However, the Bible includes the Book of Acts, too, which mentions an occasion of rebaptism (Acts 19:1-7) performed by Paul himself.
2. The verse you quote from Eph 4:4-6 speaks about the uniqueness of God, faith and baptism. There is one God, there is one faith (or commitment) and one baptism. But: as there is one God, who never changes, who holds to the same principles, who is not changing the truth He revealed in the Scripture, so the faith can only be one. This consequence is less popular nowadays, when people (based on modern relativism) think, one believe in God in many ways. Faith can only be based on the teachings and practice of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-3). In the same way baptism is one, but not as an occasion but as an act. This is how one can easily demonstrate from the Bible that infant baptism, sprinkling and other alternatives chosen by men based on their own mind are not biblical. So, modern relativism again proves to be against biblical teachings. If (reductio ad absurdum) rebaptism is entirely against the Bible, then a few questions arise, which I would kindly like you to answer:
a. If someone breaks his commitment to God and commits a sin, just as before, returning to his ways (lets say, he kills someone), than is the baptism (the symbol of his commitment) still valid? Does it not mean that he broke his commitment to God?
b. Is the baptism valid throughout your life no matter what you do?
c. If someone breaks his commitment to God and is disfellowshipped rendering his baptism invalid in front of those who baptised him, is he doomed to perdition?

8:38 AM  
Blogger Timothy said...

Welcome, brother!

>"...the Bible includes the Book of Acts, too, which mentions an occasion of rebaptism (Acts 19:1-7) performed by Paul himself."

Yes, Acts 19:1-7 does record a "rebaptism", but of what sort? Is this a repeat of a Christian baptism? No. The individual had been baptised by John the Baptist, a faithful Jew, and had not ever received a Christian baptism.

Should you wish to rebaptise a Hindu who has previously undergone a similar ritual washing, go ahead. Acts 19:1-7 fully supports your actions.

Acts 19:1-7 provides no support for the repeat of Christian baptism. There is no instance of a Christian baptism ever being repeated in the Bible. None.

>"This is how one can easily demonstrate from the Bible that infant baptism, sprinkling and other alternatives chosen by men based on their own mind are not biblical"

Um, actually you can't as the Bible is silent on the mode of baptism and at what age baptism may be administered. We know from historical Chrisian documents written at the time of the New Testament that Christians used several modes of baptism and baptised infants and children.

If you choose to argue that these are "alternatives chosen by men based on their own mind " then the burden of proof rests with you. You must provide scriptural and historical evidence these are indeed "alternatives chosen by men based on their own mind". What proof for the veracity of your arguement have you?

I defend the right of all to speak their mind, but you must back your claims with facts and solid evidence.

>"a. If someone breaks his commitment to God and commits a sin, just as before, returning to his ways (lets say, he kills someone), than is the baptism (the symbol of his commitment) still valid?"

Yes. Recall that Paul tells us that baptism is the new circumcision (Colossians 2:11-12), the new symbol of our covenant with the Lord. When one sinned in the Old Testament, one was not re-circumcised upon returning to God.

>"Does it not mean that he broke his commitment to God?"

Yep, and then he repented. Alleluia!

If every Christian had to be rebaptised after sinning, then you might as well install a baptismal pool at the church entrance for everyone to pass through on Sunday.

>"b. Is the baptism valid throughout your life no matter what you do?"

Yes. If you have received a valid baptism, using the Trinitarian formula and water, then your baptism is valid throughout your life no matter what you do. This has been the constant teaching of the Christian Church.

You might start your research of Church history on baptism by reading the Didache and Cyril of Jerusalem's Of Baptism. There are links to both at the left under Early Christians.

>"c. If someone breaks his commitment to God and is disfellowshipped rendering his baptism invalid in front of those who baptised him, is he doomed to perdition?"

You have a flaw in this question which renders the question as erronous.

Someone may breaks his commitment to God. That's a true statement and a good description of sin.

Someone may also be disfellowshipped from a congregation. That's also true.

"rendering his baptism invalid in front of those who baptised him" is NOT a true statement. That's false. A local congregation has no authority or capability to render a baptism invalid. Per the Bible, that authority has been delegated by Christ to one and only one entity per Matthew 16:15-19 and Isaiah 22:22 and its not your local congregation.

>"is he doomed to perdition?"

Depends. Disfellowship does not doom one to perdition. Seperation from God, sin, dooms one to perdition. Up until the moment of death, one may always repent of their sin and be reconciled to the Lord. The unforgiveable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:31-32; Mark 3:28-29; Luke 12:10) is the blasphemy of an unrepented sin, which after death is rendered unforgiveable.

If you are the hypothetical individal who has broken his commitment to God and was disfellowshipped "rendering his baptism invalid" in front of those who baptised him, then I encourage you to repent. Personally, I acknowledge my sinfullness and ask God's forgiveness at bedtime. I generally pray along these lines:

"O my God,
I am heartily sorry for
having offended Thee,
and I detest all my sins,
because I dread the loss of heaven,
and the pains of hell;
but most of all because
they offend Thee, my God,
Who are all good and
deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve,
with the help of Thy grace,
to confess my sins,
to do penance,
and to amend my life.

Amen."


You should also find a faithful, doctrinely sound, Bible believing church nearby. You might try the new zip code tool on the left side of the blog.

Thanks for dropping by and asking your questions.

God bless...

+Timothy

5:20 PM  
Blogger Kenan Sadhu said...

It's still a problem. myself had faced lots of people asking me whether they need to be baptized again when they're "born again" when they're already baptized as a baby. usually this happened to people who went to different church from the one when they're still little kids.

I'm usually the one who told them not to re baptize, yet when we say there is one baptism, a different baptism is no baptism right? yet if we see it differently, jesus told us to baptize in the name of the Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. It seemed to be the criteria, and infant baptism didn't seem to cross this.

Myself, I was Baptized when I was born again at the age of 17, so I don't face this problem, but still i don't know how to answer the people who experienced this. hope we could get the answer..God bless

2:07 AM  
Blogger Dpnewswire said...

The way I understand the "Unpardonable Sin" is that one must reject the Holy Spirt such as to become and atheist after first being a true believer.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Timothy Lee said...

>"The way I understand the "Unpardonable Sin" is that one must reject the Holy Spirt such as to become and atheist after first being a true believer."

While that may be your personal interpretation and understanding, what's most important is what the original writer was communicating.

According to the earliest Christians and continuing to today, the "unpardonable sin" is any unrepented sin at the time of death. Those sins are unpardonable as after death you ave no further opportunity to repent of them, thus they are unpardonable.

You might go back and carefully re-read Paul's epistles where he explains that he and ourselves may lose our salvation due to our continuing sins. Yes, Jesus died for our sins, but Paul makes clear that we must be penitent.

1:02 PM  

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