The Christian rite of initiation practiced by nearly all who profess to embrace the Christian faith. There are five important issues about baptism:
(1) the meaning of the ordinance
(2) the appropriate candidate for baptism
(3) the proper mode of baptism
(4) the right time for baptism
(5) the correct authority for baptism.
Meaning: In its simplest form baptism is a public identification with Jesus the Christ.
Proper Candidate for Baptism Only One who is sufficiently mature and has recognized, confessed, repented of his/her sin, and has made a conscious commitment of faith in Christ should be baptized (Acts 2:41).
Correct Time for Baptism Baptism is a public confession of faith, an initiatory ordinance of a new believer desiring to be obedient to Christ (Acts 8:35–38). Therefore, as soon as one is saved, he should be baptized as early as is convenient.
The Proper Form of Baptism While it is true that baptizo means “immerse, The new believer is buried in a watery grave and raised up as a symbol of his trust in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ for the atonement of sins. Only immersion adequately pictures a burial and a resurrection (Rom. 6:4–6).
The Correct Authority for Baptism Who has the authority to administer or perform baptism? The local church is the proper authority to administer baptism.