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Author: Ron Graham

Glossary Simplybible

Word Study: Baptism

Word family: Baptism, baptize

Synonyms: immersion, dipping,

Related ideas: new birth (regeneration), salvation, forgiveness of sins, the gift of the Holy Spirit, death-burial-resurrection of Christ, sanctification/purification

Definitions: Baptism is the immersion of a person's whole body in water, in the name (by the authority) of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of sins by grace, and to receive the gift or indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Greek References: βαπτισμα (baptisma) immersion or “baptism”. Verb: βαπτιζω (baptizo) immerse or “baptise”, 907,908 (Strong) cf 909,910.
[from 911 βαπτω (bapto), to dip].


  Between repentance and forgiveness of sins

  • Mark 1:4 "John appeared... preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins"
  • Acts 2:38 "Repent and be baptized every one of you... for the forgiveness of sins"

  Faith is a prerequisite

  • Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized shall be saved..."
  • Acts 8:36-37 "Look! water! What prevents me from being baptized? ...'If you believe with all your heart you may'"
  • Acts 18:8 "And many of the Corinthians hearing, believed and were baptized"

  A burial and resurrection symbol

  • Romans 6:3-4 "...buried with him through baptism into death... in the likeness of his death... [and] resurrection"
  • 1Corinthians 10:2 "All passed through the sea, and all were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea"

  Necessary for salvation

  • Galatians 3:26-29 "You are all sons [and heirs] of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ..."
  • 1Peter 3:20-21 " the days of Noah... eight persons were brought safely through the water, and the antitype of that is baptism which now saves you..."

Comment: Baptism is defined in most secular dictionaries according to modern usage, not strictly according to Bible usage. We need to let the Bible alone teach us about what it calls baptism. Be aware that the word "baptism" is a transliteration (rather than a translation) of the Greek word. English versions of the Bible have generally resiled from actually translating the Greek (for example with "dipping" or "immersion").

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