Introduction: Rom. 6:3 (Paul describes baptism as being into Christ's death. Thus scriptural baptism is "into". In this way baptism contacts the sinner with salvation. In seeking to understand what baptism puts one into, we will also learn about re-baptism or being baptized correctly for the first time.)
1. Baptism Is Immersion In Water:
Jn. 3:23 (John selected this particular location because it had much water. This shows that baptism was by immersion, not sprinkling or pouring.) Acts 8:38 (They came to water, stopped the chariot and both went into the water. This shows they practiced immersion in water, not sprinkling.) Acts 10:47-48 (Peter commanded water baptism.) Mt. 3:11 (But Spirit baptism was a promise, not a command.) Eph. 4:5 (By this time there was only one baptism. Therefore either Spirit baptism or water baptism must have ceased. If water baptism ceased, there is a command we cannot obey. If Spirit baptism remains, there is a promise that has not yet been fulfilled.)
If your baptism was by sprinkling or used an element other than water, you have never been scripturally baptized. You must be re-baptized or better said; correctly baptized for the first time.
2. Baptism Into Christ: Gal. 3:27 (Baptism puts the sinner inside Christ.)
Our Savior: Lk. 2:11 (Christ is our savior, therefore to be put inside him is to contact your salvation.)
Our Salvation: 2 Cor. 5:17 (Being put in Christ is what makes one a new creature. Therefore scriptural baptism is for salvation because it connects you with your savior. Can you say your denominational baptism was for salvation when you prayed for salvation before that?)
If your baptism was not for salvation, you have never been scripturally baptized. You must be re-baptized or better said; correctly baptized for the first time. If you got married to the wrong person, would you have to re-do the ceremony?
3. Baptism Into The Church: 1 Cor. 12:13 (Baptism puts one in the one body, the church.) Heb. 10:8 (By one Spirit does not mean Spirit baptism. Compare with "by the law". This means by the authority of the Spirit.)
Christ's Body: Col. 1:18, 24 (The body is the church.)
Salvation: Eph. 2:16 (Reconciliation is inside the body.) Heb. 2:17 (Reconciliation is equivalent to salvation. Therefore, salvation is in the body. There is no salvation outside the church.) 2 Cor. 5:17-21 (The same process that puts you in Christ puts you in the one body where you are reconciled to God. Therefore baptism is for salvation.)
If your baptism joined you to a denomination, then you have never been baptized into the one body. If you have never been baptized into the body you have never been reconciled to God and you must be re-baptized or better said; correctly baptized for the first time. If you were admitted into Cameron University, would you have to "reapply" to be admitted into Texas Tech?
4. Baptism Into The Name: Mt. 28:19 (Jesus said baptism is in [or into] the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.)
God's Authority: Phil. 2:9-10 (We will bow to the Lord's authority, not a statue of his name. "In the name" is equivalent to "by God's authority".) Col. 3:17 (Doing something in the Lord's name is equal to doing it by his authority.)
Salvation: Acts 4:12 (It is only by the Lord's authority that you can be saved. Since baptism is by that authority and puts you in that name, it is necessary for salvation.)
If your baptism was not according to God's plan as described above, then God didn't authorize your baptism. Can a baptism not authorized by God be considered valid? If you had the wrong name on a car title, would that title be valid? Would you have to re-register the vehicle?
5. Re-Baptism: Acts 19:1-5 (Being baptized again is a part of New Testament doctrine. Many want to get into heaven on a baptism that is different than the one baptism of Scripture. If you, like these, were not scripturally baptized, you need to be re-baptized or baptized correctly for the first time.)