Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Who performed the baptism?

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness… (Matthew 3:13-15 NIV)

The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. (John 4:1-2 NIV)

And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.  (Acts 8:38 NIV)

Simple answer: Anyone who was baptized.

John baptized Jesus even though he was imperfect and Jesus never sinned.  It was still necessary to "fulfill all righteousness."  Jesus never baptized anyone, so we have no examples of a perfect person baptizing people.  His disciples (followers) would baptize people as they became disciples (followers) of Jesus, too.  The pattern was begun even before Jesus did his final salvific work:  Baptized believers baptize new believers. (Say that three times fast.)

The point of the baptism has nothing to do with the person doing the baptism.  It has everything to do with the person being baptized.  It's a time where they appeal to God for a clean conscience, accept His work on the cross, have their sins washed away, declare Him as Lord of their life, and receive His Power to follow His Plan for their lives.  It's between them and God.  The person lowering them in the water just gets to be a witness to the most important decision a person will ever make in their lives:  Deciding to walk together with God.

You want to be baptized?  Find another baptized believer.  They will help you out.  Can't find one?  Contact me...I love going down into the water. ;)