Two common questions from new believers in the faith are: "When should I get baptized?" and "Do I need to be baptized?" This is a guide to assist you, the new believer, in answering some important questions. This guide will also help in explaining to others what you now believe. We are all to work out our own salvation. Philippians 2:12, So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling. We are also to assist our brothers and sisters in their walk, as well (Matthew 18:15).
Some people will say that you should be baptized as quickly as possibly when you come into truth, which includes reading and applying Yahweh's instruction manual, the Bible. Others says you should take your time in making such an important decision. What should you do?
He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned (Mark 16:16). But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of Yahweh and the name of Yahshua the Messiah, they were being baptized, men and women alike (Acts 8:12). It sounds like baptism is necessary for salvation, doesn't it? Read the scripture again.
Notice above in Acts, it says the people "believed" Philip before being baptized. So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls (Acts 2:41). Even Simon himself believed and after being baptized, he continued on with Philip, and as he observed signs and great miracles taking place, he was constantly amazed (Acts 8:13). The people being baptized knew what they were doing. They heard and believed. They knew something about Yahweh's expectations of them, all before they were baptized!
Being baptized is a commitment, the most serious commitment you will ever make in your spiritual growth. It is a commitment to live your life as Yahshua lived. It is a daily walk towards our Father and Maker, Yahweh. When you go into the watery grave, you literally come up a new person. You start over, but with a much better understanding of how to live your life spiritually.
We all slip and fall short at times, but with a repentant attitude, we can be forgiven for those shortcomings, just as David was forgiven (Psalms 32:1-5).
Remember the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32? How they celebrated and rejoiced for the brother they thought was dead (lost in his transgressions) was reunited with them! HalleluYAH! We are even told that we must tell our brother (or sister) they are sinning, or we will face the consequences as well. Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him (Luke 17:3; Matthew 18:15). We must remember that if we do not forgive our brother, we will not be forgiven (Mark 11:25).
How should you be baptized? After being baptized, Yahshua came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and He saw the Spirit of Yahweh descending as a dove and lighting on Him (Matthew 3:16). Notice Yahshua must have been IN the water to have come up from the water. And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Master snatched Philip away (Acts 8:38-39). Again, they must have been IN the water to have come up out of the water.
You may have been baptized in a church in the "name of the father, son and holy ghost." Would not that be a valid baptism? After all, Matthew 28:19 says, Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Note it says in the name, but there is no name mentioned! You have probably already learned that "Yahshua" means "Yahweh is salvation," and that He came in His Father's Name (John 5:43). If you are baptized in the NAME of YAHSHUA, would not that include the Father, the Son and Yahweh's Spirit? For confirmation of this, look at Acts 10:48, And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Yahshua the Messiah. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days. And look at Acts 2:38, Repent, each of you and be baptized in the name of Yahshua the Messiah for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Another question which you may be asking is: Who can baptize? We highly recommend that an elder in an assembly which teaches good sound doctrine should baptize you. He should counsel you prior to doing so, making certain you understand the importance of the commitment you are making.
There are many members of Yahshua's assembly scattered throughout the entire world, many of whom may not belong to any organized assembly or who may have been baptized in another name. It is vitally important to be baptized in the name of Yahshua the Messiah by one who has been anointed to conduct proper baptisms, including the "laying on of hands."
Last, but perhaps, most important: Is there anything I can expect to happen after I am baptized? Absolutely. You will have your eyes opened to things in His Book you never thought possible. At the same time, you will be tested, tried and tempted by the adversary who strives desperately to pull people away from our Heavenly Father. You should find comfort in knowing that you are in good company—His people have been tried since the beginning of time; many unto death. Yahshua was tempted non-stop for forty days and overcame—He was and IS our example. We are to follow His example and we CAN do it! Submit therefore to Yahweh, resist the adversary and he will flee from you (James 4:7). How's that for a promise?
Yahweh gives all His people special gifts. For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function; so we, who are many, are one body in Messiah, and individually members one of another (Romans 12:4-5). You may find yourself suddenly learning new tasks you never thought possible, all to bring glory to our Heavenly Father and His Son. You may find yourself suddenly interested in learning how to play a musical instrument or discovering you have a beautiful voice for praising Yahweh. As a man, you may find yourself learning His words so well that you desire to teach others of what you have learned. Perhaps you may be asked to accept a position of deacon or elder within an Assembly structure. Whatever you are called to do, do it to the absolute best of your ability because you are doing it for Yahweh!
If you would like any additional information on this or any other topic, please contact us and we will help you to find the answers you are seeking through His words.
May our Heavenly Father guide you as you walk towards Him!