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Who can perform a baptism?

Can anyone baptize a person?

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It does not matter who baptizes you. What matters is what you believe when you are baptized.

What has to be understood and believed is the Gospel. The Gospel consists of the things concerning ‘the kingdom of God’ and ‘the name of Jesus Christ’.
Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.

Baptism without a proper understanding of both ‘the kingdom of God’ and ‘the name of Jesus Christ’ is invalid and will not save. Paul met some disciples at Ephesus who had been baptized by John Baptist and their knowledge of the name of Jesus Christ was incomplete so they were re-baptized.

Acts 19:3 And he said to them, "Into what then were you baptized?" So they said, "Into John’s baptism."… 4 Then Paul said, "John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus." 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Essentially we are baptized into a body of believers who share our beliefs. Fellowship is a fundamental part of a life in Christ.
Acts 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

In asking ‘How do I know who to get baptized by?’ I am bound to answer, "Christadelphians." In my opinion Christadelphian beliefs are supported by the Bible. Christadelphians will not baptize you without ascertaining that your beliefs are the same as ours. For this reason we offer booklets and Bible lessons free of charge to show that what we believe is what the Bible says.

Baptism is generally preceded by a period of instruction wherein the relevant doctrines are demonstrated from the Bible. This is followed by a baptismal interview to ascertain your beliefs.

Baptism is simple. The one being baptized is asked:
‘Do you believe the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ?’
To this they answer ‘Yes’ or ‘I do’
The one doing the immersing says:
‘On this confession of your faith you are baptized in the name of the Father, the son and the Holy Spirit’.
The one being baptized is then completely immersed in water.
To make baptism valid I think the following would constitute a minimum understanding.

• The Bible is the inspired word of God and is the only source of doctrine.
• God is one; not a trinity. Jesus is the son of God and did not exist before he was born. The Holy Spirit is the power of God.
• God created the world as described in Genesis.
• Adam was created in God’s image and Eve was made from Adam.
• The serpent in Eden was literally a serpent that God had made and not a fallen angel.
• Angels of heaven do not marry, sin or die.
• Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate of the tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil and brought sin and death upon all men.
• All men and women sin and all die.
• Nothing lives on after death.
• Hell is the grave.
• No one goes to heaven.
• Abraham was chosen by God, promised everlasting possession of the land of Canaan (which necessitates his resurrection) and that all nations of the earth would be blessed through his descendant (Jesus Christ).
• Abraham’s descendants became known as Israel and God gave them the land of Canaan.
• God chose David to be their king and promised him that his descendant (Jesus Christ) who would be both his son (through Mary) and God’s son (through the Holy Spirit) would reign upon David’s throne forever. And that David would be alive (raised from the dead) to see it.
• That Abraham and David’s descendant would save both Israel and the Nations of the earth from their sins (those that is who would believe and accept him) in that by obedience to God’s law he would reverse the curse of Adam’s disobedience.
• The son of David and son of God is Jesus Christ.
• Having lived a perfect and sinless life he then willingly gave his life to reconcile men to God. Not as a substitute, to suffer instead of them, but as an act of sacrifice to redeem them through the love and forbearance of God.
• God demonstrated his righteousness in raising him from the dead because he had not sinned.
• After his resurrection he ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of God until the time comes for him to return to the earth to raise the faithful from the dead and establish the kingdom of God.
• The true hope of the gospel is resurrection from the dead.
• The kingdom of God (or Heaven) will be on earth and it will be the restored kingdom of David bearing rule over the whole earth from Jerusalem.
• Christ and his saints will reign in righteousness for a thousand years
• Following this there will be a final judgment of the living and the dead, when death will be abolished and those that live on will all possess the divine nature. Christ will give up the kingdom to his father and God will be all in all.
• If we would have a part in the kingdom of God we must believe, repent, be baptised and then live by the commandments of Christ, having a conscience void of offence toward God and man and seeking forgiveness in prayer where we fail.
• We are commanded to break bread and drink wine in remembrance of his sacrifice and examine ourselves to see whether we are living by faith in him.
• The early disciples met to do this on the first day of the week. Whilst this is a good example to follow, it can be done on any day of the week and there is no restriction on how often it can be done.
• Christ is the end of the Law of Moses so we do not have to observe the Jewish Sabbath or the dietary laws.
• We are required to love God and our neighbour (including our enemies) as themselves, to be holy and harmless and do all to the glory of God.

If the above all seems reasonable to you and you would like to contact your nearest Christadelphian ecclesia please ask by sending an email to yourbible@gto.net.

I hope this helps.

Glenn Smith

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