September 14, 2003

Volume 13 - Number 38     


I just received a letter from bro. Edward Quansah in which he reported a successful campaign to Northern Ghana. During the 13 days they were there their group was able to baptize 241 resulting in 3 new congregations established. (Bro. Edward is the one we helped with eye surgery in January.)

Edward Quansah & Family



Should I Consider Being Re-Baptized?

The bible teaches that baptism is essential for one to be saved (Mk 16:16; Ac 2:38; 22:16) and to become a follower of Christ (Mt 28:19-20; Ga 3:27). Bible baptism is an immersion, not pouring or sprinkling. Pouring and sprinkling do not fit the FIGURES used to describe baptism in the NT. Baptism by immersion was the practice in the NT. Scriptural baptism is for penitent believers. That is, for sinners with faith in the Lord Jesus who have repented of their sins. Not infants, who are incapable of faith and repentance.

A number of times I have been asked: "Is there a need for me to be re-baptized?" And what about those who were sprinkled? Or those who were baptized as infants? Or those who were taught that they were saved prior to their being baptized?


In Acts 18:24-28 we find that Apollos had been teaching the baptism of John. Aquila and Priscilla then teach him and correct his understanding of baptism. In Acts 19:1-3 Paul finds some "disciples" at Ephesus. After some discussion Paul has them "re-baptized" (Acts 19:4-5).

Note: They had been previously "baptized"; but their baptism was lacking in some way. Though it was immersion and though it was "for the remission of sins" (Mk 1:4) - their baptism was not in the name of Jesus, i.e., by His authority (Acts 2:38; 10:48; 19:5). When one is baptized in Jesus’ name it is equivalent to being baptized into the name of the Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Son (Mt 28:19) and into the death of Christ, by which they would have been clothed with Christ (Ro 6:3-7; Ga 3:27). Because their first "baptism" lacked an essential element, "re-baptism" was necessary! If an earlier "baptism" lacks some essential element, then "re-baptism" is necessary.


We need to remember that four “elements” constitute valid baptism according to the NT:

1. The proper mode: a burial/immersion (Ro 6:3; Co 2:12)

2. The proper authority: in the name of Christ (Ac 19:5)

3. The proper purpose: for the remission of sins (Ac 2:38; 22:16)

4. The proper subject: a penitent believer (Ac 2:38; 8:37; Mk 16:16).

We saw in Acts 19:15 when one element was lacking (being baptized by the proper authority), “re-baptism” was commanded. Even though their previous baptism had been the right mode, purpose and subject, “re-baptism” was commanded.

If one was baptized by sprinkling or pouring, as practiced by many in the religious world, then their baptism lacked the proper mode (immersion) - "Re-baptism" would be therefore be necessary.

If one was baptized by the authority of anyone other than Jesus then their baptism was not by the right authority (Jesus Christ) - "Re-baptism" would be therefore be necessary.

If one was baptized as a public confession of faith (thinking they were already saved), as practiced by many, their baptism was not for the right purpose (remission of sins) - "Re-baptism" would be required to ensure we have been scripturally baptized.

If one was baptized but was not a penitent believer, as is the case when people are baptized when all their friends are doing it, or because their spouse, fiancé, or parents are pressuring them to do it (and they do it to please them, not God), or in the case of infants who are incapable of faith or repentance, their baptism was lacking the right subjects (penitent believers) - the need for "re-baptism" would be just as great as any other!

If our baptism lack any of the four essential elements of Bible baptism - (1) The proper mode - immersion; (2) The proper authority - Jesus Christ; (3) The proper purpose - for remission of sins; (4) The proper subject - a penitent believer - then "re-baptism" is both appropriate and necessary to ensure that our sins have been washed away by the blood of Jesus!

When one is baptized because their "first" baptism lacked an essential element it is not really "re-baptism"! Technically speaking, the person is being baptized scripturally for the first time! When one has been scripturally baptized once there is never a need to be baptized again! For once we have clothed ourselves with Christ in baptism the blood of Christ continually cleanses us of our sins. As we repent and confess our sins to God in prayer (Ac 8:22; 1 Jn 1:9).

Have you been scripturally baptized? If you desire assistance, please feel free to let us know! May God bless you in your efforts to do His Will!

Adapted from a sermon by Mark Copeland

Memorial Service

We will be remembering bro. Ernest Bowker in a service at 12:30 following our morning services this Sunday, September 14, 2003.

      • Born: April 2, 1919 in Ashland City, Tennessee
      • Died: September 3, 2003 in Venice, Florida
      • Interment: Woodlawn Memorial Gardens, Nashville, Tennessee

"Grace & Works"
Ephesians 2:8-9
"Second Chances "
Exodus 3:1-10

Mark Your Calendars:

  • September 23: Ladies Class at 10 am at Shirley Brown’s home. Contact Shirley for directions.
  • September 28: Song Service
  • November 1: Christian University Day at Bell Shoals church of Christ. 9:00 am. Click link to view flyer.

“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” Mark 16:16




Remember in Prayer


 Wayne Vowell


Kerry Keathley
Brayan Felipe
Diego Felipe
Walt & Jeanette Thompson
Glen Riggenbach
Frank Small
Art Stapleton
Bill Sherman
Boyd Prevett



 Delbert Leavens


Morning Services


Bible Reading:

 Larry Jenson  


 Delbert Leavens  


 Ted Wheeler


Closing Prayer:

 Carl Rigney


Evening Services


Opening Prayer:

 Clarence Riggenbach



 Larry Jenson



 Ted Wheeler  

Closing Prayer:

 Jim Treece

Our Record - Last Week


Wayne Vowell
Mike Weber- Sean Keathley
Troy Wheeler
$ 3856.00
$ 2695.00
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