The answer to this question is very simple: all those who have truly been saved. All believers in the New Testament, as far as we can tell, were baptized except one–the thief on the cross. We cannot imagine any of the three thousand at Pentecost deciding to put it off until later. Can you imagine the eunuch or Cornelius or Paul or Lydia or the Philippian jailor or any of the outstanding New Testament converts taking baptism lightly?
Only Those Who Believe
Baptism is not for the unsaved. Believing or trusting Christ is the basic requirement. No one was baptized until he had intelligently received the plan of salvation offered in the Gospel. There is no case of baptism in the Bible without definite acceptance of Christ.
“He that believed and is baptized” (Mark 16:16). “They that gladly received his word were baptized” (Acts 2:41). When they believed, they were baptized (Acts 8:13). “Here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?” (Acts 8:36). “Whose hear heart the Lord opened….And when she was baptized” (Acts 16:14,15). “Spake unto him the word of the Lord…and was baptized (Acts 16:32-33). And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized (Acts 19:5) “Teach all nations, baptizing them” (Matt. 28:19). “Repent, and be baptized EVERY ONE OF YOU” (Acts 2:38).
Infant baptism is unscriptural. We have no record in the Bible of babies being baptized. Babies are not believers. They have not repented, and they have not received Christ. I saw a gospel tract recently with the caption on the front page, “What the Bible Says About Infant Baptism.” I opened the tract and found two blank pages. The message of those blank pages was driven home effectively. There are no verses in the Bible about infant baptism.
IV. HOW SHOULD WE BE BAPTIZED?
The question of immersion, sprinkling or pouring is one of long standing. The mode of baptism has been a factor of division among church leaders since 250 A.D. when several sick people requested that water be poured over them to relate as closely as possible the act of baptism. This practice was called affusion. Sprinkling came in the thirteenth century officially but had been practiced and tolerated for some time before. John Calvin prescribed sprinkling to the church of Geneva. Then the churches of England and Scotland followed in the practice.
Baptizo and Rantizo
The Greek words for immerse and sprinkle are different. Baptizo means to immerse; rantizo means to sprinkle. There is little question in the minds of Bible scholars that immersion was the practice of the early church.
John Calvin: “The very word baptizo means ‘to immerse,’ It is certain that immersion was the practice of the early church.”
Martin Luther: “Baptism is a Greek word and may be translated immersion. I would have those who are to be baptized, wholly dipped in the water.”
John Wesley: “’Buried with Him in baptism’–alluding to the ancient method of immersion.”
Buried With Him
The phrase “buried in baptism” ought to settle the matter of how it should be done. Sprinkling or pouring dirt on a dead body will not satisfy any of us. When Jesus was baptized, it is said that “he…went up straightway OUT OF THE WATER” (Matt. 3:16). Also, John baptized at Aenon, near to Salim, because ‘there was much water there” (John 3:23). Again, let us note that Philip commanded the chariot to stand still while he and the eunuch “went down both into the water” (Acts 8:38). “And when they were come up out of the water….” (Acts 8:39).
Any form of baptism other than immersion violates the symbol of death, burial; and resurrection; goes contrary to the church fathers’ example; violates the command of Christ to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit; takes lightly New Testament teaching; and takes away the true meaning of the word baptize.
NEXT MONTH: WHEN SHOULD A NEW CONVERT BE BAPTIZED?
COURSE OF THE MONTH
Below is a link to the outline for the course on the bi-vocational pastor. We realize that many of our students fit into this category. It is a very practical course to help guide a bi-vocational minister to budget his time in both of his occupations.
If this course is not in your program, but you think you could benefit from its information, you can purchase the course for $100. All you need to do is call Cherry at 1-800-525-1611 and she can take care of it for you.
A little boy was experiencing his first day of first grade. At lunchtime, he packed up his crayons, papers, scissors and paste and was ready to head out the door.
His teacher stopped him and said, It’s time for lunch, Tommy. Why aren’t you with the other children?”
I always go home when the other kids go to eat,” he replied. I’ll come back tomorrow.”
“No, Tommy, that was last year when you were in kindergarten. This year you get to stay all day. You go to lunch, then come back here in the afternoon to study and do more work. You’re only half through for the day….there’s a lots more,” so said the teacher.
Tommy thought about this for a moment, then shook his head in frustration. “Who signed me up for that?” he demanded.
LOOK AT THE LEGS
A student in a biology class was given the assignment to learn about birds. He was to learn the classification, the scientific name, the common name, and characteristics of all the birds. The professor said, “Learn everything about them.”
The day of the exam, the student was horrified when he looked at the test giving the birds pictured from their knees down. He knew the birds well but he couldn’t identify any of them from their knees down. He tossed his paper onto the pile of exams on the instructor’s table and explained his frustration.
The unsympathetic professor said, “Well, you’ll just have to take a zero. I told you to learn everything about them. What’s your name, son?”
The boy reached down and pulled up his pants to his knees and said, “You tell me.”
NO NEED FOR SCHOOL
A six-year-old boy came home dejected from his first day at school and announced, “I am not going to school tomorrow.”
“Why not?” his mother inquired.
The boy answered, “I can’t read, I can’t write, and they won’t let me talk–so what is the use?”
HAVE A GREAT SCHOOL YEAR!
COMMENTS FROM STUDENTS
“I hope things are well with you and the Seminary. I obtained my Doctorate in Ministry from ATS in June 2005. Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International endorsed me as a Chaplain in May 2010. I retired from my employment with the State of Alabama in June 2010. Currently, I am the Chaplain at Marshall County Correctional Facility in Holly Springs, MS. Chaplaincy is what I expected and more. Thanks to Andersonville for their efforts at equipping the saints for the ministry!”
“As the pastor (and spouse) of an independent church in Pennsylvania and as interim pastor for two other churches that are seeking full time pastors, we spent almost a year researching schools and seminaries and were lead to Andersonville. We also have a full time Christian service ministry, Homestead Ministries, which serve NE Pennsylvania.”
Rev. John Wallace
“When my experience with Andersonville began in late October last year, I was not sure what I would experience. Having been an educator my entire professional life and having served as the president of three colleges and now the chancellor of a seven-college system, I have some clear views regarding quality education and a quality institution. Andersonville has an exceptional distance education program. Having taught both online, hybrid and in the traditional classroom, the seminary meets all of my standards.”
Dr. Wright L. Lassiter, Jr.
We will try to remind you each month about the 2013 graduation because we want to have the biggest crowd ever. If you start making plans now, you can help us to accomplish this goal. The date is May 24, 2013 and we are hoping for 150 participants. For information on graduation, you can go to the ATS home page, www.andersonvilleseminary.com and click on the “Form” tab and then click on “Onsite Graduation.” If you have any questions, please call or email Julie Weeks (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Please pray that ATS meets or exceeds their goal of 150 graduates to participate in the May 2013 graduation!
?PAYMENTS NOT CLAIMED: We have received several payments that we do not know whose account to credit. Please contact Julie Weeks in the ATS Bookkeeping Department to assure that you receive proper credit on your account.
A. Larry Adkins from Woodville, TX
B. A check from Matching Gift Center P O Box 9002 Stuart, FL 34995-
We do not know to whom this payment should be applied.
Each student that attended the May 2012 graduation, should have received your pictures by now. If you have a problem, please email Julie Weeks at email@example.com and she will help you track down the problem with Shelia Waters. If you have a problem about your pictures from the May 2012 graduation Julie Weeks can mail you a disk with your original picture on it (email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for details).
?Next year we will be using Heritage Photography for our graduation pictures. Information will be posted about prices as soon as it becomes available.
Anyone who needs a receipt for tax purposes-ATS can only provide a print out for the previous calendar year. Our bookkeeping program does not allow us to do this for more than one previous year.
?IF YOU PAY YOUR GRADUATION FEE OVER THE PHONE ATS STILL HAS TO HAVE YOUR GRADUATION FORM EMAILED OR FAXED IN SO THAT ATS CAN KNOW EXACTLY HOW YOU WANT YOUR NAME TO READ ON THE DEGREE!!! ON THE BOTTOM OF THE FORM IF YOU PAID OVER THE PHONE SIMPLY WRITE (PAID OVER PHONE) WHERE IT ASKS FOR YOUR PAYMENT METHOD. ATS HAS TO HAVE THIS FORM TO ATTACH TO YOUR PERMANENT RECORD!
?If you do NOT put your name on your work, we regret that it will have to go in the trash!
Keep a copy of all work that you send in during a program until you have your degree in your hands!!! Clerical workers can make mistakes. We are not perfect, even though we would like to be. Therefore, we cannot over stress; DO NOT SEND ATS THE LAST COPY OF YOUR WORK.
ATS is not responsible for work lost in the mail.
When the grade department receives an exam by email which does not have the test form number, it will be emailed back to the student so the proper information may be included. Exams without test form numbers will not be printed or given to the graders.
THANK YOU for putting your first, middle, and last name on exams. This helps so much since many students have the same first and last name.
Grade reports are mailed out by regular US Mail every Thursday. Please allow 3 weeks for grading of your exams.