Is Your Baptism Valid?
Today various religions practice baby baptism, full immersion baptism, and maybe some other kinds of baptism. John the Baptist baptized with water for repentance. But when Jesus Christ came, He baptized with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matt. 3:11). There are many examples of baptism in the New Testament. Circumstances surrounding each varies. Let’s look at a few.
Philip baptized the Eunuch but he never laid hands on him because he disappeared while the Eunuch was coming up from under the water. Did the Eunuch receive God’s Spirit? After all, God sent an angel to Philip (Acts 8:26) because He wanted that Eunuch (Acts 8:29).
Paul received his sight and was filled with the Holy Spirit, and, upon arising, was baptized. Was it with water or with the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:18)?
Men and women were being baptized in Acts 8:12 in the name of Jesus Christ. Peter and John laid their hands on them at a later time and they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Other times the Spirit fell on people (Acts 10:44) and they were baptized later (Acts 10:47-48). There was no set pattern for the physical water baptism and laying on of hands. But there was one thing common to each situation. All were baptized with the Holy Spirit.
It becomes evident, then, that there is a baptism of the Holy Spirit by which Jesus Christ baptizes (John 1:33; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16). This is a difficult thing for many to understand. Even Peter did not fully understand the baptism of the Holy Spirit at first (Acts 11:16).
Water baptism is not absolutely necessary for salvation, but doing the Will of God is. For example, if you decide to live to please God in all your ways and begin practicing righteousness right now, you are saved. If you are killed in a car accident, you have eternal life.
Does this do away with water baptism? No! Remember, Jesus commanded the apostles to baptize people after teaching them to observe all that Christ commanded them (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:38).
That brings us back to the matter of the baptism of the Holy Spirit which is doing the Will of God (1 John 2:17), observing all that Christ commanded us by practicing righteousness. This is necessary to enter the kingdom of heaven (1 John 3:10; Matt. 7:21). God gives His Spirit only to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32). If you have been baptized, but did not understand the truth about practicing righteousness when you were baptized, that could explain why you are now questioning if your baptism is valid.
Jesus Christ accepts all those who practice righteousness and who respect God and obey Him (Acts 10:35). So, begin to practice righteousness and ask God for His Holy Spirit and He will give it to you (Luke 11:13). Then ask God to direct you concerning water baptism.