Sprinkling or Pouring
By Dick Ward
Did you know that SPRINKLING or POURING water on a subject IS NOT BAPTISM? Although many denominations contend sprinkling and pouring are "modes" of baptism, such doctrine is false. We cannot appeal to modern day usage (English Dictionary) of Bible terms; our understanding of BAPTISM and its meaning must be defined from its use in the first century (Time of writing of the New Testament).
WHAT SCHOLARSHIP DEMANDS
Popular thinking says pouring and sprinkling are just as good as immersion, and they constitute baptism. Friends, even the leaders of Denominations which practice affusion for baptism know better and have so stated:
John Calvin (Presbyterian) "The word baptize signifies to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the primitive church."
Martin Luther (Lutheran) "Baptism is a Greek word and may be translated immerse. I would have those to be baptized altogether dipped."
John Wesley (Methodist) "buried with him in baptism - alluding to the ancient manner of baptizing by immersion."
Brenner (Catholic) "For thirteen hundred years was baptism immersion of the person under water."
So far as scholarship is concerned, there has never been a question as to the action of baptism. Those denominational affusionists know very well that baptism is immersion and not sprinkling or pouring - scholarship demanded them to so state the facts and they did.
THE BIBLE PICTURE OF BAPTISM
There are Greek words used in the New Testament to present the picture of sprinkling (Hebrews 9:19) and pouring (John 2:15). Never is the Greek word, BAPTIZO, translated "to pour" or "to sprinkle". The definitions from Greek Lexicons show BAPTIZO to be "dipping, plunging, submerging, immersing." Even if we did not explore the definitions of the Greek words, the Bible paints a clear picture of baptism:
"Buried with Him by baptism" (Romans 6:4); "Buried with Him in baptism" (Colossians 2:12); "And they both went down into the water" (Acts 8:38); "Went up straightway out of the water" (Matthew 3:16); "Because there was much water there" (John 3:23). The Bible certifies and describes in these passages the true action of baptism - a burial, an immersion! Neighbors, the issue never has been, "what is baptism?" The Bible pictures IMMERSION and denominational scholars have agreed. The real issue is: is it necessary to do what God says or may man substitute? See the answer in Revelation 22:18,19.
[Editors Note: Thanks to Dick Ward for the article! This article was published in a newspaper column titled, "Did You Know?" in the Carrier Newspaper in Madison, Florida. He may be reached at: Dick Ward, 18 Eldorado East, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35405, (205) 556-2407.]
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