Nuggets of Fudge – Should I be baptized again?

Jesus Christ personally commissioned his apostles to make disciples of all the nations, to baptize believers and teach them to do everything Jesus commanded (Matt 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-47). The baptism in this commission is gospel baptism in water. John the Baptist contrasted his own baptism in water with the far greater baptism in Holy Spirit that Jesus would administer to believers–whether before their baptism in water (Acts 10), after it (Acts 19), or simultaneous with it (Acts 2). But Jesus also ordained baptism in water as the rite of initiation in Christian conversion. It symbolizes incorporation into Christ’s spiritual body and introduces new believers into the tangible fellowship of that body now on earth.

Actual rebaptism is found only once in the New Testament, in a story of some disciples whom Paul encounters at Ephesus (Acts 19:1-7). These disciples have received “John’s baptism,” an outward sign of repentance in preparation for Christ’s coming, but they are behind on the news of God’s saving activity after that (Mk. 1:4-5, 8; Acts 13:23-25). Paul brings them up to date in that regard, baptizes them in the name of “the Lord Jesus,” and lays his hands on them. They immediately receive the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues and prophesy (Acts 19:4-6). Gospel baptism is a major response to the news of Jesus’ atonement and a sign of the new believer’s commitment to follow him.

Christian baptism has nothing to do with joining any denomination, or trusting in baptism for salvation, or fulfilling some local church’s membership requirement. As a bare minimum, any person who trusts Christ for salvation and accepts him as Lord is a proper candidate for gospel baptism (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 8:36-38; Rom 10:9-10). Anyone regarded as having been baptized on this basis should be welcome in any Christian congregation as a disciple in full standing. Any time that does not happen, baptism–which God intended to be a sign of our unity in Christ–becomes a symbol of our division instead, for which we must sincerely grieve.

Edward Fudge.

( I encourage you to visit Edward’s website, for a wealth of wisdom and biblical teaching.)

Thanks for visiting and reading,

Royce Ogle

3 comments on “Nuggets of Fudge – Should I be baptized again?

  1. You can be baptized as many times as you want.
    No telling how many times we church of Christ, Church of God, and Baptist young folks baptized one another when we were early teenagers.
    Doesn’t have to be in a church baptistery either as most churches didn’t have one. The creek we swam in was used after early church as it was also where the moonshine drinkers hung out after dark. Wore shoes when wading in the water so to not step on broken glass.
    If you want to do it again for whatever reason, have anyone you want at your home do it in the bathtub. Never read about a limit on number of times.
    Doesn’t have to be a preacher or even a religious person. You are being judged, not anyone else.
    Who knows, maybe every baptism you did cleansed you of all past sins just as a fervent prayer could.

    • Karen, the question is should a person be baptized again. I know lots of people, even elders, who have been baptized many time. And, most of those times they believed it was for the remission of sins. So why was the 2nd time or 3rd time sufficient? The reason is, in my view, that people expected baptism to do for them what only Jesus can do. Not once in the Bible are we told to have faith in baptism, or in correct baptism, never.

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