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Should baptism be done in flowing or stagnant water?


Date Posted: 6/17/2013 12:14:25 AM

Posted By: pemali  Membership Level: Silver  Total Points: 872

This question is answered by understanding the meaning of the Word ’Baptism.’ You should know that the New Testament was originally written in Greek. Baptism is the English translation of the word ‘baptizo’ (Greek) which means to submerge or immerse completely or to be overwhelmed.
Through a study of baptism in scripture, we can understand clearly the symbolism of baptism. From Romans 6:4 and Colossians 2:12; we understand that baptism symbolizes our burial into the death of Christ and being raised to walk in newness of life with Christ. This is paralleled with the immersion into much water and being raised out of the water to signify this. The scriptural emphasis is on the aspect of immersion and being raised and never on the flow or stagnation of the water.
If we study the description of Baptism in scripture we will clearly see this. In John 3:23, it says, ‘..John was also baptizing at Aenon….because there was plenty of water’. In Acts 8:38, in describing the baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch, the Bible says, ‘…Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.” The scriptural emphasis is the act of baptism in water and not on the flow or stagnation of the water.

The most important factor to be considered in determining where to be baptized from is the mode of baptism. From the scriptural description, meaning and symbolism of baptism it should be clear that the Biblical baptism is to be done through full immersion in much water. This can be done in both stagnant and flowing water as long as individuals can be fully immersed into that water.

Many people that hold the view that baptism should only be done in flowing water are those who also wrongly believe that people are baptized for their sins

to be washed away. They believe that the water should be flowing to take the cleansed sins far away. The Bible is clear that our sins are only washed away through the blood of Jesus in repentance through faith in Him and not by anything else we do.
There are instances in the Bible where we see baptism done in flowing rivers e.g. Matthew 3:6 ‘…they were baptized by him in River Jordan.’ However the emphasis still is in the act of baptism ad not on the river flowing. Therefore, it should not matter if the water is flowing or not. Many believers both in urban and even dry areas who are not able to access flowing river channels have for many years been baptized in baptism pools and their baptism has been equally Biblical as of those done in flowing water bodies.

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