Here is some water! Can you baptize me?
Ever been asked this question before? There are some big questions around the issue of baptism.
- Who can baptize others?
- How do you know if someone is ready to be baptized?
- Can someone be considered a “believer” or “disciple” if they don’t desire (or are not willing to take) this the step of obedience?
Who Can Baptize?
We’ll start with the “Who can baptize?” question. Let’s consider some scripture as we begin.
35 “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. 36 As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch *said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” 37 [[i]And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”] 38 And he ordered the [j]chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him.”(Acts 8:35-38 NASB)
In this passage, Philip baptized the eunuch immediately after he shared the gospel with him. Was Philip an apostle? No. He was an ordinary believer who shared good news and then took the next natural step. He didn’t wait for Peter, John, or James. The eunuch was ready and he knew his authority as a priest of God. He didn’t hesitate to baptize this government official.