There are a lot of different questions that may be asked about Christian baptism. However, there’s one question that is probably asked the most. “Should you get baptized more than once in your life?”
It is helpful first to understand the actual symbolism of water baptism to find the solution to this issue.
What is a Baptism?
One word best describes what happens during a baptism: identification. The basic meaning of baptism is a public declaration of one’s faith in Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul summarizes the reality as follows in Romans 6:3-4:
“Don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”
Especially weighty are the phrases “buried with Him in baptism,” “baptized into His death,” and “baptized into Christ.” One possible interpretation is that Spirit baptism is central to this discussion. Water baptism is not explicitly mentioned, but it is there in the backdrop of this text.
What place does your baptism hold in your life? It’s a public declaration of your faith in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection atoning work. One is not saved via baptism but through faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). Your sins will be forgiven as soon as you put your faith in Christ. Baptism, on the other hand, serves as both a public declaration and private confirmation of one’s transition from the old to the new.
Was There Anyone In The Bible Who Underwent Water Baptism Twice?
The Bible never records anybody being baptized more than once. When a person first became a Christian, they would undergo a single act of water baptism. Nonetheless, the New Testament describes several distinct kinds of baptisms. Each of us goes through a series of these baptisms throughout our lives.
In the Bible, a person’s decision to follow Jesus is always followed by water baptism. Once a person makes that decision, they are never seen becoming re-baptized.
On the other hand, the Bible describes some rites of passage that are not water baptism. This may be puzzling to those who are only familiar with water baptism, but the Bible makes it quite plain that it is not the only kind of baptism.
“Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment” (Hebrews 6:1-2).
Is It A Sin To Undergo Baptism Twice?
Perhaps you haven’t realized it yet, but genuine contrition is the driving force behind the sacrament of water baptism. If someone is baptized without genuine contrition the first time, they should be baptized again as soon as they come to their senses. This is not a sin, of course. Seeking God’s favor is not a sinful pursuit.
It is a sin, however, if a person has a genuine interest in God but keeps getting rebaptized because they believe their earlier baptisms weren’t genuine.
This is because it is not done in faith, and everything that is not done in faith is sin (Romans 14:23).
Baptism, with a few notable exceptions, is depicted as a one-time occurrence throughout the Bible. As a result, someone who repeatedly undergoes the sacrament of baptism for no apparent reason is not walking in faith according to God’s Word.
Their fault is not because they have been baptized more than once but rather that they are being rebaptized because of their disbelief. So, if you have been baptized following your convictions and truly repented, your baptism was genuine, and you are exempt from further initiation rites.
I’ve Fallen Away From The Faith; Do I Need To Be Re-Baptized?
In a nutshell, it depends. In the sense of prolonged separation from Christ, backsliding seems to warrant a second baptism. If by “fall” you mean “slip,” then you need do nothing more than repent and get back on track with God.
When Christians make mistakes, the Bible outlines the proper course of action.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
If you fell into sin through no fault of your own, you need not undergo another baptism. If you’ve messed up, you must admit it and ask God for forgiveness.
A different reaction may be necessary, though, if you are someone who has been distant from God’s presence for a long time. The Bible responds by saying that this old sinful self is killed and buried through baptism.
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:1-4)
Baptism Rewards You Wih a New Life
According to the Bible, baptism symbolizes Christ’s death and resurrection. We must die to sin and rise with Christ.
If we stumble, we have an “Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous,” according to the Bible (1 John 2:1). God promises to forgive us if we confess our faults when we fall.
“But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.” (Galatians 2:17-18).
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