Buried With Him
In Baptism
By the late Dr. Norman H. Wells, Long
a Leader Among Independent Baptists,
and Personal Friend of the Webmaster

© 2005 James H. Dearmore/Gospelweb.net
[GospelWeb.net Globe]

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Chapter 2

Definition of Baptism

What is baptism? In view of today's conflicting claims, this is certainly a legitimate question. We will try, God being our helper, to let the Bible answer this question as simply and clearly as possible.


"And I knew him not: BUT HE THAT SENT ME TO BAPTIZE WITH WATER.. the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost." -John 1: 33.

The fact that water was used in baptism is declared many times in the Scripture.

"And were BAPTIZED OF HIM IN JORDAN...." -Matt. 3:6.

"were all baptized of him IN THE RIVER JORDAN." -Mark 1:5.

"I indeed baptize you with WATER..." -Matt. 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, John 1:26.

"And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, BECAUSE THERE WAS MUCH WATER THERE: ... "-John 3:23.


The Bible plainly describes baptism as burial in water. This is true at the baptism of Jesus.

". . . and Jesus, when he was baptized, WENT UP STRAIGHTWAY OUT OF THE WATER.. ." -Matt. 3:16.

"And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John IN JORDAN.

"AND STRAIGHTWAY COMING UP OUT OF THE WATER, he saw the heavens opened ..." --- Mark 1:9, 10.

This language, describing the baptism of Jesus, if taken for its intended meaning, pictures Jesus being buried in water.

The expression, "‘went up straightway out of the water," pictures one who had been down into the water and brought up out of the water.

The expression, "baptized of John IN JORDAN," can have only one intended meaning. This language could not possibly be describing sprinkling or pouring but complete immersion.

In every instance where baptism is described it is always a complete burial in water.

Notice the language that describes the baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch.

". . . and the eunuch said, See here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized!" -Acts 8:36.

"And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and THEY WENT DOWN BOTH INTO THE WATER, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

"AND WHEN THEY WERE COME UP OUT OF THE WATER, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip..." -Acts 8:38, 39.

Certainly it is obvious, even to the casual reader, that this language describes burial in water as baptism. Note the following things:

1. The eunuch understood that baptism was immersion in water. They came unto a certain water and the eunuch said, "See here is water." If sprinkling or pouring was to be used, why would he have stopped at this water? The water they had in canteens would have been enough. The scripture reveals that because of the teaching of Philip the eunuch understood that baptism was burial in water.

2. "They went down both into the water". . . "they.. . come up out of the water." This language describes baptism as burial in water.


The Bible reveals that baptism in water is a picture of a burial and resurrection. Sprinkling or pouring cannot, in the wildest stretch of imagination, picture a burial and resurrection.

". . . we are BURIED WITH HIM IN BAPTISM ... " -Col. 2:12.

"For if we have been PLANTED TOGETHER IN THE LIKENESS OF HIS DEATH, we shall be also in the LIKENESS OF HIS RESURRECTION." -Rom. 6:5.

"Therefore WE ARE BURIED WITH HIM BY BAPTISM into death: that LIKE AS CHRIST WAS RAISED UP FROM THE DEAD by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." -Rom. 6:4.

Let us allow the Bible to speak for itself and mean what it was intended to mean. Notice the language that describes baptism.

"BURIED WITH HIM IN BAPTISM." Sprinkling or pouring could not possibly be meant. Only burial in water fulfills the meaning.

Baptism is to be, "Planted together in the likeness of his death" and to be raised "in the likeness of his resurrection." Baptism is to be like Christ's death, burial and resurrection. Buried beneath the water is like His death and being brought up from the water is like His resurrection.

In the entire Bible the only baptism described is burial and resurrection in water. THERE IS NOT ONE SINGLE INDICATION OF SPRINKLING OR POURING EVER BEING USED AS BAPTISM.

The Bible is God's holy, inspired, word. Each individual has the divine God-given right to come to God's word. Isn't it the logical thing to accept and abide by a "thus saith the Lord"? It is a tragedy to be deceived by man's teaching.

If you have comments about these pages of Bro. Norman Wells works, you may send them through the Webmaster: E-Mail , Webmaster, or send directly to David Wells, as you may wish!

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