Should I be baptized again because I didn't fully understand what baptism was about?


I was re-baptized by a minister in the church of Christ because a brother said that if I was not baptized for the remission of sin then my previous baptism was not valid. Now I have many doubts because I feel that I accepted this baptism as a sacrament of sorts, like a ritual that would cleanse me from sin.

Now, years later, I understand what baptism really is. It is a prayer to God saying, "Though I want to live holy as long as I am in this body, I can never do that, now I am willing to join Christ in his death and burial in the watery grave, so that You, as You promised, will raise me up to a new life with the gift of the Holy Spirit." Never a day goes by that I do not cry out to Almighty God to show me an answer to this dilemma. I am afraid that if I do get baptized again, it might look as if I am seeking salvation through baptism in a correct way; rather than trusting Christ to save me.

I am very careful as there are lots of questionable preachers and everyone is saying what he thinks. I want to know what God says through His word.


What you are implying is that there is no room for growth in a Christian's life. But we know that Christians must grow. "Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord" (I Peter 2:1-3). In many things in life, we gain something, thinking we have it, only to learn over time that while we did the right thing, we really didn't understand because you had to experience it to fully appreciate it. I remember dating the woman who became my wife and suddenly realizing I was in love. But after we married, I came to realize that I just thought I was in love before, but I didn't understand it. A few years later I looked back and thought the same thing. It has been like that ever since. I don't rush my wife off to get married again because I didn't fully understand all that it meant to be in love at the time I married her. Instead, I marvel at the depth and complexity of love that always grows stronger.

Baptism serves as the starting point in a Christian's life. It marks his entrance into a covenant with God. "And in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions" (Colossians 2:11-13). It serves a similar function to the circumcision found in the Old Law.

But it is more than just becoming one of God's children, Paul said it disconnected us from sin. In another place, Paul also said, "Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin" (Romans 6:3-7). So, yes, baptism does save us -- it saves us from a life of sin and its consequences. "Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name" (Acts 22:16).

That you didn't understand all the implications about why it was done and how God accomplishes this at the time doesn't matter. You knew that this was what God required and you knew that it freed you from sin and dedicated you to your God. Now, years later, you've learned more and appreciate with greater depth what was done on your behalf, represented by this simple act. It doesn't make what you did less, it makes you appreciate it more.

"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen" (I Timothy 1:12-17).