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Page 382

 

While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the Word.
And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,
Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
And he commanded them to be baptized in the Name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

- Acts 10:44-48

And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning,
Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that He said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.

- Acts 11:15-16

 


 

And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

- Acts 16:14-15

 

5. The baptism of Saul/Paul (Acts 9:18) - Again, no clear reference is given in Scripture concerning the mode of Paul's baptism. The context, however, favors baptism by sprinkling or pouring for the following reasons:

  • It appears that Saul was baptized in the house where he was staying. Sufficient water for immersion would not be present in a home during biblical times, nor a proper facility for it. Listing the events as they are related in Acts 9:18-19, that Saul received his sight, stood up, was baptized, ate meat, and was strengthened, when recalling that Saul had been blind and had not eaten for three days (Acts 9:9), it is difficult to imagine Ananias transporting the blind and weakened Paul to a river or pond to first immerse him and then returning to feed him.

  • Scripture states that Saul arose ("anistemi" in Greek means "standing up") and was baptized, and that all took place immediately (Acts 9: 18). The Word of God mentions his standing up and being baptized, not his being dipped under water or walking elsewhere to find sufficient water; this, too, suggests sprinkling or pouring.

6. The baptism of Cornelius and his household (Acts 10:47-48). While no reference is directly made regarding the mode used by Peter when baptizing the household of Cornelius, the following considerations make immersion very unlikely:

  • "Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized?" Peter asks in Acts 10:47. To bring sufficient water into the home of Cornelius (for that is where Paul was preaching to them when the Holy Spirit fell on them, Acts 10:24-28), and to furnish a container large enough for this purpose would present a severe difficulty during New Testament times. No preparations of this type are hinted at in Scripture. Water was simply brought and Peter baptized them.

  • The Holy Spirit first "baptized" the listeners in Cornelius' home. After witnessing this truth, the Jews and Peter were astonished and permission was given to baptize all, even though they were Gentiles -for if they had received the


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