Why Is Immersion (Dipping Under Water) Our Only Mode of Baptism at Crossroads?
First, let's start with the translators of the Bible. When they were translating from Greek to English, every once in a while they would transliterate a Greek word because there was not an English word to describe it. When transliteration took place in the translation process they would make a new English word based on the formation and sound of the Greek word at hand. The Greek word "Baptidzo" (to dip, bury, place under, or fully immerse) therefore became transliterated in the English to "baptize". The Greek word for baptism was used when one took something and placed it into and fully under something else. For instance, women of the past had to dye their clothing to make it colorful. So to allow the whole garment to be fully dyed the garment had to be fully immersed in the colored water. Likewise, to be baptized in a church should still carry the definition of the word to dip, bury, place under, or to fully immerse in water.
Second, we gain our Biblical convictions based upon, you guessed it, the Bible. So when it comes down to baptism we practice it upon example. Now, in the Bible, people were baptized after they were born again (Acts 2:41). To be "born again" is to repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the only way of salvation. To be baptized after salvation is in obedience to the Lord's command and allows you to be added to your local church's body of believers (Acts 2:41). By the way, you never find infant baptism in the Bible. For every instance in the Bible where someone was baptized, they would go to a place were there was plenty of water, and they would go down into the water and then come up out of the water (Jesus-Matthew 3:16; Acts 8:38-39). The body of water and the words of the preacher were not magical, but rather, symbolic; for baptism symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Roman 6:4). This is why we baptize the way we do.
Last, many have questioned baptism by immersion because of this thought, "What about the places where there is not enough water - like the desert? Surely God would accept sprinkling or pouring as a mode of baptism then- right?" Wait a second, Friend, I'd be very careful to add something to the Word of God and our reason for practicing it when it cannot be found in the Scriptures. In fact, I'd highly warn against practicing pouring and sprinkling for baptism since it is not found in the Scriptures. What about the desert places, Preacher? For that question, you can find an answer in Acts 8. There, Phillip is told to go down to the place "which is desert" , verse 26, and when he arrived there he found an Ethiopian eunuch who was about to get saved. After Phillip preached Christ unto the eunuch and the eunuch believed, verse 37, they then proceeded with the baptismal service when they came upon enough water to be immersed, verse 36-39. Remember this: if baptism is so important that it must be an ordinance of the church, then the mode in which we baptize must be important and therefore practiced Biblically.
I hope this helps to clear the fog concerning questions about baptism. Always remember to gain your convictions and Bible standards upon the Truth of the Bible and not upon man's philosophies or teachings. Be someone who searches the Scriptures daily! JMS