The Purpose of Baptism

Submitted to Oneness Pentecostalism Symposium January 8-10, 1992

The Purpose of Baptism
Historically and Today

Donald Bryan/Walter Copes
Slidell, Louisiana


When the oneness movement began in this century the controversy over the Godhead was only one of the points of contention raised between the trinitarians and the oneness people. Other points of controversy were baptism in the name of Jesus and the essentiality of baptism. We find a wide range of beliefs on the subject of baptism today. The position of the United Pentecostal Church has always been that one of the primary purposes of baptism is for the remission of sins after one has repented. Baptism is a demonstration of faith in Jesus Christ. Others disagree with this position, holding that baptism is only an outward sign of an inward change. A few even go to the extreme of saying that water baptism is a work and, therefore, is not to be administered at all.

This paper will examine some of the beliefs of baptism held in the past and compare them with those of the United Pentecostal Church. We will examine the beliefs of the early church along with those of the Reformation. We will show that the position taken by the United Pentecostal Church is doctrinally and historically correct.

The words BAPTIZE, BAPTIZED, and BAPTISM appear in the New Testa-ment 92 times in 80 verses. In fourteen of these verses, baptism obviously does not refer to water. (For example see Matthew 3:11, 20:22, 23.) In ten cases the mode of baptism is clearly water. (See Matthew 3:16 and Mark 1:8.) Water is strongly implied by the context in five instances. (See Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:5; Acts 8:36, 38, 22:16.) In the other cases water is being alluded to by context. As Henry Brown states, “It is contended that the Greek verb BAPTIZO, which in the English Bible is rendered BAPTIZE, and the Greek nouns, BAPTISMOS, and BAPTISMA, which are in the same book rendered BAPTISM, mean to IMMERSE, and IMMERSION, only; and hence that when we read the New Testament of persons having been baptized, we must necessarily con-clude that they were immersed.”1

Henry Burrage wrote of baptism: “The word has retained its ground-meaning without change. From the earliest age of Greek litera-ture down to its close (a period of about two thousand years), not an example has been found in which the word has any other meaning. There is no instance in which it signifies to make a partial application of water by AFFUSION or SPRINKLING, or TO CLEANSE, TO PURIFY, apart from the literal act of immersion as the MEANS of cleansing or purifying.”2


What was the view of the early church on baptism? Is this view compatible with that of the United Pentecostal Church? Some trinitar-ian writers recognize that the early church baptized for the remission
of sins. The historian Harnack stated, “It was the general conviction that baptism effectually canceled all past sins of the baptized per-son, apart altogether from the degree of moral sensitiveness on his own part; he rose from his immersion a perfectly pure and perfectly holy man.”3 Beasley-Murray says, “Cleansing is the primary meaning of baptism in all religious groups that have practiced it; but when baptism is adminind century. It is not the authenticity of its author which is of interest but rather the allusion to baptism for the remission of sins. This reference is found in the Eleventh Chapter of the Epistle. The reference to water is clearly a reference to water baptism. “We go down into the water full of sins and pollutions, but come up out again bringing forth fruit, having in our heart and fear and hope which are in Jesus by the Spir-it.”5

Other writers of the period also speak of water baptism for the remission of sins. Thus, we find in the writings of Hermas: “There is no other repentance than this, that we go down into the water and receive the forgiveness of past sins.”6 Here the reference is direct. Forgiveness of sins is associated with water baptism. Louis Berkhof says of Irenaeus that he “emphasizes the necessity of faith as a prerequisite for baptism” and that “by baptism man is regenerated; his sins are washed away and a new life is born within him.”7

Other authors of the second century agree with Hermas and the Epistle of Barnabas. Theophilus, who was bishop of Antioch in the second century, addressed a letter to one Autolycus. In AD AUTOLYCUM, Theophilus makes a direct reference to baptism for the remission of sins. “Men receive remission of sins through the water and washing of regeneration.”8

One of the best known writers of the second century is Justin Martyr. In DIALOGUE WITH TRYPHO THE JEW, Justin writes to Trypho on the subject of baptism. He explains to him that after repentance baptism cleanses one of sins. “Through the washing of repentance and knowledge of God, therefore, which was instituted for the sin of the people of God, as Isaiah says, we have believed, and we make known that the same baptism which he preached, and which is alone able to cleanse those who repent, is the water of life.”9

A number of the writings of Tertullian have survived. The majori-ty of his writing was in the first decades of the third century. During the time of Tertullian we know that beliefs about baptism were undergoing a significant change. The formula of baptism was changing into the triparite formula of baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost which we now know. Church historian Harnack notes that views on baptism were undergoing changes at the same time the trini-tarian doctrine was establishing itself. He states “…baptism was essentially the act by which past sins were entirely canceled.”10 Wolfred Cote, a historian of the nineteenth century, states: “Tertul-lian…speaks strongly of the efficacy of baptism in procuring the remission of sins…”11

Another important writer of the early church was Origen. He lived in Egypt and spoke on the subject of water baptism. In his commentary on the Gospel of John, he states “The washing of water is the symbol of the purification of the soul cleansed of all impurity of sin.”12

In the writings of Cyril of Jerusalem, we also find a reference to water baptism. Cyril indicates that it is the time when the inner soul is cleansed. “You are about to descend into the baptistery in order to be plunged in water, (CATECH. iii.)…..For he who is plunged in water is surrounded on all sides by water; thus the Apostles were baptized in the Holy Ghost, but with this difference, however, that whilst the water can reach only the outer surface of the body, the Holy Spirit cleanses in a mysterious manner the inner soul! (CATECH. xvii.).”13

Augustine is perhaps the most prolific Christian writer until modern times. He is, in any event, the most respected by theologians and most quoted by them. Augustine did much to shape thinking and has left an indelible mark on trinitarian doctrine. He saw in baptism the remSerm. on Matt. vi., Lord’s Prayer).”14 On another occasion he said, “See, you are on the point of being baptized; then all your sins will be blotted out, none whatever will remain. Whatever evil you have ever done, in deed, or word, or desire, or thought, all will be blotted out (Serm. lvii. 8).”15 We also find him saying at an even later date, “By the grace of baptism and the bath of regeneration, both the guilt itself wherewith thou wast born has been done away, and all thy past acts of consent to evil lust, in whatsoever deed, whether of impurity, or violence, in whatsoever evil thought, in whatsoever evil word, all have been effaced in that font, wherein thou didst a slave, whence thou camest out free (152nd Sermon).”16

Even as late as the Reformation, the basic purpose of baptism was for the remission of sins. This can be seen from the writings of Martin Luther. He writes in SMALL CATECHISM, “What gifts or benefits does Baptism bestow?” He then answers, “It effects forgiveness of sins….the forgiveness takes place through God’s covenant….As we have once obtained forgiveness of sins in Baptism, so forgiveness remains day by day as long as we live.” This early belief of Luther’ sclosely parallels that of the United Pentecostal Church. He wrote that the blood of Christ was applied at baptism. “Through Baptism he is bathed in the blood of Christ and is cleansed from sins….Holy Baptism has been purchased for us by the same blood which Christ shed for us and with which He paid for our sin. This blood, with its merit and power, He has deposited in Baptism so that men attain it there. For the person who is receiving Baptism in faith is in effect actually being visibly washed with the blood of Christ and cleansed from sins.”17

Henry Burrage in his research on the Reformation period has noted that Hubmaier in 1527 wrote: “Do you desire upon this faith and duty to be baptized in water, according to the institution of Christ, and be thus incorporated and inscribed in the external Christian church for the remission of your sins?”18

Baptism for the remission of sins did not end with the reformation. The belief continued into the eighteenth century. Jack W. Cot-trell tells us that the “Scotch Baptists, who practiced adult baptism by immersion for remission of sins, owe their origin primarily to Archibald McLean (1733-1812), a Scottish highlander, who was brought up in the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian Church).”19

Roderick Chustnut discovered that even as late as the early nineteenth century there were still who those believed that baptism as stated in Acts 2:38 did wash away sins. He quotes Stone as saying, “Baptism saves us and washes away our sins, in the same manner that the waters of Jordan washed away Naaman’s leprosy….None are so ignorant as to think that the literal water washed away his leprosy; but rather it was Naaman’s obedience to the divine order. So in bap-tism, none are so ignorant as to imagine that water washes away sins or saves; but it is the grace of God through the obedience to His ordinance.”20

Michael Green who did research into baptism for the remission of sins said of Stone: “At times, at the great meeting at Concord, Ken-tucky, Stone had labored with a group of penitent mourners before the stand with none of them being comforted. When he thought what could be the cause, he thought of Peter’s words on Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2:38. If Peter were present, thought Stone, he would address these mourners in the same words. He arose and addressed them in the same language and ‘urged them to comply.’ The year this occurred was 1807. In 1826 B. F. Hall after reading the Campbell-MacCalla debate became convinced that baptism for the remission of sins was necessary for salvation.”21who received baptism a confession of faith in Christ. The language of Peter, on the day of Pentecost to the Jews and Gentiles at Jerusalem, was this: ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.’ ‘They that gladly received the word were baptized” to the number of three thou-sand (Acts 2). When the Holy Ghost fell on all who heard his preaching
in the house of Cornelius, Peter said: ‘Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?’ (Acts 10:47). When the eunuch requested to be baptized by Philip, his answer was: ‘If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest’ (Acts 8:37). Thus was fully established Christian baptism, which implied, not only repentance and the washing away of sins, but also faith in a risen Saviour and allegiance to Him.”22

The above sampling is by no means exhaustive. It is, however, sufficient to show that the prevailing view was that sins are remitted at baptism.

The first serious attack upon baptism for the remission of sins occurred early in the Reformation. While one can find isolated inci-dents of views on baptism which were not orthodox (in harmony with trinitarian theology) these incidents were insignificant in formulat-ing baptismal theology. The first serious event which had lasting impact came with Huldrech Zwingli (1484-1531). He was born in Switzerland. The district was substantially autonomous from Rome. This relative independence made revolt from Rome easier than in other places.23

Jack Cottrell says, “Zwingli began his theological career exactly where Luther and other Reformers did-as a true son of the Roman
Catholic Church. As such he first believed that the water of baptism washes away sins, including the inherited sin present in infants. However, by 1523 he had repudiated this understanding of baptism. Although he acknowledged that all teachers before him held to this view, he rejected it. ‘In this manner of baptism,’ he said, ‘all the doctors have been in error from the time of the apostles….For all the doctors have ascribed to the water a power which it does not have and the holy apostles did not teach.’ ‘The Fathers were in error…because they thought that the water itself effects cleansing and salvation.'”24

Armour quotes Zwingli’s FALSA RELIGIONE (1524-1525) as saying, “These ceremonies are external signs which demonstrate to others that the recipient has pledged himself to a new life and will confess Christ even unto death.”25 In the end Zwingli concluded that baptism did not have any effect at all upon its recipient. Baptism was only for the sake of the audience. Cottrell quotes him as saying, “For baptism is given and received for the sake of fellow-believers, not for a supposed effect in those who receive it.”26

Without a doubt Zwingli’s theology has been one of the most successful in the history of the church. His belief is presently held by the majority of the Protestant world. However, Zwingli’s view would probably not have met with such success had it not been for another important Reformation leader who adopted the views of Zwingli and then expanded upon them.27

Cottrell says, “John Calvin (1509-1564) owes much more to Zwingli than is usually recognized. This is especially true with regard to his understanding of the sacraments, including baptism. Calvin followed Zwingli’s lead in rejecting the Biblical consensus regarding the meaning of baptism, and he accepted the Zwinglian idea of covenant unity as the basic framework for his own explanation of the pism.”29 This view of baptism spread.

Beasley-Murray quotes Barth as saying, “So far as I know there is no teaching about Christian baptism which would directly contest the view that water baptism itself is also, and indeed primarily, to be understood as a symbol, that is, as a type, and a representation or, according to Gregory of Nyssa, a copy of that other divine-human reality which it attests.”30 The conclusion is clear. Barth rejects baptism as the means of imparting forgiveness of sins.

Interestingly enough, Beasley-Murray, though recognizing that baptism was originally for the remission of sins, accepts the Calvinist position. He comments on I Peter 3:21:

In so writing the author puts out of court any interpretation of baptism in terms of a purely outward and physical purification or of an automatic effect on the baptized. The water of baptism saves nobody. The baptism that saves is one in which the baptized declares his response to God’s approach to him in the Gospel, confesses Jesus as Lord, and owns obedience to Him. Baptism is a spiritual act, and this is why the author is so anxious to correct any possible misapprehension of it. He would have concurred entirely with the dictum of Ephesians 2:8; ‘It is by his grace you are saved, through faith: it is not your own doing.’31

Theologian B. Kittel states, “The chief mistake appears to me to lie in the fact that there is not a sharp enough distinction drawn between water-baptism and Spirit-baptism.”32 Ernst Fuchs disagrees with this position. He says in DAS URCHRISTLICHE SAKRAMENTSVERSTANDNIS, “If the Spirit is received in baptism, that is because his operations are received with baptism.” Beasley-Murray agrees with Fuchs. “…in the Acts and Epistles baptism is the supreme moment of the impartation of the Spirit and of the work of the Spirit in the believ-er.”33 He then adds, “Hence baptism in the name of Christ, which is a “putting on” Christ and a setting a man in Christ, cannot be other than a baptism in the Spirit.”34

From this short survey one can see that the major theological change in the purpose of baptism came with the Reformation. Zwingli led the way with his deviation from biblical doctrine. Calvin followed and embraced Zwingli’s doctrine of baptism and even expanded upon it. Calvin firmly believed that salvation came first then baptism. This belief has spread through most of the Protestant word and can be found in many modified forms. Some even go to the extreme of refusing to baptize.

A number of Protestant organizations believe that the gift of the Holy Spirit is imparted at baptism. Beasley-Murray says, “By the time this Gospel was written it had become axiomatic in the Church that baptism in water and the gift of the Spirit were combined in a single experience.”35 This view is disputed by the events of Acts 8. The Samaritans were baptized and received the Holy Spirit after Peter and John came to them and prayed.

There are also groups which interpret baptism to mean Spirit baptism in every case. There are a number of Scriptures which address directly the question of baptism. The first of these is in Mark 16:16 where Jesus says “He who believeth and is baptized will be saved.” In order to get around this verse one must accept that the term BAPTIZED means something other than water. John the Baptist placed strong emphasis on the distinction between water baptism and Holy Spirit baptism. There is also the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. A strong precedence is established that baptism is by water unless the text indicates otherwise.

Mark 16:16 is not the only verse which requires further explana-tion when one accepts that baptism must always be Spirit. For in-stance, look at John 3:5. When Nicodemus heard the words of Jesus he did not have the New Testament upon which to draw for understanding. He had only the baptism of John the Baptist upon which to draw. Whether or not he was baptized by John, Nicodemuaway the term WATER used by Jesus. This is done by stating that the water is physical birth. When this explanation is accepted it has Jesus in the rather unusual position of telling Nicodemus that people must be physically born into the world before they can be saved. John 3:4 introduces physical birth into the discussion. However, the term of water is not used elsewhere in the New Testament to indicate physical birth. In general, birth is indicated as being of the flesh (John 3:6; Galatians 4:23). Neither can it be maintained that the water used by Jesus in John 3:5 is symbolic. Jesus used the term WATER without modifiers. Yet in John 4:10-14 and 7:37-39 it is clear from the con-text that Jesus is speaking of the Spirit as living water. Thus the context of John 3:5 does not allow for the interpretation that water is symbolic.

Jack Cottrell makes the following observation:

The declaration in John 3:5 is unmistakably clear. Unless a person is “born of water and the Spirit,” he cannot enter the kingdom, that is, he cannot be saved. This new birth that must precede entrance into the kingdom is EX [EK] HUDATOS KAI PNEUMATOS, “from water and Spirit.” The preposition EK basically means “from,” either in the sense of separation (“away from”) or source (“out of”). Only the latter fits the context here. In some sense, water and Spirit are the source of the new birth. Various shades of meaning as worded by Arndt and Gingrich include these: “the direction from which something comes,” “origin,” “effective cause,” “the reason which is a presupposition for something,” “the source from which something flows.”

These are very strong meanings, most of which reflect some type of cause-and-effect relationship. No one disputes such a meaning of EK when applied to PNEUMATOS (“of Spirit”). That the Holy Spirit is the origin or source or cause of the new birth is accepted as very natural. Thus it is quite a jolt for some to recognize that the same preposition and the same grammatical form used for “Spirit” are used also for “water.” It is a single prepositional phrase, with a single preposition which has two objects joined by the simple conjunction KAI (“and”). Such a construction (especially the non-repetition of the preposition for the second object) brings the two objects into the closest possible relationship, marking them as two aspects of a single event.36

The position of the United Pentecostal Church is straightforward. Sins are remitted at baptism when administered in faith and obedience with God’s Word. Faith is demonstrated when the convert submits to baptism. The validity of baptism extends into the past as well as the future. In both cases repentance is a prerequisite. The name of Jesus Christ is called over the baptizand (the candidate) fulfilling Joel 2:32, Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13.


A less emphasized but important aspect of baptism is the concept of a convert being buried with Christ (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12). This means more than just a symbol. In baptism a person shares in Jesus’ death on the cross; and just as he shares in that death, he also has the hope of sharing in His resurrection.

Historically one can see the purpose of baptism was more than just the remission of sins. It was also considered a burial with Christ and the seal of the new covenant. We can see this in the writ-ings of Hermas who, in THE SHEPHERD (b.iii., s. iv., c. 16), writes, “‘It is necessary,’ replied the angel, ‘for them to ascend through the water, in order that they may have rest; for they could not have entered the kingdom of God except by putting off the mortality of their former life. Hence those who were dead were sealed with the seal of the Son of God and entered into the kingdom of God. For before a man receives the name of the Son of God he is consigned to death; but when he receiveoted to death, but come up assigned to life. Hence, also, this seal was preached to them, and they used it that they might enter into the kingdom of God.'”37

This passage implies baptism is necessary for salvation. It speaks of baptism as a seal (indicating a covenant). The reference to being buried with Christ is easiest to see in Herman’s statement “For before a man receives the name of the Son of God, he is consigned to death.” While not conclusive, one can see the parallel of being buried with Christ.

Cyril taught that baptism was burial with Christ. By his time the triune formula of baptism was in general use. However, one can still see that baptism has retained much of its original purpose. Cyril wrote, “After these things ye were led by the hand to the sacred font of divine baptism, as Christ from the cross to the prepared tomb. And each was asked if he believed in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and ye professed the saving profession, and sunk down thrice into the water, and again came up, and thus, by a symbol, shadowing forth the burial of Christ…” (from Lecture XX. Myst. ii. 4)38

Another respected early Church theologian was Chrysostom, Bishop of Antioch (354-407). In one of his sermons (HOMILY 25) he said “In this symbol [baptism] are fulfilled the pledges of our covenant with God: death and burial, resurrection and life; and these take place all at once. For when we sink our heads under the water, the old man is buried as in a tomb below and wholly sunk for ever; then, as we rise them up, the new man rises again. As it is easy for us to dip and lift our heads again, so it is easy for God to bury the old man and show forth the new…”39

In one of his sermons (HOMILY (40,1) ON CORINTHIANS) Chrysostom says: “For to be baptized and to sink down, then to emerge, is a symbol of the descent into the underworld and of the ascent from thence. Therefore Paul calls baptism a burial, saying, ‘We were buried, therefore, with him by baptism into death.'”40

Chrysostom leaves no doubt that he believed that baptism was burial with Christ. He even makes a direct reference to Romans 6:4.

A contemporary of Chrysostom was Augustine (354-430) who is the more famous of the two. In his sermon DE MYSTERIO BAPTISMATIS, Augus-tine said, “In this font, before we dipped your whole body, we asked you, ‘Believest thou in God, the omnipotent Father?’…After you averred that you believed, we immersed three times your heads in the sacred font….trine immersion is the symbol of the burial of the Lord, by which you are buried with Christ in baptism, and with Christ rise again by faith, that purified of your sins, you may live, following Christ in the holiness of virtue.”41

The genuineness of this passage has been questioned by some. Yet even if Augustine did not make the statement it still reflects the belief of the one who wrote it. The editing of manuscripts by later scribes appears to have occurred on occasions. They would alter the manuscript to more closely conform to the prevailing views of their own times. Even so, one can see that the statement, whether by Augus-tine or by a later copyist, still reflects the belief that baptism was burial with Christ.

Thomas Aquinas, who died in 1274, has been called “the Second Augustine.”42 He stated in his SUMMA THEOLOGIAE (pars. 3, quest. 66, art. 7): “The symbol of Christ’s burial is more expressively represented by immersion, and for that reason this mode of baptizing is more common and more commendable.”43

One notes here that Aquinas accepted that baptism was burial with Christ. It is interesting to note that even as late as the thirteenth century baptism by immersion was the preferred method, though sprinkling was becoming more common.

Henry Burrage quotes Cranmer’s CATECHISM of 1548 as saying: “Baptisme and the dippying into the water doth betoken that the olde Adam, with al his synne and evel lustes, ought to be drowned and kylled by daily contrition and repentance, and that, by renewynge of the Holy Gost, we ought to rise with Christ from the death of synne and to walke in the new lyfe, that our new man maye lyve everlastyngly in righteousness and truthe before God, as Saincte Paule teacheth, saying, ‘Al we that are baptized in Christe Jesu are baptized in hys death. For we are buried with him by baptisme into deth,'” etc.44

Wolfred Cote quotes Leo the Great (in Leo’s fourth letter to the Bishops of Sicily) as saying: “Trine immersion is an imitation of the three days; burial; and the rising again out of the water is like the rising from the grave. (Sepulturam triduanam imitatur trina demersio, et ab aquis elevatio resurgentis instar est de sepulchro.)”45

Cote also quotes Martin Luther as saying in his works (vol. ii. p. 76), edit. 1551): “On this account (as a symbol of death and resurrection), I would wish that such as are to be baptized should be completely immersed e a death; immersion in relation to Christ was dying with him, or an absorption into his death; the water was the symbol of his blood.”47

In our own time Beasley-Murray says of baptism “…Paul states with all clarity, ‘We were buried with him through baptism as dead’; i.e. the believer is laid in the grave of the Lord Jesus. To be buried with Christ in a Jerusalem grave about A.D. 30 means that the death the believer died is the death that Jesus died on the cross. Accordingly the death and resurrection of the baptized man is the death and resurrection that he suffered in the Christ who died and rose as his representative. The death and resurrection are his because he has become united with Christ. This is the primary meaning of Paul’s concept of baptism as dying and rising with Christ.”48

Beasley-Murray concludes that baptism is into the death and resurrection of Christ. He indicates that this is the most critical experience a person can know aside from being born. He strongly ties baptism to the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. He says, “They [death, burial and resurrection] have happened because they happened to Christ; the baptized died and rose in his death and resur-rection. They have happened because the union of the baptized with Christ ended their God-estranged life, and they received life in Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.”49


It is clear to the authors that the profusion of beliefs concerning baptism stems from a misunderstanding of the new birth and the Godhead. The new birth requires baptism of both water and Spirit. Together, the constitute the two elements of the new birth. It is the new birth which places us in the body of Christ.

Baptism is a one time event in the life of the believer. Being submerged and then raised out of the water identifies us with not only His death and burial but also His resurrection.

The United Pentecostal Church teaches that sins are remitted at baptism. This is in harmony with Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16 and Acts 2:21. The essentially of baptism has been well documented in THE NEW BIRTH by David Bernard.

The Bible also teaches that we are identified with Christ in baptism:

Romans 6:4 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.

Colossians 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with [him] through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

In the United Pentecostal Church the emphasis is on baptism for the remission of sins. Seldom do we emphasize the burial and resurrection aspect of baptism. Baptism is our personal identification with Christ and His burial, and resurrection. We share in His death through repentance. We share in His burial through baptism. We share in His
resurrection when we arise from the water to a newness of life.

Symbols are important. Moses was not allowed to set foot in the Promised Land because he smote instead of speaking to the rock as God commanded. The rock represents Christ. Moses thus broke the symbology of Christ being smitten only once. The Tabernacle in the Wilderness is rich in type and shadow of New Testament salvation. Baptism symbolizes our death, burial and resurrection with Christ. It is thus one of the instruments of identification with Him.

The Bible clearly teaches baptism for the remission of sins and that the believer is buried with Christ in baptism. The doctrines of the United Pentecostal Church are biblically correct.


1. ffatt, Williams & Norgate, 14 Henriet-ta Street, Convent Garden, London, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1904, p. 484

4. Beaslely-Murray, G. R., BAPTISM IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1974, copyright 1962, p. 103.


6. Heick, Otto W., A HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN THOUGHT, Fortress Press, Philadelphia, PA., 1943 reprint 1965, pp. 53-54.

7. Berkhof, Louis, THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINES, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1937 reprinted 1975, p. 67.


9. Cote, Wolfred Nelson, THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF BAPTISM, Yates and Alexander, 21, Castle Street, Holborn, London, 1876, p. 17


11. Cote, Wolfred Nelson, THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF BAPTISM, pp. 18-19.

12. IBID. p. 20.

13. IBID. p. 22.

14. IBID. p. 97.

15. Ibid.

16. Ibid. pp. 97-98.

17. Fleltcher, David W., Editor, BAPTISM AND THE REMISSION OF SINS, College Press publishing Company, Joplin, Missouri, 1990, p32.


19. Fleltcher, David W., Editor, BAPTISM AND THE REMISSION OF SINS, p97.

20. IBID. pp. 227-228.

21. IBID. pp. 258-259.

22. Cote, Wolfred Nelson, THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF BAPTISM, pp. 6-7.

23. Armour, Rollin Stely, ANABAPTIST BAPTISM: A REPRESENTATIVE STUDY, Herald Press, Scottdale, Pa 15683, 1966, p26.

24. Fleltcher, David W., Editor, BAPTISM AND THE REMISSION OF SINS, p. 40.


26. Fleltcher, David W., Editor, BAPTISM AND THE REMISSOIN OF SINS, p. 42.

27. IBID. p68.

28. IBID. pp. 68-69.

29. IBID. p. 70.

30. Beasley-Murray, G. R., BAPTISM TODAY AND TOMORROW, (St Martin’s Press Inc., 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010, 1966), pp. 17-18.

31. IBID. p. 36.

32. [“Die Wirkungender Christlichen Wassertaufe nach dem N.T.”, THEOLOGISCHE GISCHE STUDIEN UND KRITKEN, vol 87, 1914, p25].

33. Beaslely-Murray, G. R., BAPTISM IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, p. 29.

34. IBID. p. 276.

35. Beasley-Murray, G. R., BAPTISM TODAY AND TOMORROW, pp. 30-31.

36. Cottrell, Jack, BAPTISM A BIBLICAL STUDY, College Press Publish-ing Co. Joplin, Missouri, 1989, p41.


38. IBID. p. 55.

39. IBID. pp. 62-63.

40. IBID. p. 63.

41. IBID. p. 64.

42. IBID. p. 114.

43. IBID. p. 114.

44. IBID. p. 144.

45. Cote, Wolfred Nelson, THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF BAPTISM, p. 9.

46. IBID.


48. Beasley-Murray, G. R., BAPTISM TODAY AND TOMORROW, p48.

49. IBID. p. 50.