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Can a woman baptize?

The New Testament is clear about 4 aspects of baptism:

  1. The mode – immersion

Romans 4:3-4

Colossians 2:12

Acts 8:36-40

John 3:23

Not sprinkling or pouring

  1. The requirements

Faith: Mark 16:16 – believe and be baptized (John 8:24; John 3:16)

Repentance: Acts 2:38 – repent and be baptized (Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30)

Confession: Acts 8:36-40 – confession required (Matthew 10:32-33; Romans 10:9-10)

Not infants

  1. The purpose – forgiveness, salvation, wash away sins

Forgiveness – Acts 2:38

Salvation – 1 Peter 3:21

Wash away sins – Acts 22:16

  1. The benefits

In Christ – Galatians 3:26-27; Romans 6:3-4

Name in book of life – Revelation 21:27

Redeemed – Galatians 3:13

Added to the church – Acts 2:47

Adopted – Ephesians 1:5

NOTE: In these areas, there is no room for alteration, change or substitution. We must follow the commands of God in these matters.

For baptism to be valid and acceptable to God these things must be included, because God included them.

The New Testament is silent about other aspects of baptism:

  1. Where – pond, river, lake, baptistery, running water, whirlpool at hospital, hotel bathtub, heated water, break the ice


  2. How – back first, face first, squat down, in chair, on stretcher


  3. Ceremony

Some insist that the words “Father, Son and Holy Spirit” must be spoken

Baptism is not an incantation. The “magic” is not in the words, but the heart of the believer.

Some make the confession before entering the water. Others give their confession while standing in the water.

Some have insisted that it must be done at a church service.

  1. Who assists – preacher, elder, deacon, parent, woman, non-Christian

A Baptist preacher, Mathias Luce, baptized Alexander Campbell.

Who lowers us in the water does not alter our relationship with God.

If who baptizes you is important then you must have a “chain” back to Pentecost. What if the person who baptized the person who baptized you was not a preacher?

Jesus did not personally baptize. (John 4:1-2) Paul baptized only a few for fear they would claim a superior salvation. (1 Corinthians 1:10-15)

NOTE: In these areas we must be cautious about making rules that God did not make. We must speak as the “oracles of God.” (1 Peter 4:11)

There are practical considerations that can be considered, but not demanded. Is a woman strong enough to lift them out of the water? Would saying something help those in the audience? How can a deaf mute confess Christ? What would people think if a woman baptized someone? Would this leave a wrong impression? Would some think that she was “clergy”?


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