Baptism Is Immersion
By Ron Boatwright
Our word "baptize" is transliterated from the original Greek word "baptizo", which means to immerse. All Bible dictionaries define the word "baptizo" only as immerse, dip or plunge. "Baptizo" does not mean sprinkle or pour. If our Lord had wanted people to be sprinkled, he would have inspired the New Testament writers to use the Greek word "rhantizo". If our Lord wanted people to be poured He would have inspired New Testament writers to use the Greek word "katacheo". But He didnít, so "baptizo" was used, which can only mean to immerse.
Letís look in the Bible to see how people were baptized. In John 3:23 we read, "Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there." Why was John baptizing near Salim? "Because there was much water there." Scriptural baptism requires much water. In Mark 1:5 we read, "Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to Him, and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River." Why was John baptizing in the Jordan River? Could it be "because there was much water there" in a river?
Romans 6:4 says, "Therefore we were buried with him by baptism into death." Here we see that baptism is a burial, which is what is done when one is immersed. Sprinkling is not a burial; it is only sprinkling. Neither is pouring a burial. Both are unlawful substitutions made by man, which will cause many people to be lost. This man made exception over the centuries became the man made accepted practice until the Catholic Church at the Council of Ravenna in 1311 AD legalized sprinkling for baptism, but without Godís authority.
Sprinkling for baptism is foreign to the scriptures. God did not authorize it. There is not one instance anywhere in the Bible where anyone was sprinkled for baptism. The person who was sprinkled or poured has refused to obey God. Sprinkling is without Godís authority. There is no baptism in the absence of immersion. One who was sprinkled or poured has not been scripturally baptized. He still has every sin that he has ever committed and is still lost.