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Before the Water
Agree on the basicsAlthough the baptism is your first big step in your new faith, there are a few things that take place before. You first need to go through the basics of our faith. Exactly how much that includes differs between congregations and denominations, but get prepared for a little study (2 Timothy 1:13-14).
Know the costsYou are also expected to live a life of repentance, like we all do, and begin to align your life with God’s Word (Romans 12:2). To follow the Messiah always comes at a cost. It may cost you reputation, friends and even family. You must expect persecution on different levels (1 Peter 4:12-14).
Is it worth it? Yeshua taught very clearly: Sell everything you have to acquire the Kingdom of God (Matthew 13:44-46). Be ready to carry your cross for His sake (Matthew 10:38-39).
Washed by the wordThe study of God’s word is also called a “washing of water with the word” (Ephesians 5:25-26). It means that we need to constantly purify ourselves through the studying of God’s word. This is one of the main ways that God speaks to us. God’s Spirit is in His Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17), it transforms us into His image and removes all uncleanness from us (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). Your outer baptism is only a reflection of your inner baptism. You need to create a habit to study God’s word, both on your own and together with others.
FastingThe last few days before your baptism, you should separate yourself from your everyday life and fast (Matthew 9:15, Didache 7). Depending on your circumstances the fast could be one or two days, partial or complete. The ones baptizing you should also fast.
Water sourceThe best water source to use is cold, running water from a natural source (living water). If there is no access to running, natural water, other water may be used. If there’s no access to cold water, warm water may be used (Didache 7).
Complete immersionYou should immerse your entire body, completely. If that’s not possible, it is enough to pour water over your head (Didache 7).
In what name?You are to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). If you are a Jew, it is enough to be baptized in the name of Yeshua the Messiah (Acts 2:38). Why the difference?
The Jew is already considered to have faith in the almighty Father and His Spirit. To baptize a Jew into those two names would be a denial of the validity of the Torah and the prophets. Jews are only baptized into Yeshua the Messiah, since they are now confessing their faith in Yeshua, their righteousness through Yeshua, and the coming resurrection through Yeshua.
The gentile needs to be baptized into the name of the Father and the Holy Spirit as well, since the gentile religions do not confess this. Besides from faith in Yeshua, the gentile is now confessing his faith in the Almighty Creator and His Holy Spirit who is at work even today.