Biblical Events that Prefigured Our Baptism in Christ:

  1. Creation in Genesis 1:1-2 when the Holy Sprit brought life and order to the waters of chaos.
  2. Noah and his family were saved from the waters of the flood that cleansed the earth of sin in Genesis 6:9-18.  Also see 1 Peter 3:20-21
  3. The children of Israel, fleeing from the Egyptians, passed through the waters of the Red Sea, passing from the old life of slavery into their new life as God's Covenant people [see Exodus 14:1] which St. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:1-2 is a form of baptism.
  4. The water purification rites of the Old Covenant: for example, when the priests cleansed themselves with the water from the laver so that they were ritually cleansed and able to enter the Holy Place [Exodus 30:17-21] and later the Temple in Jerusalem, and ritual purification for coming in contact with the dead [Numbers 19:11-13].
  5.  When the prophet Elisha told the Syrian general Naaman to dip himself 7 times in the waters of the Jordan River to be healed [2 Kings 5:1-19].
  6. Ezekiel's prophecy that Yahweh will pour clean water over His people and they will be cleansed and filled with a new heart and a new spirit by placing God's very spirit within them [ Ezekiel 36:24-27].
  7. The crossing of the Jordan River when God parted the waters and the priests stood midway across the River with the Ark of the Covenant as the children of Israel passed through the waters of the Jordan, leaving their old lives behind to become citizens of the Promised Land.
  8. The baptism of John the Baptist which called the faithful of Israel into the baptismal waters of repentance in preparation for the coming of the Messiah's ministry proclaiming the Kingdom of God [Matthew 3:4-5; Mark 1:4-5; Luke 3:3-4; John 1:31].


The first catechism of the Church, known as the Didache, or "The Teaching", written not later than 120AD records: Regarding baptism. Baptize as follows: after first explaining all these points, baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, in running water. But if you have no running water, baptize in other water; and if you cannot in cold, then in warm.  But if you have neither, pour water on the head three times in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Before the baptism, let the baptizer and the candidate for baptism fast, as well as any others that are able.  Require the candidate to fast one or two days previously." [ Didache, 7. 1-4 ].   Please notice that no where in these instructions is it permitted to baptize without water! 

The necessity of water in the Sacrament of Baptism: CCC # 694; 1213-17; 1228; 1238-39; Infant baptism = 1252

Michal Hunt, Copyright © 2004 Agape Bible Study. Permissions All Rights Reserved.