By J.C. O’Hair

According to the Bible, the unbeliever is dead in sin and the believer is dead to sin. Note how the believer’s transformation is stated in Colossians 2:13 and in several other verses: “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened [made alive] together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses.” But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath made us alive together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:4-6). “For he that is dead is freed from sin … God forbid. How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein” (Rom. 6 verses 7 and 2)?

 Here we learn how dead sinners are made alive. The unbeliever is dead; the believer is dead, but there is a great difference. The believer has been buried. The believer has been raised from the dead. God’s will is that the believer raised from the dead should walk in newness of life. Note carefully Romans 6:3-4:

 “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? 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.”

 The believer is baptized into the death of Jesus Christ, Who Himself was baptized into death at Calvary. Note the words of Jesus Christ, in Luke 12:50: “But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straightened till it be accomplished!”

 Jesus Christ was baptized into death on the Cross of Calvary. The believer has been crucified with Christ (Gal. 6:14; 2:20; Rom. 6:6). Jesus Christ’s “death” baptism took place at Calvary. In Ephesians 4:5 we read, “…there is one baptism.” The all-important baptism is “death” baptism. With the statement, there is one baptism, is also the statement, there is one faith and one Church (Body), even as there is one Christ. Note the believer’s wonderful experience the very moment God baptizes him into the death of Jesus Christ:

“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” (Col. 2:12).

 Buried with Christ in baptism … Raised with Christ … Raised through faith … The operation of God … God raised Christ from the dead.

 Colossians 2:12: “made alive by God.” Colossians 2:10: “the believer is complete, [or full] in Christ.” How then is the believer to witness to the world, or to his fellow believers, that he is identified with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection? What saith the Scriptures?



 “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  When Christ, Who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in Glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Col. 3:1-5).

 The believer is to witness to the world that he is no longer dead in sin but that he is dead to sin. Quite frequently some believer permits another believer to put him in water, or to put water on him, being persuaded by the baptizer that this should be done as a witness to the world. That water ceremony may satisfy the baptizer, but there is no proof whatsoever that the baptized person will walk in newness of life. Neither is there one verse of Scripture to support his “witness” theory. That water ceremony will not help the believer, in any way, to walk in newness of life. Neither does that water ceremony convince any sinner that a Divine transformation has taken place in the baptized person’s life.

 The baptism that produces the Divine transformation is a baptism not made with hands, baptized into the death of Jesus Christ. All of the religious or spiritual men in the world cannot baptize any one into the death of Jesus Christ. This is a Divine operation, and this Divine baptism is the only baptism that is necessary to guarantee the believer that he will appear with Christ in Glory.

 The believer should convince the unbelievers, as well as all other believers, that his old man has been crucified with Christ, that he has died with Christ, that he has been buried with Christ, that he has been raised with Christ, that he is walking in newness of life, and that he is a new creation. How? Not a “water” witness, but a “walk” witness, by walking in the Spirit instead of walking in the flesh; by seeking those things which are above where the risen Christ is seated; by putting to death the things mentioned in Colossians 3:5. This is God’s Word, the Bible way of convincing the world that baptism has changed the believer. Note Romans 6 verses 13 and 11: “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are ALIVE FROM THE DEAD, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God … Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”



 The glorious doctrine of identification, in Romans 6, has been hidden from believers by religious leaders who have read a water ceremony into the chapter. When asked where they find a single statement in the Bible that a Gentile sinner saved by the Gospel of Grace should be immersed as a witness to the world, that he has been crucified and buried with Christ, preachers must admit they have no Scripture; it is merely denominational tradition.

 Then they tell how the believing heathen, on the foreign field, proves that they are cut off from the other heathen by submitting to a water ceremony. A leading missionary in India declared that water baptism is one of the greatest hindrances to missionary work among his people. A leading missionary from Africa tells how eager the natives are to be baptized because they have water ceremonies in their heathen religions, and they love to be religious. So we should not depend on what missionaries say for or against water. The Christian should say, “Show me chapter and verse in the Bible.” If the Bible says “one baptism” for today, what Christian has the right to demand more than one?

 Do you think the Apostle Paul intended to teach a “water” ceremony, in Romans 6:3-4, as a witness to the world of the believer’s death, burial and resurrection? Before answering read 1 Corinthians 1:14-16: “I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; besides, I know not whether I baptized any other.” Did Paul write “I thank God I did not help you to witness to the world?” Then compare Acts 18:8 with 1 Corinthians 3:3:

 And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.”

 “For ye are yet carnal; for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”

 The baptized Corinthians walked as men. They behaved like unbelievers. Did they witness to the world by their water ceremony that they were crucified and buried with Christ, and that the old man had been crucified? We quote from a message of Dr. Kenneth Wuest, of the Moody Bible Institute, concerning the baptism of Roman 6:3-6:

 “The mechanical meaning of the word, namely, the introduction of something in a new environment or into union with something else, is in view in Romans 6 and 1 Corinthians 12:13. It is set in a context of supernaturalism. It refers to the act of God placing us in Christ. This precludes any suggestion of water baptism as a means whereby a believing sinner is joined to Christ. It is a question, of course, as to what the inspired writer had in mind when he used the word, and certainly Paul was not thinking of the rite of water baptism, but of the act of God uniting a believing sinner with Christ, thus, using the word in its original meaning rather than its ritualistic connotation.”

 If someone tries to persuade you to be baptized as a witness to the world, ask him for Divine authority for the religious ceremony. Do not accept denominational tradition or the practice of religious forefathers as a substitute for the Word of God rightly divided.

 Ask any “Grace” preacher if you cannot become a member of the one true Bible Church, go to Heaven and live a righteous and spiritual life, without any kind of a water ceremony, and he will say “yes.” Ask him what the baptism of Ephesians 4:5 is, and if “one baptism” means “two baptisms.”

 Nothing has ever been used by Satan to divide members of Christ’s Body into factions and sects, to gender ungracious controversies more than the dozen or more water theories propagated by sectarian Christians.

 Let us endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in obedience to Ephesians 4:1-7 and know that this is impossible when any form of water baptism is injected into God’s spiritual program for this age.

 If some Christian preacher urges you to be baptized with water call his attention to the words of John the Baptist in John 1:31. John baptized with water that Christ might be made manifest to Israel.