Questions To Ask Before Someone Is Baptized

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

When a person puts their trust in Christ, baptism usually follows, so what essential questions should be asked before a person is baptized?

God’s Wrath

When a person puts their trust in Christ, baptism usually follows, so what essential questions should be asked before a person is baptized? First of all, God’s mercy is not relevant or important to a person until they see that the wrath of God is abiding on all unsaved people. The more we read about God’s anger of the unrepentant sinner, the more God’s grace is amazing. There must be a clear understanding by the person being baptized that there is none that are good at all…not even one; no exceptions. There are no “good people” who can merit their own salvation by good works. And none of us really seek after God (Rom 3:10-12). There are absolutely none that are righteous before God (Rom 3:23), and “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23).What Does The Bible Say About Death

Dead in Sins

The Apostle Paul sums up our state before we were saved, and we were in the same trouble that Lazarus was in; he was four days dead! Paul says that every one of us “were dead in the trespasses and sins” (Eph 2:1), doing what unsaved people normally do (Eph 2:2). Whether we knew it or not, we were the children of wrath, just like “the rest of mankind” (Eph 2:3) is. Like they, we were facing a dreaded judgment after death or at Christ’s appearance (Heb 9:27; Rev 20:12-15), but then God intervened. Paul says, “God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved” (Eph 2:4-5). God’s Spirit quickened us and brought us eternal life through Jesus Christ.

Saved by Grace

The person being baptized must understand that they are helpless to earn God’s favor and they are unable to save themselves. God’s solution for our sins only comes through Jesus Christ. There is simply no other way to be saved (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). They must fully trust in Jesus Christ, period! A person is saved apart from their own works, so it is only by God’s grace that we are saved. Even though we’re not saved by works, we are not saved if we have no works (Eph 2:10; James 2:18).


When Jesus first proclaimed the gospel, it included the command to repent and believe (Mark 1:15). Repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin. Unless there is a genuine repentance, then a person may not actually be regenerated. Time will tell, but there should be a desire and tendency to sin less. Of course, we’ll never be sinless…but we should be sinning less over time. That’s called sanctification and it’s a work of the Spirit of God. Thankfully, God helps us here too, for it is God that grants repentance (2 Tim 2:24-26). The Apostle Paul didn’t save Lydia. It was Paul’s words and God Himself that saved Lydia. The Apostle Paul said, “One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul” (Acts 16:14), so it was the Word of God with the Spirit of God that made Lydia a child of God. So all of this; belief, repentance, and salvation are fully a work of God.

To God be the Glory

In this way, God receives all the glory, and that is as it should be (Psalm 115:1). We could not cause our own natural birth any more than we could have caused our spiritual birth from above (John 3:3-7). We are literally, “born from above,” not below. The Apostle John wrote, it was “to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13).

Public Baptism

Paul says that it is “with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Rom 10:9), and that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom 10:12), so that means we make a public profession of our faith, and what better way to do that than with a public baptism…typically in the church (but many in the streams, lakes, rivers, bathtubs, or wherever possible). This means that baptism should be done in public, before witnesses or before the church, but baptism is commanded (Matt 28:19). Baptism by itself saves no one. It is not Jesus + water = salvation. Salvation is fully a work of God (Jonah 2:9), but obediently following up with baptism after professing faith is what Jesus Himself commanded.

Essential Questions Before Baptism


1. Do you understand and publically acknowledge today that you are a sinner, and like all sinners, deserving the wrath of God, meaning eternal punishment?

2. Do you understand that there is nothing at all you can do to earn God’s favor or salvation by your own efforts (Eph 2:8-9)?

3. Do you now publically acknowledge that you have put your trust in Jesus Christ and He alone is the one and only way to the Father (John 6:44), and that Jesus is God’s one and only remedy for your sin and your salvation (2 Cor 5:21)?

4. Do you now publically acknowledge that by your identification with Christ, you have died to sin and will be raised to newness of life in Him (2 Cor 5:17), which is what water baptism represents?

5. Do you fully understand that you are commanded to repent and believe (Mark 1:15), and now declare publically that you have repented of your sins?

If you have fully understood these biblical facts and accept them as true, then it is my great pleasure to baptize you into the name of the Father, into the name of the Son, and into the name of the Holy Spirit, amen.


If you’ve never repented and trusted in Christ, you cannot pillow your head tonight because you’re still a child of wrath. Today, while it’s still called today (2 Cor 6:2), put your trust in the Savior, Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Here’s how that happens: It takes the Word of God shared by a person of God and the Spirit of God to birth the children of God, and that’s all for the glory of God.

Here is some related reading for you: Does Baptism Save You? A Biblical Analysis

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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