In this article we answer the question “Can you baptize yourself?” and look at why the regulation is the way it is.
You cannot baptize yourself. A baptism must always be performed by another believer. Depending on the denomination, this must even be certain believers (priest, pastor, etc.).
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Can you baptise yourself? No.
As already mentioned in the introduction: It is not possible to baptize oneself. The reasons for this lie once in the principle of baptism and the Christian faith itself. This text does not want to examine individual baptismal practices, but focuses on the essential points on which most Christian believers agree.
Why can’t you baptize yourself?
The main reason why you cannot baptize yourself is because of the empowerment that a believer gets from God and the fact that this was never the case in the Bible. Likewise, in no modern Christian church is there a practice that one can or even should baptize oneself.
Exactly what happens in a baptism is a major dispute among the various churches. The Baptists have a different opinion than the Protestant national church;- but one thing is the same: it is required to be adopted into the community of believers who act in the name of Jesus Christ.
Now it is decisive on which name the baptized should be baptized: Namely, in the name of the Son, the Holy Spirit and the Father. (Or similar formulations) Who acts in the name of another, however, must be commissioned by this.
Who ever received a parking ticket, will have read something like “on behalf of the mayor” at the bottom. This gave thus directly or indirectly the order to accomplish examinations and to distribute appropriate parking tickets.
However, anyone who claims to be acting on behalf of the mayor and does not have the order can be prosecuted for this – and any parking tickets are thereby rendered invalid. The person simply did not have the right to do anything in the name of the mayor from the beginning.
The same principle applies when someone baptizes in the name of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ gives only his followers the task and the authority to carry out appropriate baptisms – who is not yet baptized, he has not yet received this authority and therefore cannot baptize at all… certainly not himself.
Who baptizes himself, at most pours water over his head and is not baptized in the biblical sense.
Can you baptize yourself as an exception?
As with any rule, there must be an exception to this rule, right? As far as I know, there are no exceptions. It is not possible under any circumstances for one to baptize oneself. A baptism is always performed by another believer.
In churches where only the pastor or priest may perform a baptism, lay people may also baptize in an emergency situation. In most free churches, any believer can baptize. There is no exception for someone to baptize themselves and there is no precedent in the Bible.
If one comes to faith at the end of the world and finds oneself all alone somewhere and has no other believer at one’s side, then the following questions arise: How could such a person come to faith in Jesus Christ in the first place? And much more important: Is this person saved at all?
The vast majority of Christians would answer the last question: Yes. Faith in Jesus Christ alone is enough to be saved. Baptism is not absolutely necessary. However, what happens now if this person brings another to faith on the subject of baptism is a very theoretical one….
There is no exception possible: one cannot baptize oneself! A baptism must always be performed by another believer.
Why is it unbiblical to baptize yourself?
There are also good, even biblical, reasons why it makes sense that one cannot baptize oneself.
First, the practical reason: somehow you must have learned about faith in Jesus Christ. As a rule, one meets other Christians on the spiritual journey to Jesus Christ. They bring the message of the Gospel closer to you and guide you to continue in the faith. Often such “godparents” are then also the baptizers of the corresponding person.
So someone coming to faith without contact with Christians is rather unlikely. Nevertheless, in the time of the Internet, it is at least theoretically possible that someone reads through everything about Jesus on the Internet and understands the Christian faith and begins to believe it.
Then, however, this person also believes that the Bible is the inspired word of God and thus contains instructions on how a Christian should deal with certain things.
Not only will he not find an example in it where someone baptizes himself (even Jesus was baptized) and can derive something from it;- but he will also read the letters of Paul and the Acts of the Apostles, which call to meet regularly as a community of Christians and to strengthen each other in the spirit.
Or, to put it another way, no one person can be a good Christian alone. The connection with other Christians makes up an important part of faith – thus there are always believers who could baptize.
Can you baptize yourself at home?
This rule that you cannot baptize yourself also applies at home. You cannot just stand in the shower and say that this is your baptism.
However, there is absolutely nothing against you being baptized at home. I myself have witnessed baptisms that were done in bathtubs. It is important that this is done by other Christians. This can be, for example, your home group or Bible study group.
Summary: Can You Baptize Yourself?
To briefly summarize again: A self-baptism is not possible and also not in the sense of the Christian faith. A baptism must always be performed by another Christian, since this also marks a kind of bond in a congregation or in the body of Christ.