Q: Does the Bible say anything about rebaptism? I was baptized as a teen, but now I understand some things much better. Is it necessary for me to be rebaptized? — Sarah, from Germany
A: Sarah, as we continue in our walk with Jesus after baptism, we will continue to grow in the understanding of His Word and in our relationship with Him. And although we may understand things more clearly years after our baptism, that isn’t necessarily a reason to be re-baptized.
There are two situations in which a person who has been baptized by immersion may desire to be rebaptized:
- If a person comes to a greater understanding of what it means to follow Christ by accepting new truths and he or she is impressed by the Holy Spirit to be rebaptized as a public confession of this dramatic growth in their understanding of Scripture and their Christian experience. The Biblical basis for this is Acts 19:1-7, which tells how Paul rebaptized those who had previously been baptized by John the Baptist and now came to understand the gospel more fully.
- If a person apostatizes from their Christian experience by making choices openly contrary to Christ’s teachings, such as treating the Sabbath of the Lord like any other day, adopting body-destroying habits, or living an immoral lifestyle. In such cases, re-baptism is a public confession that the person has repented of their sins and returned to their allegiance to Christ.
If you have further questions, I would encourage you to talk with your local church pastor about your situation.