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The scriptures do not indicate that a regular Christian can baptize a new convert. The Bible shows that the Lord appointed disciples, ministers, bishops and deacons to conduct this holy service. The reason for that is the need to have learned men to teach those that decided to follow the Lord. In order to baptize others, these men should be able to fulfill Jesus’ great commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19:20).
The religious leaders should be able to look after the spiritual needs of the people and to show discretion and wisdom in their work. The Bible emphasized wisdom as a gift of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:8) that should be especially evident in the leaders of the church (James 1:5). Each was expected to have the infilling of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4). Also, these leaders should have a good report among their brothers (1 Tim. 5:10; Acts 10:22). They must be men of honesty and clean reputation.
The laying on of hands was the process used to publicly ordain an individual into a legitimate ministry “Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership” (1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6).
The qualifications of the religious leaders are listed in 1 Tim. 3:1–14 and Titus 1:5–11:
“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things…ruling their children and their own houses well.”
In His service,
The BibleAsk Team