Short Answer: Is rebaptism lawful for someone already baptized in Jesus name?

You could but there would be no point to subsequent baptisms. If someone has already been baptized in Jesus’ name, the sins committed afterward do not negate the significance of that baptism. This is evident in the lives of Paul and Peter. Paul and Barnabas faced contention that led to their separation (Acts 15:39), and the Bible lets us know that contention arises from pride (Prov. 13:10), yet rebaptism was not necessary. Likewise, Peter, despite committing several sins after his baptism, was not rebaptized.

Baptism carries spiritual significance: when Jesus was crucified, He transcended time, gathering our sins and bringing them back to the cross. In turn, when we are baptized, we reach back in time, becoming united with Him in His death and resurrection, receiving the cleansing power of His shed blood.

This baptism applies to all our sins, including those we had not yet committed at the time of our baptism. If someone sins after being baptized, there is hope. In 1 John 2:1-2, it is emphasized that Jesus is our advocate with the Father, and He is the propitiation for our sins and the sins of the whole world. So, if one stumbles after baptism, repentance is enough. God is merciful and forgives those who come to Him in genuine repentance.

While there is no need for rebaptism after committing sins, some may still feel the desire to be rebaptized. In such cases, it is essential to teach them about the true meaning of water baptism. Peter is an example who, despite his wrongdoings, did not require rebaptism. Peter’s sins – including cutting off a man’s ear, denying Jesus three times, and lying – were all covered by the initial baptism. It is crucial to provide guidance and understanding, assuring them of God’s forgiveness when they truly repent and turn to Him with sincerity. 

Scripture Outline:

  • If someone already has been baptized in Jesus name, sins committed afterward do not negate the baptism
    • Ex: Paul & Peter
      • Paul and Barnabas had so much contention they had to part (Acts 15:39) but Prov. 13:10 says, “Only by pride cometh contention” – Paul had to deal with that pride issue
      • Peter committed almost all of his sins after John 4 when he was baptized
        • He kept messing up but was not rebaptized
  • What does baptism do?
    • When Jesus was on the cross, He reached forward into time, got our sins, and brought them back to the cross
    • When we get baptized, we reach backward into time, buried with Him in baptism, crucified with Him – getting the blood that He shed for the remission and redemption (paying the price for our sins)
      • That baptism applies to ALL of our sins – every one He carried to the cross before there was an us
  • What happens if you do wrong after being baptized in Jesus Name?
    • 1 John 2:1-2 – “1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world.”
    • When Simon the sorcerer messed up really bad and thought the Holy Ghost power could be purchased with money, Peter told him your money perish with you and he told him to REPENT
    • Once a person has been baptized in Jesus name, they don’t have to get rebaptized but they do need to repent and acknowledge the sin they’ve committed, and God will forgive them for that sin
  • See Born of Water, Ch. 35 for more about rebaptism
    • If after you explain this to them, and their conscience still wants to be rebaptized, you can do it but teach on what water baptism is about and how Peter with cutting off a man’s ear, denying Jesus 3 times, lying, etc. did not need to be rebaptized
Born of Water The Bible Truth on Water Baptism, Do Serpent and Messiah equal the same number in Hebrew?
Born of Water The Bible Truth on Water Baptism

For further insights on this topic, one can refer to “Born of Water,” Chapter 35, which delves deeper into the subject of rebaptism.

Explore the Born of Water Book to get answers to Bible questions that are often guided by strong opinions, long-held traditions, popular trends, and subjective interpretations. Born of Water uses extensive scripture combined with analysis of the original languages and historical research. This life-changing compilation of Biblical truth is a resource for today and generations to come.