The topic of baptizing yourself is a topic that some people are strongly against, while others find it completely fine. You may be wondering this for a few reasons. Maybe because you can’t find anyone to baptize you, or you don’t want to be baptized by someone else, or maybe you were just curious.
Whatever the reason is, I’m going to be answering this question for you straight from the Bible, our ultimate authority for truth.
But first, let’s answer this question in a few short sentences, so you get what you came for.
You can baptize yourself in water. Although, it is not the pattern laid out in the Bible, nor is it the recommended method of being baptized. However, if you truly understand the purpose of water baptism, that is revealed in the Word of God, and you have no one who is able to baptize you at the time, then of course you can do it yourself.
Keep reading for a more in-depth explanation.
Biblical pattern for water baptism
Throughout the New Testament, especially the book of Acts, we have a clear pattern for baptism. A few things that are always involved are: (1) a new convert, and (2) a follower of Jesus willing to baptize the new convert. It’s important to mention that baptism was always immediately after salvation.
For example, when the evangelist Philip preached the Gospel in Samaria, many believed and were baptized.
“But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.” (Acts 8:12)
Another example is when the apostle Peter preached the Gospel to a Roman Centurion and his household. The result? The repented and were baptized.
“Then Peter answered, “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.” (Acts 10:47-48)
No where in the New Testament do we find someone who baptized themselves. We always see the new convert being baptized by a willing disciple of the Lord.
Now this does not mean that it can’t be done, it just means there is no example of it.
A lot of people would get hemmed up on that and think that because the Bible doesn’t directly address being baptized alone, then that means that the Lord does’t condone it. But this simply isn’t the case.
We know this because God is a God of the heart, He isn’t focused on the outward actions. If you fulfill the purpose of water baptism and you have sincere motive then there is no reason to say that you can’t be baptized by yourself.
New Testament purpose of water baptism
The purpose of being water baptized is found in Romans chapter 6. The whole chapter is talking about being free from sin and alive unto God, and the apostle Paul uses water baptism to explain this process.
We don’t have time nor the space to quote the entire chapter here, so I’ll just explain it briefly. But if you want to know more about water baptism, you can check out my complete study here.
Water baptism is meant to be an identification with the Lord Jesus in His death, burial, and resurrection. In water baptism, you go under the water, representing that you are dying to sin, and then you come out of the water, representing that you are resurrecting with Christ, free to live a new life in God.
Many people miss the purpose pf being baptized, and then it becomes just a powerless symbol. Baptism is not just a symbol, it has a very real purpose that we are all commanded to follow.
The Bible gives us examples of people being baptized, like I mentioned earlier. Every baptism in the Bible always has (1) a baptizer, and (2) a person being baptized.
Therefore, it is highly recommended that if you are able to get baptized by another disciple of the Lord, that you do. For this is the pattern God laid out in His Word.
However, there is no place in the Bible where it says that we can’t baptize ourselves. So, if you are unable to find someone who is a true follower of Jesus to baptize you, then go right ahead, baptize yourself.
If you are going to go this route there are some important things to consider.
Baptism is full immersion. The word baptism in the greek is baptizo, which means immersion. So, when you get baptized be sure you are going under the water the best you can. If you are in a small bathtub this may be difficult, so just do your best to fully immerse yourself. If you have a little bit of your back showing it’s no big deal.
You are identifying with Christ. I mentioned this earlier, but I’ll go over it briefly again. When you are being baptized, you are being baptized into Christ. You are going under the water to represent your death with Christ, and you are rising to represent your new life in Him.
Read Romans chapter 6. There is no other scripture that explains water baptism better. Read it, and then read it again. Then when you are ready to get baptized, put your faith in the fact that you are dying to the old life and rising to the new.