Check out this uplifting footage as a woman witnesses beach goers gathering by the water to watch a baptism in Panama City. A group of people has gathered on shore as two men hold a candidate in the shallows. Nothing really can be heard, but as soon as they dunk the candidate in and pull him out of the ocean, the rest of the crowd cheers in excitement, while some come running to the new devotee to congratulate them. Amazing.
For the most part, Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to the believer's faith in the final resurrection of the dead.
Early Christians used to immerse their candidate, either totally under water, or partially, standing or kneeling while water was poured over the candidate. Illustrational and archaeological evidence from the third century indicate that the norm was to have the candidates stand in water, while it was poured over them. Another common form of baptism today is a method called affusion, where water is being poured over the candidate’s forehead three times.
Scholars mostly agree that the early church baptized its candidates by immersion, which was probably the norm. However, at various times and places, immersion, whether full or partial, and also affusion were probably in use.
Other scholars say that early Christian baptism was done either by complete immersion, or at least that it was the preferred method. According to the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, at least from the 2nd century onward “baptism was administered by a method whereby part of the candidate's body was submerged in the baptismal water which was poured over the remainder".
Some Christian theologians support the full immersion baptism, by quoting several parts of the New Testament. One in particular points out that “the meaning of the word baptizo in Greek is essentially "dip" or "immerse," not sprinkle”. He then goes on to say that according to the descriptions of baptisms in the New Testament, people went down into water, rather than having a vessel of water to be poured or sprinkled and even suggests that immersion fits the symbolism of being buried with Christ.
One little boy was especially excited to get baptised, so eager in fact, that he could not wait for the pastor to finish his sentence and instead self-baptised himself, if we can call it that. While the preacher says “So Jordan, upon the profession on your faith and the lord Jesus Christ, I now baptize you in the name of the father, and the son, and the holy spirit,” the boy just shouts, "I'll do it!" and he plugs his nose and dunks his head under the water. He then cheers, "I did it!" and everyone laughs. This is the cutest baptism ever!