Baptism: Is it sprinkling, pouring, or
 immersion?

Years ago I heard of a dad who told his 12 year old son to go outside and bury a dead skunk that the dogs had killed because it was smelling rather offensive. The young boy did as he was told, found a shovel, dug a hole and buried the skunk. Although the boy was only 12 years old, he understood that when his dad said bury the skunk, he didn't mean sprinkle a little dirt on it. 

We ,too, can understand when our Heavenly Father says that "we are buried with him by baptism".  In Rom. 6:4, he didn't mean that we are sprinkled with him by baptism.  Rom. 6:5 also pictures the burial concept when it says, "For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection". Every gardener knows when you plant seeds, they are buried in the ground. So the picture we have of baptism is a burial, a planting which in both cases means being covered up. 

We have an example of this in Acts 8:38, 39 where both Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water, Philip baptized the eunuch, then they both come up out of the water. It also says in verse 39 that the eunuch "went on his way rejoicing". There was good reason for the eunuch to rejoice after being baptized:  his sins had been "washed away" Acts 22:16.

Paul told the Romans in Rom. 6:17 that they had "obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you, Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness".  By obeying a "form of doctrine" simply means they followed a pattern or blueprint. The pattern being referred to is seen in Rom.6:4 when Paul told them they were "buried with him by baptism". It is important to follow the pattern, if we expect to receive the promises promised. 

The conclusion is that baptism is a burial in water, not sprinkling or pouring. When one is immersed in water (buried) then is raised up out of the water, it pictures the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.