Summary: A picture is worth 1000’s words! The Bible gives 4 powerful pictures of what Baptism in Water is all about.

4 Pictures of Water Baptism

This morning I want to talk to you about something that every believer in Jesus Christ should do. However, the decision to do this thing is scary for most people, and not all for the same reason. The awesome part about this thing is that there are blessings for you and also for others if you do it.

What am I talking about? – Well, if you noticed this tub over here - then you probably figure it out. This morning let’s discover what God’s Word has to say about baptism.


A drunk stumbled along a baptismal service on Sunday afternoon down by the river. He proceeded to walk down into the water and stood next to the


The minister turned and noticed the old drunk and said, "Mister, Are you ready to find Jesus?" The drunk looks back and says, "Yes, Preacher. I sure am."

The minister then dunked the fellow under the water and pulled him right back up. "Have you found Jesus?" the preacher asks.

"No, I didn’t!" says the drunk.

The preacher then dunks him under for quite a bit longer, brings him up and says, "Now, brother, have you found Jesus?"

"No, I did not Preacher."

The preacher in disgust holds the man under for at least 30 seconds this time brings him out of the water and says in a harsh tone, "Friend, are you sure you haven’t found Jesus yet?"

The old drunk wipes his eyes and says to the preacher..."Are you sure this is where he fell in?"

This morning we aren’t looking for Jesus in the water – so why do we dunk people in the water? I take a bath and go swimming - Why is this different and what makes this important?

Baptism happens today because of what Jesus said just before He went to heaven. It was already in practice, with John the Baptize and the disciples, but that wasn’t enough.

Jesus said

Matthew 28:19

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Mark 16:15

He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

People Baptized in the N.T.

The People at Pentecost – Acts 2:37

The people in Samaria – Acts 8:12

The Ethiopian Eunch


Cornelius the centurion.

Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira

The Philippian jailer

And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.

The 12 Ephesians Paul met

Baptism was something Jesus instructed us to do. It was carried out by thousands of people in the Bible. But what is its importance?

To understand this we need to look at the four pictures used in the New Testament to explain the importance and meaning of Baptism.

Picture #1

1 Peter 3:20-21 (MsgB)

You know, even though God waited patiently all the days that Noah built his ship, only a few were saved then, eight to be exact—saved from the water by the water. [21] The waters of baptism do that for you, not by washing away dirt from your skin but by presenting you through Jesus’ resurrection before God with a clear conscience.

The Flood is a picture of baptism. The eight people on board the ark knew that they were different than all the other people in the world. They were saved because they believed what God said would happen. The wickedness of the people was gone, and the 8 would start over. It was a fresh start, a new beginning. The old was gone.


The clearest example that shows the meaning of baptizo is a text from the Greek poet and physician Nicander, who lived about 200 B.C. It is a recipe for making pickles and is helpful because it uses both words. Nicander says that in order to make a pickle, the vegetable should first be `dipped’ (bapto) into boiling water and then `baptized’ (baptizo) in the vinegar solution. Both verbs concern the immersing of vegetables in a solution. But the first is temporary. The second, the act of baptizing the vegetable, produces a permanent change. When used in the New Testament, this word more often refers to our union and identification with Christ than to our water baptism. For example, Mark 16:16. “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved.” Christ is saying that mere intellectual assent is not enough. There must be a union with him, a real change, like the vegetable to the pickle!

Picture #2

1 Corinthians 10:1 (TCNT)

I want you to bear in mind, Brothers, that all our ancestors were beneath the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 That in the cloud and in the sea they all underwent baptism as followers of Moses;

By crossing the Red Sea many things were taking effect

They had to trust God

They were leaving their past behind

They had a new future, but it was unknown and a little scary

They were leaving slavery

They were becoming warriors

The past ruler (leader) over them died – was done away with

They now had a new leader (ruler)


Pat Summerall spent 50 years with the national Football League. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1952 and played with the Chicago Cardinals and New York Giants until 1961. After his retirement from the game, he joined CBS as a broadcaster, and in 1993 switched to Fox. During his CBS years he and a fellow broadcaster partied hard off the field. "We raised Cain. I was the first guy at the bar and the last to leave." Summerall was told that if he kept on drinking he was going to die.

After checking himself into the Betty Ford Clinic, his counselor urged him to seek a better life through faith. At age 66, Pat Summerall was baptized. In USA Today he told a reporter that when the minister "leaned me back in the water, I never felt so helpless." Summerall testified, "I knew I just became a Christian. I can’t tell you how great life has been since then."

There may have been a helpless feeling when the Israelites walked through the waters seeing the past coming after them. But when they came up out of the water and the waters rushed back – they had a brand new life in a new land.

Picture #3

Colossians 2:11

In him (Jesus Christ) you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins.


William P. Barker tells of a machinist at Ford Motor Company in Detroit who became a Christian. He responded to the invitation and was baptized. As the Holy Spirit began renewing this man he became convicted of his need to make restitution for some parts and tools he had stolen from the company prior to becoming a Christian. So the next morning he brought all the tools and parts back to his employer. He explained how he had just been baptized and asked for his foreman’s forgiveness.

This was such an amazing turn of events that Mr. Ford, who was visiting a plant in Europe at the time, was cabled with the details of the matter and asked his response. Mr. Ford immediately returned a cable with his decision: “Dam up the Detroit River, and baptize the entire city.”

Picture #4

Romans 6:1

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.

Death-burial-res. Of Jesus


Martin Luther, when it seemed to him that the whole church had left the truth of the Gospel, when he was under scrutiny from Church officials as to the truth of his beliefs, when his life was under threat and when he suffered self doubt he would boldly claim, "I am baptised."


Paul Harvey wrote in Guidepost Magazine about his own baptism. He said that even though he had received almost every reward for his broadcasting ability that he still felt empty inside.

One summer, however, he & his wife were vacationing in a place called Cave Creek, AZ. Sunday morning came & they decided to go to church. So they went to this little church, & there were only 12 other people present.

He believed in Jesus, but he had never gone forward in a church service. One night he had prayed in his hotel room & asked Jesus to come into his heart, but he felt that there was still something that was missing."

He said that the preacher got up & announced that his sermon was going to be about baptism. Paul Harvey said, "I yawned. But as he started talking about it I found myself interested. He talked about the symbolism behind it, & how it symbolized the complete surrender of one’s life to Jesus Christ, & how there was nothing really magic in the water. But there was this cleansing inside that took place when you yielded yourself to Jesus."

He went on to say, "Finally, when he came to the end of his sermon he said, ‘If any of you have not been baptized in this way, I invite you to come forward & join me here at the pulpit.’"

Paul Harvey said, "To my surprise, I found myself going forward. The preacher had said there was nothing magic in the water. Yet as I descended into the depths & rose again I knew something life changing had happened - a cleansing inside out. No longer did there seem to be two uncertain contradictory Paul Harvey’s, just one immensely happy one. I felt the fulfilling surge of the Holy Spirit in my life.”

Paul Harvey went on, "The change this simple act made in my life is so immense as to be indescribable. Since totally yielding to Him in baptism, my heart can’t stop singing. Also, perhaps because baptism is such a public act & because one’s dignity gets as drenched as one’s body, I discovered a new unself-consciousness in talking about my beliefs."