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;

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Roy Hodge

commented on Apr 22, 2009

Unique perspective on the viewing of water in the scripture as it pertains in explaining baptism. I liked the illustrations as well.

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