Summary: All Christian churches baptize believers and sometimes it is taken for granted. But, is there a Biblical warrant for believer baptism? Is there a Biblical warrant for infant baptism?
Please open your Bibles to Acts 8:26-40 which we will read in a few minutes.
On June 25 we will be holding a baptism service at Chip and Chris Sprague’s pond at 4:00 PM. We will have directions for you in next week’s bulletin or we can meet here and caravan together.
There are many accounts of baptism taking place in the New Testament.
Baptism is one of the two Holy Sacraments found in the New Testament.
One of the kinds of TV shows Pastor Karenlee and I like to watch are dramas which contain police enforcement and court activities. Some older shows such as Matlock and Colombo and more recently Law and Order which combine the two.
From watching these types of shows I have discovered a word that is not only used in police and court proceedings but in the study of Scripture as well and that word is “Warrant”.
Warrant can be a verb or a noun. On many shows I have heard the questions, “Do we have enough evidence to warrant a search of the property?” or, “Do we have enough evidence to warrant an arrest?”
In these cases where the answer is yes verb becomes a noun when a “search warrant” or an “arrest warrant” is issued.
Well, you might be wondering what all of this has to do with baptism or the study of Scripture.
One question might be, “Is there enough evidence in the Bible to warrant the use of baptism as a sacrament in the church today?” and the answer is obviously yes but let’s take a look at some of those Scriptures starting with Acts 8:26-40.
26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road - the desert road - that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.
31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
32 The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture:
“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before the shearer is silent,
so He did not open His mouth.
33 In His humiliation He was deprived of justice.
Who can speak of His descendants?
For His life was taken from the earth.”
34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?”  [Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” The eunuch answered, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”] 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.
39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.
What a great story! This Ethiopian official who served the queen of Ethiopia had been converted to Judaism and had come to Jerusalem to worship and he certainly got more than he came for!
He heard the good news of Jesus fully explained by Phillip
He accepted the good news and believed in Jesus for salvation.
He was then baptized!
And, we still baptize today!
But are there other Scriptures which support baptism.
So, let’s ask the question …
Is there enough evidence in the Bible to warrant continued baptism?
Last week we saw that when the Holy Spirit was given there was a great salvation among the Jewish worshippers who had come for the feast of Pentecost and three thousands were saved.
When the worshippers came under conviction they asked Peter and the others, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And, what was the reply?
Acts 2:38 NIV
“Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’”