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Summary: A biblical study of baptism and its meaning in the life of the believer



INTRODUCTION: A. 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 Preacher.

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?"

1. That fellow didn’t know what he had gotten himself into.

2. There are a lot of people who don’t understand what it’s all about.

B. Baptism is taught clearly in Scripture but has been confused and

contended for a long time.

1. The Scriptures are the best and most obvious authority on this


2. Let’s shake away some of the confusion and clarify what God wants

us to understand concerning this subject

3. Have to understand that this sermon not meant to be the most

comprehensive study of all times.

a. Time constraints keep me from it and I’ll bet you’re glad that it


b. We are going to concentrate on the most basic but most

important parts.


A. As you read the New Testament, baptism is an obvious command

1. “Mandate” – “an order or command”

2. A command is something that must be followed

B. Let’s look at what the Scriptures have to say concerning baptism:

1. Mt. 28:18 & 19 – “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on

earth has been given to me. 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…”

a. The One who has all authority gives the command for the church to practice this

ordinance of baptism.

b. It was obviously part of the process of becoming a follower of Jesus.

2. After Jesus resurrection and ascension, His followers were to wait in Jerusalem for the

coming of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, Peter

began to preach the first gospel sermon. In it, he shared what Jesus Christ had done and

why He had to do it. The people cried out, “What should we do?”

-- Acts 2:38 – “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.”

3. Jesus Himself was baptized when He began the actual ministry part of His life. In Mt.

3: 13-15, Jesus came from Galilee to be baptized by John. When John said he was not

worthy enough to baptize Jesus – that Jesus should be baptizing him – “Jesus replied,

‘Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.’”

--Literally Jesus was saying that He was doing it because it was what was right to do.

C. A command is something that requires obedience.

1. Early Christian called baptism a sacramentum (sacrament) – the Latin word for the oath

of absolute devotion, allegiance, and obedience to his commander.

2. There was an old man who had nine cats. A friend came over to visit and noticed that

there were nine little kitty doors. He asked the old man why the cats couldn’t all use

the same door. The old guy replied: “When I say “Scat!’ I mean ‘Scat!’”

3. John 14:23 – Jesus says, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching…”


A. The method of baptism is one of the most argued points of doctrine

1. Some say that the correct method is sprinkling

--They take a smattering of water and shake it over someone’s head

2. Others say the correct method is pouring

--They take a pitcher of water and pour it over someone’s head

3. There are those that say that the right process is immersion

--They say that someone must be totally plunged into water

4. Still others say that it doesn’t matter what method you use

--As long as you call it baptism

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