Summary: Baptism is commanded by God and God Wants His People to Obey!
Baptism: Is it really a part of the plan?
From the Christian reader
As teacher of the "20-Something" Sunday school class, I receive information on prospective new members for our group. Recently, one person had noted on his sheet under "Circumstances of Salvation" that he had "Accepted Christ in high school. Was baptized but would like to be reimbursed (crossed out)--reimmersed."
-- Steve Page, Wichita, Kansas. Christian Reader, "Lite Fare."
I do believe that for those of us who have been baptized, who live faithful obedient lives and are being saved we will ultimately be reimbursed.
I have been preaching in my last few messages about God’s plan of salvation. I have talked about Grace, Faith and Repentance today we look at another part of the plan Baptism.
Baptism is not a direct translation from the Greek- in other words a direct translation is one that exactly matches a word in the original language to one in the translated language. E.g. in the Greek hudraino means water and is translated water. Not so for Baptism, it is a new word transliterated from the Greek word baptidzo (Bap- teased-o), which means to immerse. To transliterate a word is to represent or spell in the characters of another alphabet. So we ended up with a new word made from the word being translated. I think it would have saved many many arguments had the translators used the word immersed instead of baptized. Well, as a matter of fact Alexander Campbell did this in his translation of the NT called The Living Oracles- every time he came across the word baptized he translated the word immersed and when he found the word baptism he translated the word immersion. It fits perfectly in every context.
But the real question remains! What role does baptism- by immersion take In God’s plan of salvation?
First, we must understand that salvation is a beautiful pearl enclosed in the Word of God. God wants us to search that Pearl out- by digging into His word.
I think of two places that Jesus brought the message of salvation once to a woman at a well, He spoke of living water. Once we have drunk of Living water we will not be thirsty again.
Another time at night
John 3:4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?"
John 3:5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
John 3:6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
The very last thing Jesus said to His disciples: Mat 28:18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Mat 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing (immersing) them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
Mat 28:20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
On the day of Pentecost, the day that the church was started in Acts 2:38 And Peter said to them, "Repent, and let each of you be baptized (immersed) in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
We must be baptized if we are going to be obedient to God’s will for our lives. Jesus himself- the one who was without sin came to John the Baptist- who was preaching a message of repentance to be baptized (immersed) and after protesting John the Baptist who knew he was not worthy to untie Jesus sandals baptized him. Why? Because, Jesus wanted to fulfill all righteousness. Nobody on the face of the earth has ever been more righteous and more obedient than Jesus Christ-yet HE submits to baptism.
Scripture is replete with the fact that Jesus must be our example. The simple fact that Jesus was baptized- should be in and of itself enough of an example for the rest of us to do the same
Some evangelicals will tell you that baptism is just an “add on”- like circumcision They will say that like Abraham you are credited with righteousness by faith.
They use the verse in Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
Eph 2:9 not as a result of works, that no one should boast.
They will tell you that the moment Abraham was credited with righteousness by God he was saved.