Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: This sermon examines: Three types of baptism, why be baptized, and the significance of baptism.

Into: Some people treat the Bible as if it where a buffet, they just pick and choose the commands they want to obey and pass the others by. They have all kinds of excuses for doing so.

Illustration: A man walked up to a vending machine, put in a coin, pressed the buttons labeled, “coffee, double cream, sugar.” No cup appeared, but the nozzles went into action sending forth coffee, cream and sugar. After the proper amounts had gone down the drain, the machine turned off. “Now that’s real automation,” said the man. “This thing even drinks it for you.” That is just how some people want their faith. They want to make a deposit, put in some money and let the rest be taken care of automatically. But, there is no such thing as automated prayers, devotion, worship in song or service. The religion of Jesus requires personal discipline. Davon Huss

Some people believe in baptism but they put it off, and put if off, until they’ve put it off for all of their life.

What does the Word of God teach about baptism, which is an outward sign of an inward change in someone’s life? Baptism is a public declaration, the person getting baptized has accepted Jesus Christ death at Calvary as payment for their sins, and asked Him to come into their heart and be their Lord and Savior. It is an outward sign of an inward spiritual change that has taken place in their life. Baptism is not an option it is a divine obligation.

It clear from Scriptures that baptism is limited to believers only. Someone might say; “when I was an infant I was baptized and I became a Christian then.” Nowhere in the Bible does it refer to anyone being saved by baptism before they accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. When a baby is sprinkled how much does it know regarding what is taking place in its life? Baptism is a commitment that a person makes on the basis that they have been transformed by the grace of God. Then being transformed by the grace of God they follow Jesus in believer’s baptism. Now you can baptize hundreds of thousands of people and make them church members, but it will not get them into the kingdom of God. Only when a person is born again by the power of the Holy Spirit can they see, or enter the kingdom of heaven.

There are three forms that people use for baptism.

1. There is pouring.

2. There is sprinkling.

3. There is emersion. This is the form of baptism we find in the New Testament. There is not a single verse of Scripture that you can use to prove that they sprinkled or poured.

There is no doubt that during the Biblical days if a person was too sick to physically be able to go to church that they would have to pour water on them which is called clinical baptism. Sprinkling came along later as a matter of convenience. In the early church when it was too cold out to baptize they would sprinkle in order to hold them over until warm weather when they would be baptized my emersion. The word for pouring or sprinkling is never used in the New Testament to refer to baptism.

Why do we baptize by emersion? Because it’s important that the method and the purpose go hand in hand. The Greek word used for baptism in the Bible is baptizo (bap-tid’-zo; to immerse, submerge; to make overwhelmed (i.e. fully wet); used only (in the N. T.) of ceremonial ablution, especially (technically) of the ordinance of Christian baptism:

(Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.) This word was used in their language to speak of cloth that was being immersed in dye to change its color, or a ship sinking. Neither sprinkling or pouring accomplished one of these, these were accomplished by emersion.

Years ago, a wealthy lady from the East made many trips to Salt Lake City to be baptized for the dead. Over the years she was baptized 30,000 times! She did it for relatives and friends and former people like Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon. A Mormon elder commented, “I believe that this lady, in the day of judgement, through being baptized for the dead has saved more souls than Jesus.”

Why be baptized?

1. Because Jesus commanded us to be baptized.

Matt 28:18-20

19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

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John Murphy

commented on Oct 21, 2011

No where is baptism called an outward sign of an inward change. It is not called a symbol. it is called the place from where we are buried with Christ, raised to new life and clothed with Christ. From no other place are we told this takes place.

Gerald Graham

commented on Oct 26, 2011

??? I find none of the scriptural references that John has suggested to baptism.

David Yarbrough

commented on Jun 23, 2012

@ John Murphy Your right no where in Scripture is it called a symbol, or an outward sign of an inward change. But please note when I said, "an outward sign of an inward change" it was part of the question not the answer. "What does the Word of God teach about baptism, which is an outward sign of an inward change in someone?s life?" Thank you.

Scott Ross

commented on Apr 3, 2013

I don''t understand the reference to Mormon baptism on behalf of the dead. That doctrine is heretical and has no place in an orthodox Christian discussion of baptism. Is the author of this sermon Mormon, because they are labeled as "Baptist" in their bio?

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