Summary: Baptism is a very significant part of the Christian faith through our relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Basic 5 point outline taken from Denver Sizemore’s Book, 13 Lessons in Christian Doctrine. College Press.
Baptism, What’s That About?
Well, as I have been stating over the past couple of weeks, we are leading up to what is going to be a Baptism Sunday. We are now 3 weeks away from that day. I know there are quite a few of you out here today that have had a lot of questions concerning this issue.
- Should I be baptized or not?
- What is so significant about it?
- Is it essential for my salvation?
Well, I will be answering those questions a little more in depth next week. Next week I will be offering an answer to the question:
- Why should I be baptized?
Today, we are going to take a brief overview of what baptism is all about. I will cover things like the authority behind it, the method of Biblical baptism, and what it signifies through symbolism. So let’s begin.
Baptism is a very significant part of the Christian faith through our relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ. Over the years, the idea of baptism has been manipulated and changed by men in order to meet their own personal agendas. Trying to please people rather than God. Because of these distortions of the true Biblical approach to baptism, many divisions have risen up in the church and among brothers & sisters in Christ. I do not believe that this is what the Lord had intended when this sacred act of obedience was first instituted. As Christians we must seek the truth by turning to God’s Word, the Holy Bible and allowing God’s Spirit to be our guide to discovering the truth of this controversial issue.
First, let us look at the AUTHORITY behind baptism.
After Jesus was resurrected from the dead, He made many appearances to many people. Upon one of His final appearances, Jesus gave some last instructions to the eleven disciples.
Mt 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Mt 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,
Mt 28:20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Jesus gave the command that His disciples go out and baptize and He said that it needs to be done in the name of the Father & the Son & the Holy Spirit. The expression “in the name of” also means “by the authority of…”
For example, if a police officer arrests a criminal “in the name of the law”, he does it by the authority of the law. So the act of baptism was authorized by the name of the Holy Trinity. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. There is no higher authority than this.
Secondly, lets us look at the METHOD or action of baptism.
The method of baptism has been an issue that has gone through much discussion throughout the years. What is done, physically speaking when a person gets baptized? We will find that the New Testament gives us a pretty clear answer to this.
The Bible teaches that the method/act of baptism requires 5 things:
Ac 10:47 “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water?
Mt 3:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. (Jordan River = water)
B. Much Water
Jn 3:23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were constantly coming to be baptized.
C. Going to the Water
Mt 3:5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and
the whole region of the Jordan.
Mt 3:6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
Ac 8:36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?”
Nowhere in the New Testament does it ever say that water was brought to the individual to be baptized.
D. Going Down Into the water
Ac 8:38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.
Going down into the water is something that is required of both the person being baptized and the person who does the baptizing.
E. Coming Up Out of the water
Mk 1:10 As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.
Ac 8:39 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.