Summary: What is the importance of baptism? Why should ever follower of Christ be baptized?
Purpose: To explain the meaning of baptism.
Aim: I want the listener to see the importance of baptism and pursue it.
INTRODUCTION: It never ceases to amaze me how some people are willing to identify themselves with the Philadelphia Eagles. Some men will paint their bodies green, wear ridiculous hats, paint their faces, or sometimes six of them each paint letters on their bare chests to spell out Eagles.
Why is it some fans are willing to go to ridiculous lengths to identify with a football team and yet there are those who claim to be Christian who refuse to be publicly identified with Christ?
Baptism is God’s method of publically standing up for Christ.
I. Baptism Identifies You as a Christian
Many came to Jesus because He healed many, preached to many, and performed many miracles, but many people also came to Christ to be baptized. John 4:1 . . . the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (NAU)
The last words of Christ before He went back to heaven were, Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, (NAU)
The first thing that new followers of Christ did was get baptized. Acts 2:41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. (NAU)
This was also true of Paul. Acts 9:18 And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized; (NAU)
This was true of the Philippian jailer. Acts 16:30-31 30 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (NAU) Acts 16:33 And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household. (NAU)
The Bible calls us the bride of Christ. Getting baptized is like a bride accepting a wedding ring. That ring identifies that the bride belongs to her groom.
A. Water pictures our sin being washed away
Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for [i.e. because of] the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (NAU)
Notice how the Holy Spirit’s work in salvation is described in, Titus 3:5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, (NAU)
B. Immersion pictures a changed life
Romans 6 talks about Spirit baptism. Romans 6:3-5 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, (NAU)