Summary: A explanation of baptism.
Title: Demonstrating Thankfulness through Baptism
Introduction: Before Christ ascended to heaven He said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19–20) The church is responsible to (1) teach God’s word, (2) make disciples, and (3) baptize disciples everywhere (“all nations”) until “the very end of the age.” Baptism is importance as Jesus commanded it.
Background: Baptism was practiced before the founding of the church, as ancient Jews would baptize converts to signify a “cleansed” nature. John the Baptist used baptism to prepare the way of the Lord, requiring everyone (not just Gentiles) to be baptized because everyone needed repentance. However, John’s baptism, signifying repentance, is not the same as Christian baptism as the Christian baptism has a deeper significance. Three questions on baptism…
#1: What is Baptism?
• Explanation: Two Things…
o An Outward Testimony – Baptism is an outward witness (testimony) of an inward faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation (Romans 10:9). In Christian baptism one is making a public profession of faith, saying without words, “I confess faith in Christ; Jesus has cleansed my soul from sin, and I now have a new life of set apart for the good news of Jesus.”
o An Act of Obedience – Baptism is also an act of obedience to the command of Jesus, declaring one’s faith with Jesus, their crucified, buried, and risen Savior (Romans 6:5). Although baptism is closely associated with salvation, it is not a requirement to be saved. The Bible shows in many places that the order of events is (1) a person believes in the Lord Jesus and then (2) he is baptized.
• “Those who accepted [Peter’s] message were baptized.” Acts 2:41
• Baptism is a visible declaration and obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ!
• Illustration: After understanding this, people often wonder why we are totally immersed in water? Can’t we just sprinkle a little on top of our heads? Why Immersion?
o Baptism Word Meaning - The meaning of the word “baptize” comes from a Greek “to submerge in water”. Baptism by sprinkling or by pouring on water is self-contradictory. Baptism, by its inherent definition, must be an act of immersion in water.
o Baptism Expression - The action of being immersed in the water pictures dying and being buried with Christ as well as Jesus resurrection and thus immersion is the only method of baptism, which illustrates being buried with Christ and being raised with Him.
• “Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:3-4)
• Application: Therefore, baptism identifies a Christian with three things…
o Jesus – Savior of the world – Only person who could do this!
o The Universal Church - Or global church - people who have confessed with their mouth and believed in their heart Jesus Christ is Lord across the world, and
o The Local Church - (CGC or other churches consisting of people who have confessed with their mouth and believed in their heart Jesus Christ is Lord).
#2: Who Should be Baptized?
• Explanation: Now we can see through baptism that a person is admitted into the fellowship of the church but who then should be baptized?
o Only Those that Believe - The Bible tells us in the New Testament that those who believes in Jesus should be baptized – that is why baptism is sometimes called the believers’ baptism. Never do we witness the reverse order where someone, such as an infant, is baptized and then later believes in Jesus.
• “We were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” 1 Corinthians 12:13
• Baptism by water is a “reenactment” of the baptism by the Spirit.
• Illustration: If you believe in Jesus Christ and have not been baptized, you should baptize as soon as possible. Remember in Acts (8) when Philip spoke “the good news about Jesus” to the Ethiopian eunuch saying, “as they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, ‘Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?’” (Acts 8:35-36). Right away, they stopped the chariot, and Philip baptized the man.
• Application: What those who get baptized demonstrate …