Summary: This is a sermon in which I taught about the importance and significance of baptism.

Stats don’t lie. LifeWay data indicates that although Southern Baptist membership grew, the number of baptisms decreased for the fourth consecutive year. The 2003 total was 377,357, reflecting a 4.44 percent decrease from the 2002 totals. “This indicated a baptism ratio of 1 to 43, meaning that, statistically, it took 43 existing church members to bring in one new member.”

This is horrific. However, what is more unthinkable is the fact that more than 10,000 Southern Baptist churches didn’t baptize one person.

Misconceptions concerning baptism:

1. That infant baptism does anything but get babies wet.

2. That baptism brings about salvation or some measure of grace (Mark 16:15-16 & Acts 3:19)

3. That baptism can be done in any manner and still be accepted by God.

4. That baptism can be ignored with no adverse consequences. (see obedience for answer)

Truths concerning baptism:

1. Baptism is done out of obedience. Matt 28:18-20

Some would claim we are counting the wrong statistic but it is clear if we are being obedient we will be baptizing individuals.

God does not call us to be successful, but to be obedient.

—Billy Graham

2. Baptism is done in response to forgiveness. Acts 2:38

How many of you have taken prescription medications? On the bottle for a pain medication the directions read… “take one pill every four hours or as needed FOR pain”. Now if we don’t expect to receive pain because we took a pill then why would we expect to receive forgiveness because we are baptized. To believe otherwise is ignoring a basic use of the words in the verse. We take the medication because we have pain, just as we are baptized because we have forgiveness.

3. Baptism is done to picture the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and our identification with Him in those things. Romans 6:1-14

a. death – dying to self

b. burial – leaving the old self in the ground

c. resurrection – being raised to walk in newness of life

Church, let’s not be one of those Churches not being obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ in this matter.

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