Summary: Discover why it is important for the believer to be baptized in water and what it all means.

Church 101: A Beginners Guide to Church

Part 4 - Baptism and Church

Romans 6:4 (MES) - “When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land!”


This is simply a delineation of different vies of the rite of baptism,

Later we will defend what we believe and why we believe it

1. Baptism as a means of saving grace

In this view, baptism is a means by which God imparts saving grace to the baptized

It results in the remission of sins

Thus it is necessary is one is to be truly saved

2. Baptism as a sign and seal of the covenant

In this view, baptism is closely tied to the idea of the covenant

It is both a means of initiation into the covenant and a sign of one’s salvation

As circumcision was the sign of the covenant in the Old Testament

Baptism is the sign of the covenant in the New Testament

Here, baptism has been substituted for circumcision

3. Baptism as a token of salvation

This view sees baptism as an outward token or symbol of the inward change in the believer

It serves as a public testimony of one’s faith in Jesus Christ

There is no direct spiritual benefit or blessing in the act itself

Baptism presupposes salvation, thus it is not regenerative

It is, then, a public testimony that one has already been regenerated

This is often referred to as A Believer’s Baptism


1. The Meaning Of Baptism

We begin with trying to decide which of the three basic views of Baptism is more sound biblically

That in turn will lead us to an understand of our next two issues

If one is to understand Baptism as a means to salvation then the basic doctrine of salvation by faith alone

Ephesians 2:8-9 - For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

Saying that baptism is necessary to salvation is the same argument used by the Judaizers in Galatians to insist that circumcision was necessary for salvation

The second argument that baptism is a NT equivalent to the OT circumcision doesn’t hold much water either

The NT argues that the external act of circumcision is not to be replaced by another external act but by a circumcision of the heart, an inward act

Romans 2:29 - No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God.

What then is the meaning of baptism?

Romans 6:1-11

1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 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.

5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

This passage is saying that Baptism is an act both of faith and commitment

It is a testimony that one has been united with Christ in his death and resurrection

And that he or she has been spiritually circumcised

And it is important to note that baptism is more than a sign…it is a symbol

That is…it is a graphic picture of the truth it conveys

There is no inherent connection between a sign and what it represents

It is merely by convention that green means GO and red means STOP

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