Summary: This message looks at the Place and Significance of Baptism in the life of a believer as well as the Future after baptism for the Believer


MATT 28:19-20; 3:13-16; ROM 6:1-7; ACTS 2:41-47

INTRODUCTION: During the earthly ministry of Jesus, there were two, maybe three activities He considered vital to the walk of a believer in Christ. Not essential for salvation, yet essential in a growing relationship with Jesus Himself. The disputed one, meaning some will practice it, and others will not is “foot washing”. Foot washing was one of the last activities Jesus did on the evening He was to be betrayed. At the end of this act, He encouraged his disciples to serve likewise. The second act activity important to our growing as a believer is that of “communion” The remembering of the death of Christ affords us the opportunity to keep our relationship with God and with others clean and open. It was NEVER God intention that we refrain from communion, but that we examine ourselves before participating, making the necessary adjustments so that we CAN participate openly and without hesitation. The third activity, we celebrate today, is that of “baptism”. This is a personal act, yet one that is rich in meaning. This is what we will be looking at today – The dynamics of Baptism in the life of a believer!

ILLUSTRATION: Baptism is a lot like a wedding ring. Baptism is symbolic of the washing away of our sins. It is also symbolic of a new way of life. It has been said that Baptism is to the Christian faith what the wedding ring is to a marriage. It is a symbol. "Like the wedding ring, baptism draws a mark on the ground between the past and the future. Like the wedding ring, it says, "From this day forward, I stand with God."


Matthew 28:18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

A The basis for baptism is the authority of Jesus

1 Jesus had the authority from God the Father to send His disciples out into the world

a They were to make disciples – Salvation

b They were to baptize – Public declaration of salvation

ILLUSTRATION: Dr. M.R. DeHaan put it this way: In the early days of the church. . . , baptism was a declaration that the believer was definitely identifying himself with that group of people who were called Christians and were despised and hated. To be a Christian meant something. To identify yourself with those who were called Christians meant persecution, maybe death; it meant being ostracized from your family, shunned by friends. And the one act which was the final declaration of this identification was BAPTISM. As long as a man gathered with Christians, he was tolerated, but when once he submitted to baptism, he declared to all the world, I BELONG TO THIS DESPISED GROUP, and immediately he was persecuted, hated, and despised. In baptism, therefore, the believer entered into the fellowship of the sufferings of Christ. A person might be a believer and keep it strictly a secret and thus avoid unpleasantness and suffering, but once he submitted to public baptism he had burned his bridges behind him. . .” (Pamphlet, Water Baptism, p. 27).

1) Few instances in Scripture where salvation was not followed by baptism, nor where the new believer sought to be baptized.

c They were to teach – instruct them in the Word of God

B The Foundational Place of Baptism

1 Baptism was commanded by Christ

2 Baptism was exampled by Christ

Matthew 3:13-15 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" 15Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented.

a Jesus identified Himself with us

b Now Christ asks us to identify with Him!


A Baptism is SYMBOLIC of our freedom from sin.

Romans 6:3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

Romans 6:7-8 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. 8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.

1 Our identification with Christ (salvation) broke the hold sin had on us.

2 Baptism is an illustration of that spiritual event

a Going down into the water – death of Christ

b Under the water – Burial of Christ

c Up from the water – Resurrection of Christ

B Baptism is a PERSONAL PROMISE of Godly living

Romans 6:2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

ILLUSTRATION: Several years ago Rick Stacy, a pastor in Michgan, baptized a man in Lake Superior.

It was late October and about 9:00 PM. Rick had been talking with Myron and his wife about accepting the Lord as their personal savior and sealing that decision with baptism into Jesus. Myron was hesitant for a long time and then finally said, “Yes, I want to accept Jesus – and I want to be baptized tonight – right now in Lake Superior. In case you don’t know Lake Superior is cold. The average temperature (year round) is about 38 degrees. This was late October and the gales of November (remember the Edmund Fitzgerald) had come early. The waves were running 3 feet high.

The water was very cold. They were going to walk out waist deep into the water, but only made it about knee deep. Rick laid Myron down and the waves washed over him as he was baptized in the name of Jesus. When they went back to Myron’s home for some hot cocoa and a hot soak for their cold feet, Rick asked him why it was so important that he do this that night in Lake Superior.

His answer: “I was in the army, an officer in the infantry during Viet Nam. I saw and did things that no man should see or do. I wanted my sins buried in the deepest and coldest place…”

SOURCE: Rick Stacy, Senior Pastor, Meridian Christian Church, Okemos, Michigan, October 2001.

1 Does not mean we are perfect.

a We will always struggle with sin

b We do not have to follow our sin nature any longer

Romans 6:6-7 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-- 7because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

2 It does mean we have a new master

a Sin is no longer our master (we died to sin)

b Jesus is our master

Romans 6:9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.

C Baptism is a DIVINE PICTURE of our Eternal Destiny

1 We can NEVER be separated from God again

Romans 6:8-9 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.

a We started out this life dead spiritually – “the wages of sin is death”

b Salvation brings us spiritual life, a life that never ends.

1) This is why we are spiritually “EVERLASTING” beings.

2) The condition of our spiritual life continues on after our physical life ends

3) The time of our physical life is the time to determine of spiritual life.

Hebrews 9:27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,

2 We have an ETERNAL existence with Him

Romans 6:5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.


Romans 6:11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

A We are to live our lives as “dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus”

1 Living in Christ is not continuing our present way of living.

2 Living in Christ is living so that sin is not the ruler of our lives.

a The sense is do not let it continue to exercise the influence over you it once did

b It is a command of God – something you are able to do!

3 “But” – a word of contrast

a Can’t do both

b Either one or the other

B We are to live our lives as offerings to God

Romans 6:12-13 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.

1 We do that by “not offering ourselves”

a The image of something offered for sacrifice.

b “crawl off the altar”

c Don’t put yourself in the position where you are exposed to the same activities you once did.

2 We are to be “instruments of righteousness”

a Our bodies are not the source of sin, but the instrument sin uses to manifest itself.

b We are to make ourselves instruments of righteousness – people though whom righteousness can flow.

In the early church Salvation, was followed by baptism, then a devotion to God’s Word, and to the importance of others through fellowship and witness.

Acts 2:41-42 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. 42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

Baptism does not mark the end of a journey, only a mile marker at the start of a life of obedience for Christ!

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