Summary: I would propose to you that the Lord is not bound to the doctrine of men, but longs for Christians to have Holy Spirit illumination of God’s Word about water baptism.
Title: Publicly Identifying With Christ
Topic: Water Baptism and Your Responsibility
Introduction: The church often struggles under the results of the cancers of traditionalism, legalism, denominationalism, and faddisms. For example, there was a season when certain denominations worked with the state to make laws, “declaring that anyone who accepted adult baptism after being baptized as an infant would be subject to the death penalty.” (The Foundation Series for Youth, Believer’s Baptism; Publish by Brethren in Christ, Writer Owen Alderfer) The secret to overcoming the cancers that afflict the church is to have the spiritual heart that reflects a life that says, "It is not what I want, but what God wants for me." When a person's heart is set on God's heart, that person does not focus on what he or she wants in the baptism celebration ceremony, but their focus is on what pleases God.
Proposition: I would propose to you that the Lord is not bound to the doctrine of men, but longs for Christians to have Holy Spirit illumination of God’s Word about water baptism.
Jesus gave clear instructions to His church, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore 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: 18-20)
Water baptism was administered by John the Baptist. (Matthew 3:5-12; John 3:23; Acts 13:24) Water baptism was sanctioned by Christ's submission to it. (Matthew 3:13-17; Luke 3:21-22) Jesus adopted baptism into His ministry. (John 3:22; 4:1) Water baptism is the appointed ordinance of the true Christian church. (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16) Water baptism is to be administered in the names of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19)
Interrogative Sentence: Just what does the Word of God say about Water Baptism? What is the purpose of this declaration? What is your responsibility?
Transitional Sentence: After accepting Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord, the sacrament of water baptism is a very important step in the Christian’s life. In Matthew 3:13-17 we read of Jesus being baptized. The Bible says, “…Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter Him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you.’ Jesus replied, ‘Let it be so now, it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” “Righteousness” (δικαιοσύνη dikaiosúnē) here is conformity to all of God’s standards for the believer. (The Complete Word Study Dictionary, New Testament)
Christ is the standard for Christians. Jesus was not being baptized for the repentance of sin, for He never sinned. (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; 7:26) This baptism for Jesus was an ordination, He publicly was fulfilling God’s standard for Him – thus opening the gates of heaven for the Holy Spirit’s empowerment to accomplish God’s will for Him. (Matthew 3: 16; 4: 1-11) Jesus’ baptism forever changed the way His followers would look upon the celebration of the Christian's rite, water baptism.