Summary: In our present busy existence it is easy to forget the significance of believer’s baptism. Baptism is the outward manifestation of an internal spiritual reality. Whereas Paul’s conversion was completely initiated by Divine intervention, his baptism integr
1. In our present busy existence it is easy to forget the significance of believer’s baptism. Baptism is the outward manifestation of an internal spiritual reality. Whereas Paul’s conversion was completely initiated by Divine intervention, his baptism integrated him with the entire life of other members of the body of Christ.
Through Paul’s baptism he professed his death to sin through the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Paul also gave witness to the union He now experienced through the resurrected Christ in his baptism. Only those who give credible evidence of regeneration are candidates for baptism.
Baptism is also a ministry of the church as it welcomes people into the fellowship of believers. The church has the right to perform this ministry in obedience to Christâs great commission of Matthew 28:18-20 and within this commandment is its ministry properly understood.
Application: Trust God to help you teach people how to experience the full benefits of baptism according to the great commission of our Lord Jesus.
2. Baptism is an invitation to experience all the privileges of the church. Paul knew that his baptism would signify his commitment to the church as the institution that God would work to multiply His kingdom in quality and quantity. Many people fail to appropriate all of the power, purposes and privileges of the church because they have not fully integrated themselves into its ministries.
Application: Ask God to help you fully appropriate, integrate and align yourself with the planting and growing of many churches throughout the whole earth.
3. Baptism marked Paul as one whom God had empowered, equipped and gifted for special ministries. The first century believers acknowledged that Paul was a man who had been given special blessings from God to be used in the ministry and mission of the church.
Application: Ask the Lord to use baptism as a way of helping individuals identify closer with the ministry and mission of the church.
4. Baptism gave the members of the church an opportunity to give public affirmation, joy and approval of Paul as one of their own. We all need a sense of belonging. Paulâs baptism allowed the believers to give a powerful witness to the entire world of their affirmation, joy and approval of Paul as a member of their body.
Application: Trust the Lord to help you use the ministry of baptism to break down any barriers of pride, discrimination or resentment toward one another. Paul wrote, "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in you all." (Eph. 4:5,6)
5. Baptism gave Paul and the members of the early church confidence in his spiritual gifts. Paul probably possessed all 24 gifts listed in the New Testament. His baptism did not indicated that he got more of the Holy Spirit but it was a symbol of how the Holy Spirit richly endowed him with gifts that were to be used in edification and evangelism.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you use the ministry of baptism to spur people on to maximize the use of all the spiritual gifts represented in your local church.
6. Baptism was an indication that Paul accepted the Lordâs commission to preach Christ and Him crucified. Many people forget that in the context of making disciples we are to baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that He has commanded us." (Matt. 28:19,20)
Application: Ask the Lord to help you use the ministry of baptism as a way of inspiring, instructing and illustrating the full requirements of Christ’s final commandment.
7. Paul’s baptism marked a symbolic transition from selfishness to service. Few people who have really appreciated the full truth of Christâs deliverance can speak to hurting hearts. Paul once wrote, "I have been crucified with Christ nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives within me." (Gal 2:20) Ask the Lord to help you use the ministry of baptism to speak to human hearts with the passion and effectiveness of the apostle Paul.
8. Paul’s baptism signaled a lifting out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary. Eyes were opened and the scales fell off allowing Paul to see and perceive his potential.
Application: Ask God to show you how He can use baptism to lift people from the ordinary to the extraordinary.
Baptism was a vital part to helping fulfill the great commission:
Jesus said, "Baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the HOly Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." (Matt 28:18-20)