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
THE DYNAMICS OF BAPTISM IN THE LIFE OF A BELIEVER
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."
I THE PLACE OF BAPTISM IN THE LIFE OF THE BELIEVER IN CHRIST
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).