Summary: How Important is Baptism? What does it represent? Three words describe what the act of baptism means to the believer.
Opening Illus: Young boy saved on the church bus; goes to tell the preacher “I want to get advertised…”
The early church’s practice was to ‘advertise’ baptism:
• “Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:18-19 (HCSB)
• “Repent,” Peter said to them, “and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus the Messiah for the forgiveness of your sins.” Acts 2:38 (HCSB)
• “So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about 3,000 people were added to them.” Acts 2:41 (HCSB)
• “Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, believed the Lord, along with his whole household; and many of the Corinthians, when they heard, believed and were baptized.” Acts 18:8 (HCSB)
3 Words describe the act of baptism:
I. Identification (vs. 3-4)
A. Recognition of Leadership and Dependence
B. “All were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.” 1 Corinthians 10:2 (HCSB)
1. Did Moses baptize the entire nation of Israel? No.
2. They became identified with him by submitting to his leadership.
3. They became identified with him by acknowledging their dependence on him as their leader.
C. The act of baptism portrays our identification with Jesus’ sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection on our behalf (vs. 4).
1. Apostle Paul echoes this when expressing his ultimate desire:
2. “My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” Philippians 3:10 (HCSB)
3. Death, burial, and resurrection are echoed in this verse.
II. Integration (vs. 5)
A. Grafted In
1. “United together” in verse 5 is a botanical term that describes two plants being grafted together, now to grow together and become one.
2. “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Galatians 3:27 (HCSB)
3. “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body…” 1 Corinthians 12:13 (HCSB)
B. Spirit Baptism
1. The Spirit of God baptizes us into the body of Christ.
2. He grafts us in so we become a part of Christ.
3. The act of baptism symbolizes this Spirit baptism.
III. In-operation (vs. 6-7)
1. We are so intimately identified with Jesus’ death that our old nature is considered to be dead as well
2. Dead people do not sin; sin is not a temptation; they are no longer obligated to sin by living in a sinful body
1. We are now free to live choosing not to be in bondage to sin
2. This is through the power of His resurrection (vs. 5b)
3. Water baptism is not what delivers us from sin; it pictures the salvation that has delivered us from sin.
4. “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the pledge of a good conscience toward God) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”1 Peter 3:21 (HCSB)
a. Peter is likening water baptism to a symbol of salvation.
b. In verse 20 he refers to Noah and the ark, where 8 people were delivered.
c. He states that they were “saved through water”; but the water didn’t save them – the water brought destruction!
d. The ark saved them, delivered them, “through” the water
e. Baptism symbolizes the salvation that ‘delivers us’ from the penalty & bondage of sin