Summary: Who is eligible for water baptism and what spiritual signifigance does it hold for the participant?
What is Baptism?
1. Baptism in the Greek means- baptisma, #908, to dip, immerse, to wash
2. Baptism is "an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace," an act of obedience, a public statement of faith.
3. By submitting to water baptism, we mimic, relive again as a visible picture, the
death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus.
Why be Baptized?
1. Jesus himself was baptized. He is our perfect example
"Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him."
(Matthew 3:13-15, KJV)
a. Christ did not need baptism, but the man Jesus did.
Christ did not need the anointing of the Holy Ghost, but the man Jesus did.
b. Jesus, in baptism, identified himself with the will of the father
2. Jesus last words upon ascending to the father was to baptize
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost…Matthew 28:19
3. The scriptures commands it
Baptism to speaks to us of…
1. The Spiritual cleansing away of our sins
a. Acts 2:38- Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Remission 859- to cause to stand away form, release from bondage or imprisonment forgiveness or pardon, of sins,
b. Acts 22:16- And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
c. Blessed are they who having placed their trust in the cross, have gone down into the water. We descend into the water full of sins coming up we bear the fruit of God and Christ in our spirit.
-Barnabas- Before 150- Barnabas the Levite, of Cyprus, who held such an honorable place in the infant Church.
2. As a seal… the stamp, that by which our conversion is now complete.
a. The early church dated their conversions by the date of their water baptism.
b. Before a man bears the name of the Son of God, he is dead. But when he receives the seal, he lays aside his deadness and obtains life. The seal, then, is the water. They descend into water dead, and they arise alive.
Hermas- Before 150- Author of the book called "The Shepherd" (Pastor), a work which had great authority in ancient times and was ranked with Holy Scripture.
c. The final transaction of our salvation
Just like a new car is not ours till the dotted line is signed, so we are not complete in salvation experience till a public declaration has taken place.