Summary: What is Baptism? Romans 6:4 Baptism is a ceremony which pictures our union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. When we stand in the water to be baptized, we testify to the fact that we have been crucified wi
What is Baptism?
Baptism is a ceremony which pictures our union with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. When we stand in the water to be baptized, we testify to the fact that we have been crucified with Christ, when we are placed under water, we picture our burial with Him and when we lifted up out of the water, we picture our resurrection with Him.
The Lord Jesus commanded everyone who believes on
Him to be baptized. By baptism we give public testimony to the fact that we belong to Jesus and that we are united
with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection.
In regards to the Church Baptism three questions are important;
1) Who should be baptized?
2) How should it be done?
3) For what reason?
So we are considering the Who, How and the Why.
Let’s look at these:
1. Who is a valid candidate for baptism?
There are two examples from Acts 16: 13- 15
It tells of the story of Lydia, the first European convert.
a) Paul gathered the women outside the city gate to the river to find a place for
A place of prayer was the synagogue but evidently there was no synagogue in
Philippi because there were no Jews there. So they gathered by the river on the
Sabbath verse 13, in verse 14 Lydia’s heart was opened to respond to Paul’s
Message. In verse 15 Lydia was baptized. She became a believer.
b) Verses 25 through 33, Recount the story of the Philippian jailor. He was either
the Roman soldier or a Greek hired by the Romans to guard the prison. He was
not a believer in God or in Jesus. Paul responded to his inquiry v 31….
Immediately he repented and as baptized. Vv 32- 33
2. Who then is the valid candidates for baptism?
a) Those who have heard the preaching of the gospel of Christ and have believed
it and are willing to commit their lives to Him.
b) Acts 8: 37, a testimony of what the church believed and practiced.
So baptism is based on the confession of Jesus as the Son of God.
Notice: Only believers were baptized.
1) Not for infants – praise God our parents are concerned about our spiritual well
Being. Now you have read the Scriptures and you see that baptism is always a
Choice that someone made, it was an immersion. Now I need to complete my
Obedience . I need to be truly baptized. Only a believer in Christ is entitled to be baptized and that only those who gave incredible evidence of faith in Him.
Objection to Infant baptism;
1) No explicit command from the Scriptures that children should be baptized. An abuse of baptism as a sacrament that put the power in the water and left out the power of the blood. Hebrews 9:22, 28 and 1John 1:7
2) No example of infant baptism in the New Testament.
3) Baptism is conditioned in the faith revealing itself in a credible profession of faith.
Active faith is prerequisite of baptism and infants can not exercise faith.
The misconception about baptism:
1) To become a christian.
In 1980 when I was a pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Magsaysay Palawan, I visited a home of my friend who belonged to another religion for a special gathering. When a grandmother came to attend the occasion, she immediately asked her daughter, the mother of the child, if her grandchild which was so small had been subjected to Water Baptism. When the mother of a child said the child was not yet baptized as a baby, she scolded the mother saying, " Why did you make my grandchild a pagan." She had a strong belief that water baptism can make her grandchild a Christian.
2) To wash away sin. 1John 1: 7
3) Gives new birth. John 3: 5
4) Baptism can be added to faith for salvation. Luke 23: 39 – 43
11. How should Baptism be done?
Some say it is enough to simply sprinkle a little water on one’s head. They say, it is what is in the heart that counts. Certainly, if your heart is not right with God , no baptism will be right for you. If your heart is right – would you not do what the Lord commands?
A. The Gk. " Baptizo" – means to dip, to immersed – it was never translated but transliterated. We are not Greek scholar but the Scripture is clear.
a) Baptism requires plenty of water. John 3: 23
b) Jesus – went up out the water. Mark 1: 10
c) Both Philip and the Eunuch came out of the water. Acts 8: 38- 39
Let us look carefully Romans 6: 4- 6