3-Week Series: Double Blessing


Summary: verse by verse through Acts

You know there’s some things that we can do to express important messages without ever saying a word.

Flag in the front yard – “I love my country…it’s the best…”

Sports team jersey – “I love this team…it’s the best…”

Wedding ring – “I love my spouse…they’re the best…”

[2] Being baptized is another wonderful way to give a very important message. The message that you love Jesus and that He is simply awesome. Baptism is a vivid display of the grace of God in your life and every person should be baptized after they come to faith.

Now there’s a few different ways in which people are baptized.

[3] Some people get sprinkled with water at baptism.

[4] Some people get dipped into the water at baptism.

[5] Some people get dunked under the water at baptism.

And some people, well, some people have their own ideas on how to be baptized. [6]

[7] Now we believe that the proper way for a person to be baptized is to be immersed completely under the water. After all, that’s what the word “baptize” actually means – to immerse. Also, that’s the way people were baptized in the Bible. There’s not one example of a sprinkling or dipping baptism in the Scriptures. Baptism itself is such a beautiful expression of what God has done in a person’s life. We’re lowered into the water as an expression of our old life passing away, and we’re raised up out of the water as a display of our new life with Christ who’s washed our sins away. God’s plan is that the act of baptism be a vivid display of His grace in a person’s life.

A couple weeks ago we looked at the wonderful story of a person coming to faith and then being baptized almost immediately. Turn with me to Acts 8:34. This is the story of how Philip found an Ethiopian eunuch who was reading from the prophet Isaiah but didn’t understand what it meant.

[Read Acts 8:34-38.]

This guy came to understand that Jesus was the Savior, he put his faith in Him, and as a display of his faith he was baptized right then and there. But why would the Ethiopian ask to be baptized? I mean, how did he know about the importance of baptism?

Remember, he had went to Jerusalem to worship and was on his way back home. He probably went to Jerusalem during the festivals surrounding Pentecost which were during the time that Christianity exploded on the scene. On the day of Pentecost alone there were 3,000 people saved and baptized in the same day! Everyone would have seen the spectacle of thousands of people lined up at the Jewish mikvahs to be baptized.

‘Mikvahs’ were pools designed for ritual cleansing by faithful Jews that were all around the temple there. Now they were being used to symbolize the cleansing from sin that only Jesus could give. The Eunuch had probably learned of baptism while in Jerusalem and asked Philip if he could be baptized that all the new Christians he’d observed getting baptized there. It’s a beautiful thing.

Now this isn’t the first place where baptism shows up in the Bible. This was something that was practiced before Jesus began His public ministry. [8] And it was for believers who were looking forward to the Savior. A preacher named John, known as John the Baptist, is the first biblical character instructing people to be baptized as a display of their faith in the Savior to come.

[Read Matthew 3:1-6.]

John the Baptist is the one that God used to set the immediate stage for Jesus who was about to begin His public ministry. He called the people to repent from their sinful ways and turn to God because the kingdom was at hand. He knew that the Savior was on His way and he wanted the people to be ready. So as the people believed John’s message, they turned away from their sinful ways of self-righteousness, trusted that God was bringing the Savior to earth, and were baptized as a symbol of their new faith in God. In faith they looked ahead to the coming of the Savior and were baptized.

[Concert tickets.]

The people under John the Baptist’s ministry believed the savior was coming and they needed to get their hearts ready. They asked God to forgive their sins and were baptized to show that they believed in what God was about to do on the earth through the Savior.

But then something very interesting happens. [9] While John’s baptizing people in Jordan River, the Savior Himself shows up and He wants John to baptize Him!

[Read Matthew 3:13-17.]

Now why would Jesus need to be baptized? Baptism was for repentant sinners putting their faith in the God. Jesus wasn’t a sinner and He was God! So what’s the deal?

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