Summary: This lesson serves to demystify Baptism, by examining What it is and Why we are Baptized
There has been much discussion over what is baptism and who is it for and what is it for.
Baptism is actually the fifth step in becoming a Christian. To review: We must first hear the word. HEARING includes receiving the word, not just listening to the nouns and verbs. We gain FAITH by listening to the word. Romans 10:17 “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Then we have to BELIEVE what we have heard. To fail to believe erases the Faith received by hearing. Heb 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” We must REPENT of the sins we have done. We must acknowledge the wrongs of our lives and decide to change and do right instead of wrong. Luke 13:3 & 5 “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye REPENT, ye shall all likewise perish. (5)I tell you, Nay: but, except ye REPENT, ye shall all likewise perish.” The requirement of repentance is given and then reinforced, “All likewise perish.” ALL is unique in that it includes everybody. We must confess the Name of Jesus. Matt 10:32 “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. (33) But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. This act of confession is a Bi-lateral deal. If we fail to confess the name of Jesus, will he confess us before GOD? NO! We must OPENLY confess the name of Jesus as The Only Begotten SON of God. Then we must be BAPTIZED.
BUT: What is baptism, who is it for and why must we be baptized.
Jesus came into this world with ONE SINGLE PURPOSE, to seek and save the lost. Lu 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Baptism is the last “link in the chain” constituting the plan of Salvation.
The first example of baptism to consider was when Jesus came to John the Baptist in Matt 3:13 “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.(14) But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? (16) And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: Jesus had no sin, but he was baptized as an example for us. Therefore we are to follow the example of Jesus in being baptized. But there is more..
There is more than just “dunking” someone beneath the water. The act of baptism itself must be considered. Jesus died on Calvary’s cross and shed his blood for our sins. Mt 26:28 “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Jesus died, was buried and was resurrected from the dead three days later. Romans 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: SO: baptism is a likeness of his death, a likeness of his burial and a likeness of his resurrection. Romans 6:5 says “planted together”, therefore sprinkling or pouring will not meet the criteria of “planted together.” If you plant a seed, you put it under the soil. For scriptural baptism you must have immersion, sprinkling and pouring won’t work. John 3:23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. “There was much water.”
Sprinkling and pouring wouldn’t need a lot of water; IMMERSION would need a lot of water. Acts 8:29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.(30) And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?(31) And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.(32) The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:(33) In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. (34) And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? (35) Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.(36) And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? (37) And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.(38) And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.