Summary: Among Christians there is much debate about the issue of Christian Baptism. It seems that Satan is trying to keep people away from the saving blood of Jesus. In this message we will examine what we believe the New Testament teaches
“What We Believe: About Baptism”
In II Kings 5 Naaman came down with the deadly skin disease called leprosy. Wanting to be healed of the disease he went to the prophet Elisha. Elisha told him what he must do to be healed of that disease. He told Naaman to go and wash seven times in the Jordan River and his leprosy would be washed away. Naaman didn’t like the prophets idea, he complained, and said “aren’t those two rivers in Damascus equally as good of rivers?” Elisha told him that if he wanted to be healed, he had to wash seven times in the Jordan River.
He was given a very specific command for what he must do to be healed of his leprosy and only when he obeyed the specific command of God was he healed of his leprosy. He wouldn’t have been healed any other way in any other river. The command of God was to wash seven times in the Jordan. Naaman obeyed that command and was healed.
It was a few days before their wedding. They wanted to have a big wedding party and celebrate with all their closest friends. They invited everybody that they knew. There were no limits on how many people could come. People turned out by the truckload, even people they did not know. The only requirement for the people coming into the party was that they had to be properly dressed. As they were mingling around, the groom noticed a man that was not properly dressed in the wedding garments. He called for his bouncer, and the man was thrown out into the darkness because he was not properly dressed at the wedding banquet.
This was a parable that Jesus told of what happens to those who are not clothed in Christ when they stand before Jesus on judgment.
If you were to go into any given number of churches and ask what their views of Christian Baptism were, there is a good possibility that there would be varying views in all the churches. It seems that baptism is the issue that divides most churches. Why are there so many debated over baptism? Can’t people just study and understand. I believe it is possible despite all the confusion and debates to find out what God’s Word teaches on this issue. I think that is important every now and then to explain what we believe here at Oak Grove Christian Church and why we believe it. Of course there is no preacher or man or Church that is incapable of not teaching the truth on an issue, and it is important for us as the church not to only hear what we teach, but to know why we teach it and how to defend that against opposing views. I believe that we will see that this view is not something that is just pulled out of the air or made up by man, but it is the teachings that are found in the scriptures.
I hope that this message will force us to study the scriptures and search for the Truth. I ask that you look into this open minded and try to see what the Truth is. Perhaps today you need examine your own baptism to see why you were immersed, and perhaps this will help you as you teach and share your faith with others of different faith.
Text: Romans 6:1-7
First, it is important to look at who should be baptized? Some churches baptize babies, some churches baptize infants, and some churches baptize adults only. What does the Bible say about this? Who should be baptized Biblically? I believe that the Bible teaches clearly on this issue, especially when we consider what baptism is.
a. Those Who can believe
Those who can be baptized biblically must believe that Jesus is the Christ in order to be baptized
Belief is a prerequisite to baptism. The problem comes when people accept their infant baptism as their Christian baptism. As far as I know in scripture a baby cannot consciously believe. If someone cannot believe in Christ, how can they be baptized in Christ? Sometimes I think that people are baptized who aren’t really baptized. Baptism is not simply getting wet at any age. Ephesians says that there is only one baptism. Sometimes people just get wet.
b. Those Who can repent
Secondly those who can repent can be baptized. Remember in Acts 2 the command was to repent and be baptized. A person must repent in order to be baptized. What does that say to people who do baptize babies? How can a baby repent? What do they have to repent of? Many churches will baptize babies in order to wash away their sins that they inherited from their parents. First of all, when a baby is born they are innocent; they are not born guilty of sins. Those people who baptize babies believe if the baby dies they will be lost. As far as I understand when a child is born they are not full of sin, they do not consciously conceive sin in their heart and then act upon it. How can a baby repent, they do not have sin? Secondly, even if a baby had sins, how can a baby consciously decide that they want to turn away from their sins?