Summary: To draw attention to the importance of water baptism in the life of a believer.

What’s This Baptism Thing All About?

Acts 2:22-41

22 "Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.

23 This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.

24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

25 David said about him: "’I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope,

27 because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.

28 You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’

29 "Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day.

30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne.

31 Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay.

32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.

33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.

34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, "’The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand

35 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." ’

36 "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."

37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"

38 Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-- for all whom the Lord our God will call."

40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation."

41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

Sacrament: a divine observance; something sacred; something special, holy; something of God!

Early Christians called baptism a “sacramentum,” which is the Latin word for the Roman soldier’s oath of absolute devotion and obedience to his general.

Roman Catholic & Eastern Orthodox Sacraments

1. Baptism

2. Confirmation

3. Eucharist

4. Confession

5. Anointing of the sick

6. Holy orders

7. Matrimony

They believe that these aid salvation.


Most Protestant churches recognize two sacraments--baptism and Communion (also called the Lord’s Supper). Quakers do not observe outward forms, but consider all life a sacrament.. Although Protestants observe sacraments in worship services involving many people, most Protestants see sacraments as signs of agreement between God and individuals.

Why Do We Only Have Two?

1. Both were instituted by Jesus

2. Both are outward signs indicating an inward work of God

3. Both inspire faith and obedience

4. In the Old Testament there were two major acts or ceremonies that were symbolic of an inward work of God:

 Circumcision

 Passover

Illus.: “You Can’t Practice Burying Me”

Shortly after a recent seminary graduate had assumed his first pastorate, he and his wife went to visit his family. His mother sensed that her daughter-in-law was unhappy, but not wishing to interfere, she pretended not to notice. As they were leaving, she heard her daughter-in-law say, “All right, we can go by the church and you can practice baptizing me just one more time. But remember this—when you have your first funeral, you are not going to practice burying me!”

Come to think of it, there is, in a sense, another way of describing baptism—the burial of the old man. In fact, that’s one of the meanings of the Greek word: baptizo: to suffer shipwreck, to sink, or to perish in the water. The story is told of a Greek sea captain who was torpedoed during the war. He broadcast this mayday message: “Baptizo! Baptizo!” (literally, “I’m sinking, I’m sinking”).

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