Summary: The necessity of believer’s baptism from a Biblical and historical standpoint.
Why be baptized?
1. I will quote extensively from the early church fathers
a. I will quote these men not as scripture, but to show us their first century understanding of it
Who knows more about what baptism is? First century Christians or those who are teaching about it almost 20 centuries later
2. I will teach from the premise that baptism is more than symbolism, it is an act of faith that ministers grace to the participant
a. The Gnostics were the first to teach it was only a symbol, void of
spiritual significance and power
But there are some of them, Gnostics, who assert that it is unnecessary to bring persons to the water. Rather, they mix oil and water together, and they place this mixture on the heads of those who are to be initiated.
-Ireaeus- 120-205- Bishop of the church at Lyons, France. A pupil of Polycarp who was a personal disciple of John.
What is Baptism?
1. Baptism in the Greek means- baptisma, #908, to dip, immerse, to wash
Can mean in the water, can mean the water on,
2. Baptism is "an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace," an act of obedience, a public statement of faith.
3. By submitting to water baptism, we mimic, relive again as a visible picture, the
death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus.
Why be Baptized?
1. Jesus himself was baptized. He is our perfect example
"Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him."
(Matthew 3:13-15, KJV)
2. Jesus last words upon ascending to the father was to baptize
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you… Amen." (Matthew 28:19-20, KJV)
3. The scriptures commands it
We shall quote extensively from scriptures
4. Why be baptized? Because of what it reminds me
IN THE WATERS of baptism we are reminded that we are not born in a vacuum, nor do we journey alone. Being reborn, being made alive, involves being born into a community. So there are strings attached to this adventure.
In our LONE RANGER American mentality, I realize again, I travel in community with those who are part of the family of faith.
NOT ONLY HERE…. But in the footsteps of those who have walked on before us.