What is baptism?

  • Baptism comes from the Greek "baptizo" - to dip, to immerse
When we get baptized, we:
  1. Die to the old sinful way of life
  2. Bury our sins in the watery grave
  3. Rise up again out of the water to walk in a new life

There is only one Biblical type of baptism

  • Ephesians 4:5 - one Lord, one faith, one baptism

John the Baptist baptized people by immersion

  • John 3:23 - Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized.
Jesus was baptized by immersion
  • Mark 1:9-10 - It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove.
Jesus' followers in the New Testament church baptized people by immersion
  • Acts 8:36-39 - Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.

Immersion is the only Biblical method of baptism 

  • At the Council of Trent in 1311 AD, sprinkling and pouring officially accepted equal to immersion
  • However, there is no Biblical basis for this decision
  • Mark 7:7-9 - And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' "For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men--the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do." He said to them, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.

What baptism means to us:

1. Every sin is forgiven 

  • Acts 2:38 - Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

2. The Spirit is given to us

  • Mark 1:10 - And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove.
  • Acts 2:39 - For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call."

3. We are adopted into God's family

  • Acts 2:41-42 - Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
  • Acts 2:47 - praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
  • 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 - For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free--and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
  • 1 Corinthians 12:20 - But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.

4. Baptism doesn't mean that you are perfect; it means that you are committed

  • Hebrews 6:1 - Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
  • Philippians 1:6 - being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ
  • 1 Corinthians 9:24 - Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
  • 2 Peter 3:18 - but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

5. Baptism can give us a new sense of direction, a new freedom, and a new spiritual power

  • Romans 6:3-4 - Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

How important is baptism?

  • Mark 16:16 - "He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned." 
  • John 3:5 - Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God."

What if a person can't be baptized because of they are too sick from cancer to move out of bed or some other reason that prevents them from being immersed in water?

  • God knows our physical limitations - the thief on the cross would have been baptized if he could (Luke 24:39-42)

What steps should a person take before being baptized?

1. Repent - a genuine sorrow for sins

  • Acts 2:36-38 - "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

2. Believe - an acceptance of Jesus as both Savior and Lord

  • Mark 16:16 - He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

3. Learn - instruction in the essential of Biblical faith

  • Romans 10:10 - For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 
  • Romans 10:17 - So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
  • Matthew 28:19-20 - Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

Should a person ever be re-baptized?

  • Acts 19:2-5 - he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" So they said to him, "We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit." And he said to them, "Into what then were you baptized?" So they said, "Into John's baptism." Then Paul said, "John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus." When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Candidates for re-baptism:
  1. People who were once baptized, departed from Christ, but have come back to Him
  2. Committed Christians who discovered the truth of God's Word, and desire to be part of His Commandment-keeping people

Happy Sabbath!

A Short Prayer