Matthew 28:18-20 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Acts 2:37-39 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.”
Jesus commanded it.
It is the starting point for discipleship
Other scripture passages confirm the need to be baptized and Acts 2:39 reveals that it applies to all who would receive Christ
Other confirming passages-
Mark 16:16 “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
Acts 16:31, 33 “And they said, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.”
Baptism was so closely connected to Salvation in the early church…that it was a given that one who received Christ would be baptized.
Does Baptism Save?
Luke 23: 42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
1 Peter 3:21 21and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
We do not believe in baptismal regeneration…so no…the act of baptism does not save… nonetheless, it is a command to be obeyed…it is the beginning point of exercising faith…
Romans 1:17 tells us the just shall live by faith… and without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6)
Faith is the foundation of all future blessing…baptism is the beginning point.
What Baptism Means for a Believer
Romans 6:3-6 “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old self is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”
Baptism reveals publically that we have been born again…no longer living for self…but living for the sake of God and His purposes
What hinders most people from being baptized?
- Lack of information regarding the importance of it.
- Fear. There is only one way to overcome fear…confront it.
If disciples in Jesus day would put themselves in harm’s way and be baptized under the threat of persecution and even torture… the least we can do is be baptized in front of a caring community of loved ones.
What if I was Baptized as a baby?
What is practiced by many churches as a baby baptism is actually closer related to a baby dedication. (Luke 2:27)
The baptisms we see in scripture are “Believer’s baptisms” as a result of the crisis of the will. Jesus himself is leading by example. (Mark 3:13-15)
What if I was sprinkled instead of dunked?
We are not going to split doctrinal hairs…but the meaning of baptism (baptize) is to be immersed.