Sunday, January 31, 2010

We Must Be Baptized

Did you know that baptism is more than just a symbolic ritual?

In this study we will take a look at why we must be baptized in water and what baptism really means for new followers of Christ.

The Greek word for baptism is baptizo and it means:

“To immerse, submerge; to make whelmed (i.e. fully wet); used only (in the New Testament) of ceremonial ablution, especially (technically) of the ordinance of Christian baptism:--Baptist, baptize, wash.” (Strong’s Greek Lexicon)

Matthew 28:18-20

“And Jesus came and spoke to them (apostles), saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 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 (Jesus), 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.”

Question: Did Jesus command His apostles to make new disciples and baptize them or did He leave it up to the new converts to decide how they would be saved?

Mark 16:14-18

“Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Jesus tells His apostles again to baptize the ones who believe the gospel message of the kingdom of God. Jesus makes it clear that baptism in water is a part of God’s plan of salvation for the soul.

Acts 2:36-41

“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. 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.” And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.”

Here we see Peter doing what Jesus had commanded him and the rest of the apostles to do; baptize new converts in water in the name of Jesus. They never changed their gospel message as long as they lived and they never allowed any believer to go without being baptized or receive the Holy Spirit.

Acts 8:14-17

"Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit."

Romans 6:1-7

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 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. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin.”

Paul tells the Roman saints that baptism is far more that a symbolic ritual, but a participation in the likeness of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. When we go into the watery grave we are putting to death the old man of sin, crucifying the flesh and being raised from the water a new creation in Christ. By this act of faith and confession, we come into spiritual contact with the blood of Jesus that washes away all our sins.

Galatians 3:26-28

“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Colossians 2:11-12

“In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.”

1st Corinthians 12:12-14

“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. For in fact the body is not one member but many.”

When we are baptized in water and receive the Holy Spirit we are spiritually placed into the body of Christ, this is not a separate baptism but part of the one baptism that all converts to Christ are to receive.

Ephesians 4:4-6

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

Jesus commanded His disciples to be baptized in His name for the forgiveness of their sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, who will empower them to live the rest of their lives in obedience to God and dead to sin. He who believes and is baptized WILL be saved!

In Christ,

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