We Are Radical

Bringing radical thoughts worth pondering (A blog of poriruachurch.com)

Salvation Series 7: Baptism

The most important question that anyone could ever ask and have correctly answered is, “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). We have already discussed the need for salvation, true belief, the church, repentance, and confession as they relate to salvation. In addition to those things, no one can deny baptism’s connection with salvation in the New Testament.

He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. Mark 16:16.

What Is Baptism?

The word baptism comes from the Greek language. Nearly every lexicon of the original Bible languages define baptism as a dipping, plunging, and/or submerging. More than once the Bible defines baptism as a burial.

Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4 (see also Colossians 2:12).

Baptism involves being buried and being raised. However, it’s not done in dirt. It’s done in water.

After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water… Matthew 3:16a.

As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized? Acts 8:36.

Baptism is where someone’s physical body is dipped, plunged, or submerged in water to represent a burial, and then is raised out of the water to represent a resurrection.

What Is Baptism For?

The Bible gives a simple answer to this question.

Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38.

According to Scripture, baptism is for the forgiveness of sins. Many people try to explain why the Bible really doesn’t mean what it says here, but it’s supposed to say, “because the forgiveness of your sins.” However, that idea simply won’t work. The same phrase (in English and Greek) is found when Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper.

for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26:28.

To say that someone should be baptized because his or her sins have already been forgiven is to say that Jesus’ blood was shed because sins had already been forgiven. However, “without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Hebrews 9:22). Instead, the Bible suggests that someone’s sins are washed away at baptism, which is the point at which Christ saves him or her.

Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name. Acts 22:16.

Corresponding to that [Noah’s salvation in the flood], baptism now saves you— not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience —through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 3:21.

At baptism, someone makes an appeal to God for a clean conscience. At baptism, God grants that request by washing away sins.

Should You Be Baptized?

When the eunuch asked this question, Philip responded, “If you believe with all your heart, you may” (Acts 8:37). According to the Bible:

  • Baptism saves (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21).
  • Grants access to the kingdom of God (John 3:3-5).
  • Provides the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).
  • Allows forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).
  • Produces joy (Acts 8:38-39; 16:33-34).
  • Washes away sins (Acts 22:16).
  • Unites someone with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Romans 6:1-7).
  • Provides a new life (Romans 6:4).
  • Crucifies the old life of sin (Romans 6:4-6).
  • Places someone into Christ’s church (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:22-23).
  • Places someone into Christ, where all spiritual blessings are (Galatians 3:26-27; Ephesians 1:3).

If you desire these blessings, believe in Christ, are ready to serve Him as your Lord, and have repented of all past sins, you’re ready for baptism. Baptism is only for those ready for this commitment. That’s why you’ll never see a single example or commandment for infants or young children to be baptized in the Bible.

But what if you’ve been baptized before? Are you sure it was a biblical baptism? First of all, was it true immersion in water? Many people go through something called “baptism;” however, it is really sprinkling or pouring of water. That’s not biblical baptism. You must be immersed.

Secondly, many people are immersed in water while believing that their sins are already forgiven. For example, a man might say something called the “Sinner’s Prayer,” which is not found in the Bible. Since he said that prayer, he believes he is saved and has received forgiveness, which the Bible does not confirm. Then, he is immersed in water for various reasons, but not for the forgiveness of sins, since he believes he is already forgiven. Of course, this is not biblical baptism. There are millions of people alive right now who have done this very thing.

Notice the discourse between Paul and some men he found in Ephesus.

And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism.” Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Acts 19:3-5.

These men had been “baptized” before. They certainly would have been sincere in that baptism, too. However, it was not the same valid baptism that Christ commanded. When they heard this, did they argue about their experiences or what some preacher had taught them? No, but as soon as they heard the truth about baptism, they denied their “first baptism” and did it right!

Does this describe you? Have you been “baptized” before, but with the wrong type of baptism? Or have you never been baptized before at all? Either way, Ananias would say to you the same thing he said to Saul.

Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name. Acts 22:16.

I love you with the love of the Lord,

Lance

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This entry was posted on 04/12/2013 by in Salvation and tagged , , , , , , .