Posted: 4 days Ago

Lesson Three: Baptism 

What is the meaning and importance of baptism? 
There are a number of different views concerning baptism among various religious denominations. Our authority for this subject, or any other, must be the word of God. The purpose of this lesson is to set forth the Biblical teaching of water baptism, explaining its importance, its purpose, and its method. It will also introduce the subject of Spirit baptism, which places us supernaturally in to the body of Christ. 

I.      The Importance of Baptism 
      A.  Water baptism is not essential for salvation.   
           Water baptism is a good work. The New Testament makes it very clear that salvation is by grace, apart from works – including baptism.  

           For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 
           Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9   
            If you read on through Ephesians 2:10 you’ll see that good works should follow salvation, not precede it.  

            The gospel message does not include baptism. The Apostle Paul defines the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 and baptism is not included.
            In fact, Paul stated that "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel…"  1 Corinthians 1:17a 
            Compare this to Romans 1:16.

             -  Obviously, baptism has nothing to do with getting saved.  

                       -  Water baptism does not cleanse from sin (1 John 1:7, Revelation 1:5).  

                       - Water baptism does not impart the new birth (John 1:13, 1 Peter 1:23). 

                       - The penitent thief would be a good example of someone that got saved, but was never baptized (Luke 23:39-43).  

        B.  Water baptism is an important step for believers.  
              Baptism is an important step of obedience and submission.

              God’s word does command us to be baptized.  

             Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the 
              Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Matthew 28:19   
              Jesus Christ set an example in Matthew 3:13-15 that we should follow (1 Peter 2:21, 1 John 2:6). Notice in this passage that John’s baptism
              is a baptism of repentance (this is different from believer’s baptism). Jesus Christ didn’t have to repent! Yet he submitted himself to
              baptism in order fulfill all righteousness (v. 15). 

                  -  Interestingly, Jesus Christ did not begin his public ministry until after he was baptized. 

              Baptism is an important step of identification with Christ’s death and resurrection.  
                -    In Romans 6:1-7 we learn what is represented by baptism: the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Each of these
                      parts is pictured in water baptism.  

                 -    In 1 Peter 3:21 we learn that water baptism is a figure of what saves us. We are saved by believing on the death, burial, and resurrection
                       of the Lord Jesus Christ.  

              There is a sense in which one’s baptism is one’s own “public profession of faith”. While the salvation of a soul can not be observed with human
              eyes, baptism is a visible public testimony of a believer’s faith in the gospel of his salvation.  

II.        The Scriptural Method of Baptism  
      A.  Believer’s Baptism is for Believers Only  
           The most clear-cut example of a sinner’s salvation and baptism in the Bible is that of the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8. In that passage the
           Eunuch asks Philip what hindered him from being baptized. Philip’s answer makes the pre-requisites for baptism crystal-clear: 

           And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Acts 8:37   
            There are NO Biblical cases of unbelievers being baptized in the Bible. This, of course, would include babies. (Ex. Acts 8:12, 9:18, 16:25-33, 18:8) 
       B.  Believer’s Baptism is by Immersion Only 
           The word “baptize” means to immerse, to dip, or to put into.  

           When the Ethiopian Eunuch was baptized it states,  

           …they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. Acts 8:38 
           When Christ was baptized it states the following,   

           And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: Matthew 3:16  
            (See also John 3:23.) 

             Since water baptism is intended to be a picture of the death, burial, and resurrection the picture would be incomplete if 
             the one being baptized was simply sprinkled. When is the last time that you went to a funeral where they sprinkled the casket?! 

III.       The “One Baptism” That Saves 
        Interestingly, most of the references to baptism in Paul’s epistles have nothing to do with water.  
        There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, Ephesians 4:4-5   
         As we shall see, while there are many different types of baptism, there is only one baptism that saves and that saving baptism is the baptism
         of the Holy Spirit.  

         For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made
         to drink into one Spirit. 
 1 Corinthians 12:13   
          This baptism places us supernaturally into the body of Jesus Christ. See also Romans 6:3-4,
            Galatians 3:27, Colossians 2:12.  

 IV.       The Doctrine of Baptisms 
            There is more than just one baptism (Heb 6:2). In this lesson we have spoken of two different baptisms: believer’s baptism (Matt 28:19)
             and Spirit baptism (1 Cor 12:13). If you turn to Matthew 3:11-12 you’ll find three baptisms in two verses. Below we’ve summarized
             seven baptisms in God’s word:  

           A.     The baptism of Moses – 1 Corinthians 10:1-2 

           B.     The baptism of repentance – Matthew 3:11, Mark 1:4 

           C.     The baptism of suffering and death – Matthew 20:22, Luke 12:50 

           D.    The baptism of the Jews at Pentecost – Acts 2:38 

           E.    The baptism of the saved in water – Matthew 28:19, Acts 8:36-38 

           F.     The baptism of the Holy Ghost – 1 Corinthians 12:13, Acts 1:5

           G.    The baptism of fire – Matthew 3:11, Revelation 20:14