Baptism

I. We feel it is necessary to define the word baptism, because the meaning itself helps us to declare what we believe. Baptism means to immerse or to submerge. It does not have the word, water, attached to it, so one must look at the context to see what one is being immersed into - Luke 12:50

II. The definition itself tells us the way in which one is baptized. By immersion, not pouring or sprinkling or just words!

III. The scriptures also let us know the method of water baptism [i.e. immersion]. - John 3: 23; Acts 8: 38; Matthew 3: 5-6.

IV. In the scriptures there are several baptisms mentioned - Hebrews 6:2

    A. John's baptism - Matthew 3:4-7; Luke 7:29; Acts 1:22.

        1). It was of water - Matthew 3:6; Mark 1:5&8.

        2). It was of repentance - Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3; Acts 13:24; 19:4

        3). It was from Heaven - Matthew 21:25.

    B. Water baptism -

        1). It is an ordinance of the local church and is to be continued until the end of the world - Matthew 28:19-20.

        2). It identifies a person:

            a). With the teachings of Christ - Acts 18:25, 19:3-5, 8:12; Matthew 28:19.

            b). With the work of Christ:

                1). Water baptism is a picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord.

                2). Water baptism is also a picture of the work that has taken place in the heart of the believer. He was, by the Spirit, immersed into the likeness of his death! Dead to sin, Buried with him, and raised to walk in the newness of life. It does not save or wash man from sin. This is done only by Christ's actual work - See Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12.

            c). With the body of Christ, the Church - I Corinthians 12:12-14.

        3). It is an act of righteousness commanded by Christ - Matthew 3:13-15; 28:19-20.

 

    C. Spiritual baptism -

        1). The scriptures also say that there is one baptism. This one baptism we believe is re- ferring to the baptism which is necessary for salvation, which is common to all men both Jew and Greek. This baptism is the work of the Spirit immersing or planting the sinner into the likeness of his death(work of the Holy Spirit). This is a work done in the heart of man, causing him to be reborn as a new creation - Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:12; I Peter 3:21; Matthew 20:22-23; Mark 10:38-39.

 

        2). The scriptures also refer to the baptism of the Spirit, which the Apostles were told to wait on (Acts 1:4-5). This baptism was to empower the early church to be effective wit- nesses (Acts 1:8). It was not for their salvation for they already had the indwelling Spirit (John 20:22).