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BCC001 - Water Baptism

Basic Christianity Course  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  28:28
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Today I am going to start a basic Christianity Course. First I am going to cover two topics: Baptism and Membership and then I will review the what, why, when and how of salvation and then go over some Baptist Principles. Let’s see how this goes.
Today we are going to look at Water Baptism.
Let’s have a look at few bible verses, as this is our authority in faith and doctrine:
Acts 8:26–38 NKJV
26 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. 27 So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.” 30 So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 The place in the Scripture which he read was this: “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth. 33 In His humiliation His justice was taken away, And who will declare His generation? For His life is taken from the earth.” 34 So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” 37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
Why should we be baptised?
As a first step of obedience in walking out one's faith, a new Christian should most definitely be water baptised because the Bible commands it!
We are not being baptised in order to please our friends, family or pastor. It is not because we are a Baptist Church or because we believe in baptism. We are not trying to follow any religious reasons or traditions.
We get baptised because Jesus is our example:
Matthew 3:13–17 NKJV
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” 15 But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him. 16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
And because we are commanded to:
Matthew 28:19–20 NKJV
19 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, 20 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.
Disciples of Jesus in the New Testament church were baptised to proclaim their total allegiance and commitment to Jesus, regardless of the consequences. For a first century Christian, this meant identifying with Christ even unto death, since many of them faced severe persecution.
Let's look at some other examples of water baptism in the New Testament:
Mark 1:5 NKJV
5 Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.
Acts 2:41 NKJV
41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
Acts 8:12 NKJV
12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.
Acts 9:18 NKJV
18 Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.
Acts 10:47 NKJV
47 “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?
Acts 16:15 NKJV
15 And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.
Acts 16:33 NKJV
33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.
Acts 18:8 NKJV
8 Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.
Acts 19:5 NKJV
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
All the biblical accounts agree: water baptism is for those who believe.
Mark 16:16 NKJV
16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
Yes, even a child who is old enough to understand the significance of repentance and faith in Jesus can be baptised. But there is no scriptural basis for infant baptism. How can you be baptised into One on Whom you do not believe? Baptism is an act of faith by one who chooses to identify his life with Christ, and a baby is not yet able to make such a choice.
Being baptised is not a matter of feelings but obedience to God. There is no waiting to see if you understand better or are a better Christian. It is when you have repented and received Jesus as your saviour. It is as soon after your commitment as you have opportunity. There is never any waiting time in the Bible between becoming a Christian and being baptised. The fact we have any time between these two is because of tradition which is not biblical. In all the examples I have given and in all the examples in the Bible it was always immediately after coming to faith in Jesus.
According to the Bible, water baptism is a symbolic act whereby a new Christian identifies with Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. Water baptism is a public profession of a person's repentance and faith in Jesus Christ and a way of giving outward testimony to an inward work of God. You now have the ability to communicate with God, hear His voice, love and obey Him, overcome sin, and walk out your salvation by faith.
We read in:
Romans 6:3–11 NKJV
3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 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. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 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. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Water baptism symbolically identifies us as new creations in Christ. By going down in the water, we illustrate that our old man is dead to sin and buried by faith in Christ. As a result, we are free from our old master Satan. By being raised up out of the water, we show that our new man is raised by the Spirit and made alive by faith in Christ. We die to live again:
Galatians 2:20 NKJV
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Water Baptism cannot save us. Now I know that this is taught in a number of Churches especially Roman Catholic and many Anglican Churches as well as other fellowships: they normally allude to Christening and make out that if you’ve been done then this will save you when you die. But it is not true for only faith in Christ can save us who buries us with Christ and raises us to newness of life.
John 3:16–18 NKJV
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
As we can see - faith in Jesus ensures we are not condemned - not christening or baptism. But water baptism does help us understand the spiritual truth that according to our faith, our old man is dead in Christ and their new man is alive in Christ. What if I was baptised as a baby? A new believer only needs to be baptised once; when they become a Christian. But it is not biblical to baptise babies for they do not understand and if that is you then you need to now be baptised as a believer.
The actual baptism itself follows the instructions found in
Matthew 28:19–20 NKJV
19 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, 20 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.
When God baptises you into Christ, you become part of the Body of Christ, which is the worldwide family of God. It affirms that we are united with God’s family, also known as the Church. We are one with the catholic church. Catholic does not mean Roman Catholic but the word catholic means universal. We are part of the universal church, past, present and future of those on the earth and those already with Jesus, so of all time and of every place.
And so, next time, we’ll start to look at what it means to be part of the Church.
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