Conclusion: Baptism is an act of obedience to Christ’s command (Matthew 28:19) that was obeyed by the first Christians
3 . What Is The Meaning of Baptism?
Baptism is not a saving ritual.
Ephesians 2:8-9 – We were saved by God’s grace through faith and not by our works
Titus 3:5 - “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy,...”
Baptism is a declaration of our identification with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection.
Colossians 2:12 “having been buried with Him in baptism . . .”
Romans 6:4 “we have been buried with Him through baptism . . .”
Baptism is symbolic
Death - Going down into the water
“Baptized into His death” (Romans 6:3) – Atonement for sin.
Burial - Down under the water or submerged
“Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death” (Romans 6:4a) - Burial of the old sin nature .
Resurrection - Coming out of the water
“In order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4b) – New Life Now/Eternal Life Later
Spiritual Cleansing – Picture of washing
“Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name” (Acts 22:16) - Forgiveness
New Birth - Picture of rebirth.
“You must be born again” (John 3:7) – New Birth . Water is a symbol of birth/spiritual regeneration - “He saved us…by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit” ( Titus 3:5, 2 Cor. 5:15-27) – New Nature
Conclusion: Baptism is symbolic and only demonstrates our salvation. Baptism in no way adds to, enhances, or makes possible our salvation. If we were in any way saved by baptism, we would then be saved by our own deeds.
4. How are we to be baptized?
Acts 8:38-39 - “and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water…” a) Matthew 3:16 - “And after being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water...
The definition of the word:
The word “baptism” means “to dip, to immerse”
Kittle’s Theological Dictionary of New Testament Words: “to dip in or under”
Thayer’s, Greek-English Lexicon: “to dip, dip in, immerse”
Conclusion: There is sound Biblical, grammatical and historical evidence for baptism by complete emersion.
5. Who may do the baptizing?
Matthew 28:19 - A general command for all believers to “make disciples”, and does not stop them from baptizing those new believers they lead to Christ.
Acts 8:38 - Philip, commonly called a deacon (Acts 6:5), baptized the new Ethiopian convert.
Acts 9:18 - Ananias, simply called “a disciple” (Acts 9:10), baptized the new convert Saul, later called Paul.
1 Corinthians 1:17 - Paul said, “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel,...” Even as an Apostle and missionary, Paul did not say that only he could baptize but he left the joy to others.
Conclusion: Any believer who is walking in obedience to Christ and His Word may baptize another believer who is in need of being baptized. (Because of the principle of headship (Ephesians 5:23) and biblical leadership/submission (1 Peter 5:5/Hebrews 13:17),as well as the responsibility we have before the Lord in making sure the people we baptize are truly saved and born again, our preference as a church is for Elders or Dads to baptize)
6. When Should We Be Baptized?
Acts 2:41 – “So then, those who had received his word were baptized”
Acts 8:12 – “But when (or as) they believed. . .they were being baptized”
Acts 9:15, 18 - " . . . Paul arose and was baptized as soon as he was able."
Acts 16:32-33 – “and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household”
In Scripture the response to the command to be baptized was inextricably tied together with conversion and took place immediately after conversion . (Because all 10 examples of believer’s baptism in Scripture took place on the same day as conversion we believe and teach that the principle to be followed is to be baptized SOON after conversion as proof of conversion. But we stress that baptism is NOT a requirement for salvation (the Bible says only belief through repentance and faith are required to receive salvation as a gift ) nor is baptism the source of salvation since Jesus’ blood & righteousness are what saves us)