INTRO: For many of us here this morning our sermon study will be review. And I believe in review. From time to time we need to review materials already study and to refresh our memories of those things. For some of us here this morning our sermon study will be reinforcement. And I believe in reinforcement. There are times when various subjects may have been studied and accepted, but with further study those subjects become deep conviction. And for some of us here this morning our sermon study may be virtually new material ... or, to say the least of the matter, material in such a concentration that we have not considered before. Our study this morning will simply be entitled Sound Doctrine About Baptism. We will be looking into two areas relating to this subject.
I. FIRST, WHAT IS THE ACTION OF BAPTISM?
A. Diversity in the religious world makes this consideration necessary
1. baptism in a secular dictionary/encyclopedia may be noted as the use of water in one of two or three ways
2. sprinkling, pouring, immersion
B. But we want to know what scripture says about this
1. Jno 3:5 - birth is out of a body larger than that which is born - much water is needed (so, Jno 3:23)
2. Acts 8:38,39 - not necessarily conclusive, but both went down into the water - I have often thought that any water in the caravan would have sufficed if immersion was not the action of baptism
3. Rom 6:4,5 - the word buried gives us clearly the action of baptism - one dead in sins is buried; in the tomb he is made alive by the power and grace of God; he comes out of the tomb (or, grave) alive again ... v. 5 notes that this action is our being planted together in the likeness of his death
4. Col 2:12 - here, again, is buried with him - baptism, in order to portray in any way a burial, must be immersion
5. the word in the original language? - baptisma: immersion, submersion
6. so, the action of New Testament baptism is an immersion in water
II. WHAT HAPPENS IN BAPTISM? IS IT REALLY NECESSARY?
A. Mt 28:19 - A change of ownership occurs in baptism
1. into the name of - this is the place in which one comes into the ownership of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit
2. notice Col 1:13 - there is definitely a change of ownership - from Satans to Gods ... and it takes place in ones baptism
3. is it necessary to be owned by God?
B. Mk 16:15,16 - Salvation is clearly associated with baptism
1. we must say, though, that it is not the water which has any power
2. an individuals faith and penitence meet Gods grace in this well defined act of obedience - recall, too, 1 Pet 3:21
3. is it necessary to be saved?
C. Acts 2:37,38 - Remission of sins is clearly associated with baptism
1. the word for in v. 38 is from a Gr. preposition meaning into - it is not the preposition meaning because of
2. ones sins are not remitted and then he is baptized ... in ones baptism his sins are remitted
3. is remission of sins necessary?
D. Acts 22:16 - Washing away of sins is clearly associated with baptism
1. we must, of course, remember the blood of Jesus - Rev 1:5
2. but Acts 22:16 puts that washing in baptism
3. is washing away of sins necessary?
E. Rom 6:3 - Jesus atoning death is clearly associated with baptism
1. baptism is the place and time when the purpose of Jesus death on the cross becomes ours in fact!
2. at v. 5 is notice that we are united with/into His death
3. is reception of the merits of Jesus death necessary?
F. 1 Cor 12:13 - Being in the body of Christ is clearly associated with baptism
1. please note, too, Col 1:18,24 - the body and the church are the same
2. so, baptism is into the body, or the church, of Jesus Christ
3. is being in the body of Christ (the church) necessary?
G. Gal 3:26,27 - Being in Christ is clearly associated with baptism
1. consider Eph 1:3 - all spiritual blessings are in Christ (cf. 2 Cor 5:17)
2. according to Gal 3:27 one is baptized into Christ - belief, penitence, confession of faith are steps toward being in Christ ... but baptism is the into action which brings us all spiritual blessings
3. is being in Christ necessary?
H. Col 2:12,13 - Being alive again is clearly associated with baptism
1. notice Eph 2:1 - when sin came into our lived, we died!
2. in baptism one is made alive again ... granted new life by God
3. is being alive (spiritually) necessary?
CLOSE: Understanding that belief in Jesus and repentance because of sin are absolutely necessary and prerequisite, what can we correctly conclude about baptism? Based on a scriptural study we can know that baptism is immersion in water (a burial) and that baptism is the culminating act of obedience which brings one into a saved relationship with God. As a reminder, the New Testament book of Acts gives us numerous examples of exactly this conclusion.
Cecil A. Hutson
06 July 2003
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)