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June 27, 2004 AM

ACTS 2:37-41

INTRO: Baptism is a word which I suspect is known in virtually every religious group existing under the worlds definition of Christian. I know of no religious group under that broad distinction which does not practice baptism in some form and for some reason. It is not unusual, then, in the course of studying with friends and acquaintances to come to the subject of baptism ... and to hear these words, But I have already been baptized. Must I be baptized again? I very much appreciate the honesty and sincerity of people as they recognize the role of baptism in ones relationship with the Lord and His body ... and think of some point in their own religious lives at which they were baptized. I would like for us to think about this a bit this morning.


A. Some religious groups...

1. sprinkle water on one who is being baptized

2. pour water on the head of one who is being baptized

3. immerse one water who is being baptized

B. Some religious groups...

1. practice infant baptism

2. practice believers baptism

3. either practice or recognize both of the above

C. Some religious groups...

1. teach that baptism is a symbol of salvation already received

2. teach that baptism, while important, is not necessary to ones salvation

3. teach that baptism is a prerequisite to salvation and forgiveness

D. So, I can understand why folks would say, But I have been baptized


A. When you were baptized, were you immersed in water?

1. notice Rom 6:4 & Col 2:12 - in both passages baptism is a burial

2. or, Jno 3:5 - baptism is a birth out of water

3. further, baptizo is the Greek word use in a passage such as Acts 2:38 - to dip, to immerse, to submerge - to overwhelm

4. such Bible references as these identify N.T. baptism as immersion

5. if you were not immersed when you were baptized, you have not been baptized according to the Biblical pattern

B. When you were baptized, were you a believer in Jesus Christ?

1. notice Mk 16:16 in which belief is put before baptism

2. or, Acts 16:30-33 - the word was spoken to all that were in his house

3. never in the N.T. is an infant baptized ... baptism is always of believers

4. a further point at Col 2:12 - one who is baptized must have faith in the operation of God ... faith in the essential purpose, reason for baptism

5. if you were an infant or not old enough to believe when you were baptized, you have not been baptized according to the Biblical pattern

C. When you were baptized, did you receive the remission of your sins?

1. see Acts 2:38 & Acts 22:16 - notice that cleansing, forgiveness was clearly in baptism

2. or, Rom 6:4 where newness of life follows baptism

3. in scripture saved people were not baptized - people dead in sins were buried and raised from burial freed from their sins ... alive in Christ

4. Col 2:13 explains what happens in the baptism of v. 12 - note it carefully - one who is dead is quickened (made alive) and forgiven ... clearly, if this is what happens in baptism, a person cannot be saved prior to or without baptism

5. if you were told you were saved and were then baptized, you have not been baptized according to the Biblical pattern and purpose

D. When you were baptized, was baptism necessary for your salvation?

1. many groups baptize, but they do not teach the necessity or relationship of baptism to salvation

2. notice 1 Pet 3:21 - the N.T. plainly associates baptism with salvation

3. if you did not understand the necessity and purpose of baptism as it relates to salvation, you have not been baptized according to the Biblical pattern

E. In any of the situations above, what would be the correct thing to do?

1. you might be thinking something along the lines of I have apparently not been baptized in keeping with the N.T. pattern and purpose

2. if that is what youre thinking, your thinking is certainly accurate, appropriate - but what, you may wonder, should I do?

3. the answer is very simple ... be baptized for the remission of your sins

CLOSE: A great many times I have come to just this very point in studies with wonderful, sincere people. And my answer has always been the same ... be baptized knowing its action and its purpose. And know, because of what scripture says, that your sins have been washed away because of the blood of Jesus Christ.

Cecil A. Hutson

27 June 2004

God's Plan of Salvation

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 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 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 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)

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!

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)