WE BELIEVE that baptism, by single immersion, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is enjoined upon all who have repented and have believed in Christ as Saviour and Lord, and that it is symbolic of our identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection – Matt. 28:19,20; Acts. 10:47,28; 2:38,39; Rom. 6:4,5; Col. 2:12; Mark 16:16.
An ordinance is an outward sign of an inward work. The word ordinance literally means “something commanded and enforced by the proper authority”. We believe that Jesus established two ordinances for us to observe (ie) Water Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. This lesson will cover Water Baptism, the next lesson will cover the Lord’s Supper.
1. Baptism =(Greek) Baptizo = to immerse. It consists of the processes of submersion and emergence.
2. “It was used among the Greeks to signify the dying of a garment, or the drawing of water by dipping a vessel into another, etc.” (W. E. Vine).
3. Baptism can best be interpreted as being immersed in water. Sprinkling, wetting, splashing does not fully convey the meaning of baptism.
I. IT IS A COMMAND OF CHRIST.
1. Matt 28:19, “Jesus commanded His disciples to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
2. John 14:23, “If anyone loves me. He will keep My Words.”
3. John 14:24, “He who does not love Me does not keep My words”.
4. Mark 16:16 Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptised will be saved.”
II. THE MEANING OF CHRISTIAN BAPTISM.
1. A sign of the death of our old nature.
Romans 6:3,6, “Do you not know that as many of us as were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into His death? … 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.”
2. A sign of our new birth.
Romans 6:4, “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.”
3. A sign of identification with the death of Christ.
Romans 6:3, “Do you not know that as many of us as were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into His death?”
4. A sign of identification with the resurrection of Christ
Romans 6:5, “For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.”
5. A sign of belonging to Jesus Christ.
a. In the Old Testament circumcision of the flesh was the sign of separation unto God.
b. In the New Testament baptism has taken over from Old Testament circumcision and is a sign that we belong to God. Col 2:11-12, “In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands buried with Him in baptism”.
III. THE NEW TESTAMENT PRECEDENT
1. Jesus was baptised in the river Jordan, Matt 3:13-15.
2.On the day of Pentecost 3000 were baptised, Acts 2:41.
3. The Samaritans that believed were baptised, Acts 8:12.
4. The Ethiopian eunuch was baptised by Philip, Acts 8:38.
5. Paul was baptised three days after his Damascus Road experience, Acts 9:18.
6. Cornelius and his household were commanded to be baptised, Acts 10:47.
7. Lydia and her household were baptised, Acts 16:15.
8. The Philippian gaoler and his household were baptised, Acts 16:33.
9. Many Corinthians were baptised, Acts 18:8.
10.The Ephesian disciples were baptised, Acts 19:5.
IV. WHEN TO BE BAPTISED.
1. After Salvation.
2. No definite time period.
3. If a person is old enough to realise he/she is a sinner, then they are old enough to be baptised.
They must first of all be able to repent and place faith in Christ.
4. If a person was baptised before they were born again, should they get baptised again? YES.
1. One cannot be baptised before salvation. They can of course get sprinkled, wet, soaked, immersed, but it is not Christian baptism.
2. Christian baptism can only occur after salvation. It has no real significance to the individual unless they are saved.
5. If a person is baptised as a baby, should they get baptised again? YES.
1. There is not one Scripture supporting infant baptism.
2. A baby doesn’t have the ability to repent and place faith in Christ.
3. When a person can repent and place faith in Christ then they are at an age where baptism is significant. Before this point it is only a ritualistic ceremony.
What is abundantly clear from this lesson is that baptism is not an optional extra but a definite command for all born again Christians. The Bible leaves no choice to the sincere person. If you haven’t been baptised then please see your pastor and arrange to get baptised as soon as possible.
For the genuine Christian, baptism is a glorious event that witnesses to the world and to the church that they are no longer in the Kingdom of darkness but in the Kingdom of God. It declares that the believer has died to their old nature and is alive to their new nature in Christ. It makes a bold declaration to all that they now BELONG TO JESUS.