Baptism (072323)

What We Believe  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  30:23
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What we believe about baptism.

Turn to and read Matthew 3:1-17. Pray.
Our current doctrinal statement includes:
We believe that Bible baptism is by immersion, the burial of the believer in water, thus setting forth in symbol his union with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection;
that every believer should be baptized because of the example of our Lord, and because of the command given by our Lord;
and that while there is no saving power in water baptism,
it is an act of obedience by those who are already saved to picture that they are dead, buried, and raised spiritually with Jesus Christ by faith in Him.
Infant baptism is rejected as unscriptural.

Scriptural baptism is only by immersion.

The very word itself means to immerse.

βαπτίζω (baptizō). vb. to immerse. Expresses the action of immersing something or someone into liquid (usually water).

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines immerse:
An American Dictionary of the English Language (IMMERSE)
IMMERSE, v. t. immers´. [L. immersus, from immergo; in and mergo, to plunge.]
1. To put under water or’ other fluid; to plunge; to dip.
2. To sink or cover deep; to cover wholly;
3. To plunge; to overwhelm; to involve;
A point of reference: The Greek language has specific words for both sprinkling and pouring and those words, in Scripture, are never used in connection with baptism.
Now we could stop with just those things and be completely accurate and Scripturally.
However, notice these references:
John 3:23 (KJV 1900)
And John also was baptizing in Ænon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.
Why would John need much water if he were only sprinkling them?
Matthew 3:16 (KJV 1900)
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
Why did Jesus need to go into the water if John merely sprinkled Him?
Acts 8:38–39 (KJV 1900)
And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
Why did Philip and the eunuch go down into the water if Philip merely sprinkled him?
Aside from the very definition of the word baptize, these passages of Scriptures just add common sense to the truth that Scriptural baptism is only by immersion.

Scriptural baptism is a picture of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.

Romans 6:3–5 KJV 1900
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
I think that we all understand this but we must keep in mind that, physically, baptism merely gets an individual wet. Baptism does not have the ability to save you.
It is an outward picture of the inward transformation that takes place when an individual accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior.

Scriptural baptism demonstrates our identification with Christ and with doctrine.

Ryrie’s Basic Theology B. The Meaning of Baptism

Theologically, baptism may be defined as an act of association or identification with someone, some group, some message, or some event.

Ryrie’s Basic Theology B. The Meaning of Baptism

Christian baptism means identification with the message of the Gospel, the person of the Savior, and the group of believers.

In baptism, we identify with Christ.

This is demonstrated for us in Christ’s baptism that we read of in Matthew chapter 3.
The Holy Spirit identified with Christ at His Baptism.
The Father identified with Christ as His Baptism.
Christ identified with us, through His baptism, foretelling His own death, burial and resurrection.
Romans 6:3–5 KJV 1900
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

In baptism, we identify with a body of doctrine.

In Matthew chapter 3, we see Jesus Christ being baptized by John the Baptist.
Why did Jesus request baptism from John the Baptist? John's baptism was the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
Of what sins did Jesus need to repent? Of what sins needed He remission? None, of course!
In fact, we see in Matthew chapter 3 that John the Baptist was reluctant to baptize Christ.
Matthew 3:14 KJV 1900
But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
But Christ, in order to fulfil all righteousness, needed to identify with John's message---his body of doctrine.
When an individual is baptized, they are likewise identifying with a body of doctrine - a body of teaching.

In baptism, we identify with a local church and that church’s doctrine.

Acts 2:41–42 KJV 1900
Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Scriptural baptism takes place after salvation.

Biblically speaking, baptism is always of believers.
By this we mean those who have placed their faith and trust in Christ alone for salvation, recognizing their sinful condition before a holy and just God, and through repentance and faith have received Christ Jesus as their one and only Saviour.
We’ve seen this already in the passage of Scripture we just looked at in Acts chapter 2.
However, allow me to share one more passage of Scripture to illustrate this:
Acts 8:36–38 KJV 1900
And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

Scriptural baptism should be the first step of obedience after salvation.

Matthew 28:19–20 KJV 1900
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
I will end the message tonight with these simple questions:
Have you been saved? Have you received Jesus Christ as your Savior?
Have you been Scripturally baptized, by immersion, in obedience to the Lord’s command and to give an outward testimony of the inward work that Christ accomplished in your life when He saved you?
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