Text: Matt. 28:18 says, " And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 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."
Intro: We are where we are spiritually due to the preaching of the Gospel and the transforming power of the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation is a work of the grace of God, not of works. It is by grace plus nothing and minus nothing.
A.T. Robertson, one of the greatest NT Greek scholars of our day says that word "for" in Acts 2:38, expresses the thought "because of." You are not baptized to be qualified for God to take away your sins, but you are baptized to show and testify that your sins are gone forever; that you have already had your sins washed in the blood of the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are two definite things I feel the Lord would have me to emphasize in this introduction.
First, baptism is not an instrument of regeneration. The Roman Catholics, the Lutherans, the Greek Orthodox, and the Church of Christ, believe that it is. If it is a part of regeneration, the dying thief did not go to heaven as Jesus promised he would. There was no water in which for him to be immersed since he was nailed to a cross. God is also righteous and just, so if He allowed one to go to heaven without being baptized, then there would be no end to the exceptions that Jesus would have to make in the future, since He is perfectly and wholly just.
Secondly, it is not a condition for forgiveness of sins. Our sins are forgiven on the basis of our faith in the blood that Jesus shed as an atonement for our sins. In Rev. 1:5 the Apostle John said, " And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood." Water never has and never will wash anyone’s sins away. Only the precious, redeeming, powerful blood of Christ is able to take care of that kind of overwhelming task. I can say my sins are now gone because my hope is in the blood; not in the baptistry water.
Now let us examine Christian Baptism notice first:
- The Mandating of Baptism
Though baptism is not essential to salvation, it is commanded by the Lord to his disciples. Being baptized did not make them a disciple, they were first disciples, then they were baptized in water to testify of that fact. We must get that proper order. Salvation comes first, then baptism follows.
- Christ Instituted Baptism
Mark 16:16, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
What sends a man, woman, boy or girl to hell? A failure to be baptized? No, a thousand times no. You must see both parts of verse 16. Notice the reason one is condemned is not because they have failed to be baptized, but because they have refused to believe on Christ as Savior and Lord.
Matt 28:18-20 is clear about our responsibility to tell those who have been saved that they should follow the Lord in believers’ baptism, due to the command of Christ.
- The Apostles Preached It (Acts 2:38)
It was proclaimed not as a way to receive salvation, but as a testimony that the people had been saved.
- The New Testament Church Members Submitted to It
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 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. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
Col 2:11-12 vs11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
The Bible says, "They that gladly received the word were baptized" (Acts 2:41).
- The Mode of Baptism
- The Word Itself
"Baptise" means to dip, immerse, or plunge.
Sprinkling and baptism are not synonymous. They are two entirely different things. One requires a little water, the other requires a lot of water.
- The Example of the Savior
Jn. 1:29-34 tells of the baptism of Jesus.
29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. 31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. 34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. 35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; 36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
III The Meaning of Baptism
- Identification-the water speaks of a grave- Christ went down into the grave and came up alive, victorious, resurrected. It identifies us with the Lord Jesus.
- Declaration-That we are dying out to the old way of life. We want to seek spiritual things that are above where Christ sits on the right hand of the Father on high. We stop living just to please ourselves but live to please the Lord who spiritually raised us from the dead when we were saved. When become a Christian we are not to live to please ourselves.
The Bible says we were- "dead in trespasses and sins."
We had no spiritual life in us at all from birth. We had to be born from above, as Jesus told Nicodemus (Jn. 3:3).
- Anticipation-We identify with Jesus because we believe that it is not over yet. Jesus will come and take us unto Himself, that where He is, we shall be also. Why would we be baptized, if we did not believe He is alive and coming back to take us home with Him one day?
IV A Benefit of Baptism
1 Pet. 3:21 "the answer of a good conscience toward God." Conscience tells us something is right or wrong.
It is a joy to know you have obeyed God.
1- We are saved by grace alone though faith.
Eph. 2:8-9 says: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast."
2- We are commanded to be baptized.
3- Let’s get others to God. The baptistry waters will stir for the glory of God. Dirt should not have time to get in the baptistry.