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What Does the Bible Say About Baptism?

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You Believe in God, So Now What?

After Christ’s resurrection He gave His disciples the command to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God and baptize those who believe (Mark 16:15-16). On the day of Pentecost when the New Testament Church was founded, those in attendance asked a sincere question after hearing Peter’s sermon: 

Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

Peter gave a simple, yet powerful answer:

Acts 2:38-39 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

So what instructions does God give us for baptism and what does He require? Is baptism necessary for believers of God today?

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The Process of Baptism Explained.

If we believe that God exists and that the Bible is His inspired Word, we must then decide whether or not we will obey His instruction. Each of us desires to be in God’s Family and baptism is the first step of this process! Baptism is the demonstration of our willingness to obey God, commit ourselves to Him and agree to live according to His perfect Law and commands. 

At the heart of this understanding is the recognition that we have all sinned against God by breaking His laws (Romans 3:23).

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins [the breaking of God’s law], He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

In this first letter of John sin is defined as the transgression of God’s Law

1 John 3:4  Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

While all have sinned and the consequence of sin is death, God offers us eternal life and a tremendous opportunity to be part of His Family uniquely through the process of baptism.

Repentance Is the First Step.

A critical part of Jesus Christ’s mission was to call sinners to repentance (Mark 2:17). 

Luke 24:46-47 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 “and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Therefore, once we have realized that we have sinned against our Creator, He expects us to change (Romans 6:1-2)! True repentance signifies our willingness to completely change from our previous way of living, and turn to a life dedicated to following God. 

In Acts 26, Paul described his journey as he sought to inspire many to repentance:

Acts 26:20 but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.

We have to become a completely new person – leaving everything we used to be totally behind: our thoughts, ideas, actions, traditions, and more. This is the process of conversion.  

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

With Repentance Comes Forgiveness.

When we confess and forsake our sins, God wipes them out. He no longer remembers what we’ve done in our past. This enables us to have a clean slate and an opportunity to approach God through the blood of Christ.  

Acts 3:19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord
Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.
Hebrews 10:16-17 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
Acts 10:43 “To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.

It Is a Type of Burial.

After our repentance and desire to change we undergo the process of being baptized.

The word baptism literally means to “immerse" or “bury” in water, or any other substance. Therefore, sprinkling or pouring water is not sufficient. We must be completely submerged and follow the example of Jesus Christ (Matthew 3:16-17).

This pictures the burial of our old self in a “watery grave” and the beginning of our new life dedicated to God. It also confirms our faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:1-4 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 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.
Col. 2:12-13  …buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses…

As we rise up from the water, our sins are forgiven. We are cleansed, ready to receive God’s Holy Spirit!

Next Comes the Receiving of God's Holy Spirit.

Once baptized in water, we are granted the gift of God’s Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands by a minister of God.

2 Timothy 1:6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
1 Timothy 4:14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.

We receive a measure of God’s Holy Spirit, the very mind and power of God and the same Spirit by which all things were created (Psalm 104:30). We are rewarded with this tremendous blessing as a means to overcome our human nature and go on to perfection. 

Colossians 1:10-11 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;

Our New Life in Christ Begins.

Christ literally dwells in us! And with His Spirit of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7), we live a life of faith towards God, the same living faith of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Romans 8:9-11  But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

To prepare for our wonderful future in His Kingdom and Family, baptism is the necessary first step. 

God’s Spirit empowers us to live a lifetime of change, striving to become more like Christ each and every day. With His tremendous gift we can make incredible progress to overcome sin, Satan, and self! 

Even though the journey is difficult, the reward is absolutely worth it.

swipe

What Does the Bible Say About Baptism?

Printer + Reader Friendly
swipe

You Believe in God, So Now What?

After Christ’s resurrection He gave His disciples the command to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God and baptize those who believe (Mark 16:15-16). On the day of Pentecost when the New Testament Church was founded, those in attendance asked a sincere question after hearing Peter’s sermon: 

Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

Peter gave a simple, yet powerful answer:

Acts 2:38-39 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

So what instructions does God give us for baptism and what does He require? Is baptism necessary for believers of God today?

swipe

The Process of Baptism Explained.

If we believe that God exists and that the Bible is His inspired Word, we must then decide whether or not we will obey His instruction. Each of us desires to be in God’s Family and baptism is the first step of this process! Baptism is the demonstration of our willingness to obey God, commit ourselves to Him and agree to live according to His perfect Law and commands. 

At the heart of this understanding is the recognition that we have all sinned against God by breaking His laws (Romans 3:23).

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins [the breaking of God’s law], He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

In this first letter of John sin is defined as the transgression of God’s Law

1 John 3:4  Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

While all have sinned and the consequence of sin is death, God offers us eternal life and a tremendous opportunity to be part of His Family uniquely through the process of baptism.

Repentance Is the First Step.

A critical part of Jesus Christ’s mission was to call sinners to repentance (Mark 2:17). 

Luke 24:46-47 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 “and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Therefore, once we have realized that we have sinned against our Creator, He expects us to change (Romans 6:1-2)! True repentance signifies our willingness to completely change from our previous way of living, and turn to a life dedicated to following God. 

In Acts 26, Paul described his journey as he sought to inspire many to repentance:

Acts 26:20 but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.

We have to become a completely new person – leaving everything we used to be totally behind: our thoughts, ideas, actions, traditions, and more. This is the process of conversion.  

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

With Repentance Comes Forgiveness.

When we confess and forsake our sins, God wipes them out. He no longer remembers what we’ve done in our past. This enables us to have a clean slate and an opportunity to approach God through the blood of Christ.  

Acts 3:19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord
Isaiah 43:25 “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.
Hebrews 10:16-17 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
Acts 10:43 “To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.

It Is a Type of Burial.

After our repentance and desire to change we undergo the process of being baptized.

The word baptism literally means to “immerse" or “bury” in water, or any other substance. Therefore, sprinkling or pouring water is not sufficient. We must be completely submerged and follow the example of Jesus Christ (Matthew 3:16-17).

This pictures the burial of our old self in a “watery grave” and the beginning of our new life dedicated to God. It also confirms our faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:1-4 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 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.
Col. 2:12-13  …buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses…

As we rise up from the water, our sins are forgiven. We are cleansed, ready to receive God’s Holy Spirit!

Next Comes the Receiving of God's Holy Spirit.

Once baptized in water, we are granted the gift of God’s Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands by a minister of God.

2 Timothy 1:6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
1 Timothy 4:14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.

We receive a measure of God’s Holy Spirit, the very mind and power of God and the same Spirit by which all things were created (Psalm 104:30). We are rewarded with this tremendous blessing as a means to overcome our human nature and go on to perfection. 

Colossians 1:10-11 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;

Our New Life in Christ Begins.

Christ literally dwells in us! And with His Spirit of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7), we live a life of faith towards God, the same living faith of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Romans 8:9-11  But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

To prepare for our wonderful future in His Kingdom and Family, baptism is the necessary first step. 

God’s Spirit empowers us to live a lifetime of change, striving to become more like Christ each and every day. With His tremendous gift we can make incredible progress to overcome sin, Satan, and self! 

Even though the journey is difficult, the reward is absolutely worth it.

swipe