The Beauty of Baptism
by Steve Klein
Intro: Baptism is a much maligned and misunderstood Bible doctrine. Many do not understand its purpose or why it is so important. Sermons can and have been preached showing the necessity of baptism; sometimes even those who understand the importance of baptism view it has merely a necessary technical step that must be taken. Today, we would like to take a different approach and consider the beauty of baptism. Baptism involves&ldots;
I. Receiving a Long Awaited Promise 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."
A. The promise is probably that cited from Joel in Acts 2:17-21, which involved the reception of the Holy Spirit and salvation to all who "call on the name of the Lord".
B. Baptism is "calling on the name of the Lord" (Acts 22:16) and receiving the promised result! Acts 22:16 And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'
II. Connection to the Crucifixion
A. Romans 6:3-4 Or 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.
B. Colossians 2:12 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.
III. A Unifying Experience for Everyone in the Body Of Christ
A. 1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free-and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
B. Galatians 3:27-28 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (28) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
IV. An act of submission
A. Baptism is not really something that you do as much as it is something that you allow to be done TO YOU.
1. Those who see it has trying EARN salvation by one's own initiative and works, miss it entirely.
2. Acts 8:36-38 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" (37) Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." (38) So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
B. It is something people were commanded to do. Acts 10:47-48 "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" (48) And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.
V. A simple act of faith
A. Those who were baptized first had to believe!
1. Acts 8:36-38 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" (37) Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." (38) So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
2. Acts 18:8 Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.
3. Acts 19:4-5 Then Paul said, "John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus." (5) When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus
B. Baptism works through faith -- Colossians 2:12 "through faith in the working of God&ldots;"
1. Like Noah building the ark
a. Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
b. 1 Peter 3:20b-21 &ldots;once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. There is also an antitype which now saves us-baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
2. Note that Jesus said that he who "believes and is baptized" shall be saved. Mark 16:16
Conclusion: The beauty of baptism -- in which we receive the promise of salvation, are united together in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, submit ourselves to God's will through this simple act of faith - brings great joy (Acts 8:39)
Return to the Home Page of the New Georgia Church of Christ