This study of baptism will help you to understand what the Bible teaches about baptism. In our world today there are many different ideas about baptism; however, as Bible believers, we try to practice what the Bible teaches. The Bible is our only authority for our faith and our practice.
What is Christian baptism?
1) Baptism is a testimony of one’s personal trust in Christ.
It is not something we do to be saved. Because of our salvation in Christ we want to follow the Lord in the waters of baptism to testify of our faith in Christ.
Study Acts 2:31-42
Be careful to understand verse 38. Many groups try to use this verse to say that baptism is a requirement for one’s salvation. However, if that were true how could the believing thief who died on a cross next to Jesus be saved? He never was baptized. The key to understanding this verse is in the use of the preposition “for.” It is sometimes used with the meaning of “because” and not always “to receive.” For example, we take Tylenol for a headache because we already have a headache not to get a headache. In this verse believers are admonished to be baptized because their sins are forgiven when they repent.
2) Baptism is an illustration of the Gospel message:
Study I Corinthians 15:3-4
- Baptism shows the death of Jesus Christ for our sin.
- Baptism shows the burial of Christ.
- Baptism shows the resurrection of Christ.
3) Baptism is a symbol of one’s identification with Christ:
Study Romans 6:3-4 & Colossians 2:12
- Baptism symbolizes a believer’s death to sin in Christ.
- Baptism symbolizes one’s burial with Christ.
- Baptism symbolizes one’s resurrection to newness of life.
Why should a person be baptized?
1) Because Christ commanded it: study Matthew 28:19-20
2) Because Christ’s apostles practiced it: study Acts 2:41
3) Because Christ observed it: study Matthew 3:16
Who should be baptized?
1) Only those who have been saved by receiving Christ as Savior.
Study Acts 2:36-42
2) Only believers were allowed to follow the Lord in baptism.
Study Acts 9:18
Study Acts 10:45-48
Study Acts 16:31-33
Study Acts 18:8
Study Acts 22:16
How should believers be baptized?
1) Baptized by immersion:
- Immersion is in agreement with the Greek word baptizo, which means to dip or submerge.
- Immersion was practiced in the New Testament church.
Study Matthew 3:16, Acts 8:38
- Immersion best pictures the symbolism of baptism.
Study Romans 6:3-6
You bury and plant by “putting under.” Sprinkling and pouring do not picture Bible baptism.
2) Baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Study Matthew 28:19-20
When should a believer be baptized?
1) As soon as you can, after you are saved!
Study Acts 2:41; 16:31-33
2) As soon as you understand your need to be baptized.
Study James 4:17
What should a believer do after baptism?
1) Continue to learn and study the teachings of the Bible as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
2) Continue to fellowship with other believers by becoming an active member in a Bible believing church like this one.
3) Participate in the communion service (Lord’s Supper) in your local church.
4) Continue to pray. Study Acts 2:41-42
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 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.
Copyright, Mark Worden 2008