The Bible and Baptism.

The Bible and Baptism.

~The Baptism of Jesus

Matthew 3:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.

  • "baptizo" {bap-tid'-zo} from a derivative of:
  • "bapto" {bap'-to} to dip into dye, to dye, colour. Literaly to change the charactor of.

MAT 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them.

17 And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.

18 Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

20 "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

  • ACT 1:4-5 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me; "for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

HOLY SPIRIT, Promised:

  • Matthew 3:11 "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

This is the first mention in the Bible of baptism of the Holy Spirit. Jesus would give the Spirit to people in a way John could not. This prophecy was fulfilled at the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost.

  • Acts 2:5-11 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language.Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, "Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? "And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? "Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, "Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, "Cretans and Arabs -- we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God."

Luke referred to this experience as a filling.

  • Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

A pouring out.

  • Acts 2:33 "Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.

And a receiving of the Spirit.

  • Acts 2:38 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.

The Spirit would take people who repented and give them power to obey, to follow God's leadership.

  • Palm 51:10-12 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me with Your generous Spirit.
  • Isaiah 32:14-18 Because the palaces will be forsaken, the bustling city will be deserted. The forts and towers will become lairs forever, a joy of wild donkeys, a pasture of flocks -- until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is counted as a forest. Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places,
  • Isaiah 44:1-4 "Yet hear now, O Jacob My servant, and Israel whom I have chosen. Thus says the LORD who made you and formed you from the womb, who will help you: 'Fear not, O Jacob My servant; and you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring; They will spring up among the grass like willows by the watercourses.'
  • Ezekiel 36:24-30 "For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. "Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God. "I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you. "And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations.

Christian Baptism:

John's baptism prepared repentant sinners to receive Jesus' baptism of the Holy Spirit and of fire.

(Note that Jesus did not do the water baptizing; His disciples did--

  • John 4:1-2 Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples),

Jesus' baptism and the baptizing by His disciples thus connected baptism closely with the Holy Spirit. When Jesus comes into a life, the Holy Spirit comes with His saturating presence and purifies. He empowers and cleanses the believer in a spiritual baptism. The main differences between John's baptism and Jesus' baptism lie in the personal commitment to Christ and the coming of the Holy Spirit in Jesus' baptism;

  • John 1:33 "I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit."

A thorough study of the Holy Spirit is helpful to understand what "baptism with the Holy Spirit" means (John 1:33). The sequence of baptism and the coming of the Spirit into individual lives will show some differences.

  • Acts 8:12-17 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

The usual sequence of events is: the Spirit comes into a person's life at conversion, and then the believer is baptized. The Holy Spirit is the gift who comes with salvation.

  • Acts 2:38 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.

And is its seal.

  • Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

The Holy Spirit saturates the new Christian's life. Or we might say that Jesus baptizes the new Christian by plunging the person into the Holy Spirit's presence and power.

  • John 14:16-17 "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever, "even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
  • Acts 11:15-16 "And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. "Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, 'John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'

To be baptized is to clothe oneself with Christ.

  • Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Baptism refers to the suffering and death of Christ.

  • Mark 10:38-39 But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you ask. Can you drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" And they said to Him, "We can." And Jesus said to them, "You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized;
  • Luke 12:50 "But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished!

Christian baptism is in a sense a sharing of this death and resurrection and all that brought Christ to those events.

  • Romans 6:1-7 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 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. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin.
  • 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.

Baptism shows that a person has died to the old way of life and has been raised to a new kind of life--eternal life in Christ.

  • Matthew 28:18-20 Then Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

Put On the New Self:

  • Colossians 3:1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
  • 2nd Timothy 2:11 This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him.

The resurrection from the water points to the Christian's resurrection also.

  • Romans 6:1-6 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 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. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.

Believers' Baptism in the New Testament baptism is for believers

  • Acts 2:28 You have made known to me the ways of life; you will make me full of joy in Your presence.'
  • Acts 8:12-13 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.
  • Acts 8:36-37 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?" 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."
  • Ephesians 4:5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism;

Water apart from personal commitment to Christ makes no difference in the life of anyone. In the New Testament baptism occurs when a person trusts Christ as Lord and Savior and obeys the command to be submerged in water and raised from it as a picture of the salvation experience that has occurred. Baptism comes after conviction of sin, repentance of sin, confession of Christ as Lord and Savior. To be baptized is to preach a personal testimony through the symbol of baptism. Baptism testifies that "ye are washed ... ye are sanctified ... ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God".

  • 1st Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

Church Practice:

The church has attempted to build its practice upon that of the New Testament but has not found agreement always as to what the practice was. Several church groups practice the baptism of infants. This necessarily moves away from immersion to sprinkling as the mode. They have tried to justify infant baptism on the basis of the baptism of households.

  • Acts 11:13-14 "And he told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, 'Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon whose surname is Peter, 'who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.'
  • Acts 16:33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.
  • 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.

By connecting Christian baptism with Jewish baptism of Gentile converts which may have included baptism of children, and by interpreting Christ's saying in Mark 10:14 "But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God"; as indicating an invitation to bring young children or infants into the church. Others have tried to see continuity between the covenant theology of the Old and New Testaments joined by the rites of circumcision and baptism, so that if introduction into the Jewish covenant community was through circumcision of the infant, so introduction into the Christian community would be through baptism of the infant. Most New Testament scholars find these arguments as fitting the practice of the church rather than resting on strong exegetical grounds, for the New Testament emphasized the connection of faith and baptism.

The setting of baptism is often restricted to a church setting with an ordained person. In the New Testament baptism takes place in varied settings wherever there is another person to do the baptizing:

  • Acts 8:36-39 "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?" 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." So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing".
  • Acts 9:17-18 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.
  • Acts 10:47-48 "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.

Both Jesus and Paul let others do the baptizing, so that the restriction of baptism to a leading professional minister does not seem to be the New Testament practice.

Re-baptism:

Scriptural baptism (baptism because of belief in Christ) occurs once. Sometimes people are baptized again because they feel they were not saved when they were first baptized. If that was the case, the first baptism simply wasn't scriptural baptism. Others are baptized because something changes in their beliefs--other than their salvation experience--and they either want to be or are urged by someone else to be re-baptized. The purpose of baptism was never to affirm each change in beliefs. For example, Apollos got his understanding corrected, but no mention is made of his re-baptism;

  • Acts 18:24-28 Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately. And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace; for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.

The disciples grew spiritually and changed in understandings, but no mention is made of their re-baptism. Christians are to become learners along with their baptism, but no mention is made of any need to re-baptize them if they were scripturally baptized the first time. Re-baptism in the New Testament seemingly occurred only when a group of people never had received the Holy Spirit, who is the seal of salvation.

  • Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption;
  • Acts 2:38-41 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. "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." And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation." Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
  • Acts 1:4-5 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me; "for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.";

 

  • Acts 8:12-13 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.

Although the dozen people focused on in Acts 19:1-7 had John's baptism, they were then properly scripturally baptized as they trusted in Jesus and received the promised Holy Spirit.

Baptism and Salvation:

Baptism is not a requirement of salvation, but it is a requirement of obedience. Baptism is a first step of discipleship. Although all meanings of baptism are significant, the one that most often comes to mind is water baptism as a picture of having come to know Christ as Lord and Savior. Baptism is never the event but, rather, the picture of the event. So the pattern of obedience is to come to Christ in trust and then to picture that through the symbol of baptism.

 

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