A. Baptism is for those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior.
- Acts 2:37-38, 41: When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit…Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
- Acts 18:8 – Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.
- Romans 10:9-10 – That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
B. Baptism is for those who are mature enough to understand salvation and to personally communicate their desire to be baptized.
A. Baptism does not mean salvation.
- Acts 16:29-31 – The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”
B. Baptism represents our death to sin and our new life in Jesus Christ.
- Romans 6:1-4 – What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
C. Baptism is a public symbol of a believer’s faith in Christ.
A. Baptism is an act of obedience to Jesus’ command.
- Matthew 28:19 – Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
B. Jesus himself was baptized.
- Mark 1:9-11 – At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
C. Baptism is step of growth in the believer’s walk with God.
D. Baptism encourages other believers and celebrates what God has done.
A. Linguistic reason – Baptism comes from the Greek word (baptizo) which literally means “immerse, douse, or saturate”.
B. Scriptural reason
Jesus was immersed in water
- Matthew 3:16 – As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water.
Philip baptized the Ethiopian by immersion
- Acts 8:38-39 – And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.
C. Symbolic reason – Immersion more accurately symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.