When people love each other, wanting to spent the rest of their lives together, and are committed to each other, they get married. In the same manner, when people love Jesus, wanting to follow Him as His disciples, and are committed to Him, they get baptized.
I. The Meaning of Biblical Baptism
Ceremonial washing occurred in the OT. John the Baptist introduced a baptism of repentance (see Matt 3) which was also accepted by Jesus and practiced by His disciples.
• Baptism has to do with – Matt 3:2, 5-6, 11; Acts 2:38
repentance of sins and
with dedicating one’s
life to Jesus
• Baptism has therefore to – John 13:10; Acts 2:38; 1 Cor 6:11
do with cleansing and is
a sign of accepting
forgiveness and salvation
• Baptism is by water and – John 3:3, 5; Rom 6:4; 2 Cor 5:17
the Holy Spirit, depicting
death to sin and bringing
about newness of life
• Baptism is a public act – Mark 16:16; Acts 22:16
of confessing Christ
and believing in Him
• Baptism has to do with – Matt 28:19; Gal 2:20
discipleship and allows
Jesus to live His life in
II. Jesus and Baptism
Christian baptism is rooted in Jesus who Himself was baptized and who gave the commission to baptize those who desire to become God’s children. However His own baptism was not a baptism of repentance; He was baptized as our example.
Matt 3:13-17 – Jesus’ baptism is the example that we should follow. What happened at His baptism indirectly happens with any person who is serious about following Christ and who is being baptized.
John 3:22; 4:2 – Jesus through His disciples baptized people.
Matt 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16 – Jesus wants people to be baptized.
III. Practical Considerations
1. The Mode of Baptism
Baptism is by immersion. 1
• The Greek verb baptiz? and others words of the same family are used in the NT to denote baptism by immersion.
• That people went into – Matt 3:16; Acts 8:38-39
the water and came up
out of the water again
• Baptism is a symbol of – Col 2:12
being buried with Christ.
A burial is a complete
and not just a partial
2. Prerequisites for Baptism
The Book of Acts continuously stresses the sequence of hearing the proclamation of the gospel, believing in Jesus, and being baptized. Exceptions confirm the rule and are due to special circumstances. Nevertheless, hearing and believing always precede baptism.
Acts 2:37-41 Hearing, believing, repenting, being baptized, receiving the Holy Spirit
Acts 8:12 Hearing, believing, being baptized
Acts 8:34-39 Hearing, believing, being baptized
Acts 10:44-48 Hearing, receiving the Holy Spirit, being baptized
Acts 18:8 Hearing, believing, being baptized
Believing in Jesus includes the entire gospel. Therefore, people were baptized in the name of Jesus after they had heard the proclamation of the message and accepted it. This is not possible with infants.
Acts 19:1-7 Renewed baptism because the first was inadequate
3. Entrance into the Church by Baptism
Although people are baptized because they believe in Jesus, they are also joined to “His body” which is the church.
Acts 2:41-42, 46-47 Those who were baptized were added to the church.
1 Cor 12:13 They form one body.
Heb 10:24-25 One cannot be a Christian in isolation.
IV. Benefits of Baptism and Responsibilities
Benefits are described, for instance, in Acts 2:38-39; Matt 3:11, 16-17; 1 Cor 12:7-13
• Belonging and relationship: Beloved sons and daughters of God
• Members of the community of Christ
• Forgiveness of sins, salvation, eternal life
• Receiving the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts
Benefits lead also to responsibilities. They include:
? The use of one’s natural and spiritual gifts for Christ’s cause
? Becoming active in a local church
? Fulfilling the missionary task given by the Lord
V. Baptism and I
We are challenged as Paul was when he met Jesus: “And now why do you delay? Get up, be baptized, and have your sins washed away, calling on His name” (Acts 22:16). We decide to follow Christ’s example.
Copyright © Biblical Research Institute General Conference of Seventh?day Adventists®