KEY VERSE: 1 Peter 3:20-21 - THE MESSAGE
". . . You know, even though God waited patiently all the days that Noah built his ship, only a few were saved then, eight to be exact saved from water by the water. The waters of baptism do that for you, not by washing away dirt from your skin but by presenting you through Jesus' resurrection before God with a clear conscience. "
The two baptisms found in the New Testament that are the foundation stones of the Doctrine of Christ are water baptism and Holy Spirit baptism.
This lesson will cover the first of these, water baptism.
I. WHAT DOES THE WORD BAPTIZE MEAN?
The word baptize comes from the Greek word baptisma which literally means to immerse, to submerge, to dip. This does not mean sprinkle!
"When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water. . . " Matthew 3:16 - NKJV
"Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. " John 3:23 - NKJV
Water baptism is a burial into Christ. What you are doing is declaring to all the world that the "OLD YOU" is dead, put under, crucified with Christ.
II. WHAT WAS THE BAPTISM OF JOHN?
John's ministry signaled the beginning of a new order of divine requirement.
"...the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he went into all the region preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins." Luke 3:2-3 - NKJV
John was the messenger of the Lord sent to prepare the way for Jesus through the preaching of repentance and baptism. His message was, "Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 3:2 - NKJV
III. WHAT IS REQUIRED TO QUALIFY US FOR WATER BAPTISM?
First and foremost there must be a genuine repentance.
"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. " Acts 2:38 - NKJV
A person must obey the Word of God and surrender his/her life to the Lord Jesus Christ; this is true repentance.
An infant cannot repent, nor can he/she hear and obey the Gospel. Therefore, we do not believe in infant baptism. The Bible does not teach infant baptism.
When true heart felt repentance is coupled with faith towards God, a person is ready for water baptism because he/she has been justified by God. If we truly repented we will not fight against God on the subject of baptism.
IV. WHAT IS THE INWARD WORK ACCOMPLISHED IN WATER BAPTISM?
1. The Remission of sins.
"...Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins... " Acts 2:38 - NKJV
The word remittance means to be separated from, to be forgiven. It also means deliverance, a sending away. Our old nature is separated from us. The power of sin is broken in our lives because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
When we pay a debt there is a record that is kept which states we once owed money. If that record was destroyed, nobody would ever know that we were once in debt. Through salvation and by the blood of Jesus Christ our debt to sin has been paid. Through water baptism the record of our past debt has been destroyed.
2. Circumcision of Heart.
"In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, but in a spiritual circumcision performed by Christ by stripping off the body of the flesh the whole corrupt, carnal nature with its passion and lusts. Thus you were circumcised when you were buried with Him in your baptism, in which you were also raised with Him to a new life through your faith in the working of God as displayed when He raised Him from the dead. " Colossians 2:11-12 - AMP
3. Identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
Read Romans 6:3-6
4. Baptized into the name of Jesus Christ.
"For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." Galatians 3:27 - NKJV
Here we take His name (as a wife takes the name of her husband).
Now we can war a good warfare with that Name
5. The answer of the good enlightened conscience.
Read 1 Peter 3:18-22. Amplified Bible
Do you believe that Jesus died, was buried and rose again ?
If you do you say YES through the means of baptism.
In baptism you are demonstrating what you believe to be yours through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. To the above question baptism is the answer of a good enlightened conscience toward God.
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