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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Thursday, May 1, 2014


"Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?  Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.  For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;  for he who has died is freed from sin."
Romans 6:3-7

Satan has placed stumbling blocks at numerous points before the humble man who seeks the favor and communion of his beloved Creator. One of those points is the water baptism of Acts 2:38.  It is critical that we understand the issue of Scriptural Baptism.  Even though nearly every church practices something that they call "baptism," if we don't get this right, we may stumble into eternity unprepared to meet our God.  Let's take another look at the Bible teaching on baptism.

The Greek word for baptism baptisma means to plunge or immerse.  Baptism is the process of being immersed in water.  Notice how Jesus was baptized, 
"Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, 'I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?'  But Jesus answering said to him, 'Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he permitted Him.  After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water."  Matthew 3:13-16.  

There is no doubt that baptism is a burial in water.  This is precisely what the early church practiced.  They obeyed the commands ordained by God in order to be saved from sin.  One must be baptized.  There is no other WAY.  In the Book of Acts we find many examples of Baptism for the remission of sins, thus to be saved from sin.  Three thousand Jews were baptized, Acts 2:41.  The Ethiopian eunuch confessed Jesus as Lord; THEN was Baptized, Acts 8:38.  After he was baptized he "went on his way rejoicing."  The Philippian jailer was baptized after an earthquake, Acts 16:33. After he was baptized he "rejoiced greatly."

The Baptism that saves has four essential elements:
  1. The correct manner - immersion.
  2. The correct authority - in the name of Jesus Christ.
  3. The correct purpose - for the forgiveness of sins.  
  4. The correct person - the repentant believer who is seeking forgiveness of sins.  

Nothing is ever written about the qualifications of the one who physically does the baptizing or for that matter who does the teaching that leads one to be baptized.  Baptism is not a priestly act nor is it a church sacrament, concepts that have no authority in the Scriptures.  If the validity of baptism depended on the righteousness of the one performing the baptism, it would be necessary to know the heart of the baptizer as well as the heart of the one who baptized the baptizer, tracing a lineage of righteous baptizers all the way back to the apostles.

The blood of Jesus forgives sins when one is baptized,

"Peter said to them, 'Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'"  Acts 2:38.

Consider the following Scriptural teachings about baptism:

  1. Baptism is a burial.  We are baptized into His death, our death to sin, and resurrected in His resurrection, our resurrection, being born again (Rom. 6:3-7; Colossians 2:12-13)
  2. Baptism is commanded (Acts 10:48)
  3. Baptism requires immediate action  (Acts 22:16)  
  4. Baptism is for those who believe (Mk. 16:16; Romans 10:11, 16-17) 
  5. Baptism is for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38)
  6. Baptism makes us holy and makes us righteous (justified) before our God (Acts 22:16; Titus 3:5-7) 
  7. There is ONLY ONE Baptism (Ephesians 4:5)
  8. When we are baptized we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and the blood of Christ that redeems us from sin:  spirit, water and blood (I John 5:8; Acts 2:38)
  9. We are clothed with Christ in Baptism.  We put on Christ (Gal. 3:27; I Corinthians 12:13) 
  10. Baptism saves us and gives us a good conscience toward God.  This means a true heart in full assurance of faith.  Baptism is the heart's response to God (1 Pet. 3:21; Hebrews 10:22)
  11. Baptism requires the proclaiming of the good news of Jesus (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 10:14-15)
  12. Every conversion to Christ in the book of Acts involved Baptism.  No One was FORGIVEN of their sins apart from Baptism or before being baptized  (Acts 2:38; Acts 8:15; Acts 8:38; Acts 9:18; Acts 10:48.  NOTICE that Cornelius was NOT FORGIVEN of his sins until he was BAPTIZED as commanded by our Lord Jesus; Acts 11:14; Acts 16:33; Acts 18:8; Acts 19:3-5 and Acts 22:16) 


What the Bible says about baptism is not difficult to understand if we approach the Scriptures without prejudice.  Those who have not been baptized into Christ are not SAVED, are not in the kingdom, are not in the body of Christ, have not put on Christ; have not been justified, have not been buried with Christ into death so as to be raised to walk in newness of life and have not received the gift of the Holy Spirit.

I hope this brief arrangement of Scriptures is helpful to your understanding of the Bible subject of baptism.

Baptism is the ONLY WAY to see the kingdom of heaven and to be in it.

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  John 3:3


P.S.  I leave with you the words of a favorite hymn that we sing on the occasion of  baptism.

A New Creature

Buried with Christ, my blessed Redeemer, 
Dead to the old life of folly and sin;
Satan may call, the world may entreat me, 
There is no voice that answers within.

Dead to the world, to voices that call me, 
Living anew, obedient but free;
Dead to the joys that once did enthrall me -- 
Yet 'tis not I, Christ liveth in me.

Dead unto sin, alive thru the Spirit, 
Risen with Him from the gloom of the grave,
All things are new, and I am rejoicing, 
In His great love, His power to save.

Sin hath no more its cruel dominion, 
Walking "in newness of life," I am free --
Glorious life of Christ, my Redeemer, 
Which He so richly shareth with me.


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