Believers Baptism (continued 2)

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

THE DOCTRINE OF BAPTISM

(Continued from 2/27/13)

Baptism is one of the most controversial doctrines found among various church denominations today. Some people believe that baptism may be properly administered by sprinkling, pouring, or immersion; whereas, others believe that immersion is the only proper mode.

Although some believe that all children should be baptized, others believe, that only those who are old enough to trust Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord ought to be baptized.

Some believe that people are saved in their baptism, some believe that baptism washes away sin, and some believe that there is no such thing as salvation or forgiveness of sin in baptism.

Some believe that baptism is commanded for everyone, while others believe that baptism is only for those who have been saved. On the other hand, some de-emphasize baptism as a peripheral doctrine which is not important, and others even go so far as to claim that baptism is not for the present age.

As we study our only guide in matters of faith and conduct, God's Holy Word, we find the confusion cleared up.

We have already considered -

I. What does the term baptism mean?

To immerse, submerge

Our conclusion: Any form of baptism other than immersion is unBiblical and does not actually constitute baptism. If you have not been immersed, you have not been baptized.

We have also already considered -

II. How was baptism practiced in the New Testament?

always and only by immersion

Our conclusion: Baptism in Bible times was by immersion only. Any practice other than immersion is unBiblical and does not constitute Baptism.

We have also considered -

III. What is the significance of Baptism?

We have seen that -

1. Believer's baptism brings one into membership in the local church.

We have also seen that -

2. Believer's baptism is a commandment for all believers to obey.

We have seen that -

3. Baptism pictures the union of the believer with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.

Our conclusion: Only immersion qualifies as a symbol, and any other form destroys the significance of baptism.

We have seen that -

IV. Why is baptism important?

1. Christ commanded it.

2. Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15 ).

3. Peter commanded it

4. It was practiced throughout the book of Acts.

Our conclusion: Anyone who has not been baptized by immersion after his salvation is a disobedient believer. He is disobeying the Lord's command, and as such he is guilty of sin (James 4:17 ) and He is out of God's expressed will for his life.

We are in the process of considering -

V. Is it necessary to be baptized in order to be saved?

NO!

Baptism does not save. It is not a sacrament.

The thief on the cross was saved and will spend eternity in heaven, but he was never baptized after his salvation.

Luke 23:39-43 - 39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Next, we note that -

The Bible records many instances of people being saved with no mention of baptism.

People were saved without baptism before Christ's ministry on earth.

Baptism is not even mentioned in the Old Testament.

Many Old Testament persons were saved, such as Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Elijah, Daniel, Moses, Joshua; etc. Note Hebrews 11 .

People were saved during Christ's ministry on earth without any mention of baptism.

Mark 2:1-12 - 1 And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. 2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. 3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. 4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. 6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, 7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? 8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? 9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? 10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) 11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. 12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

Luke 7:48-50 - 48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. 49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? 50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

Luke 18:9-14 - 9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Luke 18:42 - And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.

Luke 19:1-10 - 1 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. 4 And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. 6 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. 7 And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. 8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. 9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

(To be continued)