You’re in a Baptist church so this may sound contradictory, but Baptists, of all denominations believe the least in baptism. What I mean by that is if you were to go somewhere else like a Roman Catholic Church or a Methodist or Presbyterian you’d find baptism is a part of their salvation – washing their sins away. Baptism is not a part of anyone’s salvation in the Bible. But that’s how infant baptism came about. Someone put unbiblical emphasis on baptism and then reasoned that the quicker we get this done the better. Now, that’s not in the Bible.
There are however, seven baptisms in the Bible.
- Baptism unto Moses in a cloud (1 Corinthians 10:1-2)
- Baptism of John the Baptist to manifest Christ to Israel (John 1:31)
- Baptism extended to Israel after the resurrection for them crucifying Christ. (Acts 2:38)
- Luke 23:34, Jesus asked for those who crucified him to be forgiven
- FOR, because you have remission of sins. I’m going to Austin FOR (because of) the game.
- The question in context Acts 2:36-37, what shall we do? They’d heard Peter’s sermon and were convicted about crucifying the Lord Jesus. The answer is Acts 2:38.
- Only by accepting Peter’s message and being baptized can they be identified with Jesus Christ and receive the Holy Ghost.
- Baptism of suffering (Matthew 20:23, Psalm 69:1)
- Baptism of fire for the lost in Hell. (Matthew 3:11-12, Revelation 20:14)
- Baptism by the Holy Spirit in this age whereby the believer is placed into the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:1-5, 1 Corinthians 12:13)
The seventh baptism is what’s happening this morning. It is the believer’s baptism. Someone who has trusted Jesus Christ as their savior of their own choice. This is not a generational belief system – I was born Catholic, I was born Hindu, I was born Christian. Jesus said ye must be born again because you’re first birth was wrong anyway, but that’s another subject. Look at Acts 8:26. Let’s consider what the Bible says about baptism.
- Acts 8:26…which is desert… Acts 8:36…See, here is water…
- It’s an opportunity to publicly profess an inward change.
- Acts 9:18 Paul is baptized after turning away from his old religion to the gospel by receiving Jesus Christ as his only righteousness.
- Acts 10:47 Cornelius and his household are baptized after it is clear that they’ve believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Acts 16:14-15 Lydia is baptized after hearing and receiving the preaching of the gospel by Paul.
- Acts 16:25-34 the Philippian jailor is baptized with his entire household after getting saved.
- Acts 18:8 Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue and many Corinthians believed and then were baptized as a public testimony.
- Acts 19:2-5 The Ephesians who believed but had not heard the good news of Jesus Christ gladly heard the gospel, believed and were baptized.
- All baptisms that had to do with someone going under the water and coming up again were for the purpose of public identification.
- Willing to submit to this public act of obedience.
- Because it is an open public testimony of an inward salvation.
- Because it testifies to the world that you are different now, and that you are aligning your life with what the Bible says, and not with what the world says.
- Acts 8:36…what doth hinder me to be baptized?
- The Ethiopian eunuch must have been familiar with the Israelites being baptized. The Holy Spirit is careful to let you know this was an Ethiopian Gentile, not a Jew. So this Secretary of Treasury for Ethiopia asks the question about what hinders him from being baptized? Probably implying that baptism is an Israeli thing and not for anyone else.
- The first obstacle is belief
- Only those that are saved can be baptized. – Acts 8:36,37 (This excludes all baby baptisms, because they cannot believe. There is not one record of the baptism of a baby in the Bible)
- Another obstacle is pride
- This Ethiopian eunuch was also the Secretary of Treasury for Ethiopia. He had to take off all his official and recognizable garments, his jewelry probably and enter the water humbly.
- Folks who have visited this church have asked about their baptism and when given the Bible answer for believers baptism have said to me in the past, well, I just don’t see what’s the big deal.
- The difference between doing it God’s way and doing it your way. Problem is people do it their way and call it God’s way. I don’t care how you do it, just don’t call it God’s way if you’re not going to do it God’s way.
- The difference is confusion of false doctrine versus the peace of sound doctrine.
- Acts 8:38…went down both into the water… and when they were come up out of the water…
- Again, Acts 8:26-39 gives the clearest example. In verses 38-39, both Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch went down into the water and came up out of the water.
- As seen previously, baptism is a picture of death, burial, and resurrection. The only way to bury someone is to put them completely underground. The biblical method of baptism is complete immersion. No one in the Bible was ever sprinkled, because no one can be buried by sprinkling dirt on them.