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 to a Roman Catholic Church or a Methodist or Presbyterian you’d find baptism is a part of their salvation – washing their sins away. Or at least a part of initiating them into a covenant with God. Baptism is not a part of anyone’s salvation in the Bible and it is not an initiation into anything. 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 several baptisms in the Bible and not all of them involve water. But this one does.
- Acts 8:26…which is desert… Acts 8:36…See, here is water…
- It’s an opportunity to publicly profess an inward change.
- Paul is baptized after being saved – Acts 9:17-18
- Cornelius and his household – Acts 10:45, 47-48
- Philippian jailor – Acts 16:31-33
- Crispus and Corinthians – Acts 18:8
- It is the opportunity for obedience to the Lord
- Simon sorcerer baptized, but not right – Acts 8:13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Acts 8:18-21. Reason I mention this is Roman Catholicism and those religions like that believe baptism washes away “original sin”. Here is a warlock that got baptized prematurely and it did nothing for him.
- 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 the conditions of baptism.
- There is the obstacle of belief
- Only those that are saved can be baptized. – Acts 8:36,37
- Belief excludes all baby baptisms, because they cannot believe. There is not one record of the baptism of a baby in the Bible.
- Belief excludes generational religion because it makes no difference what Dad and Mom think if you don’t personally believe in the Lord.
- 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 and enter the water humbly as an act of obedience to the Lord.
- Folks have asked me about their baby baptism, or sprinkling water on their head and when I’ve given the Bible answer for believers baptism some have said to me in the past, Well, I just don’t see what’s the big deal. Why doesn’t mine count?
- 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. Every water baptism in the Bible is a public testimony of someone’s repentance toward God.