2. Water Baptism
Baptism in water is part of entering into the Kingdom of God. When we believe we are saved but something powerful takes place when believers are baptised in water. In Acts 2 when Peter addresses the crowd he directs them to “Repent and be baptised every one of you, in the name of the Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” In Acts 2:41 it states that “Those who accepted his message were baptised, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”
Jesus was also Baptised.
It is clear from the beginning of the early church that baptism took place when people believed, it was a crucial part of becoming a born again believer. When Philip shares the gospel with a Eunuch, the Eunuch himself exclaims “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptised?” Clearly, in sharing the gospel of Jesus with the Eunuch, Philip had explained water baptism as part of becoming a disciple of Jesus. It appears that this satisfied the Holy Spirit too, as immediately after the Eunuch was baptised the Spirit literally took Philip away and he appeared in another place. It is like the Spirit said, “Good, job’s done. This man is now in the Kingdom of God. Now come over here for the next assignment.”
Paul explains that as believers in Jesus we are literally dead to sin. He declares that through Baptism we are buried with Christ, that our old self has been crucified with Christ. He declares that now we are raised from the dead to live a new life, sin has been done away with and rendered powerless. Instead we are now alive to God and His righteousness.
What a powerful transformation! As we go under the water it's like a burial where our old life and all of our sinful ways are killed. When we come up out of the water we are literally new creations with a new life free from sin and living righteous with Christ.
In baptism we identify and take part in Jesus death and resurrection and in doing so we have union (are joined) with Christ - becoming one with him. So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Galatians 3:26-27, Colossians 2:12, Having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
Any believer who has been baptised can baptise. Acts 2:41 “Those who accepted his message were Baptised and about 3000 were added to their number that day”. How many disciples were involved in Baptising all 3000? Even with the 12 Apostles this would have been a mammoth task! It is more likely that at least the 120 disciples whom Peter addresses in Acts 1:15 were part of baptising the 3000 new disciples on this day.
Acts 8:12 - Philip preached in Samaria and they were Baptised.
Acts 8:38 - Philip Baptises the Eunuch.
Acts 10:44-48 - At the Centurion’s house Peter and the other believers were there to Baptise the new disciples.
Acts 19:4-6 - Paul Baptises 12 believers in Ephesus.
1 Cor 1:13-17 - Paul makes a point in these verses of saying that he was not the one who Baptised believers in Corinth. So other people Baptised in Corinth. Baptism can be done anywhere where there is water. Although traditionally in Western Culture most baptisms occur in a Church building during a church service, Baptisms are not limited to this. They can occur in a bath tub, a swimming pool, river, lake, dam - basically anywhere there is water and a disciple to Baptise the new believer.
Like with anything which we learn it is good to have someone show us how to baptise and help us to do it, however if this is not possible we do have enough guidance in the bible and the Holy Spirit will guide us and teach us too.
God made a way for us to be living a life of relationship with him, just like he first intended for Adam and Eve. Jesus took our sin on the cross and now we can stand without sin before God. Many believers stop here, they repent for their sins and acknowledge their need for God, but don't then get to receive the fullness of what God has for them. We need to die to our old life and receive our new life through baptism. If we don't do this we continue to keep trying to live a righteous life, but from within our old dirty bodies and then wonder why we keep falling into sin.
Have you been baptised in Water?
Jesus was Baptised:
Matthew 3:13-17 (NLT)
"Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?” But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” So John agreed to baptize him. After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”
It was a critical part of the life of the New Testament Church:
Acts 8:26-40 (NLT)
"As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and he met the treasurer of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under the Kandake, the queen of Ethiopia. The eunuch had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah.
The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.”
Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
The man replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him.
The passage of Scripture he had been reading was this:
“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter.
And as a lamb is silent before the shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
He was humiliated and received no justice.
Who can speak of his descendants?
For his life was taken from the earth.”
The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, was the prophet talking about himself or someone else?”
So beginning with this same Scripture, Philip told him the Good News about Jesus.
As they rode along, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look! There’s some water! Why can’t I be baptized?” He ordered the carriage to stop, and they went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.
When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away. The eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing. Meanwhile, Philip found himself farther north at the town of Azotus. He preached the Good News there and in every town along the way until he came to Caesarea."
Acts 16:30-33 (NLT)
"Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized."
Baptism is both symbolic and a powerful Spiritual transformation.
Romans 6:1-14 (NLT)
"Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.
Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.
Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace."
we are literally dead to sin
we are buried with Christ
our old self has been crucified with Christ
we are raised from the dead to live a new life
sin has been done away with and rendered powerless
we are now alive to God and His righteousness.
In baptism, we identify and take part in Jesus' death and resurrection and in doing so we have union (are joined) with Christ.
Galatians 3:26-27 (NLT)
"For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes."
Colossians 2:12 (NLT)
"For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead."
How Does One Get Baptised?
Have you ever seen someone baptized?
The right time to get baptized in water is now! Talk to a follower of Jesus you trust and look up to. They will be able to help you organize the details and get you ready.
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