cours 2                                          

                                           LESSON 4

                              WATER BAPTISM

 

               BUILD YOUR LIFE ON THE FOUNDATION

                       OF GOD'S PURE WORD.

                    THE BIBLE IS GOD'S WORD.

 

 Water Baptism                   

 In this fourth tract you can read God's teaching about water baptism according

to the Bible.

Baptism is the the next step after repentance and conversion.

Read all the Bible verses carefully in your Bible and look up the texts which are

referred to. Baptism is not a ritual which has been introduced by man but a

clearly given instruction from God Himself to all who truly repent and believe

in Jesus Christ. It is part and parcel of being born again.

Baptism is therefore a step in laying a biblical foundation for your life of faith.

It is an essential part of New Testament Christianity. See Hebrews 6:1,2;

Acts 2:38-41.

 

It is a command given by Christ

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations baptising them in the name

of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that

I commanded you". Matthew 28:19,20.

 

Definition

New Testament Christian baptism is an external seal, a public act of obedience

through which the believer puts into practice the inner righteousness which he

already possesses by faith in Christ.

 

The meaning of the word "baptism"

This was originally a Greek word from the root "bapta" which means "to plunge

something into a liquid and then draw it out again".

 

The command to baptise

A.  Jesus Christ himself said "go and make disciples of all the nations baptising

     them..." Matt.28:19

B.  Jesus himself was baptised. ( Jesus takes the lead for us in everything,

     including baptism!) "Then Jesus arrived from Galilee in Jordan coming to John

     to be baptised by him"  Matt 3:13-17

C.  The apostles gave the command to baptise

"Now when they heard this they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter

and the rest of the apostles, Brethren what shall we do? And Peter said to

them Repent and let each of you be bapti­sed..."  Acts 2:37,38

D.  If we love Him we will obey Him. "If you love Me you will keep My

     commandments" John 14:15

E.  We confirm and empower our faith by obedience.

     Even so faith if it has no works is dead being by itself.

     But someone may well say "You have faith and I have works; show me your

     faith without the works and I will show you my faith by my works".

    James 2:17,18

 

 Who is this command for?

 

In each scripture quoted below we see that people heard, believed and then

were baptised. Conversion and believing always take place before baptism.

Thus it is always a question of believers' baptism.

 

a.  He who believes and is baptised....                                           Mark 16:16

b.  The Samaritans believed and were baptised.                              Acts 8:12-15

c.  The Ethiopian eunuch believed and was baptised                        Acts 8:35-38

d.  Peter commanded that the heathen who believed should be

     baptised.                                                                                 Acts 10:47,48

e. The believers in Ephesus were baptised                                      Acts 19:4,5

 

What is the significance of baptism?

 

1.  Baptism as burial

 "...all of us who have been baptised into Christ Jesus have been baptised into

His death." Romans 6:3,4. In natural life burial comes after death !

This same sequence applies to  spiritual life: first die then be buried.

By faith in Christ we stand in the certainty that we have died in Him. The next act

then is to bury our old selves. This we do through baptism. "...having been buried

with Him in baptism in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in

the working of God, who raised Him from the dead." Colossians 2:12.

( See also Col. 3:3, Galatians 2:20

 

2.  Baptism as resurrection

 Whoever has surrendered up his old life to Christ can also enter into resurrection

life (be born again). Just like Jesus rose from the dead and left His "sinful body"

in death, our old life has been left behing in the watergrave and what is

resurrected is a newly born person. See Romans 6:4,5 - "We have been buried

with Him through baptism into death...."

Colossians 3:1 - "If then you have been raised up with Christ...." Ephesians 2:6 -

"..and raised us up with Him..."

 

3.  Baptism as the washing of regeneration

 The New birth or re-creation is a continuous process of growth and life renewal.

Baptism typifies spiritual birth, after which spiritual growth should take place.

(Read the complete Bible passages which are referred to below)

Titus 3:1-6 "...He saved us not on the basis of deeds which we have done in

righteousness but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and

renewing by the Holy Spirit..."

Ephesians 4:20-24 "But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have

heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus,

that in reference to your former manner of life you lay aside the old self which is

being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed

in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self which in the likeness of God

has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth."

1 Peter 2:1,2 "Therefore putting aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisy and

envy and all slander, like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word

(of God), that by it you may grow in respect to salva-tion."

 

4. Baptism as a symbol of circumcision of the heart

In the old testament circumcision was the sign that God had a contract with

Abraham and his descen­dants. As far as the new testament believers are

concerned Paul says that if we are Christ's then we are the seed of Abraham

and heirs of the promise. (see Colossians 1:11,12 "...joyously giving thanks

to the Father who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints

in light".

Galatians 3:29 "If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring,

heirs according to the promise".

In the old order the men had to have their foreskins circumcised

(see Genisis 17:10,11)

Under the terms of the new order we do not have an outward sign of

circumcision but we do have a sign in the inner man.

Baptism signifies that this "circumcision of the heart has taken place.

Romans 2:28 "For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is circumcision

that which is outward in the flesh, but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and

(true) circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit not by the

letter." (Read also Philippians 3:3)

 

5. Baptism as the appeal of a good conscience

 Baptism is the believer's reply to what God has done for him in Jesus Christ.

By baptism he witnesses to the fact that he has finished with the old man who

had a bad conscience.

1 Peter 3:21. "baptism now saves you - not the removal of dirt from the flesh,

but an appeal to God for a good conscience - through the resurrection of Jesus

Christ."

 

What should we do with our children/babies?

We baptise "spiritual" babies and we dedicate "natural" babies  to God and

bless them. Children are sanctified in their fathers and mothers.

Babies cannot be converted, cannot believe and accept the word of God, cannot

 identify themselves with Christ's death and resurrection.

Mark 10:13-16 "... And He took them in His arms and began blessing them,

laying His hands upon them."

I Corinthians 7:14. "for the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife and

the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise

your children are unclean, but now they are holy." So whenever one or both of the

parents are born again children of God their small children are sanctified in the

parents, as long as they cannot choose and be converted for themselves.

When parents daily live with God they need not fear for their babies.

The children do need the prayers of the parents so that they too, when they grow

up, may make a conscious choice and believe as described for instance in this

course book.

 

Types in the old testament

 

A.  The people of Israel as they leave Egypt go through the Red Sea on their way

     to the promised Land.

1 Corinthians 10:1-3 (read also Exodus 14) "For I do not want you to be unaware,

brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the

sea, and all were baptised into Moses in the cloud and in the sea and all ate the

same spiritual food".

Colossians 1:13 "He delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred

us to the kingdom of His beloved Son..."

B.  The flood is a type of baptism. The flood buried those who were disobedient.

     In the same way baptism is a type of burial for our old disobedient life.

  

 Conclusion

 

Baptism is an important part of the foundation for our Christian life. In baptism

we witness to what has happened in our inner man. Baptism is an act of obedience

for which there is much blessing. If we refuse to be baptised we rob ourselves of

God's blessing ( consequently instead of a powerful witness of obedience we

emenate a picture of laziness).

Since the Lord Himself sets the example then we, His disciples, should follow in

His footsteps.

Matthew 3:13-17 "Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John

to be baptised by him."

1 John 2:6 "The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the

same manner as He walked."

1 Peter 2:21 "For this is your calling, since Christ also has suffered for you and

given you an example; that you should follow in His footsteps."

"And as they went along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said,

"Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptised?"  And Philip said,

"If you believe with all your heart you may" And he answered and said,

"I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." And he ordered the chariot

to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the

eunuch; and he baptised him." Acts :36-38

 

 Questions:

 

1.  What conditions does God lay down for water baptism? Matt 3:7,8; Acts 8:36,37

                                                                                                                      

                                                                                                                      

 

2.  What do we personally witness about in being baptised? Rom 6:1-14 

                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                     

 

 3.  What spiritual migration takes place? Col 1:13,14                                           

                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                         

 

4.  Who was the first man who was dead to sin and alive to God? Rom 6:10                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                          

 

5.  Can someone be baptised by the Holy Spirit before he is baptised in water?

     Acts 9:18,19; 10:44-48.                                                                                 

                                                                                                                         

 

6.  Is water baptism part of the missionary commission that Jesus Christ gave to

     his disciples? Mk 16:15,16; Matt 28:19                                                           

                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                         

 

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