The Case for Water Baptism

Another good, short post worth reading: John Piper on Believer’s Baptism vs. Infant Baptism and 1 Corinthians 7:13–14

In Acts 2 Peter is preaching at Pentecost and it all comes to a climax here in Acts 2:36-41

36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.

I think somewhere along the way we have so many misunderstandings about baptism and it’s been maligned in church history  in so many different ways, that somewhere along the way,  we missed out on the significance baptism has in Scripture and in the church. Based on Scripture and the testimony of all the brothers and sisters around the world who are giving their lives to be baptized, I think we need to revisit what baptism means in the church.

Baptism: More Than Just a Symbol

There are a bunch of questions people have about baptism:

  •  Why should I be baptized?
  1. To follow the example of Jesus (Matthew 3:16-17)
  2. To obey the command of Jesus (Matthew 28:19)
  3. To unite with the family of God (Ephesians 4)
  • What is the meaning of baptism?
  1. A celebration of the grace of Christ (Colossians 2:9-15) He died on the cross as our substitute and He rose from the grave as our Savior.
  2. It is an illustration of the Gospel of Christ (Romans 6:1-4) Into the water=identification with the death of Christ. Out of the water = participation in His resurrection.
  3. It is a proclamation of the glory of Christ (1 Peter 3:15-22) We proclaim His glory in the church, to all  the world.
  • How should I be baptized? We believe immersion is the best way to baptize.
  1. Jesus was baptized this way. (Mark 1:10)
  2. New Testament leaders baptized people this way (Acts 8:36-39)
  3. This is the best illustration of the Gospel ( Romans 6:1-4)
  • Who should be baptized?
  1. Anyone who has repented of their sin and placed their faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior (Acts 2:38-41)
  • When should I be baptized? As soon as…
  1. You place your faith in Christ (Acts 8:12, 36, 38, 9:18, 16:15, 33; 18:8, 19:5)
  2. You can best publicly proclaim your faith in Christ

The bottom line is that baptism is a declaration to the world that we belong to Jesus. That means that it is more than just a symbol. It’s extremely significant.

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