The purpose of this lesson is to get those who have trusted Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour to see the importance of being baptized. Baptism is a true blessing to the believer.We will see what the word baptize means, the mode of baptism, and the picture of baptism. As you study this lesson, please look at all of the Scripture. It is very important for you to see what God’s Word is saying to you personally. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to understand the Word of God. Psalm 119:18
Please read all of the lesson before you reach a conclusion. We are using the King James Version Bible. Keep the answers to the self test. Further instructions are given with the Final Test questions.
THE MEANING OF THE WORD “BAPTIZE”
The English word baptize comes from the Greek word baptizo. We change only the letter “o” to an “e” to give it an English sound and appearance. This word is found only in the New Testament. In the Greek, the word means “to make whelmed, (fully wet), to whelm, cover wholly with a fluid.” The English word “whelm” means “to submerge, engulf, to utterly overcome.” To baptize in water would mean to submerge, engulf, utterly overcome with water, (whelm). Some form of this word is found about 115 times in the Bible. It is used more as a dipping than as a washing.
THE MODE (METHOD) OF BAPTISM
The definition of the word settles the method of baptism. By “dipping, or submerging one into water, to be overwhelmed, covered, and wet with water.”
STOP AND TEST YOURSELF
1. The Greek word for baptize means, “to cover _______ ______ ______ __________.”
2. The English word for baptize means, “to ________; to __________; to utterly __________.”
3. Baptism is by ____________ one into water.
THE SCRIPTURE ON BAPTISM
We have given the definition of the word baptize, but what does the Scripture teach on this subject?
CHRIST‘S BAPTISM Read Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3: 21-22; and John 1: 29-34. Notice in Matthew and Mark when Christ was baptized (to make whelmed, fully wet), He “went up straightway out of the water” (directly, at once, soon, immediately, Matthew 3:16). “Straightway coming up out of the water” (Mark 1:10). This means that Jesus Christ was put under the water and came straightway up out of the water.
Christ was not baptized in order to receive the remission of sin, because He had no sin. He is HOLY, HARMLESS, UNDEFILED, and SEPARATE FROM SINNERS. He was baptized to identify with the righteousness of God, and to set an example for believers. (See Matthew 3:13-15) Read also John 1: 29-34. Christ started His ministry after His baptism. Therefore, we come to the water only after we have been washed in His blood by faith, which cleanses us from all sin. We come with forgiveness, not for forgiveness. The water does not do the sealing, for we are “sealed by the Holy Spirit.” Ephesians 1:13 “…after that ye believed...” Baptism is a figure (an image or likeness; type; the external form) of that which has already taken place internally.
Christ had to fulfill the three great acts which were required by the law.
1. DEATH OF THE TRANSGRESSOR The penalty of sin. The consequence of sin. The penalty of violated (broken) law is separation and death. Our sins separated us from God. (Isaiah 59:2; Romans 3:10, 23; 5:12). “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin;…“ (II Corinthians 5:21). Mark 15:34 reads, “…My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?”
2. THE SATISFACTION FOR SINS Death’s sting had to be extracted (removed), the grave conquered, and the captives set free from hopelessness. Jesus Christ delivered His people from the power of the grave. Christ’s victory over the grave gives victory to His saints over death. PRAISE HIS WONDERFUL NAME!!
3. THE JUSTIFICATION OF ALL BELIEVERS He arose for our justification (Rom. 4:25). Christ’s resurrection was proof that he had discharged all claims against all believers.
Thus Christ fulfilled all of these acts. He fulfilled all righteousness. He called His crucifixion a “baptism”, Matt.20:22, 23, Mark 10:38, 39. The same information is given in I Corinthians 15: 1-5. (1). Died for our sins (into the water); (2). Was buried (immersion); (3). Rose again (out of the water); (4). He was seen (walk in newness of life).
Our baptism shows others that we realize by faith what Christ did for us on the cross, and that we rest totally in Him for our salvation. When I come to be baptized, I must believe with all of my heart that “…I know whom I have believed.” II Timothy 1:12. (See also Romans 4:3; Galatians 2:16, 3:6; and Ephesians 1:13). Paul did not say, “I know what I have believed.” In being baptized, I show others my faith, and I identify with believers in Christ. Baptism is a profession of faith in Christ already possessed, and a salvation already enjoyed. Read Romans 3:24-26; Galatians 5: 1-6; Romans 10: 9-13; Galatians 3:24-27; Ephesians 1: 3-12; and I John 1:7.
To say that something must be added to His shed blood for forgiveness is to say that His blood is not sufficient. Romans 3:25 “…through faith in his blood…” (not works, water, etc.). It is the blood of Jesus Christ before the water. We come to the water through the blood, and to the church through Christ. It has always been the blood! SALVATION IS ESSENTIAL BEFORE BAPTISM.
STOP AND TEST YOURSELF
1. Christ came _________ out of the water, after John baptized Him.
2. We come ________ forgiveness, not ___________ forgiveness, when we come to be baptized.
3. Baptism is a ___________ of what has already taken place in our hearts.
4. What are the three great acts of the law which Christ fulfilled?
A. ___________ ____________ ____________ ____________.
B. _________________ ___________ ________________.
C. _____________ ________________ __________ ____________.
5. According to Romans 3:24, we are justified ___________ __________ ________ _________ through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Romans 3:25 – propitiation through___________ _____ ________ _________.
6. Christ was baptized in order to receive remission for His sins. TRUE or FALSE
THE CONVERT‘S BAPTISM
Peter was preaching on the day of Pentecost to the men of Judah and all who lived in Jerusalem (Acts 2:14-36). Notice that he preached a crucified, dead, buried, and resurrected Saviour (verses 23 and 24), Jesus Christ (verses 31-36). He said, “…whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (v.21) The people were pricked in their hearts and asked, “…What shall we do?” (v.37) In verse 38, Peter said, “…Repent…” If a man truly repents, he will believe on Jesus Christ (v 21). Peter then said, “…be baptized…” (v38). Keep reading, and notice verses 39-41. Verse 41 says, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized…“ In other words, they believed, received, and then were baptized. (I know that these verses are interpreted differently by some, but remember to look at all Scripture.)
Look at several places in the Scriptures. The best commentary on the Bible is the Bible. Look at Acts 8:26-40. Here is the story of the Ethiopian eunuch. He had been to Jerusalem to worship. No doubt this man was hungry to know THE TRUTH. He wanted something more than RELIGIOUS CEREMONY. Philip was called by the Spirit to talk to him (v.29). The eunuch was reading out of Isaiah 53. Read this chapter now. It is speaking of Jesus. See Isaiah 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray;…” “…laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (See verses 7 and 8.) Verse 12 says, “…he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” In Acts 8:35, Philip began at the scripture in Isaiah 53, “and preached unto him Jesus“; not works nor baptism. The eunuch had heard about baptism, so he asked the question quoted in verse 36, which reads, “See, here is water; what doeth hinder me to be baptized?“
A VERY GOOD QUESTION!! Philip answered in verse 37, which has been removed from other versions, “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.” The conclusion is that a person must be saved, trusting Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour in order to be a subject for baptism. Baptism does not save a person; only Jesus Christ can do that. Time and space would not allow us to show all of the scripture. Notice that a person first gets saved and then is baptized. A person gets saved by seeing himself a hell deserving sinner. NO HOPE, NO HELP, NO HAPPINESS, AND ABSOLUTELY NO HOLINESS within himself. Then he sees the Saviour who bore his sins on the cross. (Isa.53) Read Ephesians 1:7-14 and 2: 12-22 (“by the blood of Christ“); Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:19-22; 27-29; 2:9-15 (“In him“); Hebrews 10:12, 12:2; II Corinthians 5:21 (note, “in him“). Hebrews 9:26-28 says “put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” Read also I Peter 2:21-25 and I John 1:7 and 8. Turning now to Jesus, repenting of his sins, and believing upon Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Confessing Him and Him alone as Saviour. (See Romans 3:10, 23; 5:10,12; 6:23; 10:9-13; and Romans 5:1-2. Now the new birth takes place. Jesus Christ, who cannot lie, declares the following, “and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37) Christ will save, because Romans 10:13 says, “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” PRAISE HIS WONDERFUL NAME! Please look at Calvary, see His suffering, and ask the question, “What can I add to that?” The answer is: NOTHING. Hebrews 9:22 says, “without shedding of blood is no remission.” Read Matthew 26:28; Acts 20:28; Romans 5:9; Hebrews 9:14; and I Peter 1:18 and 19. Revelation 1:5 reads, “washed us from our sins in his own blood.” WHAT A WONDERFUL SAVIOUR! It has always been the blood from the book of Genesis through the book of Revelation. BUT WAIT. IS BAPTISM IMPORTANT? YES!!! Very, very important to believers in Jesus Christ.
WHY BE BAPTIZED?
THE PICTURE OF BAPTISM
Baptism is very important. That is why we read in the scripture about believers who are baptized almost immediately after being saved. When you are baptized, you are showing other people several things.
1. It shows the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
2. It shows that you have died to self and have come alive in Jesus Christ.
3. It identifies you with other believers who are in the body of Christ.
4. It shows submission and obedience. (Matthew 28:18, 19)
5. It is a picture of regeneration that has already taken place in your soul.
6. It says to all who observe, “I have renounced all of self, I have died out to self, and I am now alive, living my life for Jesus Christ. I identify with Him! I am not ashamed of Him. I have been OVERWHELMED COMPLETELY BY HIM!”
For a few seconds while you are under the water, you are as if dead, and then you are raised up alive to walk in newness of life in Jesus Christ. You are showing His death, burial, and resurrection in your life. You are showing that you have died out to self (spiritually) and have come alive (spiritually) in Jesus Christ your Lord. It is a great blessing to follow Him in BELIEVER’S baptism.
BUT A WORD OF CAUTION! There are places in the scripture where the word “baptized” does not mean “fully wet with water” or “submerged in water.” Remember when studying scripture to look at it in its context. Let’s see some examples. Some people interpret these verses differently.
Romans 6: 1-7
In Romans 6:1 the Apostle Paul asked the question, “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” In verse two he answered his own question by saying “God forbid”. Verses 1 and 2 are speaking of spiritual matters. These verses mean that believers have died to sin, so they must not live in sin any longer. When did believers die to sin? Read Romans 4:7-25, and 5:1-9, “saved from wrath through him.” (See Romans 5: 20- 21) Note that Romans chapter 6, verses 5 and 6 go together. As Jesus was crucified on the cross, so was I. (He died for me, Galatians 2:20). “We have been planted together in the likeness of his death,” could read as if it were being written about water baptism, but read verse 6, “old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed.” When a person is baptized, does his flesh or body of sin die? No! The old spiritually dead man dies to self. This is speaking of spiritual baptism. Look closely at verse 3, “were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death?” This verse is a question, not a statement. I Corinthians 12:13 says, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body…” Read Galatians 3:23-27. Verses 26 and 27 read, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Read Colossians 2:9-15 carefully, and especially notice verse 10, “And ye are complete in him, …“ Verse 11 speaks of spiritual circumcision, “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands.” This verse continues into verse 12. The words buried and raised speak of spiritual baptism, (made without hands,) verse 11. When He died on the cross, I died, and when He arose from the dead, I arose. When I repented of my sins and trusted Christ, I died and arose to walk in newness of life. Romans chapter 6 deals with the abuse of the grace of God, dying to self, and walking in newness of life. These verses show spiritual baptism. Read all of Romans chapter 6 carefully.
I Peter 3:18-22
First, notice in verse 18 that Christ brings us to God, “quickened by the Spirit.” Verse 20 says “eight souls were saved by water.” Does this mean that water baptism saves us? If we look at that one verse only, we might think that we are saved by water baptism. The sentence begins with verse 18 and ends with verse 20. Verse 18 says that Christ suffered and died, but was quickened (made alive) by the Spirit. Verse 19 says that he then went and preached to those spirits in prison. Verses 19 and 20 cover another subject. Verse 20 is written concerning those who died in Noah’s day. Were Noah and his family submerged in water? How much water overflowed their bodies? The answer is NONE. They were safe in the ark and the ark was in the water. The ark is a type of Christ. In Christ, we are safe from the judgment of God, (the flood). Notice that verse 21 shows that he was not speaking of the body being washed in water when he stated “(not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.“ We are back to the gospel which is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. THAT IS THE SALVATION WAY. Look again at verse 18, which is the beginning of the sentence that ends with verse 20. Read verses 21 and 22. Jesus Christ is on the right hand of God, and all powers are subject to Him. Amen!
There are different baptisms into which we are immersed: spiritual, water, judgment, sickness, and trials. Have you heard it said that a person has been baptized in fire? This means that he has been “in the heat of it.” Baptized in afflictions and problems means that he has been in the middle of these trials and is overwhelmed by them. So be careful and make sure you read all of the surrounding verses. See I Corinthians 10: 1- 4 (especially verse 2); I Corinthians 12:13, and Galatians 3:26 – 29 (especially verse 27), concerning spiritual baptism. If baptism saves people, then why didn’t the Apostle Paul baptize all of his converts? (I Corinthians 1:12 – 17)
I Corinthians 15: 29
This is a difficult verse for some people to understand. Can I be baptized for someone else who has already died?
See Romans 14:11 and 12. Verse 12 states, “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.“
REMEMBER to look at all of the scripture surrounding the verse. I Corinthians chapter 15 tells of the fact of Christ’s resurrection and its importance. Then it tells of the order of the resurrections beginning in verse 20. Paul, by the Spirit, is teaching the order of the resurrections and how that eventually God will be all in all (verses 20-28). Then he tells us that this teaching of the resurrection will bring forth persecution and even death (verses 29- 32). The message of a risen Saviour makes the world angry. Our God is alive and well, and He will judge the world one day (Acts 17:24- 32). I Corinthians 15:31 says, “I die daily.” This is not just about dying to self daily, but Paul’s life was daily in danger of being taken (verse 32). Paul could identify with persecution and the threat of death, just as others before him had suffered and even died for the faith. Those who had already died had left a work or office open that must be filled by another believer. Someone will have to identify with this work, pick it up and do the work. One must step forward and be “baptized” into the work others have left behind. I “submerge” myself into the work. For example, a Sunday school teacher dies and I step into the work, submerging myself to teach God’s Word. Let us not jeopardize (to undergo peril, be in danger) the work of God by not stepping into the work left empty by a departed saint. Let us not jeopardize the work of God for fear of death. Christ died for us, so let us identify, if need be, with Him by laying our life down for Him.
The way of salvation is plain – THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST. He is the way, the truth, the life, the door and the bread of life. “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
After you have trusted Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, you should desire to be identified with Him and with other believers by being baptized. There is joy and peace in being obedient to Him.
Baptism does not save a person, but it is important to the believer. The believer must identify with his Lord and Saviour. Walk in newness of life. Let the world know, “I am overwhelmed with Jesus Christ. I have died to self, and I am alive in Jesus Christ.“ (read Galatians 2:20 ).
Now, may you follow on and grow in grace and in knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Baptizing Hole
It was revival time at the church on the hill,
People came from everywhere, the building to fill.
Someone said the singing was good,
And the preacher told it just like he should.
I went one night, my wife to please.
But when altar call came, I fell on my knees.
I wept and prayed and repented of my sin,
Then I opened my heart and let Jesus come in.
I shouted and rejoiced over the saving of my soul.
Then we headed for the river to the Baptizing Hole.
The preacher prayed and to Heaven lifted his eyes,
And said, “You, my son, I now baptize.”
Coming out of the water, the glory did roll,
As I looked up to Heaven from the Baptizing Hole.
By: Dr. Gene Hooker 9/97
How Can I Be Saved?
1. Admit that you are a sinner. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23)
2. Repent — Turn away from sin. “I tell you, nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3,5)
3. Ask God to forgive your sin of unbelief and save you by His grace. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
4. Now, by faith, receive Jesus Christ into your heart. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10)
5. Thank Him for saving you from sin and tell someone about what God has done for you. “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” (Romans 10:11)
Words of Encouragement
“Encourage yourself in the Lord”
I Samuel 30:6 I Corinthians 15:55-58
God Is for You! Ezekiel 36:9 I Corinthians 10:13
God Cares for You! Psalm 40:5 I Peter 5:7
God Loves You! Psalm 146:8 Song of Solomon 2:4 John 3:16
God Gives Strength to You! Psalm 27:14 Philippians 4:13
God Will Supply for You! Psalm 34:10 Matthew 6:8; Philippians 4:19
God Will Perform for You! Psalm 57:2 Philippians 1:6
God Will Not Forsake You! Psalm 34:15 Psalm 37:25; Matthew 28:20
God Will Reward You! Psalm 19:11 Psalm 58:11; Proverbs 11:18
Isaiah 62:11 Matthew 5:12; 6:4; 10:41-42; 16:27
Colossians 3:24 I Corinthians 3:8, 14, 17
II John 1:8 Revelation 22:12