Teach Yourself About Baptism: A Scriptural Guide
Author: Apostle Kelvin Franklin
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This lesson was first published October 16, 1990 and was entitled "Baptism, A Scriptural Guide". Copyright © 1998 KC Enterprises. All rights reserved. No part of this lesson may be reproduced or published without written permission of the authors. Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, King James Version.
WHY SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
This is the question that many new converts are faced with upon accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour of their life.
This is a valid question and it should be understood from a biblical perspective.
Let me just say here that Baptism is a necessary and vital part of salvation. It shows complete obedience to God.
The purpose of this lesson is to take an in-depth look at baptism and the role that it plays in the Christian Church. It is important that you understand the nature of baptism if you are to develop fully in your knowledge of God.
|BAPTIZE: (Greek, baptizien to dip, baptize) to administer baptism to, to purify or cleanse spiritually esp. by a purging experience or ordeal.|
|BAPTISM: A Christian sacrament marked by ritual use of water and admitting the recipient to the christian community (Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, copyright 1984 by Merriam-Webster Inc.)|
|ST MATTHEW 3:|
|13. Then COMETH JESUS from Galilee to Jordan unto John, TO BE BAPTIZED of him.|
|14. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and cometh thou to me?|
|15. And Jesus answering said unto him, SUFFER IT TO BE SO NOW: FOR THUS IT BECOMETH US TO FULFILL ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS. Then he suffered him.|
|16. AND JESUS, WHEN HE WAS BAPTIZED, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:|
|17. And lo a voice from heaven, saying, THIS IS MY BELOVED SON, IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED.|
Jesus went to John the baptist at the river Jordan to be baptized. The word baptize, which is greek, mean to dip in the greek. We should be able to conclude that Jesus was literally dipped (submerged, immersed) in the river of Jordan. Today, through man's convenience, we have created our own means of baptism (sprinkling) or we have almost totally done away with it. I believe that God's word is true and that we should all follow Jesus' example so we can fulfill all righteousness.
Baptism came from God by John the Baptist.
|ST JOHN 1:|
|30. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.|
|31. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, THEREFORE AM I COME BAPTIZING WITH WATER.|
|32. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.|
|33. And I knew him not: BUT HE THAT SENT ME TO BAPTIZE WITH WATER, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.|
God sent John into the world to baptize with water those who would repent of their sins and set their hearts to seek the Lord.
|ST MATTHEW 28:|
|18. And JESUS came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.|
|19. GO YE THEREFORE, and teach all nations, BAPTIZING THEM in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:|
|20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen|
|ST MARK 16:|
|15. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.|
|16. He that BELIEVETH and is BAPTIZED shall BE SAVED; but he that believeth not shall be damned.|
Jesus sent his Disciples into the world to preach the Gospel. He also, commanded them to baptize them that believe in him. As we study further, you will be able to see the significance of being baptized.
|ST JOHN 3:|
|3. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.|
|4. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?|
|5. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, EXCEPT A MAN BE BORN OF WATER and of the Spirit, HE CANNOT ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD.|
|6. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.|
|7. Marvel not that I said unto thee, YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN.|
Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be born of the WATER and of the Spirit to be able reach the kingdom of God. We are born of the water when we are baptized into Jesus.
Jesus also gives us the Holy Ghost to dwell in us. This is how we are born of the Spirit (ST JOHN Chapter 14).
Jesus makes it quite clear that we must be born of the water (baptized) in order to see God's kingdom.
|3. Know ye not, that so many of us as WERE BAPTIZED INTO JESUS CHRIST WERE BAPTIZED INTO HIS DEATH?|
|4. Therefore we are BURIED WITH HIM BY BAPTISM INTO DEATH: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.|
|5. For if we have been planted together in the LIKENESS OF HIS DEATH, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:|
|6. Knowing this, that OUR OLD MAN IS CRUCIFIED WITH HIM, that the BODY OF SIN MIGHT BE DESTROYED, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (I RECOMMEND READING THE ENTIRE 6TH CHAPTER)|
This is how we are born of the water as was pointed out in ST JOHN 3:3-7. When we are baptized, we are made dead to sin. Our old man is crucified. When we emerge from the water, if we have truly believed and put our total trust in God, then we will be a new creature.
|12. BURIED WITH HIM IN BAPTISM, wherein also ye are risen with him THROUGH THE FAITH OF THE OPERATION OF GOD, who hath raised him from the dead.|
|13. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together (made alive) with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;|
Through the act of baptism, we are buried with Christ. This may be hard to understand, but it is part of a spiritual operation that God does. Then God makes us alive with Christ.
|27. For as many of you AS HAVE BEEN BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST HAVE PUT ON CHRIST.|
|28. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.|
When we are baptized, we are being put into Christ's body. This can be seen a little more clearly in the following scripture.
|1 CORINTHIANS 12:|
|12. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.|
|13. FOR BY ONE SPIRIT are we BAPTIZED INTO ONE BODY, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to DRINK INTO ONE SPIRIT.|
The Church is the body of Christ. Read the 12th chapter of 1 CORINTHIANS to fully understand this concept. Also see Ephesians 5:21-33.
By being baptized into Christ by the spirit, we are made apart of the church (the church is the body of Christ.) THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO BECOME A PART OF THE CHURCH.
Remember, in ST JOHN 3:5 says that "EXCEPT A MAN BE BORN OF WATER AND OF SPIRIT, HE CANNOT ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD."
|2 CORINTHIANS 5:|
|17. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.|
If you put your complete trust in Jesus (ISAIAH 26:3, PROVERBS 3:5-6, ST MATTHEW 22:37-40) you will find that you will be a new creature. Old emotions and habits of the past will no longer be able to control your life. Some will even disappear.
DON'T BE DISCOURAGED: SOME THINGS HAPPEN IMMEDIATELY, SOME THINGS HAPPEN GRADUALLY. YOU WILL HOWEVER NOTICE A DEFINITE CHANGE IN YOUR ATTITUDE AND WAY OF THINKING.
|37. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?|
|38. Then Peter said unto them, REPENT, AND BE BAPTIZED EVERY ONE OF YOU IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.|
|41. Then they that gladly received his word were BAPTIZED: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.|
|16. And now why tarriest thou? arise, and BE BAPTIZED, AND WASH AWAY THY SINS, calling on the name of the Lord.|
Remission means to release from the guilt or penalty of < ~ sins>, or to cancel or refrain from inflicting. Through our obedience to God, he cancel our debt for sin (ROMANS 3:23; 6:23.)
Jesus poured out his Spirit into the world on the day of
Pentecost (ACTS 2: 1-4.) Peter, being full of the Holy Ghost spoke boldly and proclaimed
Jesus to the Jews. Many heard and were pricked in their heart. When they asked Peter what
to do, he told them to repent, and be baptized for the remission of sins and they would
receive the Holy Ghost.
|ST MATTHEW 3:|
|11. I INDEED BAPTIZE YOU WITH WATER UNTO REPENTANCE: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: HE SHALL BAPTIZE YOU WITH THE HOLY GHOST, AND WITH FIRE (ST JOHN 3:5.)|
|12. Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire:|
|13. Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be BAPTIZED of him.|
|14. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?|
|15. And Jesus answering said unto him, SUFFER IT TO BE SO NOW: FOR THUS IT BECOMETH US TO FULFILL ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS. Then he suffered him.|
|16. And Jesus, WHEN HE WAS BAPTIZED, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heaven were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:|
|17. And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.|
Jesus presented himself to John for baptism. He was being obedient to the word of God (God's will for him) so that all righteousness might be fulfilled.
We too must be baptized, if we have the opportunity, so that God can fulfill all righteousness in us.
Surely, if Jesus can humble himself to baptism, as his disciples, we should also be willing to humble ourselves to the baptism ceremony.
|35. Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.|
|36. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be BAPTIZED?|
|37. And Philip said, If thou BELIEVEST with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I BELIEVE that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.|
|38. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down BOTH INTO THE WATER, both Philip and the eunuch; AND HE BAPTIZED HIM.|
|39. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.|
The eunuch was encouraged by the word that Philip spoke to him about Jesus. Philip must have explained baptism and salvation to the eunuch because when he saw the water he wanted to be baptized. Philip explained to him what it took to be saved when he asked him if he believed with all his heart.
|44. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.|
|45. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.|
|46. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,|
|47. CAN ANY MAN FORBID WATER, THAT THESE SHOULD NOT BE BAPTIZED, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?|
|48. And he COMMANDED THEM TO BE BAPTIZED in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.|
The Lord sent Peter to Cornelius to preach about Jesus. Cornelius was a devout man who sincerely worshiped God although he was a Gentile (any person who is not a Jew.) Peter preached and the Lord gave them the gift of the Holy Ghost because of their faith in him. After they shewed this sign, Peter commanded them to be baptized.
|17. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.|
|18. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, AND AROSE, AND WAS BAPTIZED.|
|16. And now why tarriest thou? ARISE, AND BE BAPTIZED, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.|
Saul was blinded by the vision of the Lord that he witnessed on the road to Damascus. He was on his way to persecute the Christians. After his conversion, he was immediately baptized. The second part of this scripture is Paul's own testimony concerning his conversion.
|14. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.|
|15. And WHEN SHE WAS BAPTIZED, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.|
Lydia worshipped God as truly as she knew how. Because of her faithfulness, the Lord revealed unto her the truth concerning himself. Immediately after her conversion, she was also baptized.
|30. And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?|
31. And they said, BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
|32. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.|
|33. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; AND WAS BAPTIZED, he and all his, straightway.|
After the jailer and those in his household heard the word of the Lord and believed, they were baptized immediately.
From your prior reading, you may have noticed that everyone was baptized immediately after they accepted Jesus. If you are uncertain as to whether or not you were baptized or if you were only sprinkled, I would recommend that you be baptized with this new found knowledge in Christ. HOWEVER, DON'T BE BAPTIZED JUST BECAUSE I RECOMMEND IT, PRAY AND ASK THE HOLY GHOST TO LEAD YOU IN MAKING A DECISION.
|41. And they that gladly received his word WERE BAPTIZED: and THE SAME DAY there were added unto them about three thousand souls.|
|12. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, THEY WERE BAPTIZED, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN.|
|36. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?|
|37. And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.|
|38. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he BAPTIZED HIM.|
|18. And IMMEDIATELY there fell from his (Paul's) eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and WAS BAPTIZED.|
|33. And he took them (the Jailer and his family) the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and WAS BAPTIZED, he and all his, STRAIGHTWAY.|
|ACTS 10:47-48, 16:15, 18:8, 19:3-5, 22:16|
|4. For there is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;|
|5. One Lord, one faith, ONE BAPTISM.|
There is only one baptism. If you know that you were baptized into Jesus, then you can walk in that.
I highly recommend that everyone try to fully understand baptism, especially children, so that they will always be able to look back on this moment in life with confidence.
If you decided to be rebaptized because you are unsure of your former status, this action does not conflict with this scripture. It could be that you have just made up your mind to totally follow Jesus. If this is the case, see the next area below.
Also, from your study above, you may have noticed that everyone was baptized after they believed. I know that there is a common practice of baptizing babies. I have not found any scriptural basis for this practice. Each person should be baptized after their own profession of faith in Christ. Parents cannot make that decision for their children. If this situation affects you, you may want to consider baptism. The Holy Ghost will lead you to make the correct decision.
|20. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and GODHEAD; so that they are without excuse:|
|1 TIMOTHY 3:|
|16. And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.|
|ST MATTHEW 28:|
|19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:|
|38. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.|
|1 JOHN 5:|
|7. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the FATHER, the WORD, and the HOLY GHOST: and these three are one.|
|ST JOHN 1:|
|1. In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with God, and the WORD was God.|
|2. The same was in the beginning with God.|
|3. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.|
|14. And the WORD was made FLESH, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld HIS glory, the glory as of the ONLY BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER,) full of grace and truth.|
|18. No man hath seen God at any time; the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.|
|SEE ALSO, ST JOHN 14:8-21|
There is no division or misunderstanding in these scriptures. If we are baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy or if we are baptized in the name of Jesus, they are both spiritually the same. These scriptures show you that there are three entities in the Godhead and yet these three entities are one.
Congratulations, you are now a member of the body of Christ. Now, your role is to grow in the Lord and let him become ruler of your heart and life. Here are some things to do to start you on your way.
|1. What shall we say then? SHALL WE CONTINUE IN SIN, THAT GRACE MAY ABOUND?|
|2. GOD FORBID. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein.|
|3. Know ye not, that so many of us as were BAPTIZED into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?|
|4. Therefore we are buried with him by BAPTISM into DEATH: that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, EVEN SO WE ALSO SHOULD WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE.|
God did not save us to live in sin. He died to make us free
from sin. Remember, you died to sin in baptism. You are now to live your life to the glory
of God. IF YOU DO HAPPEN TO SIN, DON'T BE DISCOURAGED!!!!! You are growing and haven't
been perfected yet.
|1 JOHN 1:|
|6. If we say that we have fellowship with him, AND WALK IN DARKNESS, WE LIE, AND DO NOT THE TRUTH:|
|7. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.|
|8. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.|
|9. IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS, HE IS FAITHFUL AND JUST TO FORGIVE US OUR SINS, AND TO CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.|
|10. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.|
|1 JOHN 2:|
|1. My little children, THESE THINGS WRITE I UNTO YOU, THAT YE SIN NOT. AND IF ANY MAN SIN, WE HAVE AN ADVOCATE WITH THE FATHER, JESUS CHRIST THE RIGHTEOUS:|
|2. Who is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our's only, but also for the sins of the whole world.|
|1 PETER 2:|
|1. Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,|
|2. As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:|
|3. If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.|
|2 TIMOTHY 2:|
|15. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.|
|ST JOHN 14:|
|26. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.|
|5. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.|
THE ONLY WAY FOR YOU TO GROW IN GOD IS TO READ HIS WORD. God will give you all the tools that you need. God is the author of the bible. If you pray and ask him, he will teach you by speaking to you directly through his word and Spirit. He will also use others to show you the way. Trust him. He's going to help you succeed if that is what you want.
I suggest that you start in the book of John (St John.) It will lay a strong foundation in your life. Commit yourself to reading at least one chapter a day (you may want to date each chapter in your bible as you read it.) Read all the way through to Revelations. You may not understand a lot of what you read, but read anyway. After completion of Revelations, start at Genesis and read through to John.
You will find that by reading the old testament, it will help you to understand the new testament and make the reading just that more interesting.
As you read each day, if one scripture really draws you, then meditate on that thought for the rest of the day. This will help you to grow tremendously.
|25. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.|
|ST MATTHEW 18:|
|19. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.|
|20. FOR WHERE TWO OR THREE ARE GATHERED TOGETHER IN MY NAME, THERE AM I IN THE MIDST OF THEM.|
The only way we can be active part of the body of Christ is to participate (1 CORINTHIANS, chapters 12 through 14.) When we come together, we can share and help strengthen one another. God does not consider the assembling of the body of Christ as an OPTIONAL part of your life, it is necessary for you to grow.
It should be quite evident that God wants each born again believer to be baptized. By doing so, we are fulfilling all of God righteousness in our lives. By continuing on in our faith, we will be full assured of our salvation (2 PETER 1:5-11).
|1 PETER 3:|
|18. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:|
|19. By which he also went and preached unto the spirits in prison;|
|20. Which sometimes were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by WATER.|
|21. The like figure whereunto even BAPTISM doth also now save us (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:|
|22. Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.|
The act of Baptism is the answer of a good conscience to God. Baptism in and of itself does not save us. It is our obedience to God and his word that saves us. In his word, he commands us to believe and be baptized. He sent out and commissioned the apostles to baptize those that believe (ST MATTHEW 28:18-20, ST MARK 16:15-16.)
|1 CORINTHIANS 11:|
|28. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.|
|29. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.|
|30. FOR THIS CAUSE MANY ARE WEAK AND SICKLY AMONG YOU, AND MANY SLEEP.|
|31. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.|
|32. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.|
Baptism and the Lord's Supper are the two ordinances given to the church by the Lord. The people were taking the Lord's supper in vain. Because of this they were getting sick and dying. These are natural actions that have spiritual consequences.
WE SHOULD NOT TAKE BAPTISM OR ANYTHING THAT GOD GIVES US LIGHTLY.
Copyright © 1998 KC Enterprises. All rights reserved. No part of this lesson may be reproduced or published without written permission of the authors. Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, King James Version.
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