The Requirement of Baptism

What is Baptism?

It is an outward sign of an inward conviction and commitment

Why are we talking about this today — because this is a SALVATIONAL issue!

There is much confusion and misunderstanding surrounding this basic doctrine.  In this message we take a step-by-step approach to a better understanding of this biblical teaching.

It is a Foundational Doctrine

Hebrews 6:1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
Hebrews 6:2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

It is a Command

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

We will quote this one verse many times due to its compact and concise nature

The Example of Christ

Matthew 3:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.
Matthew 3:14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”
Matthew 3:15 But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.
Matthew 3:16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.

If there was a person who did not need to be baptized, it was Jesus. He was without sin (which we will see how this factors in later).

He lived an exemplary life for us to follow and this is an important precedent that He set.

Baptism Means “Immersion”

We see the method by which we are to baptize:

John 3:23 Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized.

The Greek word, baptizo means “to immerse” (place completely under).

The words for sprinkling and pouring are completely different words in the Greek language and cannot be confused with what is exactly meant by baptism.

Highly Symbolic

Death and Burial

Romans 6:3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
Romans 6:4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Colossians 2:12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,

Resurrection

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Romans 6:5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,

Cleansing us by the Washing Away of Sins

Romans 6:7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.

Ephesians 5:26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

There is more to it than dunking someone in the water though:

Prerequisites to Baptism

There are some clearly outlined preconditions to being baptized.

Adult

Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.

From many other instances, we know that children were often with the disciples, but we see that they were excluded from the process. God considered the under-20 year old Israelites leaving Egypt during the exodus less culpable or responsible for their actions.

When we make this serious commitment to God it must be with an informed consent which takes a level of maturity, wisdom and experience that a child just does not possess.

Repentance

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

We need to make changes in our life to the degree that we are able — at least start heading in the right direction.

Luke 3:7 Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Luke 3:8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
Luke 3:9 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
Luke 3:10 So the people asked him, saying, “What shall we do then?
Luke 3:11-14 This is what he answered and said to them, the tax collectors and the soldiers.

See prior message on [The Necessity of Repentance]

Faith / Belief

The word “belief” comes from the word for “faith” and is often used interchangeably.

Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
Mark 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

What are we to believe in — it shows us right here that we must believe in the true Gospel and ALL that it entails. There is much more to it than meets the eye.

This faith is more than saying “I believe” because the demons believe and what hope do they have. There is a right action that comes with belief.  We get to show faith by our works because faith without works is dead (James 2:18-20)

See prior messages on [The Gospel of the Kingdom of God]  and [The Necessity Of Faith]

Believe [in] Christ

John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

We see here that “believing the Son” and “believing in the Son” are equated. It is more than believing that Jesus existed. It is believing Him and every word He said is true. 

If we believe Him then we do as He says and obedience follows. This is accepting Christ; this is how we are to accept Christ.

Must be done In/Into the Name of the Lord

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

It is by and through what Christ did that gives us this opportunity.  We MUST recognize and understand what this means.  It is not something that can be taken lightly.

Acts 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.

We are not baptized into any organization or any other man (not even John the Baptist or Moses)

Acts 8:14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them,
Acts 8:15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.
Acts 8:16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. [This is sufficient and necessary for the payment of our sins] Acts 8:17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

This is the name by which we must be baptized — it is a necessity!

Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

It is the only name in which this can be done. But it is not just a name but what the name represents. It is:

  • by His authority that we do it
  • into His possession is the connotation
  • because of everything He did for us
  • due to all He accomplished

By being baptized into the name of Jesus Christ, it gives all that is being done validity

1 Corinthians 6:20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Baptism is a Prerequisite

Necessary for the Holy Spirit

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Baptism is a precondition to receiving the holy spirit! 

The Holy Spirit Comes after the Laying on of Hands

Acts 8:15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.
Acts 8:16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Acts 8:17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

[We will address the laying on of hands in another message]

Being in the Church is a Function of the Holy Spirit

Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

So, if we do not have the holy spirit which is a function of the laying on of hands — which comes after baptism —  then you are not considered to be in the church of God.

Salvation

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

To be very clear, if we do not have the spirit of God that is imparted after baptism, then we have no hope of being saved!

Vitally Important Subject

This cannot be taken lightly, because we have much that will be required of us

Matthew 10:37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
Matthew 10:38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.
Matthew 10:39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

We should now see why this has to be an adult decision. We must understand what we are agreeing to as well as understand all the other prerequisites that we have gone over today.

This agreement that we enter into has eternal consequences and we have only one shot at it.  We will be held accountable for this covenant with God.

Counting the Cost

We need to be able to evaluate the meaning and repercussions of this process. This is one of the reasons that we have to be an adult — in order that we can give binding and informed consent.

Luke 14:25 Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them,
Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.
Luke 14:27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
Luke 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it
Luke 14:29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,
Luke 14:30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’
Luke 14:31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?
Luke 14:32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace.
Luke 14:33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

If this is your time, seek counsel to better understand all of these things and to better guide you through the process.

Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?

 Paul is saying that it takes a minister to preach the Gospel for us to believe Jesus in the way that we should.

Acts 8:30 So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
Acts 8:31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.

It is a subject great importance and should be approached that way.

Do not rush, but do not delay!