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2. Buried and Raised with Christ:

 

Baptism

Dipped under the water

After repenting and putting your faith in Jesus, the next step on the Christian pathway is being baptised. The New Testament takes it for granted that, once you've accepted the Christian message, you will submit to baptism more or less immediately. Take the following verses, for example:

Acts 2:41 'Those who accepted his message were baptised.'

Acts 18:8 'Many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptised.'

So closely is baptism linked with believing in Jesus that many scriptures place them side by side as part of becoming a Christian:

Mark 16:16 'Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does notThe Great Commission believe will be condemned.'

Acts 2:38 'Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.'

Acts 22:16 'What are you waiting for? Get up, be baptised and wash your sins away, calling on his name.'

Because of this close link between baptism and believing in Jesus, it is a condition of membership of the church that you have received baptism as a believer, or that you are willing to be baptised at the earliest opportunity.

What about the sprinkling of infants?

Baptism isn't for babies. Not once does the New Testament refer to such a practice. Instead, it shows baptism to be for believers only, which implies a certain level of mental development.

It's not unusual to see children of seven or eight being baptised, but only when they have a clear understanding of Jesus as their Saviour and because they want to obey him by baptism. As for babies, the only babies to be baptised are spiritual babies—those who have just been born again!

Rising from the waters of baptismWhat about the sprinkling of believers?

Baptism by sprinkling is really a contradiction of terms. The word 'baptise' is the English form of a Greek word meaning to dip, immerse, submerge or plunge into a liquid.

It was used by dyers to describe the act of dipping material in dye. New Testament baptism was by immersion.

Nowhere in the New Testament is it suggested that a few drops of water are sufficient. All the evidence is that there needed to be a large and plentiful supply of water. Enough, in fact, to cover the person being baptised:Cloth being 'baptised' in dye

Acts 8:38-39 'Both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptised him. When they came up out of the water . . . .'

John 3:23 'John also was baptising at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water.'

Another factor pointing to immersion is that baptism is described in Romans Aenon, near Salimchapter 6 as a picture of the death and resurrection of Jesus and our association with him in it. We go down under the water into death and rise up out of it again into new life.

It's a piece of theatre. We are 'buried' under the water, marking the end of the old life. Then we come up again, just as Jesus came out of the tomb, to start a new life of victory:

Romans 6:3-4 'Don't you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.'

What does baptism do for the believer?Draw Jesus horizontal in the tomb and yourself horizontal in the water

Matthew 28:19-20  'Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.'

There's great blessing and satisfaction in obeying the Lord. Our baptism will set a pattern of obedience to his lordship in our lives as a whole.

It's a cutting off of the power of the old ways. Like all God's blessings, this must be received by faith:

Deuteronomy 30:6 'The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts . . . so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.'Circumcision: physical and spiritual

Colossians 2:11-12 'In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.'

Romans 10:9 'If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.'

1 Timothy 6:12 'Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.'

When your friends see you submit to baptism they know you're serious about following Jesus. For people who come from, say, a Hindu or Muslim background, baptism is seen as the definitive break with their previous culture and religion—and often marks the beginning of persecution by relatives and associates.

Have you been baptised by immersion as a believer?

 

Learn
by heart

Colossians 2:12  '...Buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.'

Heart

BwG2: Baptism
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