Memory Verse: Matthew 4:4 Lesson Verse: Acts 2:41
A. The Christian life, entered through the new birth, is just that - a life. In the Bible, a new Christian is compared to a "baby" (1 Peter 2:2), and is commanded to “_______ in grace” to maturity (2 Peter 3:18). A Christian therefore, is not to stay as a “baby” all their life, but to GROW. And an important step of a Bible believing Christian’s growth is baptism (Acts 2:37-41; Matthew 28:18-20). This simple step of obedience is God’s test of whether or not a person whole-heartily wants to follow the Lord Jesus Christ now that they are saved - it is not part of being saved!
B. This lesson will explain what believer’s baptism is, its importance, and when a Christian should get baptized.
What is Believer's Baptism?
A. The meaning of the word ‘Baptism.’ Let’s look at what it actually means.
1. Baptism simply means, “to put something INTO something else” - as in “immerse,” "bury," or “submerge.”
2. Notice that 1 Corinthians 12:12,13 shows the sinner being taken from a life that had been “IN sins” (Eph 2:5), and being placed INTO a Jesus Christ Himself (see also 2 Corinthians 5:17)! God didn’t just give you eternal life - He actually placed you INTO eternal life Himself, which is Jesus Christ!
3. So, there are two baptisms that need to occur in every person's life:
a. Spiritual baptism which happens when we are saved (placed into Jesus Christ when we ask to be saved from our sins)
b. Water baptism, which happens after we get saved (placed into water to show the world we are burying our old life).
4. Answer the following questions:
a. Spiritual baptism is referred to as being immersed into ________.
b. What are we baptized into Christ by? (1 Cor 12:13) ___________
c. In the Bible, baptism means what: ‘sprinkling,’ ‘dipping,’ ‘pouring,’ or ‘immersion?’ (circle the correct answer).
B. The importance of ‘Spiritual Baptism’. The placement of a sinner’s life into Christ is what actually saves that sinner. As far as we are concerned, we are only trusting Christ to cleanse us from all sin. As far as God is concerned, we are actually being immersed into, and surrounded by our Saviour! This is the most important baptism. If you don’t get placed into Christ, then you never got saved!
C. The importance of ‘Water Baptism’. We have learned about Spiritual Baptism. The Bible also talks about ‘water baptism.’ Let’s find out about it
It only occurs to those capable of ‘believing’ on the Lord
Jesus for salvation. Therefore, only those that ___________ can be baptized (Acts
8:26-39). This excludes all baby baptisms, because they can’t believe! There
is not one record of the baptism of a baby in the Bible. Water
baptism ALWAYS follows a
sinner’s salvation where they have been Spiritually baptized into Christ.
2. It symbolizes what happened ‘inside’ when a person was saved - “I died to sin (its guilt, power, and its penalty), my old life is therefore dead and buried, and I was raised to a new life IN Christ.”
3. Romans 6:3-6 describes baptism as a 3-fold memorial:
See 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, where, the whole Gospel is contained in these three events, and that a person is SAVED if he or she simply trusts them to be sufficient to pay for their sins!
4. So, this water baptism identifies or associates the believer no longer with the old life of sin, but with Jesus Christ and His death, burial, and resurrection. It is in the same way that a uniform associates a worker with the company they work for!
5. Water baptism presents a public testimony to the world that one has accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour, and that they are willing to live a different life now for the Lord Jesus (Acts 2:41; Romans 10:11)!
6. So, when immersed into water in baptism, does this “wash away our sins?” (Ephesians 2:8,9; Galatians 3:11) _____. What saves the sinner then? (Ephesians 1:7; 1John 1:7; Colossians 1:20) Only the ___________ of Christ can wash away our sins!
7. The apostle Paul’s whole focus in life was the preaching of the Gospel - not in baptizing (1 Cor 1:13-18)! Not to say water baptism is not important, but that it was secondary to salvation - not part of salvation!
How Should A Person be Baptized?
A. Just like Jesus was baptized: Jesus was not sprinkled, or poured upon, but rather immersed into the water. Matthew 3:16 says, “He (Jesus) ...went up straightway __________ of the water...” He had been IN it.
B. Like ALL New Testament believers were baptized: (Acts 8:38,39) “... they went down both into the water... and when they were come up out of the water...” Note that there is NO exception to this in all the Bible examples.
C. A new Christian should be baptized in the only way that adequately pictures Christ's death, burial, and resurrection to save the sinner (See again 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, and Romans 6:1-6).
Why Get Baptized?
A. Because it testifies to the world that you are different now (2 Corinthians 5:17), and that you are aligning your life with what the Bible says, and not with what this world and its religions say.
B. Because my greatest example to follow was baptized. Who is this example? (Matt 3:13-16) __________________
C. Because it was the normal practice of the Christians in the New Testament (Acts 2:41; 8:38; 9:17,18; 10:48; 16:15, 33; 18:8; 19:4,5).
D. Because it is God's command: "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, _______________ them..." (Matt 28:19,20). Jesus said, "If ye _________ me, keep my __________________" (John 14:15).
Baptism is God’s test of a person’s sincerity of faith. If a person is not willing to go on record as having been saved by the grace of God through the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, then they really are not coming to Christ for salvation, but for their own purpose. God doesn’t just want “lip service” (Matthew 15:8). He wants to know if we are really serious! We already know that He is really serious - He already died in our place! Will you live for Him?
What If I Was Baptized Already Before I Got Saved?
A. Notice when true Christians got baptized (Acts 2:41; 16:30-33). Was it (Before) or (After) their repentance of sin, and acceptance of Christ?
B. So, if I have been saved, and have never been Scripturally baptized, and I am going to be obedient to the Saviour and His word, when should I be baptized? ______________.