Doctrine of Baptism
Why do we baptize?
We do it to obey the command of Christ as part of the process of making disciples of Jesus Christ. We see this at the end of the gospel of Matthew.
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
-Matthew 28:16 – 20 (ESV)
Baptism is a public confession to others of our identification with Jesus Christ. Through baptism, we tell others of our personal faith in Jesus of Nazareth and that we are now his disciples. Our old life is over and our new life has begun.
Does baptism save us?
We might believe that baptism is necessary for salvation based on the statement that the apostle Peter made in his sermon in Acts 2.
38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
-Acts 2:38 (ESV)
It appears like this might be true until we see this same apostle Peter sharing the gospel with a different group of people and read what his says in another sermon.
43 To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
-Acts 10:43 (ESV)
Peter said that belief in Jesus Christ is what brings about the forgiveness of our sins. Other passages in the Bible tell us the same thing.
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
-John 3:16 (ESV)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
-Ephesians 2:8 – 9 (ESV)
Faith in Jesus Christ is what saves us not baptism.
Who should be baptized?
The Bible teaches us that only those who believe in Jesus Christ should be baptized.
41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
-Acts 2:41 (ESV)
12 But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
-Acts 8:12 (ESV)
When should a person get baptized?
Based on the passages we just read, we should be baptized after we have placed faith in Jesus Christ.
How do we baptize?
In baptism, we identify with Jesus’ death and resurrection. This act symbolizes the end of your old life of living to please ourselves (death) and the gift of a new life to live to please Christ (resurrection). We believe the best method for baptism to convey this message comes through immersion in water. This method allows others to see an image of what happens to a person once we’ve placed our trust in Christ. It also aligns with the practice of baptism as seen in the New Testament. (Romans 6:3 – 8)
What should be the result of our baptism?
The apostle Peter teaches us that our baptism is a pledge to God.
21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
-1 Peter 3:21 (ESV)
Baptism is our promise to live a new life like Christ under the rule of God empowered by the Spirit. Baptism is the first step in being a disciple of Jesus. Then we must spend the rest of our lives learning his teaching and applying them daily as we learn to live in a relationship with God.
The Next Student Baptism Class
Date: Sunday, July 23rd, 9AM
Where: The Well Classroom