What about Baptism?
“Now That I Am Saved, Where Do I Start?” You may have asked this question since your conversion.
Virtually every religious denomination in existence teaches some form of baptism as part of their doctrine, and the diversities in their teachings are wide. This lesson is intended to give the Bible’s clear and definitive teaching on the subject so the individual understands perfectly what God’s intention is regarding baptism.
Why does God instruct us to be baptized? Baptism is the first act of obedience in service to the Lord. Anyone who has received eternal life can be baptized; it takes no special talents or efforts. Jesus set the example Himself by submitting to baptism before He began His public ministry. In Matthew 3:13-15, it is clear that Jesus was baptized in obedience to God’s plan. In verse 15, He said, “…Suffer (allow) it to be so now: for thus it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness.” This point of submission and obedience is the single most important thing to realize regarding baptism.
Several types of baptism are mentioned in the Bible. In each case, physical baptism is a picture of a spiritual truth. The important point to consider is the picture portrayed by baptism. Romans 6:1-7 (specifically verses 3-4) shows two of the purposes of baptism. It pictures the death, burial and resurrection of Christ It is also a public testimony of the new convert’s identification with Jesus Christ through the death, burial and resurrection, which is how he was saved. It identifies him with THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.
By the act of baptism the new believer is showing to GOD that he is ready to begin his ministry in spreading the Gospel to a lost and dying world. Also, in the act of baptism, the new believer is identifying with THE LORD JESUS CHRIST “to fulfill all righteousness (Matt.3:15).”
In identifying with the death of Christ through baptism, we must underscore the fact that baptism and salvation are separate events in the life of the believer. Salvation is not dependent upon being baptized. However, baptism must ALWAYS follow salvation in order for it to be scriptural.
The clearest case of an individual’s baptism in the Bible is the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-39. In verse 36, the eunuch is asked “…what keeps me from being baptized?” Phillip then answers with the condition of baptism in verse 37, “…If you believe with all your heart, you may.” Then the eunuch’s response sealed the matter, “ I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of GOD”. The only requirements for baptism are the requirements for salvation found in Romans 10:9-10, profession of Christ Jesus and believing in your heart that God raised Him from the dead.
There are no cases of baptism in the Bible of anyone but believers. Every act of baptism in the Bible follows salvation. Some other instances of baptism immediately after salvation are found in Acts 8:12 and Acts 18:8.
What Is The Method Of Baptism?
Again, Acts 8: 36-39 gives us the clearest example; In verses 38-39, both Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch went down into the water and came up out of the water. In Matthew 3:16, Jesus was baptized in the same manner. Scriptural baptism is done by full immersion into water.
What does the scripture say happened to Jesus when He had been baptized?
As seen previously, baptism is a picture of death, burial and resurrection. The only way to bury someone is to put them completely underground. The biblical method of baptism is complete immersion. Matter of fact, the word baptize means to immerse. No one in the Bible was ever sprinkled. No one in the Bible was ever baptized before they were saved. This is why Agape Home Fellowship believes in “believer’s baptism”, or being baptized after you make a profession of faith in Christ.
Baptism is symbolic of your life in Christ. It is also an act of obedience. Have you been obedient?