COMING TO THE WATER: Baptism
HANDOUT FOR SERMON: Lesson on Baptism-Coming to the Water. July 24th, 2022, Manchester, TN
INTRODUCTION: Open your Bibles to Acts chapter 2. I want to talk to you today about Baptism in water. What does it truly mean “to come to the water?” There are numerous examples of people “coming to the water” which God has recorded in His word for as long as the world will stand! This is done for your good and for mine! God is a unifier not a divider! God wants us all to come to the “water” to receive His amazing blessings! Doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done – we ALL must come to the water.
Acts 2 The Day of Pentecost. Such a diverse group of people of “every nation under heaven” (v.5 & 9) All migrating to the same place hearing a unifying message. (Acts 2:36-41). The only thing this group had in common was they most likely all believed in YAHWEH – God! 3000 people responded to God’s call, young and old, educated and less educated, doesn’t matter where you were or what you have been, yet we are all saved and unified in that water! We learn in Acts 2 when they came to the water the Lord added all these people to His church, Acts 2:44-47.
Today we have so much misunderstanding. So let us look at four examples that God provides in the book of Acts concerning “coming to the water.”
Acts 8:27-39 An Ethiopian man. What do we know about this guy? (Different from the Jews in Jerusalem since he was from Ethiopia). He had a complicated “back ground story” for sure. He was seeking something! Acts 8:35 in comes Philip.
Acts 9:1-3 Saul of Tarsus. (What was his background? A devout, highly educated Jewish man.) Ananias appears, v. 18, what did Paul do? Got up and went to the water. Acts 22:16 More information is given, “wash away your sins.” Was it a wise thing to go to the water?
Acts 10:1-48 Our first “proper” Gentile (not a proselyte). He is a great guy because of 4 things: devout, feared God, gave alms, prayed to God continually. A good religious man! Yet he needed to be saved, Acts 10:6!! Acts 10:44- Refuse water? Order them to be baptized. “I was given words so that Cornelius might be saved!” He came to the water in the name of Jesus Christ, and he was saved.
Acts 16:25-34 The Philippian jailer, God changed him in a moment! Had not even been thinking about God or religious things. Most likely not a godly man about to commit suicide! Very hour of the night, he came to the water! It didn’t take long to be saved. (I don’t know enough; I want to study more!) God gives us this example! WHY?
From the Ethiopian eunuch: doesn’t matter what culture you have or where you are from you have to get to the water.
From Saul of Tarsus: no matter how smart or well-trained you are you must get to the water.
From Cornelius: doesn’t matter how much of an outsider you are but you must get to the water.
The Philippian jailor: you do not have to be a religious person or know a lot about the Bible to be saved or a Christian!
1 Corinthians 12:12-14 The importance of understanding baptism and what is does.
We all come to God in baptism and are born again in the water and spirit.
From this passage we learn that we also are unified in one body, the Church.
We are all to move forward together, unified, not divided or in diversity!
You are my sister and my brother forever because of what God has done!
We all must come to the water because God tells us to and that is where salvation is found and carried out.
Therefore, shouldn’t we be baptizing someone every week or every day! There is an urgency with the water! Yet there is so much misunderstanding about “the water!”
Article from AL,COM “Hospital staff helps baptize elderly Alabama man.” Jan 19, 2019, An Alabama man in his eighties with only 15 percent of his heart functioning was baptized on Thursday with help from nurses and other staff at Huntsville Hospital.
Kenneth Conners had to be taken off machines and removed from monitors to allow for the immersion baptism in a portable baptistery. When he emerged, those gathered in his hospital room applauded.
“I’ve never baptized anyone who was this sick and this helpless,” said Phillip Hines, minister of Hartselle Church of Christ, according to the Hartselle Enquirer. “I’ve never seen anybody go to the lengths this hospital did to make this happen.”
Madison Church of Christ recently obtained a portable baptistery and loaned it for the occasion, Hines said. “When he came out of the water, they all started clapping,” Hines said. “At one point he had seven nurses around his bed. They were taking such good care of him, and he was just as happy as he could be. It was just an amazing experience.”
A comment to the article: “Why? Baptism is not required for salvation. Trusting Jesus as Savior is the only requirement. For sure the Romans did not baptized the thief on the cross. Yet Jesus said toady you will be with me in Paradise.”
You may have friends that think this way. First, I agree you MUST believe and trust in Jesus as your Savior, but that is not the only thing Jesus said!
-John 3:3-5 Jesus said you must be born again. -Mark 16:16 Jesus said believe and is baptized shall be saved. -Galatians 3:27 We are clothed with Christ through baptism. -1 Peter 3:21 Baptism now saves us.
You do not know: if the thief on the cross had been baptized by John the Baptist. The thief lived and died under the law of Moses. However, thousands of people who lived beyond the cross of Jesus were baptized on the day of Pentecost and many more recorded in the book of Acts.
A second comment: “SOUNDS RIDICULOUS! Water doesn’t save us. The blood of Jesus saves us!! Why does man always want credit for everything?”
I agree: the sacrifice and blood of Jesus saves! Water on your body does not save us. Baptism is an appeal to God. In I Peter 3:19-21 we learn this. Then in Romans 6:3-4 we learn we are buried with Christ in baptism and united in and to the power of His death. Raised to a transformed life. Read Colossians 2:12, an individual’s baptism is NOT ONE TRYING TO EARN ANYTHING!! Baptism is not about ME working to earn your salvation, it the working of God! Baptism is the working of God to you, on you and for you. If you want God’s grace – THEN COMES TO THE WATER where He pours it out generously.
A third comment: “I’m Catholic. I don’t understand submersion. We just pour water over the head. Doesn’t have to be much. I find this odd to unhook everything. Baptism by water sprinkling would have saved him just as well and a lot less trouble. The water and the words would be the same.”
This person was taught something and believed it probably all their life with no Biblical support. The word “Baptism” means by its very definition means IMMERSE! No example of sprinkling or pouring is ever recorded.
John 3:23 John chose a place because of much water. Acts 9 they went down into the water. Romans 6 Baptism is a burial. The Bible teaches this – we need to help people come to the water to be baptized and where there is much water.
A fourth comment: “I was always told that you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior and that through this acceptance of Him as the One and only Lord that is your way to heaven. And if this it true, why would you need to do complete immersion?”
If this statement is true than a person wouldn’t have to be baptized, but what did Jesus the Savior say? Just because you believe something does not mean it is true!!! We can believe a lie! We can also convince ourselves of things that are not true. We do not live under that authority of ME but under the authority of Jesus. When it comes to YOUR salvation or MY salvation we need to go to the source of salvation and ask our Savior what He says!
Matthew 28:19-20 Authority give to ME! Baptize them! What did Jesus say? Go out and find people of all cultures, all backgrounds, all people of all nations! Acts 2:38 The crowd GOT IT! “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
CONCLUSION: Let us do all we can to lead others to the water to receive the wonderful, renewing blessings of God.
Other valuable scripture that mention baptism: Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:16, John 1:33, John 3:5, Acts 2:41, Acts 8:12 & 36-39, Acts 10:48, Acts 11:16, Acts 16:31-33, Acts 19:4, Acts 22:16, Romans 6:1-12, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Galatians 3:27, Ephesians 4:4-6, Colossians 2:12-13, 1 Peter 3:21