The One Amazing Baptism.
Handout for Sermon: The One Amazing Baptism! February 12th, 2023, 9:30 a.m. Manchester, TN. 10/30/22
Introduction: Before we begin our study on baptism today, I want to emphasis the power of God and His word. Do you believe God intended to have His word read by common people, sinners and to understand it? Scripture: Romans 1:16, Hebrews 4:12-12, 1 Peter 1:12 “Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God.” Isaiah 40:8 “Grass withers, the followers fade, but the word of our God will stand forever.” 1 Thessalonians 2:13 You received the word of God, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.” Luke 11:28 Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
Open your Bibles to Ephesians chapter 4. In the religious world there is much controversy about the topic “baptism.” Being immersed into the grace of God. One problem we have is to add “adjectives” to the word baptism. Such as “denominational” baptism, think about it there are over 1000 denominations. (New age groups, charismatic groups, traditional groups.) Which baptism is right? An adjective sends us in the wrong direction!!!! Some may say, preach on “Church of Christ baptism.” What is Church of Christ baptism???? To me that sounds a lot like “denominational baptism!” If we must use an adjective let it be “Bible” baptism!
Accepted baptism or unaccepted baptism, who decides? The only one that matters is God! In Ephesians 4:5 God speaks and tells us there is “ONE BAPTISM.” Truth comes from Jesus Christ, Ephesians 3:21, John 1:14-17!
Lesson: 1.THE FACTORS OF BIBLE BAPTISM. There are clearly 3 factors: a person – the Gospel – God, who saves, redeems, and adds that person to His Church. The Bible does mention other baptism’s which are NOT the “One Baptism” of Ephesians 4. My lesson in NOT about those! The other baptisms are John’s baptism (before the kingdom was established. Holy Spirit baptism which fell on the Apostles & Cornelius household and baptism in the cloud which the Israelites experienced in the Old Testament.
2.WHAT IS THE ONE BAPTISM? It is the baptism which Jesus spoke of in Matthew 28:18-20. In our lesson let us consider the things God reveals to us about this “one baptism.”
Full immersion in water. The Greek word for baptism literally means to immerse or bury. This is the word God chose to use in His eternal word. He did not say sprinkle, pour, nor symbolic immersion. We have examples recorded by God in His word of individuals going down into the water for the purpose of baptism. Scripture: Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:1-11, Acts 8:26-39, Acts 10:47-48 “withhold water for baptizing”. John 3:3-5, Romans 6:3-5 “buried”
To follow the example of Jesus and to obey Jesus. Jesus entire ministry was about making “disciples.” A disciple is a follower of Jesus. A great leader does what He expects His followers to do. Why? Because He is a forerunner and leader. Jesus tells us He was baptized to “fulfill all righteousness” so we do the same. It was right before God, the Father that Jesus be baptized, and we too should follow His example and be baptized. Scripture: Matthew 3;13-17, 1 Corinthians 11:1, 1 Peter 2:21-22
For the forgiveness of sins. God tells us what transpires in the act of baptism. There is what we do and then there is what God does in baptism. In Acts 2:41 we read of 3000 individual people who understood the message of the Gospel and personally chose to be immersed in water. Why did Paul choose to be baptized? God told him to do so to “wash away your sin.” The question for the individual and for us: Do you trust in God? Do you believe in what God says? Acts 22:41 The one baptism has a purpose!
United with the power of Jesus. In baptism you are aligning yourself with Christ in the power of Jesus. The power of Jesus is in baptism. That is why you go to the water. Scripture: Romans 6:3-8, Galatians 3:26-28 The power is not in us, nor the person baptizing you, nor in the group of people you assemble with. It is only in Jesus and Jesus decides if He is there and if He extends His power to that individual based on their faith, understanding and heart!
Upon baptism one is added by God to the Church. Remember baptism is personal. Upon a person’s personal choice, they are baptized and God decides to add that person to His Church. It is the great God of heaven who adds people to His Church. I do not, your family does not, a church does not add you itself, it is solely God. Your obedience to God and the Gospel does not need anyone else’s validation. It is all about obeying God and the Gospel. No one can take your obedience to the Gospel away from YOU! Scripture: Acts 2:47. If you choose to walk away from the truth and away from the faith, then you may be in danger of losing your salvation.
Baptism is a new walk in the Lord, a new beginning. Acts 2:42-46 Devoted themselves to many new and good things. They started a new wholesome saved life in Christ. Scripture: Romans 6:4, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 3:26-27, John 3:3-5, 1 Peter 1:3 & 23
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW IN ORDER FOR YOUR BAPTISM TO BE ACCEPTABLE TO GOD? When they came up out of the water in baptism, they went down in the water with limited knowledge and came up out of that water with limited knowledge. The new convert is on a journey with much to learn and repent of. We ALL have a long journey ahead of growth. On the day of Pentecost, the 3,000 baptized believers were still ignorant of so much and even after their baptism still struggled with:
Jews & Gentiles conflicts.
Greed, such as Simon. Hypocrisy, such as Peter.
Churches in Revelation 2 & 3.
Christians are called to repent but never called to be baptized again because of “new” sin!
Beware and be careful of being one who tries to determine if everyone else’s baptism if it is good enough.
An Example: someone who reads the Word of God, by faith their heart leads them to obey Biblical baptism, based on what they have read in the Word of God. Then that person chooses to obey the will of God and is baptized according to what they read in the Gospel. Are you/we then going to say Jesus did not accept THEIR baptism! Being a Christian is all about growing and learning. We all have a long journey ahead of learning and repenting, learning, and repenting and growing. When one learns they are not at the Church which teaches and follows God as they should, they then should leave and try to find the Church that Jesus built!
Thought to consider: Can a person assemble with a group of people that teaches error on something, not the truth on some things- does that means: the person’s baptism was not actually a baptism into Christ. Consider even some Churches of Christ!” Read Revelation 2-3.
HAVE YOU ANSWERED GOD WITH THE ONE BAPTISM?
What about the baptizer? Is the baptizer important? He is a factor not a determinator. What if he is a bad person? What if he is a sinner? What if the baptizer influenced the person in a wrong way? The belief of the baptizer is not a factor or determinator, but what the person being baptized believes DOES MATTER! You cannot believe wrong about baptism and your baptism be right!
I agree in this thought process: Chances are most people who attend churches that do not teach the truth on baptism – may not be baptized as the Gospel teaches. Especially if those people never read and study on their own!!!
What about the congregation where I attended? Have you believed the Gospel? How many people here know about my baptism? How old, where it happened, who was the preacher, did someone else do it, what kind of Church building, what did they teach on proper worship, what did they teach on benevolence, how did that church worship?
CONCLUSION: We at times are bad about extremes. We ask: was it a “denominational” baptism or a “Church of Christ” baptism? Let us bury those terms. There is just ONE BAPTISM, described and taught by God. Everyone and anyone who has been baptized in that one baptism:
Is redeemed by the Lord.
Does not need to be baptized again.
If you have been moved by faith by the Gospel and obeyed God in baptism, it is between you and God. Christ determines if He will wash away your sin, not me!
You will answer to God in judgment about your baptism!
We must stand firm on the ONE BAPTISM of Ephesians 4 and teach there is but one!
Each individual WILL answer to God as He is the judge!
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE BEEN BAPTIZED IN THE ONE BAPTISM WHICH GOD INSTRUCTED.