Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Biblical, Christian Baptism by John.

Biblical, Christian Baptism
Matthew 28:18-20

1. The Jews of Jesus' time on earth always listed the most important things first.
2. With that in mind, think about the listing in these three verses:
(1) The first is authority in heaven and on earth. Jesus is Lord over all there is.
(2) The others are dependent on that.
(3) The second is, "Go." Actually, it would be better translated as "as you are going."
(4) The third is, "make disciples." Essentially, that means lead people to follow and listen to Jesus.
(5) The fourth is, "teaching them to obey." Not one thing Jesus taught is less than vital to life!
(6) The fifth is the culminating promise, "And surely I am with you always." At some point in discipleship, we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, and this is His promise! He will always be with us!
3. Jesus Himself spoke all of these words, and we are called Baptists because we center our churches on these commands of Jesus, but people have always noticed the strong emphasis on baptism.
4. Some denominations have tried to convince the world that baptism in water in their church by their minister is the only way to get to heaven. (You notice that I said, "have tried." They have had varied success, but in my estimation they are not Biblical, and they cannot succeed.
5. There are two kinds of baptism in the New Testament. I'll explain that in a few minutes.

I. First, Let's Talk about the meaning of the Greek Word used in the NT and translated universally as baptism.

1. It is baptidzo. It means, "to plunge under," or "to immerse."
2. It does not mean, "to pour," "or to sprinkle."
(1) The translators of the King James Bible were concerned because their church did not immerse people.
(2) They felt obligated to ts baptidzo as "immerse." They felt they would be changing God's Word if they translated it any other way.
(3) King James suggested they just bring baptidzo over into English, and then they could give it any meaning they wanted to. They did that.
(4) The practice of sprinkling and pouring started when the churches began to expand.
a. Sick people and injured Roman soldiers could not be immersed in water without serious physical consequences.
b. It should not have made any great difference to them, but if baptism was necessary for salvation, it would, and the churchmen had already fallen into that trap of Satan!
c. This may seem contradictory, but I believe that any person who has not been baptized is lost!
d. Now let me quickly explain that.

II. Spiritual and Physical Baptism Are Both Important.

1. Romans 6:3 says, "Don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?"
2. Jesus was talking about His death when He asked James and John if they could be "baptized" with the baptism He was going to receive.
(1) That definitely did not refer to what we think of when we talk about baptism, right? (We sometimes say soldiers were under a baptism of fire.
(2) Jesus referred to James and John living for Jesus by dying to themselves, and eventually dying for Jesus just like He would die for them.
3. We usually say there are two church ordinances, Baptism and the Lord's Supper.
(1) There are three views about the Lord's Supper.
a. One view is Transubstantiation. This view maintains that the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus at a precise moment in a communion service.
b. A second view is Consubstantiation. This belief is that the bread and wine do not change, but that the body and blood of Jesus are present in them.
c. By far the most popular view is that the bread and wine represent the body and blood of Jesus.
(2) It is obvious that no one eating the bread and drinking the wine ever experience any change in the taste of those items.
(3) It is true that in John 6:53, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you...For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink."
(1) I believe the all the Bible, and I believe this, but this is an instance when Jesus was not speaking literally.
(2) He is talking about the dedication it takes, the total abandonment of self that we must have in order to truly accept Him as our Savior.
(3) It also refers to the fact that when we entrust Him completely with our lives, He indwells us, and He will never leave us!
4. Now, why did I bring that up in the first place?
(1) I brought it up because water baptism is a physical act symbolic of a Spiritual act.
a. Some churches list a number of things a person has to do in his lifetime to be saved, and the Lord's Supper and Baptism are on their list!
b. I see nothing in the Bible to indicate bread, wine, and water applied to our lives either bring or maintain salvation.
c. We do agree that no one ever has or ever will go to heaven without Spiritual Baptism!
d. I think we would also have to agree that no soul goes to heaven without the dedication Jesus was talking about when He said we must eat His body and drink His blood.
e. Salvation comes as we meet God's terms to accept the gift of Life He gives us. We give ourselves to Him and to His keeping trusting in His Son for the forgiveness of our sins. When we do that, He accepts us!

III. Baptism in Water is a Beautiful Picture of Salvation.

1. Baptism in and by the Spirit is absolutely necessary for salvation! Baptism in water pictures what has already happened spiritually!
2. We believe Christians go to heaven when they die, right? Right!
3. But the transaction that insures the trip comes at an earlier time.
4. I was brought up believing that no one would know they were going to heaven for sure until we stood before God at judgment!
5. I had to study the Bible to see that is not true!
6. Judgment takes place when we put our trust in Jesus.
(1) That's why Jesus wants us to be His disciples!
(2) We are sinners! All of us sinned before we knew Jesus!
(3) John 5:24 says, "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned: he has crossed over from death to life."
(4) "Hears" and "believes" are present tense, right?
(5) "Will" is future tense.
(6) "Has crossed" is past perfect tense.
(7) That means those who believe right now will never be condemned. They have already been judged! Their destination is heaven!
7. That's the picture baptism in water shows of those being baptized.
8. It also serves to remind us that Jesus died to make it possible for God to forgive our sins, and that He arose to open the door to life for all of us!


1. Baptism is a simple act of obedience to the Lord simply because He asks it of us.
2. It is a beautiful picture of our death to self, and our resurrection to life eternal.
3. It represents our being immersed in the Holy Spirit of God.
4. It is a witness to the world that we belong to Jesus!
5. Do you need to be baptized? Do you meet the conditions we've talked about today? Then you should present yourself as a candidate for baptism and membership in this church.
6. If you don't meet the conditions, you can, and we will be glad to tell you how if you let us.

Emmanuel Community Church July 2, 2006
(the church's 18th anniversary).


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