Bible Studies In The Christian Library

Four Questions About Baptism Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:1-6

In our "Young Man's" Class the past several weeks, we have been reviewing God's plan for man….with regards to Worship. We studied man's attempts to "Please God " during the Patriarchal Age (When God spoke directly through the fathers) n We moved forward to the Mosaic Age…and the Written Law of God (Worship was centered upon the tabernacle & the Temple).  Now, we have moved onward…to the Christian Age…our era (God's precepts are written on the hearts of man).

During this discussion, we have been observing the day…when this "New Age" began.

The Day of Pentecost….the Word of the Lord came with POWER.  The Worship of the Jews…inside a "building" (Temple) had ended. God would now dwell in the hearts of His believers n We have noted, how the sermon (from Peter) climaxed: (Acts 2:36-38 NKJV) "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." {37} Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" {38} Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The Jews were convicted…of "Killing" the very Messiah…who was sent for their Salvation!   This revelation…caused the hearers to be "pricked in their hearts" and to cry out: "Men and Brethren…what shall we do???"   Notice the answer from Peter is not simply an answer of: ***Let the Grace of God carry you through ***Just say the sinners prayer…rejoice! ***NO: the people were told to "Repent (turn around) and be Baptized…for the forgiveness of your sins!

This morning, we want to "bring to light" this admonishment that Peter (and the others) offered to the people…on that day! Our discussion will focus around the subject of Baptism:

What is the one Baptism that Paul alluded to in Ephesians 4? (heard earlier) What is the act of Baptism? Who should be Baptized? Why should one be Baptized? "If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. But since our greatest need was forgiveness, God sent us a Savior."

Let's begin…by observing the first…of these four questions:

I. What is the ONE BAPTISM that is taught about is Ephesians Chapter Four?

(Eph 4:4-5 NKJV) There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; {5} one Lord, one faith, one baptism;

This statement was made in around 64 AD.   By this time…there had been a case of Holy Ghost Baptism upon the Apostles in Acts Chapter 2…on the Day of Pentecost.  There was another case…where the Holy Spirit fell upon a group of Gentiles inside of the house of Cornelius n But…in 64AD…."There is but ONE Baptism!"

The One Baptism…of Ephesians 4:5 is the one which is performed by man. It is accomplished in the name of the Father…the Son…and the Holy Spirit! It is the last baptism unto the end of this world! (As Jesus informed His Disciples) (Mat 28:19-20 NKJV) "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, {20} "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.   It is the ONE Baptism….for all the nations (nationalities…genders) All mankind….who is in need of Salvation!   The "Spirit Baptism" which we have cited this morning…was not for all mankind in general. As well…let us notice….this Spirit Baptism was not for Salvation…it was to apply the Gifts (Miraculous) of God’s Holy Spirit.

Let's move on to our second question: II. What is the ACT of Baptism?

According to the Scriptures, it is an action which requires "much water"  In John 3:23 we find that John the Baptist moved to a location called Aenon…because "there was much water" n In Acts Chapter 8:37-39 we find the conversion of the Ethiopian Eunuch. As Philip teaches him the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Eunuch notices a body of water and says: "See, here is water…what hinders me from being baptized?" Then we find that the two of them…go down into the water….and then (verse 39) they both came up…out of the water! (You must go down…before you can come up!) n To be baptized (Greek Word Baptizo = to immerse, to dip, to plunge)  Paul, in his letter to the Romans….cements this idea further….when he equates the Baptism of a believer…to that of the DEATH-BURIAL-RESURRECTION of Jesus (Rom 6:1-4 NKJV) What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? {2} Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? {3} Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? {4} Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Died: Jesus on the Cross….believer "repented"…turned from sin Buried: Jesus in the tomb…..believer in the water Resurrected: Jesus from the Tomb (after 3 days)….believers to new life (in Christ)

The action of Baptism….is an immersion….it has never been shown in Scripture as sprinkling water over someone’s head…..notice the wording which Paul uses… he speaks to the Colossians concerning their "New Birth" (Col 2:11-14 NKJV) In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, {12} buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. {13} And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, {14} having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

III. Who then….should be baptized? Going back again…to the words of Jesus (The Great Commission) He told the Disciples who the candidates were:

(Mark 16:15-16 NKJV) And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. {16} "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.   Notice several things about this passage: ***the candidates are… "all mankind…throughout the World" ***They are those who HEAR from Preaching ***They are those who have the ability of believing (belief brings action) n Key to our understanding….the candidates for Baptism are those who have been properly taught….not infants. They are those who have repented….made the commitment to turn away from "belonging" to the vices of the World…and walking in the counsel of God in Heaven. (not sinless….but focused on obedience to the Lord).  Those who are candidates to be baptized are those who have confessed the name of Jesus….as being the Christ (Messiah) the Son of God! (Ethiopian Eunuch: "I believe that Jesus is the Son of God!")

IV. Finally then….Why should one be Baptized?

The easiest of answers is: Because that's what God requires! (Naaman told to dip in Jordan River: 2 Kings Chapter 5)

1. To obey the Lord (Heb 5:8-9 NKJV) though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. {9} And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,

2. To be born again….a "new creation" (Jesus to Nicodemus…If you want to see the Kingdom of God…you must be born again!….) (2 Cor 5:17 NKJV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new

3. So that you might be "Saved In Christ" (Purpose of the Messiah…Save the people from their SINS!) (1 Pet 3:20-21 NKJV) who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine long-suffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. {21} There is also an antitype which now saves us; baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

4. To have your SINS….washed away (remember Paul's purpose for being baptized?) (Acts 22:16 NKJV) 'And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'

5. So that you too….might become a member of the Lord's Body: His Church! (1 Cor 12:13 NKJV) For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body; whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free; and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

(Eph 5:23 NKJV) For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.

Dear friend….(young people included)… you believe…with all your heart that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God?

We ask you today: Take that final step of obedience….(become a Christian). Jesus came not to condemn the world…but to SAVE the World!  Jesus has…in fact….provided the means for you to be saved. Will you obey the Gospel today?

Do you have a response to this lesson? Were you intrigued by this teaching? Do feel the need to dispute what is taught here? "Come, let us reason together."

You may address your thoughts, questions and opinions to me at the Email Address above.

Copyright 1999 by David Gladwell may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.

Top of Page