Does Water Baptism make you a Christian?
You might be surprised how many people believe that indeed their water baptism will have something to do with them getting to heaven. Water baptism does not save you. Spiritual baptism does save you.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9not by works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9
We are not minimizing baptism.
We are maximizing salvation.
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF BAPTISM?
It illustrates Christ’s burial and resurrection.
“Christ died for our sins…He was buried…and He rose again.” – I Corinthians 15:3-4
“For when you are baptized, you were buried with Christ, and in baptism you were also raised with Christ.” – Colossians 2:12
It illustrates my new life as a Christian.
“When someone becomes a Christian he becomes a brand new person inside. The old life has passed away and a new life has begun!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
”By our baptism then, we were buried with Him and shared His death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead…so also we may live a new life!” – Romans 6:4
It illustrates that one day my body will be resurrected from the grave.
John 6:40, 44, 54 (all speak of the blessed day that your body will be resurrected from the grave)
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:16
WHY SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
To follow the example set by Christ.
“At that time Jesus came from Nazareth and was baptized by John in the river.” – Mark 1:9
“This is my son, in whom I am well pleased.” – Luke 3:22
Because Christ commands it.
“Jesus said, ‘Go then, to all people everywhere and make them my disciples, baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and then teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.’” – Matthew 28:19-20
It demonstrates that I really am a believer.
“…many of the people who heard Him believed and were baptized.” – Acts 18:8
“We know that we have come to know Him, if we obey His commands.” – I John 2:3
WHY BE BAPTIZED BY IMMERSION?
Because Jesus was baptized that way.
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water.” – Matthew 3:16
Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion.
Acts 8:38-39 (Example)… “then both Philip and the man went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water…”
The word “BAPTIZE” literally means to dip under water.
It best SYMBOLIZES a burial and resurrection!
The founders of great denominations agree:
Martin Luther… “I would have those who are to be baptized to be entirely immersed, as the word imports and the mystery signifies.”
John Calvin… “The word ‘baptize’ signifies to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church.”
John Wesley… “Buried with Him, alludes to baptizing by immersion according to the custom of the first church.”
WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED?
Every person who has BELIEVED in Christ.
Acts 2:41 “Those who believed and accepted His message were baptized…”
Acts 8:13 “Simon himself believed and was baptized…”
Acts 8:12 “But when they believed Philip as he preached the Good News…and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.”
This is why we don’t have infant baptism. Here at Central, we wait until our children are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them. What a lot of people don’t know is that infant baptism was not started until 300 years after the Bible was complete. Baptism is reserved for “believers only” therefore only people who can give testimony of their spiritual baptism should be baptized in water. Again the purpose of baptism is to publicly confess your personal commitment to Christ and your association to Christ and to the church.
WHEN SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?
AS SOON AS YOU HAVE BELIEVED!
Acts 2:41 “Those who believed…were baptized…that day!”
Acts 8:35-38 “Then Philip began with the scripture and told him the Good News about Jesus. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water, and the man said, ‘Look, here is water! Why shouldn’t I be baptized right now?’ Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ The man answered, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’ So they went down into the water and Philip baptized him.”
There is no reason to delay. As soon as you have decided to receive Christ into your life, you can and should be baptized and be baptized publicly. If you wait until you are “perfect,” you will never get there. If you are waiting to be cleaned up, then you will we be waiting a long time. Maybe an eternity. Remember, baptism is a picture of what Jesus came to do – to clean you up. By being baptized you are saying, “Jesus is cleaning me and washing away my sin.”