Follow-up Lesson 7
The Word of God prophesied that John the Baptist would be born. He was to be the forerunner of Jesus Christ, (the Messiah), and was to announce the Lord Jesus Christ as Israels Messiah and Savior. The Bible says John came water baptizing. We may ask why he was baptizing. John came water baptizing those who were already in a covenant relationship with God. Israel was this covenant people who were under the Dispensation of Promise (administration or dispensation given to David and the Nation of Israel). John was calling them to repentance as a nation, one individual at a time, calling them to receive the Messiah. They were to identify with Johns message and by being water baptized one showed their personal acceptance. Water Baptism was not for salvation, but identification with the Messiah. Our Lord Jesus was water baptized to identify with the human race and to fulfill all righteousness in His humanity.
Gods Word tells us that after Israel as a nation rejected the New Covenant, God began a mystery dispensation (the Dispensation of Grace), called the church that is His Body. The church age is Gods program for today and will end with the rapture of the church. The order of events for the believer are; belief in Jesus Christ comes first, then the believer was water baptized coupled with their membership, and service. Those churches that hold to the teaching of Gods Word will preach it and hold to the truth of its authority.
The Word of God, the Bible, makes it plain that water baptism is not for unbelievers or babies, but only for those who have accepted Jesus Christ as savior (Those who believed God's Word). It always follows salvation and follows close to salvation. Water Baptism never seems to be optional but practiced right afterwards. One has to have the ability to believe and understand that he is a sinner. Never can a person perform water baptism on another person to give them salvation or give them a special place with God. Such a belief just does not come from the Bible. Membership in the first century local Church was connected with an individual's water baptism (Acts 2:41-47). Salvation of transformation is a complete work of God through the gospel in the Redemptive Covenant (New Covenant).
The practices given for the local church today is water baptism and communion. Water Baptism is the first act of obedience after salvation and should be desired after a true conversion takes place to show obedience to Christ. It is an open confession to the other believers and the world one is identifying with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection and the local church of believers. There is only one water baptism, which believers are responsible for and it is in relationship to the local church after belief (Ephesians 4:5). Communion is a memorial of the truths of the body and blood of Jesus Christ and is for all believers when they get together (I Corinthians 11:23-26).
The Water Baptism that is taught in the Scriptures is by immersion and it is not for salvation but identification (I Corinthians 1:14-18). Water Baptism is the duty of every child of God, which shows they are identifying with Jesus Christ. The mode of baptism is immersion into water and is practiced in relationship to the local church and performed by a representative of Jesus Christ. There is no other form of Water Baptism taught in the Scriptures than immersion. The word baptism in the Greek means to dip under (and water was the element used). Water Baptism is not for children who cannot make a cognitive decision to ask Jesus Christ to be their personal savior. Water Baptism is for those who can make the chose to follow the Lord Jesus Christ in life. No Place in Scripture does a baby get water baptized.
1. Mark 1:9-10, "And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:"
a. There is no time lapse. The coming out is as John brought Jesus Christ up out of the water.
b. This verse does not say after His sprinkling but coming up out of the water. The Holy Spirit was leaving no doubt as to the mode of baptism. The word baptism in Greek means, "to dip"!
2. John 3:23 "And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized."
a. Why much water? It is simple. To dip (baptize) a person you need much water.
b. Jesus told John that after His water baptism He would latter baptize with the Holy Spirit instituting the New Covenant with the permanent indwelling of God the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:8, John 14:15-18, 16:5-15, Acts 2:1-4, Ephesians 1:13-14).
3. Act 8:38, 39, "and he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing."
a. Scripture shows both the baptizer and the candidate going into the water to perform the baptism.
b. The pastor is the representation of Jesus Christ in the church today, performing the visible act of baptism on the believer. However, the baptizer is a believer either the pastor or a designated believer of the local church. In the first century a person baptized gave acceptance into the local body of believers (Acts 2:46-47, Acts 9:10-31).
4. Romans 6: 3-5, "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection." Just as my whole body is washed externally with water, so have I been wholly cleansed from the uncleanness of my soul and all my sins (past, present and future) cleansed by the blood and Spirit of Christ, and made a victor over death."
a. The symbolism of immersion representing burial is striking, and if baptism is at all to be compared with prophetic symbolism, the parallelism of the act of the believer and event symbolized is important.
b. The likeness that symbolizes death needs to be done in a way keeping with the meaning of the word baptism "dipped". The coming up out of the water is to symbolize the likeness of His resurrection.
c. The Heidelberg Catechism used by reform denominations and other sprinkling churches that no longer immerse believers have erred from what they have held in years gone by. In their catechism it says, "Question 71, what is baptism? Answer, It is the immersing of a believer in water (Rom 6:3,4,5; Col. 2:11; Gal 3:27) as a sign unto Him (1Peter 3:21) that he has union with Christ in His atoning death and powerful resurrection (Rom 6; 2,4), thus having the remission of sins and the washing of regeneration (Mark 1:4; Acts 26:16, and so is to walk and live as a new creature (Col. 3:1-5)." Also in, "Question 72. How does holy baptism remind you that Christs sacrificial death and mighty resurrection avail for you? Answer, In this way: Christ has instituted this immersing and washing in water to signify His promise that, as certainly as I go down beneath the water and come up again, I am one with Him (Rom 6:4) as He was overwhelmed by suffering and death (Luke 12:50), then rose victoriously to life (Rom 6:8-11); and that by this union, just as my whole body is washed externally with water, so have I been wholly cleansed from the uncleanness of my soul and all my sins cleansed by the blood and Spirit of Christ, and made a victor over death."
Find the answers in the above reading and the scriptures found in the follow-up lesson
1. Is water baptism for salvation or identification, Romans 6:3-5?
4. In Romans 6:3-5 what likeness is a believer identifying with in water baptism?
5. What does the word baptize mean in the Greek?
6. Does the Bible teach sprinkling as a proper action for water Baptism? Yes/No
7. The water baptism taught in Gods Word is done by immersion into?
8. Who performs the water baptism today that represents Jesus Christ to the Church, which is His Body?
9. What are the two ordnances of the local church today?
10. Does the Bible teach that babies are to be water baptized? Yes / No
12. How many times does a person need to be water baptized after salvation? Often / Once
13. Is water baptism an option for believers?
Yes / No
Why or Why not?
14. Do you have any question relating to Water Baptism?
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It is recommended for all to further their Biblical study and understand to purchase the following books!! The Essential Criteria of Dispensational Theology for the Professional and Layperson (Hard or soft cover). Where Is God? Lexie Discovers God's Plan to Save the World (Soft cover only see video).
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Then continue with LESSON NO. 8 "You Mean God Has A Plan For My Life"
World Wide Outreach Ministry Inc.
By: Theodore D Pestor/ President/Pastor BTH