Latest posts by Pastor Viju Mathai (see all)
- Discernment vs. Judgment – V (God’s Guidelines for Discerning) - April 4, 2016
- Discernment vs. Judgment -IV (How do we Discern) - April 4, 2016
- Discernment vs. Judgment -III (Diakrino, Dokimazo) - April 4, 2016
Let’s Study the Word!
What is water baptism? Is it necessary for salvation? Why is it important to be baptized? What is the biblical method of water baptism? Who should be baptized? Why should I be baptized? Why do some refuse to be baptized? What should I do after baptism? These and other questions are addressed in this section. Throughout this teaching we will purely rely on the scripture and let the Holy Spirit work in you.
Mathew 28:19 — Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
What Baptism is not?
- Baptism is not a way to gain anything Worldly: Through baptism we are obeying the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Must I be baptized in order to be saved? Baptism is not the way we are saved – we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus alone. We are saved when we accepted Jesus as our savior and welcomed Him into our hearts and lives. In short, we are saved when we were “born again”
Ephesians 2:8-9 — 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
1 Corinthians 6:11 — “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
Romans 10:9-10 — 9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
What is Baptism?
Romans 6:3-13 — 3. Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4. We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— … 9. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.11. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.
Galatians 2:20 — “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
- Through Baptism we identify with Christ’s Death, Burial & Resurrection: Through Water Baptism a believer identifies oneself with Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. It proclaims that our sinful past is dead and buried – behind us – and that we have resurrected to a new life with Christ Jesus
- Identifying in His Death – Dead to sin – Must die daily to sin: (Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:7; 10-11) Count yourself dead to sins; No longer slaves to sin; I no longer live; I no longer can go back to my old sinful ways; my past is dead
- Identifying in His Burial – Immersion in water (Romans 6:4) – A person who is dead must be buried, must be completely covered
- Identifying with His Resurrection – Rising to a new life in Christ: Romans 6:4-5; 10-13)
How is it done?
- Baptism is by Immersion only: The person who is being baptized must be completely submerged under water before being pulled out
Colossians 2:11-12 — 11. In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, 12. Having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
Acts 8:36-39 — 36. As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” 38. And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.
- Why don’t we sprinkle or draw a cross?
- ¨ Key Phrase: “buried with him in baptism” – Buried with Christ
- ¨ Greek word “BAPTIZO” means – to plunge under, dip, or immerse.
- ¨ The word “BAPTIZE / BAPTIZO” evolved from the technique of dipping a loth in dye – a cloth must be completely dipped to absorb the dye. Once dipped, it will smell and looks like the dye.
- ¨ Two Greek words translated “SPRINKLE” are “RANTIZO” and “ECHEO”. Neither word is found in the Bible in relation to baptism. There had to be enough water for both Philip and the eunuch to “go down” and “come out”
- Baptism is a Public Declaration: Water Baptism is a public testimony – the outward confession of an inward experience. In baptism, we stand before witnesses confessing our identification with the Lord. It is a public declaration of our belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ
- Baptism is in the name of the Father, Son & the Holy Spirit: Water Baptism identifies the believer with the Godhead – Father, Son & Holy Spirit.
Matthew 28: 19 — Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Who should be water baptized?
Acts 2:36-41 —36. “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 37. When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, Brothers, what shall we do?” 38. Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call.” 40. With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41. Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
- Anyone who has heard the message, received it and repented: Baptism is for those who are born-again.
- Must be Matured enough to make the decision: Individual must be matured enough or capable of making a personal decision. Since infants cannot make their own decisions, “infant baptism” is not biblical. One (adult or a child) has to be matured enough to understand and believe the message.
- Decided to leave the old sinful ways. Only those who are born-again must be baptized.
- A dead person must be buried, or else it will smell. Only a born-again person who is “dead to sin”, can be buried/baptized
- A living person cannot be buried. You cannot bury a person who is not born again (dead to sin).
- Even John the Baptist’s Baptism required them to repent first
- Matthew 3:6 — Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
Why should I do it?
- Jesus Himself was Baptized!
Matthew 3:13-15 — 13. Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15. Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. …..
- Jesus and His disciples Baptized others!
John 4:1-2 — 1 Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples
John 3:22-23 — 22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. 23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized.
- Jesus commanded us to do it
Matthew 28:19-20 — 19. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20. and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
- It is the first step/act of obedience: Water Baptism is an act of obedience for the believer. It should be preceded by repentance. It is turning from our sin and selfishness to serve the Lord. It means placing our pride, self-consciousness, dignity, our past and all of our possessions before the Lord. It is giving the control of our lives over to Him. Although there is nothing magical about baptism or in the water, there is great symbolism behind it. It symbolizes the complete surrender of one’s life to Jesus Christ. But there is this deep cleansing that takes place inside when you yield yourself to Jesus. When you descend into the waters of baptism, although nothing happens from the outside, something life changing is happening inside. There are no more contradictions, confusions. The change that this simple act can bring about in our life is immense and indescribable.
Mark 16:15-16 — 15. He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
- It is a strong public declaration/ testimony of our faith
Matthew 10:32-33 — 32. “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.
- It is important to God: In the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch, (Acts 8:26-40), God found it very important to send someone to preach the message/gospel which includes the message of baptism. – “Repent and be baptized”
Why do some not do it?
People make several excuses when confronted with a decision to be baptized. While some believe that since they have been baptized as a baby, they do not need to be baptized again. We have already covered this argument in the topic “Who should be water baptized?” Since an infant lack maturity to make decisions and make sound judgments, child baptism is not biblical. Therefore, in such cases one must submit to the water baptism taught by the scripture.
Some make lame excuses such as: “I am afraid of water” “I am fearful of the public” “too proud and dignified to go through this silly process” “I have been already filled with the Holy Spirit”. Why do I need it now?” In Acts 10:44-48 we see a portion that reiterates the need to be baptized even when one is Spirit Filled
Acts 10:44-48 — 44. While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. 47. Then Peter said, “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” 48. So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.
Unless nailed down like the robber (Luke 23:39-43), don’t chance it!
What Next – After Baptism?
Philippians 1:6 — being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
- You cannot turn back: History of Israel is an example for us. They were baptized when they went through the red sea and under the cloud. Once you cross the red sea, you cannot turn back. It is a one way street.
1 Corinthians 10:2-5 — 2. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3. They all ate the same spiritual food 4. and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 5. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert.
- You will face challenges: After the Israelites crossed the red sea, they stumbled into the wilderness. After Jesus was baptized, He was tempted (Mathew 3:16 – 4:1). Expect trials and temptations to intensify. Do not be afraid, God is with you and with His help you will overcome & come out refined and stronger. You can resist temptation! You are not alone in temptation, God promises to show the way out.
1 Corinthians 10:13 — No temptation has seized you except what is common to man, and God is faithful; He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
- Always be assured of your salvation: God assures you that Jesus has come into your life. A deep cleansing has taken place
1 Peter 3:21 — “And this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also – not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
- God assures you that your sins has been forgiven :
Colossians 2:13-14 — 13. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14. having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.
- Continue to receive forgiveness “daily”:
1 John 1:8-9 — 8. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
- Know that you are loved unconditionally: God loves you; He has chosen you and have adopted you into His family
Ephesians 1:5-6 — 5. he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6. to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
- You have a new life in Christ Jesus: You have begun a relationship that will continue the rest of the days of your life. You have a great friend in Jesus; so get to know Him. As you meditate and pray you will start learning about this great friend Jesus. Build a personal relationship with Him. Realize your long term goal- to be like Christ.
Colossians 2:6-7 — 6. So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7. rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
- Build a strong prayer life: You can pray to God about anything and everything; He wants to hear from you.
Philippians 4:6 — Do not be anxious for anything, but in anything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
- Read & Meditate God’s Word: This is your new instruction manual, a treasure. You can trust God’s Word. Take time to memorize the scriptures
2 Timothy 3:16 — All Scripture is God-Breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
Psalm 119:105 — Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
- Ask God to fill you with the power of the Holy Spirit: God gives you His Holy Spirit to enable you to live a victorious Christian life. God will help you to follow and obey him.
John 14:26 — But when the counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
- Build an attitude of Worship:
Hebrews 10:25 — Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
- Be part of a local church: No one is called to be a lone ranger. Devil is like a roaring lion waiting to devour anyone, especially those that are lonely
- Tell others about Jesus: You let others know what Christ has done for you. The news you have to share is the best news anyone could hear.
Romans 1:16 — I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes
For any clarifications or questions, please feel free to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org