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BAPTISM

Baptism For You?  Your Children?

The English word Baptize comes from the Greek-Bible Word Baptidzo.  It literally means to "wash with water" and works a rebirth of new life for us in the Kingdom of God.  Sometimes in the Bible you see the word translated into English (wash) while other times you see it transposed into the English letters (Baptize, Baptism).

How important is Holy Baptism?  It is necessary for salvation.  It is a tool to which the Lord has attached His holy word of promise and the Holy Spirit.  As Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kinngdom of God" (John 3:5).

What is the promise the Lord attached to Baptism?  The Apostle Peter explains it: "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off" (Acts 2:38,39).

Baptism brings the forgiveness of sins into your life.  Jesus is the perfect and holy Son of God who lived a perfect life for us.  Baptism connects you to Him so that His death becomes your death and His life is credited as your life.  "Or don't you know," asks the Apostle Paul, "that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  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" (Romans 6:3,4).  And again: "You have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority . . . having been buried with him in baptism" (Colossians 2:10,12).

Who should be baptized?  Everyone!  Some churches teach that only adults should be baptized, because children and babies are too young to make a decision to follow Jesus.  The Bible however places no limitation of age, gender, nationality or of any kind on Holy Baptism.  It is not a matter of you making a decision to follow Jesus.  Baptism is God's decision of grace for you: "The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-- for all whom the Lord our God will call" (Acts 2:39.

 

Frequently asked questions about baptism:

What would it take for me to be baptized?  Meet with our pastor so he can talk to you and make sure you know what baptism means in your life.

What would it take to have my child(ren) baptized?  Again,  meet with our pastor so he can talk to your children and make sure they know what it means.  If it is an infant, a meeting is necessary to schedule the baptism.

How much does it cost?  Nothing!  God's grace is FREE!

Does it have to take place in Church on Sunday?  No. It can take place at any time during the week -- privately in your home, privately at the church, or during the church service.  The choice is your own.

What should I expect?  Will I go under water?  No one is placed under water.  A few drops of water are applied to the forehead three times: in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Do you have other questions?  Don't hesitate to ask.  You can contact our pastor by email at EdwardZell@comcast.net or by phone: (734) 971-0560. Contact us today!

 

Would you like to study Baptism a bit more on your own?  No problem.  Simply continue with the Bible lesson outlined below.  Again, if you have any questions, contact us. 
  

 

First: What is Baptism? 

  Baptism is not just plain water, but it is water used by God's command and connected with God's Word. 

What is that Word of God?  

Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Matthew, "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!"



 

wThe Greek word BAPTIDZO literally means “to wash”.  Sometimes you see the word translated into English or sometimes simply transferred into English letters “Baptize, Baptism”.  The church begins to baptize at the time of Christ’s resurrection and because of his command to do so. 


  wBaptism includes the use of water, however, it has its special power because of the promise of God’s Word attached to it. 

Matthew 28:19 (Jesus said), "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. 
 

Ephesians 5:25,26 Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word. 

Acts 2:38,39 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. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” 

 

wA name is a reputation or character.  To be baptized into Christ’s name is to receive his reputation and his character. 

Acts 10:48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ

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. 


 

Galatians 3:26,27 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ. 

 

wIt’s also important to understand Jesus’ command to baptize “all nations” (Greek: ETHNOS).  There are no limitations or restrictions to baptism – neither by ethnic background, sex, or age. 

 

Galatians 3:27,28 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 

 

Acts 2:39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

  
  

 

Second: What does Baptism do for us?  

Baptism works forgiveness of sin, delivers from death and the devil and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare.

 

What is God's promise? 

Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Mark, "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."


 

wBaptism offers and conveys the forgiveness of sins.

 

Acts 2:38 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.

  

Acts 22:16 And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name. 

 

wBaptism offers and conveys our deliverance from death and from the power of the Devil. 

 

Romans 6:3,5 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? . . . If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 

 

Hebrews 2:14,15 Since the children have flesh and blood, he (Jesus) too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 

  

wBaptism offers and conveys eternal life and salvation.

 

Mark 16:16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 

 

1 Peter 3:20,21 God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it (the ark) only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 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. 


 

Third:  How can water do such great things? 

It is certainly not the water that does such things, but God's Word which is in and with the water, and faith which trusts this Word used with the water.  For without God's Word the water is just plain water and not Baptism.  But with this Word it is Baptism.  God's Word makes it a washing through which God graciously forgives our sin and grants us rebirth and a new life through the Holy Spirit. 

Where is this written?  

St. Paul says in Titus, chapter 3 "God saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.  This is a trustworthy saying.” 

  
 

wBaptism has the power of God in it, namely the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

John 3:5,6 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

 

Titus 3:5 He (God) saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

 

Acts 2:38 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


 

wThe Holy Spirit does his work in baptism through the Word of God connected to it. 

 

Ephesians 5:25,26 Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word

1 Peter 1:23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 


 

Fourth: What meaning does my baptism have every day? 

It means that our old Adam with his evil deeds and desires should be drowned by daily contrition and repentance, and die, and that day by day a new man should arise, as from the dead, to live in the presence of God in righteousness and purity now and forever. 

Where is this written?  

St. Paul says in Romans, chapter 6, "We were buried with Christ 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." 

  
 

wIn baptism, the Old Sinful Nature dies with Christ’s death. 

 

Romans 6:2-3,6 We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?  Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? . . . 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. 

 

Colossians 2:11,12 In him (Christ) 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, 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. 

 

Ephesians 4:22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self

  

wIn baptism you received a rebirth, the birth of a New Man who is in love with God. 

John 3:5,6 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit

 

Romans 6:4 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

 

Titus 3:5 God saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. 

 

Ephesians 4:22-24 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. 
 

wUsing your Holy Baptism:  There is a conflict within the Christian heart.

 

Galatians 5:17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 

 

Baptism is one of the Lord’s wonderful tools in this conflict between my sinful nature and my new man born of Christ.  Faithfulness in Christ is not a matter of self-will.  It is not a matter of stiffening one’s resolve.  It is a matter of Law and Gospel.  The Law kills.  The Gospel gives life.  Use the water of Holy Baptism every day to kill and crucify the Old Adam!  Refresh yourself in the absolution of sin that comes from the cleansing water of your baptism.  In this manner, the self-will gives way to Christ’s will and He who lived for you lives through you. 

In the rite of Holy Baptism the following words preface the act of baptism: “Receive the sign of the cross both on the forehead and on the breast in token that you have been redeemed by the crucified Christ.”  It is a symbolic reminder that the death of Christ on the cross is your death to sin through holy baptism.  As such, it was customary to make the sign of the cross upon one’s chest upon the mention of the name of Christ. although this custom has been lost to some extent in our midst.



  
 

Your “Christening”
Another name for Holy Baptism is “Christening”.  It has several meanings.  At a Christening, the individual receives his/her name.  At your Christening in Christ (Baptism), you receive the name of Christ – Christian – baptized into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. 
 

The name "Christ" is a title given to Jesus.  It is transposed into English from the Greek CHRISTOS and means "Anointed".  Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit at His baptism (cf. Matthew 3:13-17).  You are anointed in Christ in Holy Baptism.  You are christened as a Child of God to live a holy life, consecrated and sanctified in his service and to his glory: 

 

Galatians 3:26,27 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ. 

 

1 John 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are! 

 

2 Corinthians 1:21,22 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. 

 

wPerhaps you have seen a baptism where the individual was dressed in a white gown or the baby was dressed in a white.  That is an old custom signifying that the perfect life of Jesus is credited to us in baptism and all sin is washed away.

 

 

When to Baptize? 

 

wScripture describes the instruction of adults before baptism. 

 

Acts 8:35-38 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. 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?” And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 

  

Acts 16:29-33 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.  At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 

  

Why Do We Baptize Infants? 

 

wThe command and promise of baptism has no restrictions:

 

Matthew 28:19 "Go and make disciples of all nations (ETHNOS), baptizing them . . . 

 

Acts 2:39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

 

 

wAll people (little babies included) are sinful and need the redemption of Christ.   Christ is the answer for all, babies not excluded.

 

John 3:5-6 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 

 

 

 

wBabies can also receive the gift of faith through the miracle work of the Holy Spirit. 

 

Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. 

 

Matthew 18:6 But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 

 

Luke 18:15-18 People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 

  


 

wBaptism is God’s covenant pledge to us and includes everyone.  It has a parallel in the Old Testament covenant of circumcision between God and his people.  Old Testament babies were circumcised at 8 days of age.

Romans 2:28,29 A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. 

 

Colossians 2:11,12 In Christ 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, 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. 

 

WATER! WATER! EVERYWHERE! 

 


The importance of Baptism is also foreshadowed in the Old Testament with the many "water" stories that take place.  The Old Testament is filled with types and pictures that prefigure the reality of the New Testament Age.  One such prolific picture that God uses over and over again includes the element of water.  Look at some these Old Testament pictures and see how they relate to the reality of your baptism.

 

Creation -- Genesis 1:2 …And the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 

The Spirit of God is associated with water from the very beginning.  How does the Holy Spirit come to you and create life?  He promises to come to you through the water of baptism.

   

The Flood -- 1 Peter 3:20,21 God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it (the ark) only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 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. 

 

Did the waters of the flood kill or save? Answer: Both.  So also we see in Holy Baptism our death , being joined to the death of Jesus Christ, but our salvation as we are joined to the resurrection of Christ.

  

 

 

The Exodus through the Red Sea Exodus 14:21-30 (Look it up)

The Exodus from Egyptian slavery is really a picture of our deliverance from the bondage of sin and Satan’s power.  How did God grant this deliverance from oppressive Pharaoh?  God's people escaped by passing through the waters of the Red Sea. And what does God use to work your deliverance from bondage of sin and the Devil? Hmmmmm . . . try water.

  
The Ceremonial Washing -- Exodus 30:17-21 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Make a bronze basin, with its bronze stand, for washing. Place it between the Tent of Meeting and the altar, and put water in it. Aaron and his sons are to wash their hands and feet with water from it. Whenever they enter the Tent of Meeting, (the Tabernacle where they met God’s presence) they shall wash with water so that they will not die. Also, when they approach the altar to minister by presenting an offering made to the LORD by fire, they shall wash their hands and feet so that they will not die.” 

 

They washed before coming to the presence of God.  And what about you coming to God?  Remember that "baptize" literally means "to wash".

  

The Cleansing of a LeperLeviticus 14:1-8 (Look it up)

A person who contracted leprosy was kicked out of the community and had to live apart from God's people.  If he was cured, he could return, but first he had to go through a specific ceremony at the hands of the priest.  What was used to ceremonially cleanse the Leper so he could return to the community of God’s people – blood, wood, scarlet yarn, fresh water and hyssop (a branch from a bushy plant used to sprinkle the mixture). Mix the blood and water together with the wood – a cleansing mixture.  And what about you, since you were cut off from God and His people because of the leprosy of sin?  Cured in Christ, how are you able to return to God and be cleansed?  Hmmmm?  Do you need help with this one? Think: blood, water, wood, sprinkle.  The blood of Christ, shed on the wood of the cross, is sprinkled on you in the waters of Baptsim.

   

The Sprinkling of Blood & Water of CleansingNumbers 19:1-13 (Look it Up)

After you read Numbers 19:1-13, compare how the New Testament writer to the Hebrews uses this same picture to teach you the reality in Jesus Christ (cf. Hebrews 10:22).

 

The Entrance into Canaan Joshua 3:14-17 (Look it  up)

The Ark of the Covenant (Presence of God) enters the waters of the Jordan ; the waters part and a way is miraculously created to go through the waters into the Promised Land.  Compare this pictogram with the baptism of Jesus in Matthew 3:13-17.  When the presence of God, (Jesus), enters into the Jordan and is baptized, what is it that now opens up for us?  Heaven itself opens up, our glorious Promised Land in Jesus Christ.

  

Jesus’ Pierced SideJohn 19:33,34 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not breaks his legs.  Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bring a sudden flow of blood and water.

What a wonderful picture of how our Lord's death delivers the benefits of his death to us.  It comes to us through the cleansing blood of Jesus and applied to our souls and lives through the waters of Baptism.

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