One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all.
Doctrine of Baptisms.
According to God’s Word, the first important step after we put faith in Christ is baptism!
Those who accepted the message were baptized.
Why should I be baptized?
To follow the example set by Christ. (Mark 1:9)
Because Christ asks us to. (Matthew 28:19-20)
It demonstrates that I really am a believer. (Acts 18:8) (1 John 2:3)
What is the meaning of baptism?
It is a public demonstration that you are a follower of Christ and His Teaching (Matthew 28:19-20)
It symbolizes spiritual cleansing. (1 Corinthians 6:11)
It pictures the true meaning of salvation. (Romans 6:1-4) (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Baptism doesn’t make you a believer - it shows that you already believe.
Why be baptized by immersion?
Because Jesus was baptized that way. (Matthew 3:16)
Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion. (Acts 8:38-39)
The word “baptize” (baptizo) means “to immerse in water.”
Who should be baptized?
Every person who Believes in Christ. (Acts 2:41) (Acts 8:12)
The foundation doctrines of the Church.
Hebrews 6:1-6. Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles
of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
Baptism is a symbol of deliverance.
The deliverance of Noah and his family. 1 Peter 3:20-22. To those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it 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 clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand, with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
The deliverance of Israel from Egypt. 1 Corinthians10:1-2. For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.
When the Israelites were delivered from slavery in Egypt, they were “baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.”
That is, they were identified with Moses and his deliverance by passing through the Red Sea and following God’s presence in the cloud (Exodus 13:21).
Paul uses this as a comparison to the way that Christians are identified with Christ and His salvation.
Those who followed Moses passed through the water and were thus initiated into a new life of freedom and Law-keeping.
Those who follow Jesus Christ, who is greater than Moses, pass through the waters of baptism and are thus initiated to a new life of freedom and grace.
The deliverance of the believer from sin.
1 Corinthians 12:12-28. (Baptism into Christ)
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
It is interesting to note that the same water that saved Noah and his family, judged the ungodly and drowned them.
The same water that saved the Israelites, judged the Egyptians and drowned them
The same water (The water of the Word), that saves the repentant sinner, will judge the ungodly. Ephesians 5:25-27. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
Isaiah 55:10-11. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
John 12:48. If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day.
Man’s problem is pride, he loves himself
2 Timothy 3:1-4.
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.
So Christianity begins with a public declaration of self denial, dying to self and identifying with Christ’s death and resurrection.
Baptism is symbolic of the cost involved in following Jesus, it is symbolic of the death of our life (A funeral, or burial) so that Christ can live His resurrected life through us.
The false gospel of self esteem.
The modern day prosperity gospel totally contradicts the Gospel of self denial that Jesus and the Apostles preached.
A growing deception found in Christian counselling (and throughout society) is the false gospel of "self-esteem" which is incompatible with the Biblical Gospel of the Cross of Jesus Christ.
Baptism in water is symbolic of burial.
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have 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?
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.
Baptism in water is symbolic of burial.
The Christian walk starts with a burial.
Galatians 2:20. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Baptism also points to a resurrected life.
In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
The baptism of John.
As John the Baptist preached repentance of sins in preparation for the coming of the Messiah, he baptized people in the Jordan.
And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
Those who were baptized by John were showing their faith in John’s message and their need to confess their sin..
A disciple of John’s named Apollos was preaching in Ephesus; however, only knowing the baptism of John and the need for repentance, he needed to be further instructed in the death and resurrection of Christ.
Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.
Later in the same city, Paul encounters some more followers of John. These disciples had been baptized for repentance, but they had not heard of the new birth or the Holy Spirit. Paul taught them the whole message of salvation in Christ, and they received the message and were subsequently baptized in Jesus’ name.
While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus.
There he found some disciples and asked them, Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?
They answered, No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.
The Baptism of John.
Acts 19:1-6 (continued)
So Paul asked, Then what baptism did you receive?
John’s baptism, they replied. Paul said, John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus. On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
The baptism of Jesus.
This was Jesus’ act of identifying with sinful humanity. Although Jesus did not need to repent of sin, He came to John to be baptized.
John balked at performing the baptism, saying that Jesus should be the one baptizing him (Matthew 3:13–17).
But Jesus told John to proceed with the baptism:
“Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness” (verse 15).
In this baptism, Jesus put His stamp of approval on John’s ministry and also began His own.
As Jesus came up from the water, the Father spoke from heaven, and the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form upon Jesus (verses 16–17).
Summary of Baptisms for the Christian.
Baptism into the Body of Christ (Salvation)
Baptism in water (Immersion not sprinkling)
Baptism in the Holy Spirit
Baptism in suffering
Baptism in suffering.
But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! Mark 10:38-40.
You don’t know what you are asking,
Jesus said. Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with? We can, they answered.
Jesus said to them, You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant.
The cost of baptism by immersion.
Nowadays in the West there is often not a great price to pay for the act of being baptized, there is of course the risk of being alienated by friends and family but in the 1500’s, when adult baptism by immersion was first practised by those who saw that infant baptism or sprinkling was not Biblical, the price was high.
By insisting on adult baptism, the Anabaptists were denying the state’s authority in matters of the church and were pulling apart the religious and political threads of Europe’s social fabric.
Within months of the first “re-baptism,” the Anabaptists were fleeing for their lives. Driven by persecution and missionary zeal, Anabaptism spread to many areas of Europe. Thousands of Anabaptists were imprisoned, tortured, burned, drowned, and even dismembered by both Protestant and Catholic authorities.
The Anabaptists emphasized the authority of Scripture and salvation by grace through faith in Christ.
While giving Luther his due, we do well to remember some historical realities. Luther, as well as Calvin and Zwingli, came to oppose harshly the Anabaptists.
In fact, of the 20,000 to 40,000 Anabaptists martyred in the early decades, likely more were massacred by Protestants than by Catholics.
The Anabaptists correctly understood the biblical teaching of believer’s baptism and they were willing to stake their lives on this belief, because it was founded on a clear understanding of Scripture’s authority in the life of the church.
They followed sola scriptura to their deaths, resting their faith in the Bible and not in church authority and tradition.
Anabaptists were fined, drowned, burned at the stake, tortured, and persecuted in all the manners of the day for such crimes as refusal to pay tithes, refusal to attend church, refusal to refrain from Bible study groups in private homes, refusal to refrain from preaching, and other offences against the church-state.
Thousands of Anabaptists were put to death.
The Anabaptists were severely persecuted by the Roman Church. In fact, because many believed in immersion, many were put to death by drowning.
The Lutherans also put many Anabaptists to death by one form of execution or another.
The cost of following Jesus. The Anabaptists
1. The Cages.
One of the ways that ruling bodies try to stamp out a new trend is to make an example out of someone publicly. Possibly it would deter someone else from following in their footsteps. One such way this was accomplished was by hanging the Anabaptists up really high on a bell tower in a cage. While in the cage they would be naked and exposed to the elements. They would have no clothes and no food. They had no where to use the restroom except through the bottom of the cages. They would remain hanging there for years, long after they were just bones and dust.
2. The Rack.
As if being drowned or burned alive was not bad enough, sometimes they needed to be tortured and then murdered. One of the favoured methods of that time was putting them on “the rack.” This device bound the ankles and wrists and then slowly pulled them apart.
3. Burned & Roasted At The Stake
Naturally you had to know that some of them got burned at the stake. Perhaps the most discussed execution by burning was that of Dirk Willems. Dirk was imprisoned by the Catholic church for receiving adult baptism and for baptizing others himself. In a miraculous feat he was able to escape his imprisonment. However, after his escape he was pursued and the man who was pursuing him ended up falling threw the ice on a small pond and nearly drowned.
Being the good Christian that he was, he turned back to save his pursuer's life. He was then promptly re-captured and then burned alive.
4. Permanent Baptism
One of the ways the Anabaptists could be both killed and also mocked was by giving them an adult baptism of another kind. In this baptism they would not be emerging from the water. The first Anabaptist to be martyred in this way, and possibly the most famous, was Felix Manz. Felix was one of the co-founders of the Anabaptist faith.
He engaged in great scholarly debate with the reformed leaders of his time about adult vs infant baptism. Unfortunately, the councils having these debates came to the conclusion that infant baptism was the only acceptable practice and demanded that Felix and the Anabaptist baptize their children.
Felix refused and was then drowned as were many other Anabaptists. To make this even more repulsive the council led by Zwingli was a reformed movement.
Why are there so many different interpretations?
Lack of training.
Poor hermeneutics. (the science of interpreting Scripture).
Ignorance of the whole Word of God.
Selfishness and pride.
Failure to mature.
Undue emphasis on tradition.
1 Timothy 4:16.
Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
When we look at the New Testament, the closest thing to infant baptism that we find is the reference to three “households” being baptized.
Corinthians 1:16. Paul says,
Now I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any other.
Acts 16:15. Luke reports concerning Lydia.
When she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay.
Acts 16:33. Luke tells us
The jailer took [Paul and Silas] that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his [household].
The argument for infant baptism is that the household heard the word and the household was baptized, but there is no mention of infants in any of these three instances of household baptisms, and it is an argument from silence to say that there must have been small children.
It would be like saying here at Bethlehem that a reference to Ross Anderson’s household or Don Brown’s or Dennis Smith’s or David Michael’s or David Livingston’s or dozens of others must include infants, which they don’t.
Repent and be Baptised.
How can an infant repent?
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of
you, in the name of Jesus Christ.
Believe and be baptised. Believer’s baptism is distinguished from infant baptism in that an infant, who has no understanding of the gospel, cannot be a “believer” in Christ. Believer’s baptism involves a person hearing the gospel, accepting Christ as Savior, and choosing to be baptized. It is his or her choice. In infant baptism, the choice is made by someone else, not the child being baptized.
A child Dedication is a ceremony in which believing parents, and sometimes entire families, make a commitment before the Lord to submit a child to God's will and to raise that child according to God's Word and God's ways.
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
Dedicating your children to the Lord gives a believing parent an opportunity to consider the responsibility they have before to Lord for being an example and teaching their children to fear God and obey his commands.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.
And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.
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