Bella Vista Church of Christ
The Biblical Dynamics Of Baptism
Galatians 2.20 – 3.26-27 – John 3.3-6 – Romans 6.32 –
Corinthians 5.17 – 1 Peter 3.18-22
In our previous session together we tried to make the point that... in the Book of Galatians... Paul calls us to be... Changed people... DIFFERENT PEOPLE... HOLY MEN & WOMEN... Living a new life
Listen to Paul as he testifies of his conversion and ours... I have been crucified with Christ... 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... For we are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus... For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
This new lifestyle has its beginning in what Jesus called...
• THE NEW BIRTH...
• BEING BORN AGAIN...
• More appropriately... BORN FROM ABOVE.
Listen as Paul references this New Beginning in two Scriptures...
Romans 6.3... 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.
Second Corinthians 5.17... Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come.
Church... How can we miss the point that we are to become different people... And that... this fresh start... This New beginning... New life... Has its start in our conversion... At the point that our faith leads to baptism.
Now…With these thoughts in mind… Let’s see what we can learn about
where God has placed Water BAPTISM in our salvation…
First… We note how God has used water in some familiar Biblical Narratives.
For instance... Noah and his family were saved by water.
When we think of Noah… We think of his salvation being from water... Not by water.
We usually think of the ark as being the agent of their salvation.
You see… We’ve supposed something to be true for so long that we’ve accepted it as truth.
Listen to what Peter says… Christ died for sins once for all… The righteous for the unrighteous… To bring you to God. He was put to death in the body… But made alive by the Spirit… Through whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed 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… Our King James and NASV says… SAVED BY WATER.
The Bible says that the water of the flood was that which saved Noah... Giving them... A fresh start... A new life... In a new world.
Israel was delivered from Egyptian bondage by water.
Paul speaks of such water salvation in First Corinthians ten… He says Israel was delivered by water baptism… For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact…Brothers… That our forefathers 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.
Here... God placed water between bondage and deliverance.
Naaman was cleansed by water.
Elisha told Naaman to go dip himself in the Jordan seven times.
It is interesting to note that in the Septuagint... The Greek translation of the Old Testament scripture… The word translated dip is baptizo.
You see… God placed water between this man’s leprosy and his cleansing.
Jesus useS water in the healing of a blind man.
John chapter nine records Jesus spitting on the ground… Anointing a blind man’s eyes with this spittle… And then telling him to go wash in the Pool of Siloam.
The significant thing is that when he washed in the water he was healed.
• Jesus could have healed him by just speaking the word… As he did Bartimaeus…
• Or by just touching the eyes as He did two blind men in Matthew chapter nine.
But this time He placed water between this man’s blindness and his seeing.
Notice now where God has placed water baptism in our salvation.
Yes… God could have saved us some other way… Anyway He had chosen...
He chose water baptism to be an essential part of our salvation.
He has placed baptism between being In Christ and being Out of Christ.
There are at least thirty-four New Testament references to being IN CHRIST.
In fact… We are told that all spiritual blessing are IN CHRIST...
• Ephesians 1.7 says… In Christ… We have redemption and forgiveness of sins...
• Romans 8.1… There is NO condemnation to those who are in Christ.
• 2 Corinthians 5.17… If any man be in Christ… He is a new creature…
• 1 John 5.11… God has given us eternal life… And this life is in his Son.
• 2 Timothy 2.10… Salvation is in Christ Jesus.
Considering these Scriptures... Who would want to be outside of Christ?
Listen again to these two verses which tell us how to get INTO CHRIST.
Romans 6.3…Don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
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 put on Christ… Have been clothed with Christ.
The preposition INTO presupposes that one is outside.
No one can come into this building unless he is outside of it... RIGHT?
No one can be baptized INTO Christ… Or INTO the benefits of His death… Unless he is outside of Christ before that baptism.
No one can be clothed with Christ unless… First he was unclothed.
God has placed water baptism between our being IN CHRIST and out of Christ.
• Before baptism… God sees us as we are… Sinners… Lost… Undone… UNFORGIVEN.
• After baptism… He no longer sees our sins… But the righteousness of His Son.
And John says… As we strive to walk in the light… God continues to see us this way… Because the blood of Jesus continues to cleanse us from all our sin.
No wonder it is call the Gospel… Good newS!!... Good news indeed!!
God has placed baptism between guilt and forgiveness.
In Acts 2.38… Peter told his Pentecostian audience… Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus... for Two things... the remission of sins… And the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The second passage to teach baptism stands between sin and forgiveness is found in Acts 22.16. Ananias tells Saul… Arise… Be baptized And Wash your sins away. Saul had seen the Lord on the Damascus Road…
• He believed…
• He confessed Jesus…
• He spent three days in remorseful repentance and prayer… But NOTE THAT HE STILL HAD HIS SIN… Arise… And be baptized… And wash away Your sins.
If his sins had been forgiven back on the road… at his instance of his… believing and confession… Then there would have been no need for this command.
You see… If we take Acts 22.16 at face value… It emphatically says that God has placed baptism between guilt and forgiveness.
Baptism stands between… Being DEAD IN SIN and being ALIVE IN CHRIST.
Listen carefully to Colossians 2.12-13… In BAPTISM… We were buried with Him and raised with Him through our faith in the power of God… Who raised Him from the dead. When we were dead in our sins… God made us alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins.
• When were we made alive in Christ?
• When did He forgive us all our sins?
Paul says… It was in the act of New Testament baptism.
Jesus places baptism between our being saved… And being lost.
Mark16.16 has Him saying… He that believes and is baptized shall be saved.
Baptism is placed before salvation in this passage.
The Greek is more emphatic… He who has believed and who has been baptized will be saved.
Baptism stands between unbelief & acceptance of the Gospel message.
Acts 2.41 reads… Those who accepted his message were baptized… And about three thousand were added to their number that day.
Acts 8.12 says... When they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ... They were baptized... Both men and women.
• If we really accept the message...
• If we genuinely accept Jesus as... Savior... Lord... and King...
Then we will be baptized... Because God has placed baptism between unbelief and full acceptance of Jesus as the Christ.
Baptism stands between our being IN THE BODY and being OUT OF THE BODY…
Paul writes… For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.
If we are baptized into the body… Then it stands to reason that we are not in that body before baptism.. Right?... But we are in that body after baptism.
So what is the body?...
Ephesians 1.22 & 23… along with Colossians 1.18 & 24 plainly tells us that the body is the church... Of which Christ is both the Head and the Savior.
No one is in…
• The body…
• The church…
• The Kingdom of God…
• The family of God… The household of God… Until he is baptized into that Body.
Jesus explains The Dynamics of New Testament Baptism to Nicodemus saying… Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit… He cannot enter the Kingdom of God.
Some have tried to say that Jesus is speaking of two births here.
• That the water is referring to our physical birth...
• And that the word spirit refers to a spiritual birth.
But notice this.... There is only one preposition... Born of water and the Spirit.
You see... In this new birth...
• Whoever is born of water…
• Is also born of the Spirit…
At the same time.
Jesus is speaking of only one birth in this text... Not two!!
Perhaps we need to point out that you will see the preposition OF twice in our King James Bibles... But the second one is italicized.
This means it is not found in the original Greek and has been added by the translators.
The...ASV... NASV... NIV... The NKJV... All render it as in the Greek... One preposition.
In fact Jesus goes on to say… Don’t mix the two up because... That which is physical is physical and that which is spiritual is spiritual.
In Acts 2.41-47… Luke says… Those accepting the message were baptized and the Lord ADDED to their number… To the church… To the body… To those being saved.
Baptism stands between an individual being IN or OUT of the body of Christ… The Kingdom of God… The Church… The body of the saved… God’s household… His family.
Then finally... God has placed baptism between remorse and rejoicing.
Three narratives of conversion in the Book of Acts mention the new converts as rejoicing after their baptism.
• Acts 2.46... And they continued daily with one accord... In the temple... In breaking bread... From house to house they did eat with... Gladness of heart!
• Acts 8.39... The Spirit caught away Phillip, and the Eunuch went on his way... REJOICING!
• Acts 16.34... He sat food before them and REJOICED... Believing in God with all his house.
Interesting to note that the jailer was baptized in verse 33 and rejoiced in verse 34.
Perhaps it best we close by reading 1 Peter 3.18-21… Christ died for sins once for all… The Righteous for the unrighteous…To bring us to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit… He also went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed 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. The like figure where unto even baptism does also now save us… Not the removal of dirt from the body… But the pledge of a good conscience towards God. It saves us by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
No… Salvation is not in the water… But is in our obedience to God.
Baptism is the answer of a good conscience toward God.
Baptism is doing what God asks us to do without questioning why.
Why would anyone of us say NO to God this morning?
Obey our text... For we are children of God by faith... For as many as have been baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ.
Become His child by… Faith… and New Testament baptism… Immersion in water for the forgiveness of your sins.
Let God add you to the church… The Kingdom… His family… To the body of the saved.
This morning.... Right Now... May we all do what is necessary to be forgiven and Heaven bound... As we stand and sing this invitation song.