In Ephesians 4:4-5, Paul states that there is only one baptism and at Southside we believe this to be referring to baptism in water, performed in the manner recorded in the Bible. That is, by full immersion, after repentance from sin and confession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord over the believers life.
Why should I be baptised?
- Firstly, because Jesus commanded you too! In Matthew 28, verses 19-20, Jesus tells his disciples to “..go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,…”
- Secondly, because it is a righteous act: Jesus said to John the Baptist, when John was reluctant to baptize Him in Matthew 3:13-17, “..’Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.’….” Then John baptized Jesus in the Jordan river
- Thirdly, because Peter instructed everyone to be baptized at the foundation of the Church: In Acts 2:38-41 we read; “…’ Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins”…….’those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.”’ This happened in Jerusalem, on the day that the Christian Church began and from then on, everyone who received the Word of God and believed in Jesus were baptized. This pattern is clearly shown throughout the New Testament, where we read about the baptism of believers in Samaria, Damascus, Gaza, Caesarea, Philippi, Ephesus, Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, Bithynia, Colossae and Rome.
Why does baptism stand in such a high place of prominence in the Scriptures? Because baptism is far more than a mere ceremony, much greater than a mere formality. Baptism is a dynamic, living, vital Christian experience, which links the believer with all the fullness of the power of Jesus’ resurrection, indentifying the believer with the fullness of His death, burial and resurrection
What are the results of being baptized?
- Separation from Sin; From 1Peter 3:18-22, “…in the days of Noah while the ark was being built…. a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 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,….”
Our entire life has been corrupted by sin, everything within us, even the voice of our conscience, has become warped and untrustworthy (Hebrews 10:22) BUT, upon confession of Faith in Jesus Christ, His blood cleanses us of all our sin and our conscience is cleared and becomes good. Immediately, it begins to cry out for holiness in our lives, godliness in our behaviour, and separation from the pathways of sin. Baptism is Gods answer to this cry of our renewed conscience.
So it was with Noah. The flood did not save Noah, it was Gods instrument of Judgement upon the whole world because of sin. The ARK, (symbolic of Jesus Christ) was the instrument of Noah’s salvation. However, the flood waters separated Noah from all the sin of the old world. When those waters eventually receded, Noah was able to make a fresh start. He had the glorious opportunity of living in a completely new world. Sadly, Noah abused that opportunity and sin quickly returned, but it need not have been so.
Baptism does not give us salvation; only the blood of Jesus can do that, but baptism does separate us from our old life, and gives us a new start in a new world with a new power to help us walk as we must! It can only achieve this of course if we take hold of it’s promise by faith and walk consistently before the Lord!
Acts 22:16 “ And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized, and have your sins washed away, calling on his name..”
Acts 2:38 “‘Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins…”
- Putting on Jesus Christ; Galatians 3:27 “for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” Philips translates this verse as “have put on the family likeness of Christ”
- Closely identifying with Jesus in His;
- Death; Romans 6:3
- Burial; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12
- Resurrection; Romans 6:4-5, Colossians 2:13
and thus His Victory over sin; Romans 6:6-11. In the same way as with a dead person buried in a grave, Baptism has the promise of separating us from all interest in and conformity to the world. Just as our Lord Jesus Christ was buried that He might rise again in New Life, so also we are buried with Him in baptism (cut off from the old life of sin) that we also may rise with him to live a new life of faith, hope and love, and gain victory over sin and it’s consequences!
There are few if any experiences in a Christians life greater than the powerful act of baptism, and complete identification with our Lord Jesus Christ in His mighty resurrection life!
Who can be baptized?
- Those who have believed on Jesus and are saved Mark 16:15-18, Acts 18:8, Acts 8:36-37 etc
- Those who have repented of their sin Acts 2:38
- Those who have become disciples of Christ Matthew 28:18-20
- Those whose hearts are open to receive the Word of God Acts 16:13-25
How are we to be baptized?
There is only one form of baptism that fulfils every requirement of the Bible, and that is by full immersion in water, for believers only, into the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. The first public act of Jesus was his baptism by John. The last command He gave His disciples was to go and teach the nations, and baptising all who would believe. So then, sprinkling, and/or the baptism of infants or those too young to have a living faith in Christ, can neither be Biblical nor adequate
- Why by full immersion? The word Baptise has four Greek roots, which are
- Bapto, meaning “to whelm” or wholly cover with fluid eg Luke 16:24
- Baptizo, meaning “to make whelmed” (fully wet) eg Matthew 3:6, Acts 2:38
- Baptisma meaning “overwhelm” eg Matthew 3:7, Luke 7:29, Romans 6:4
- Baptismos meaning Ablution (washing) eg Hebrews 6:2, Mark 7:4,8
Comparing immersion with sprinkling;
Bible baptism requires Sprinkling requires
- Water Acts 10:47 Water
- Much water John 3:23 Little water
- Going to water Mark 1:9, Acts 8:36 Water brought
- Going down into the water Acts 8:38 Staying out of the water
- A burial Romans 6:4 No burial
- Coming up out of the water Mark 1:10, Acts 8:39 Water is poured out
- A resurrection Romans 6:4-5 No form of resurrection
- Bodies are washed Hebrews 10:22 Head becoming wet
So then, to all of us who follow Him, Jesus said, “if you love me, keep my commands” John 14:15 and so “And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptised and wash your sins away, calling on his name.” Acts 22:16