I would like to do my study this week on baptism. People have so many different views on this subject. By God’s help I would like to take scriptures and let us know what the Bible says.
First of all we read in Matthew 28:19, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” This is the great commission that Jesus gave to the church. He gave the church the authority to baptize. Ministers don’t even have the right to baptize; this comes from the church and only the church. Jesus is teaching us here the way to baptize, and that is in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Some people say that baptizing a person is not important. Some say you have to be baptize in order to be saved. Baptism is important and as a child of God we should want to follow Christ in baptism. As we know he set the example for us in Matthew 3:13-17, “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comst thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straight way out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending, like a dove, and lighting upon him. And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
So if our Lord was willing to be baptized why should we put up a fuss about it. So it is important in its own way.
Now it is not a must for salvation. You can be saved and never be baptized. You see you are born in to the family of God and than you are baptized in to the church. The reason I can say that you can be saved and not be baptized is that in Luke 23:42-43, “And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comst into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
You see this thief turned to the Lord while hanging on the cross and asked for forgiveness in his own way. He ask the Lord to remember him and he did. He was never baptized but he was saved.
Baptism comes after salvation. We find many in the scriptures that follow the Lord and His example in baptism. Acts 8:26-40, teaches us of a man by the name of Philip and the eunuch. The eunuch had went to Jerusalem . While he was there he heard some teaching from Isaiah. When he was returning home, he was reading but could not understand what he was reading. God had all ready provided a man to go and help him. When Philip joined himself with the eunuch he begin preaching Jesus unto him. Before long the eunuch was saved and wanted to be baptized. Philip baptized him and then that went their separate ways. Paul himself was baptized after he was saved in Acts 9.
In Acts 16:25-40, we read where Paul and Silas were in the Philippian jail. They had been beaten and case in to prison for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Then about midnight Paul and Silas began to sing and praise the Lord. The others in the prison heard them, but not only did they hear them God heard. He sent an earthquake that shook the very foundation of the prison. All the doors were opened and every mans bonds was loosed. The jail being asleep, awoke and seeing all these thing pulled his sword and was about to take his own life. Paul seeing this said, sir do thyself no harm for we are all here. The jailer call for a light and fell before Paul and Silas and said, sirs what must I do to be saved. They told him and after salvation he was baptized.
So you see baptism is important. It entiles us to be a part of the greatest work known to man. Part of the church which belongs to God. When you get right down to it baptism represents the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord. I trust I have been a blessing if you need to talk with me please call.
Yours in Christ
Elder Burdette Thomas