BaptismApril 19, 2021
THE FIRST STEP OF SALVATION
The water used for baptism contains an eternal promise from God.
According to the Bible, the goal of having faith in God, attending Church and studying the Bible is for our soul to receive eternal life. And God promises this through baptism.
1 Peter 1:9 (NCV) And you are receiving the goal of your faith—the salvation of your souls.
Society is made up of many promises: mortgage contracts, marriages, etc. Even paper carries different promises depending on how it is used—from a store receipt to a $100 bill.
What about the water used for baptism? Water is water, but the water used for baptism contains a promise, an eternal promise from God.
The Meaning of Baptism
1 Peter 3:21 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…
Through baptism, God authenticates His promise to give us eternal life by making us children of God and giving us the forgiveness of sins so we may enter the kingdom of heaven.
Galatians 3:26-27 (NCV) You were all baptized into Christ, and so you were all clothed with Christ. This means that you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the 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.
Timing for Baptism
Biblically, baptism should not be delayed but conducted immediately after understanding the good news of Christ. God’s teaching in the Old Testament and the New Testament is that we should receive salvation today and not postpone until tomorrow since we do not know what the future holds.
Proverbs 27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.
Luke 12:16-21 (NLT) Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”‘ But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’ Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.“
To have a rich relationship with God is to know Him and follow His commands—taking the first step through baptism.
A treasurer of Ethiopia met evangelist Philip and, after hearing the good news, asked Philip to baptize him on the side of the road—he did not even ask about going to a church.
Acts 8:26-31 (NLT) As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and he met the treasurer of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under the Kandake, the queen of Ethiopia. …Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah. The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.” Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” The man replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him. So beginning with this same Scripture, Philip told him the Good News about Jesus. As they rode along, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look! There’s some water! Why can’t I be baptized?” He ordered the carriage to stop, and they went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.
Cornelius welcomed Apostle Peter to his home—where Peter baptized him, his family and his friends that same day (Acts 10:47-48).
And Apostle Paul baptized an entire family because they wanted to be saved. This took place at midnight, after an earthquake.
Acts 16:23-33 (NLT) They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks. Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!” The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he 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, along with everyone in your household.” And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household. Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized.
Baptism means the rebirth of our spirits, and is a starting point to believing in God. That is why, regardless of time and place, Christians of the Early Church did not delay baptism but were baptized immediately.
How to Conduct Baptism
The most important aspect about baptism is how it is conducted. Jesus Christ taught His disciples that correct baptism is conducted in the name of the Father, in the name of the Son and in the name of the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 28:18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Without using the three names of God, the baptism is invalid. Even Apostle Paul led believers in the Early Church to be re-baptized so that it could be done correctly.
Acts 19:3-5 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 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.
In the age of the Son, believers had to be baptized in the name of Jesus. Now, in the age of the Holy Spirit, baptism that is in accordance with the teachings of the Bible must be conducted in the name of the Father, Jehovah, and in the name of the Son, Jesus, and in the name of the Holy Spirit, Christ Ahnsahnghong. This is the baptism that saves.