How to Be Baptized Without Getting in "Hot Water"? with God

Title: How to Be Baptized Without Getting in "Hot Water"? with God
Category: Church Issues
Subject: Baptism

This article was written by Written by: Dr. Wendell Lang & Ron Hale. “After Jesus was baptized, He went up immediately from the water. The heavens suddenly opened for Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on Him” Matthew 3:16 John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan River and the Father speaks from heaven placing his approval upon His Son (Matt. 3:17). Jesus was baptized to “fulfill all righteousness” – not because he was a sinner, but because he was the Savior. This event was our Lord’s grand and Godly entrance into His saving ministry. Things would never be the same! John’s ministry was to prepare the way. Jesus is the “Way”! Jesus set the example and commands every new believer to follow Him through the waters of baptism. Four proper things are needed: Proper Candidate * Baptism is for Believers – We are saved to know it and baptized to show it! (Acts 2:41) * Baptism is symbolic of the person’s faith, not their parent’s faith. (personal not parental) * Parents from many denominations have their babies baptized as infants. The parents fondly remember this event because in essence this religious act is more for the parents and family than the child. The child will never remember this event. The child had no decision in the matter. New Testament baptism always presents adults or people old enough to make a personal public profession of faith as the proper candidate. Proper Reason A new believer will want to follow the Lord in Baptism for these reasons: * It Identifies – it identifies the new believer with Christ – I Corinthians 12:13. * It Ignites – the believer’s new walk with Christ by publicly professing Christ. * It Illustrates – paints a picture of the death, burial, and resurrection - I Cor. 15: 3,4. * It Instructs – It teaches non-believers the gospel. * It Invites – It extends a personal invitation to the watching non-believers to take that step of faith. They ask themselves, “What hinders me from being baptized?” Jesus’ words, “Come follow me” can still be heard through the act of baptism. Proper Method A serious Christian will want to follow the guidelines of the N.T. as closely as possible. Truth should always come before tradition! * The method (mode) follows the meaning. The word “Baptize” (baptizo) means, “to immerse, to submerge, to dip or plunge”. * Jesus was baptized this way (Matthew 3:13-17). * Every time believers were baptized in the book of Acts, this is how it was done (Acts 2:41; 8:12, 38; 9:18; 10:48; 16:33). * The picture of the death, burial, and resurrection will not work with any other method (sprinkling or pouring). (The picture mandates the method). Proper Authority Matthew 28: 19-20 The church is to make, mark (baptize), and mature believers in living out the Great Commission. In every culture the act of baptism becomes the single event that publicly marks and separates the new believer as a follower of Jesus. Baptism along with the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper was given to the local church. Under that authority, our invitation to you today is to: * Come to Christ in repentance and faith * Come to the waters of Baptism * Come to join this body of Believers * Come today