Project Description

How did we get here? A topic so fundamental to the Jewish culture and first century life before Jesus (aka John the Baptist). Seemingly so clear to the Jews of that day that converted to Christianity, like the twelve that had been baptized “into John’s” but hearing the truth on baptism, immediately were baptized “into Christ” (Acts 19:3-7).

How did we get here, indeed?

For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:13

sound doctrine: baptism

What is baptism?

The word for baptism that is consistently used in the New Testament means to submerge or overwhelm in water.1 Not only is the Greek word consistently used, but the examples of baptism show immersion and not sprinkling.2 Furthermore, we see metaphors used3 that perfectly align with submersion.

What’s the point of it?

The purpose for baptism is, according to scripture, profound and so much more than simply a symbolic act. John the Baptist prepared the way with “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins”9. And according to Peter, the baptism of Jesus was the same in that respect – still removing/forgiving sins1 – saving us3. Paul says the same thing in his letter to the Romans but adds the specific connection to being “buried with Christ”2. To the Galatians connects baptism to what put them “into Christ” – effectively putting on Christ7.

In those terms, we can understand the immediacy of being baptized after hearing the word preached4,5, even when there’s every reason in the world to wait8. Do you want to put on Christ7? Would we consider someone saved without putting on Christ? Or, put the way Paul states it in Romans2 and Colossians6, do you want to be “buried” and “raised” with Christ? Baptism is the only thing that allows us to “walk in newness of life”2.

Is baptism required for salvation?

Salvation is a process beginning with God’s grace1 to all, received by some through their faith in Jesus Christ1,2, and fulfilled in their living Godly lives1,2. Scripture is very consistent on the critical role of baptism6,7,8,9,10. It’s requirement for salvation is stated emphatically3,6 and demonstrated over and over by new converts4,5,9. Specifically, it is the very first “work” of obedience4,6,9, the moment we are cleansed and forgiven of sin and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit6,7,8 – exactly how Jesus appears to be defining being “born again” to Nicodemus11.

Maybe you can only get to a point of saying it’s “important” or will go so far as to say it’s “very important”? You aren’t alone! This is what many say, not willing to go so far as to conclude it is required for salvation. A recent national ad campaign for a website – FindingTruePeace – counsels believers to “consider baptism” — this is after they have been taught to say the ‘sinners prayer’ for salvation.

If that’s your position, where does that leave you? Isn’t that rather ambiguous when one’s eternal salvation/damnation is weighing in the balance? Is that the instruction we see given in any Bible example or the attitude we find in any new believer we read about in Scripture?

Just because one aspect of our salvation is emphasized in one part of Scripture (grace through faith in Ephesians)1, doesn’t negate or minimize other aspects of our salvation mentioned elsewhere in Scripture2,3,4,6,7,8,9. In fact, there are many aspects of our salvation. That these are only possible by God’s good grace is unquestioned…but there are many aspects nonetheless. It is not unusual or inappropriate for an inspired writer to emphasize one aspect over another given the broader context of his message and the overall point he’s trying to make. It explains why Paul would choose to emphasize grace (“grace through faith”)1 given his broader message to the Christians in Ephesus while James emphasizes works (“faith without works is dead”)2 in his letter to Jewish Christians.

getting to truth on baptism is more than a little important, agreed?

Connect with us if you think we’re missing it….our souls depend on it too!

get all of the questions about baptism

answered by scripture with the Bible Study Framework

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    What is baptism?

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