Bible Reading: Romans 6:1-10
1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
We come now to the third of the "first principles" which constitute the Christian’s "foundation" (Heb. 5:12; 6:1,2). Usually, when we speak of baptism, we are referring to water baptism, and that is what we will be studying in this lesson. However, the New Testament makes reference to at least five baptisms:
Since we are dealing here with water baptism, two of these baptisms shall receive our main attention: namely, the baptism of John, and Christian baptism.
"Baptise" is the Anglicized form of the Greek word "baptizo", and means "to dip, immerse, submerge." By definition and usage, the word means "to put into or under water (or other penetrable substance) so as entirely to immerse or submerge."
Matt. 3:11 - "I (John the Baptist) baptise you with water for repentance....."
a. He was the son of Zecharias and Elizabeth. (Luke 1:5, 13)
b. He was the greatest of the prophets.
Luke 7:28 - "I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he."
c. He was sent to introduce Jesus to Israel
John 1:31 - "I myself did not know him (Jesus) , but the reason I came baptising with water was that he might be revealed to Israel." (see also Matt. 3:3-17)
Matt. 3:3 - "This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him."
a. He was divinely sent to baptise
John 1:33 - "And I myself (John)did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptise with water told me...."
b. His ministry marked the beginning of a new age.
Luke 16:16 - "The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing their way into it."
c. His ministry marked a new order of divine requirement.
Luke 3:2,3 - "during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins."
d. It was "the counsel (purpose, will) of God" for that time.
Luke 7:30 - "But the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptised by John!"
Amp. - "But the Pharisees and the lawyers (of the Mosaic Law) annulled and rejected and brought to nothing God's purpose concerning themselves, by (refusing and) not being baptised by him (John)."
e. Those who were baptised, "justified God". (Declared God to be right in His demands).
Luke 7:29 - "All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptised by John."
Amp. - "And all the people who heard Him, even the tax collectors, acknowledged the justice of God [in calling them to repentance and in pronouncing future wrath on the impenitent], being baptised with the baptism of John."
f. John's baptism was superseded by Christian Baptism
Acts 19:4,5 - "Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus."
Amp. — "And Paul said, John baptised with the baptism of repentance, continually telling the people that they should believe in the One Who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus [having a conviction full of joyful trust that He is Christ, the Messiah, and being obedient to Him]. 5On hearing this they were baptised [again, this time] in the name of the Lord Jesus."
The Great Commission
Matt. 28:19 - "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
Mark 16:16 - "Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."
Acts 2:38 - "Repent and be baptised, 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."
Acts 8:16 - ".... they had simply been baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus."
Acts 10:48 — "So he ordered that they be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ ...."
Acts 19:5 - "On hearing this, they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus."
Study Questions for Lesson No. 7