WHAT DID THE APOSTILES TEACH ABOUT BAPTISM?

a. BAPTISM IN WATER IS THE BIBLE REQUIRED ACT OF OBEDIENCE THAT TESTIFIES OF GENUINE REPENTANCE AND FAITH
(See Lesson 8, Section "What is required to qualify for Baptism?, Subheading c)

Acts 2:38 - "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ ..."

Acts 2:41 - "Those who accepted his message were baptized .... "

When God visited Cornelius and his household, Peter "COMMANDED (ordered) them to BE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST " (Acts 10:48): The order is no less valid today.  BAPTISM IS NOT OPTIONAL!

b. BAPTISM IN WATER HAS TO DO WITH THE REMISSION OF SINS

Acts 2:38 - "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins .... "

Amp. — "For the FORGIVENESS OF AND RELEASE FROM YOUR SINS .... "

The word translated ”remission" means: forgiveness, deliverance, liberty; a sending away, letting go.

1) Our Saviour, Jesus Chrlst, came to make remission possible.

Acts 5:31 — “God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins."
Also - Acts 13:38; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14

2) The legal ground of remission is our Saviour’s blood.

Matt. 26:28 — "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."

Heb. 9:22 - ". . . and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness."

3) Faith and trust in the Saviour is essential to receive remission.

Acts 10:43 - "All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."

4) Water baptism is the divinely ordained way of expressing such faith,

Acts 2:38 - "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins . . .
(See also Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3).

5) The message of remission is to be preached universally.

Luke 24:47 - "and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."

(Acts 2:38). Also Luke 4:18, Acts 26:18.

c. BAPTISM IN WATER HAS TO DO WITH CLEANSING

Acts 22:16 - "And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name."

JBP - "Get up and be BAPTIZED! Be CLEAN FROM YOUR SINS as you call on His name."

Darby - "Arise and get BAPTIZED and have thy sins WASHED AWAY, calling on His name."

1) We are washed by the blood of our Lord Jesus.

Rev. 1:5 (NKJV) - ". . . To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood"

2) We are cleansed by the Word of God

John 15:3 — "You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you."

3) Our cleansing from sin is signified in baptism.

The blood of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, washes us from our sins legally. The Word cleanses us from our sins in practice as we "taking heed according to Your word" (Psa. 119:9). In water baptism, the purpose of God in washing and loosing us from our sins is signified and made real to the repentant, believing, obedient sinner. It is the confession of our desire to be clean from sins of every kind.

d. WE ARE "BAPTIZED INTO JESUS CHRIST"

Gal. 3:27 - "for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ".

JBP - "All of you who were BAPTIZED "INTO CHRIST" have put on the farmily likeness of Christ?"

Moffit — “For all of you who had yourselves BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST have taken on the character ot Christ."

Way- "All of you who have BY BAPTISM PASSED INTO UNION WITH MESSIAH have clothed yourselves with Messiah's personality."

Rom. 6:3-4 - "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."

JBP - "Have you forgotten that all of us who were BAPTIZED IN JESUS CHRIST were, by that very action, sharing in His death? We were dead and buried with Him in baptism, so that just as He was raised from the dead by that splendid revelatlon of the Father’s power, so we, too, might rise to life on a new plane a together."

Way - "Do you not comprehend that all of us, who passed by BAPTISM INTO UNION WITH MESSIAH JESUS, were by BAPTISM made sharers in His death? Well, then, if that baptism made us share His death, it must have made us share His burial, too. It must follow that, as Messiah was raised from among the dead by means ot the descent of the Father’s glory, so we, too, who rose with Hlm, are to be employed wholly in the activities of the New Life!"

We have seen that, in the beglnnlng, repentant and believing sinners were baptized "the same day" -· "when they beIieved" » the same hour. Baptism was an accepted fact of normal New Testament procedure and life. Sinners "believed and were baptized". Repentance, faith, and baptism should never be separated. They were not in the beginning. It was no problem, therefore, for Paul to refer to baptism and base important teaching on it, applicable to all Christians. At the same time of their repentance, faith and baptism there had been a divine response and some wonderful things had happened to them. They experienced the PASSING of the old and the EMERGENCE of the new. "If any man be IN CHRIST, he is a new creature: OLD THINGS ARE PASSED AWAY; and, Behold, all things are become NEW." (2 Cor. 5:17).

Baptism not only speaks of death, and burial, but of resurrection. In the natural realm, when one dies they are buried and that is the end of the matter. However, "being buried WITH HIM by BAPTISM INTO DEATH" we can expect the same thing to happen to us that happened to Him. So, "LIKE AS CHRIST WAS RAISED UP. . . EVEN SO WE!" "For if we have become one with Him by SHARING A DEATH LIKE HIS, we shall alsob be one with Him in SHARING HIS RESURRECTION (by a new life lived for God." (vs. 5 - Amp.)

Study Questions for Lesson No. 9

  1. Is water baptism optional?
  2. Explain the scriptures that relate water baptism and sins.
  3. Does water baptism relate to cleansing?
  4. Should repentance faith, and water baptism be separated?
  5. According to Romans 6 what is water baptism telling us?