Baptism in the New Testament – Why, Who, and How
Acts 16:25-34; Romans 6:1-11
I don’t know of any church that does not teach “baptism” in some form and for some reason since it is obvious that Jesus Himself commanded it. The confusion lies with the Why, Who, and How of baptism. Here is what God’s Word teaches us regarding baptism.
I. Why should a person be baptized? Baptism is never on a list of Christian duties, because according to Jesus it is a part of you becoming a disciple. – Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16. Here are three reasons:
A. A person is baptized for the forgiveness of sins. – Acts 2:38; 22:16 – Remember that I John 1:9 is written to Christians!
B. A person is baptized to be buried with Christ in His death and be raised in the likeness of His resurrection. – Rom. 6:3-5, 17-18 – Paul is not JUST teaching symbolism. He is teaching that it is participation.
C. A person is to be baptized because “baptism now saves you” – I Pet. 3:18-21 – Also see Matt. 3:17; John 3:3-5; Col. 2:12; Gal. 3:26-27
II. Who is a candidate for baptism? The controversy in churches today is whether infants and young children need to be baptized.
A. Every baptism in the N.T. was a result of that person making their own decision to be baptized.
B. Babies are not born guilty and sinful, thus do not need to be baptized. There is absolutely no record of any infants being baptized in the N.T.
C. The final conclusion from the teaching of the N.T. is that baptism only applies to adults and to young people who are old enough to know what they are doing.
III. How is a person to be baptized? There are two main reasons for the fact that immersion in water is the only N.T. way for a person to be baptized.
A. The literal meaning of the Greek word “Baptizo” is to dip, plunge, or immerse.
B. The symbolism of baptism requires immersion. – Rom. 6:3-11; Col. 2:12
The salvation story of the Philippian jailer and his family is a good way to end (Acts 16:25-34). When the jailer and his family were baptized into Christ, they were simply following what Paul had told him to do the very first time the Word was shared with him! Are YOU saved and a part of the family of God?