“Change your life”. Turn to God and be baptised, each one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins are forgiven”. Acts 2.38. The Message Bible.
Steps that lead to baptism (Acts 2)
- Peter confronted the people with the truth about Jesus Christ (his life, his death and his resurrection and the reasons for them)
- Peter told the truth about the people (that they were sinners)
- The people were convicted by the truth spoken to them (they were cut to the heart)
- The people were challenged and wanted to know what to do
- Peter told them that they must repent of their sins and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ.
- Those who received his word were baptised (they were willing to show others they belonged to Jesus Christ
What does BAPTISM mean?
- A public confession of faith (1 Peter 3:21). Peter explains that baptism is like Noah’s experience. God judged the earth but sent a remedy in the form of an ark. Baptism is not seen as an automatic step but an expression of our hearts, born from a love and trust in Jesus.
- It also means that your old life has died, been buried, and is raised again new. Death as you goes down into the water (saying Jesus Christ died for our sins on the cross, so we ourselves have died to sin in our lives). Buried as you go under the water (Jesus was buried after being taken down from the cross). Resurrection as you come out of the water. Jesus was raised from the dead. To be lifted from the water you live a new life. You are now dead to sin and alive to God.
Is Baptism essential?
- Yes – it is a command of Jesus and He also set the example (Matthew 3:13-15). There was no need for Jesus to repent of sin and be baptised but He wanted to identify Himself with us. He wanted to stand in the sinner’s place. It also portrayed His death and resurrection. When you become a Christian you identify yourself with Jesus Christ (see above section). Want to become a Christian? find out more https://wp.me/P9kkri-2d
- Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20 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. If we love Jesus then we will obey His commandments (John 14:15).
But I was baptised as a child/baby?
- Christening is used for dedicating new born babies but as people get older they are free to make up their own minds about following Christ and as adults receive ‘believer’s baptism’ in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- Sprinkling is not scriptural and there was a word in the Bible which could have been used if sprinkling was intended for believers. However I have been in situations where sprinkling was used where people have disabilities and other medical issues or restrictions. But during the sprinkling water was still poured over their heads and trickled down to flow over the whole body. But it is not a rite but faith in the work of Jesus Christ which define’s a believer’s baptism. Moreover, baptism goes with repentance and belief in Jesus, for the command is repent and be baptised (Acts 2:38) and (Mark 16:16) when Jesus said whoever believes and is baptised shall be saved. You can’t give a testimony about something that has never happened (a baby cannot repent, believe and be baptised into Jesus Christ) though as parents and guardians we can dedicate them to God.
What proof is there that baptism is by immersion?
- The Greek word baptizo means to dip or submerge. John the Baptist used the River Jordan to baptise and Matthew and Mark both record that Jesus came up out of the water.
- The practice of the early church (Acts 8:36-39 – Philip and the Eunoch both went down in the water and both came up out of the water.
How soon after becoming a Christian should I be baptised?
- The Scriptures say immediately. See Acts 8:36-38; 10:47; 16:33; 22:16 (Acts 9:8-19) – Paul was baptised immediately after he received the Holy Spirit and restoration of his sight and before eating anything! He hadn’t eaten for more than three days.
Will baptism have an effect on me?
- Your faith should be strengthened as you have testified to the ‘world’ of your commitment to Jesus Christ
- You have identified with Christ’s death (Col. 2:12 and Romans 6:4)
- You are raised to a new life with Christ (Galatians 2:20)
- The onus is on you to live Christ-like lives (Galatians 3:27)
What if I don’t feel completely different afterwards?
- God does give us feelings and emotions but the Bible says that we walk by faith and not feelings (….)
- Seek after God (Col. 3:1)
- Depend upon Jesus to give you strength to live this new life through His Holy Spirit
- The Holy Spirit is a free gift, seek after Him (Acts 2:38)
What other commandments does Jesus ask of me?
- Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:25; Acts 2:46; Acts 20:7. Break bread in remembrance of Him.
Find a church near you to be baptised http://www.findachurch.co.uk
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