Baptism 7

water baptism

On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. ~ Acts 19:5

In our study of baptism in the New Testament we have noted some well known people who expressed their faith in God by being baptized. Jesus, the 3,000 on Pentecost, the man Philip taught along the road, Simon the sorcerer, and Saul of Tarsus. Those stories teach us something about this decision to be baptized. And there are many more.

One was an official in the Roman army named Cornelius. Acts 10:47 “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water…. “

There was a business woman who met with other women by the river. Paul came by to teach them about Jesus. Acts 16:14-15, “The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home.

Even in prison, Paul never stopped teaching the gospel. One night after a miraculous jailbreak the jailer himself was baptized along with his family. Acts 16:33 “At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized.”

There were Jewish religious leaders who decided to give their lives to Christ, such as Crispus. Acts 18:8 “Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul believed and were baptized.”

In Acts 19 there were some disciples of John the Baptist who had not heard about the Holy Spirit and what God was doing in this new movement called The Way or the church. Acts 19:5 “On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

It’s really hard to believe that in modern times baptism is often pushed off to the side as an incidental matter that’s important but not essential. But when I read the New Testament, I can’t help but be impressed with how important baptism is to God.

One more reference for today is found in First Peter. Peter is writing about the days of Noah. You remember that God told Noah to build the ark and to gather two of each unclean animal and seven of each clean animal and put them in the ark. I’m sure God helped him accomplish this! Then the rain started to fall and it covered the earth. This was a judgment of God because the thoughts of man were only evil continually, except for Noah and his family. I’ll confess I always thought that the ark saved Noah from the corrupt world, but that is not quite true. Actually it was the water that saved Noah, for it separated him from the evil world and washed off the face of the earth. Peter is the one who points this out in his first letter to persecuted Christians. He reminds them….

1 Peter 3:20-22 “…God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.”

This reminds me that ….

*God is patiently waiting for us to repent and be baptized

*Baptism saves us in the sense that our hearts are being cleansed of sin, not just washing the body.

*Baptism doesn’t save us as an act alone, but it is through faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

*Notice that authorities and powers and angels are all in submission to the authority of Jesus.

That reminds me of a verse we have already looked at, but here we see again, the conquering Christ:

Matthew 28:19-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Jesus has the authority over all. He demonstrated faith for all believers when he was baptized. He taught his disciples to baptized believers. When we are baptized it is the ultimate recognition that we are no longer in charge of our lives, but we give it all to Jesus.

Remember those disciples in Acts 19:5? “On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” I’m praying that if there is someone reading this today who has not been immersed into Christ, they will want to do so immediately.

Thanks for reading, John.

If you would like to read this series from the beginning, click HERE.

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