Salvation is not adding Jesus into our life. Salvation is Jesus adding us into his death, burial, and resurrection all displayed through the solemn act of water baptism. In water baptism we know there is the involvement of water, but most Christians are not exactly positive what the water symbolizes. Also, there’s confusion about how much water. Should we sprinkle, pour, or totally dunk the person?

BAPTISM IN WATER
by Delbert Young

Water Baptism 101

water baptism

Video

audio

Baptism 101

Scriptures: Romans 6:3-11

Over the next few weeks, I want to talk about one of the two ordinances the Lord left and instructed the church to do and preserve. One is Holy Communion. It contains two symbolic elements. The bread symbolic of his body causing us to remember him (Luk 22:19). The juice/wine symbolic of his blood causing us to realize we are in the New Covenant (Luk 22:20). Most Christ followers are capable of passing this ordinance on to their children and well able to tell anyone the meanings of communion because of these two elements. The elements themselves teach and explain the ordinance plus help us hold onto the meaning. Are there special blessings connected with Holy Communion? The Lord wants you to have them all.

The other ordinance the Lord left us is water baptism. We know there is the involvement of water, but most Christians are not exactly positive what the water symbolizes. Also, there’s confusion about how much water. Should we sprinkle, pour some on a person’s head, or totally dunk the person? Today there’s tremendous uncertainty and vagueness about the necessity and purpose of water baptism. I fear some here have not been biblically water baptized. Is this important? Do you believe certain blessings come with water baptisms? Indeed, and the Lord wants you to have them all.

A young boy was asked during Sunday School to explain baptism. He said, “It’s when the preacher holds you under water until you think about Jesus!” I think this is somewhat how people think.

God teaches his people with a combination of symbols, word pictures, parables, and metaphors. These cause us to ask questions, obtain truths, and pass the spiritual truths of God to others and the next generation. For example, what did the bloody sacrifices of animals mean? What spiritual truth could a bloody dead animal teach? It pointed to Jesus and his bloody sacrifice, death, and the forgiveness of our sins. The parables of Jesus are word pictures intended to cause us to ask, “What does this mean? What spiritual truth am I to gain?” We’ve recently talked about the metaphoric “I Am” statements of Jesus. What did Jesus mean when he said, “I am the bread of life”? As discussed, what does the bread and drink of communion show and teach us? What are the spiritual truths of Communion? Symbols, word pictures, parables, and metaphors work. With this thought, what does water baptism show and teach us? What spiritual truths do we learn from water baptism? What is the meaning of baptism?

We often teach about and talk about communion, but the subject of baptism, water or Spirit baptism is mostly untouched, and both have become largely a non-issue in many churches. I should teach both, water and Spirit baptism at least once a year and I haven’t. In both, there is much confusion, delusion, and controversy. We know the baptism of the Holy Spirit concerning tongues has become a point of confusion, delusion, and controversy, but water baptism also has. You might say, “How has water baptism become controversial?” Well, is sprinkling the same as immersion? Can an infant be water baptized biblically? What about being baptized for dead ancestors?

My wife Judy and I had recently come into the kingdom and were becoming dedicated believers and followers of Jesus Christ. I was thirty years of age. Judy was twenty-eight. Neither of us was water baptized. Judy experienced sprinkling in the Methodist church. As a young girl, she’d attended a Baptist church, but began attending a Methodist church motivated by her fear of the immersion into water baptism opting to the sprinkling. I never experienced either. I’d attended a Methodist church for years, but in all my years in the Methodist church, I’d never seen anyone sprinkled, much less immersed. When we came into the kingdom, I began reading the word of God. I began reading about water baptism. After months, I questioned our pastor about it. There wasn’t a baptismal at our church. He said we’d need to go to another church and use their baptismal. He made the arrangements and baptized all four of our family together. Even today, I marvel water baptism wasn’t mentioned to me, and there was not a provision for me to be baptized at and with my own church.

When I came to this town and began pastoring, I did a series from the Book of Acts. One of the first lessons in Acts is the necessity of water baptism, but again, the church didn’t have a baptismal pool. We had to borrow the First Baptist’s water. I believe we did two baptism services with their water. When we built this facility, we made certain we had our own place to baptize with our church.

Here’s my point. Water baptism has become a non-issue. People have become indifferent about a commandment and ordinance given by Jesus. I want to get into the nuts and bolts of water baptism over the next few weeks. I want to teach this so well if you haven’t been water baptized, you will want to be and if you have been baptized you will wish you could again. Baptism needs to be an exciting desired act of obedience unto our Lord Jesus Christ.

What I’m going to attempt to tell us today is the meaning, exactly what happens, and what we are declaring in water baptism. Then we’ll watch it happen and celebrate with those baptized.

What is the meaning of Christian Baptism? There seems to be no Biblical meaning to sprinkling someone. There seems to be no Biblical meaning of pouring water on someone’s head. However, there is clear Biblical meaning in the symbol of immersing someone into the water. The Bible in the New Testament says nothing about some of our modern methods of baptism such as sprinkling water on someone or pouring water on someone. Only immersion satisfies what the scriptures teach as the correct act of water baptism.

Here is what the apostle Paul tells us happens in the spiritual dimension as water baptism transpires. I’ll read the passage. Then we’ll study it.

Romans 6:3-11 Or don’t you know that all of us who were BAPTIZED into Christ Jesus were BAPTIZEDinto his death? 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. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Did you get that? Let’s see if we can clarify a little.

Romans 6:3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST JESUS WERE BAPTIZED INTO HIS DEATH?

I don’t have time to explain it totally now. When I baptize you, I will baptize you into the name (singular) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Mat 28:19). Then I will say, “…into Christ Jesus” (Act 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5; Rom 6:3; Gal 3:27). We will talk more about this next time.

The apostle said when we were baptized into Christ Jesus, we were baptized into his death. As you went into the water, you united with him spiritually in his death on the cross with him. God placed you on the cross with Christ in your baptism. You symbolically and metaphorically died on the cross as payment in full was made for all your sins. Baptism shows the price for all your sins is paid. You died with Jesus. You were baptized into his death.

Romans 6:4 WE WERE THEREFORE BURIED WITH HIM THROUGH BAPTISM into death…

Then, as you were put into the water, you were buried with him through baptism. Not only did you die with him, God placed you into the tomb with him. God buried you with Christ. It’s here we begin to see the symbol of the water. The word baptism in verse 4 is baptisma {bap’-tis-mah} – immersion, submersion; of Christian baptism; a rite of immersion in water as commanded by Christ. In verse 3, the word baptized is used twice. Its baptizo {bap-tid’-zo} – to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk), to pickle. No place in New Testament baptism does sprinkled water or pouring water project the necessary symbolism.

You die with Christ in the water of baptism, and God buried you with him. You go into the tomb with Christ.

Romans 6:4  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.

Not only did you die with Jesus and God buried you with Jesus, when raised out of the water, you were resurrected with Jesus and raised to live a new life.

Romans 6:5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also BE UNITED WITH HIM IN HIS RESURRECTION.

What a massive truth. All of this is symbolized and declared by you in water baptism.

Romans 6:6-8 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.

Salvation is not adding Jesus into your life. Salvation is Jesus adding you into his death, burial, and resurrection all displayed through the solemn act of water baptism.

Romans 6:9-11 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, HE CANNOT DIE AGAIN; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin BUT ALIVE TO GOD IN CHRIST JESUS.

Baptism is your death. You cannot die again. Exactly as Christ Jesus cannot die again, youcannot die again. Resurrection is the bottom line of water baptism. Jesus said he is the resurrection and the life. He who believes in him will never die (Joh 11:25-26), Not one millisecond will pass when your body dies, and you are in the presence of the Lord. Water baptism seals this. You will never die.

Delbert, does it really make a difference how I experienced baptism? Yes. Paul encountered some believers incorrectly baptized in Acts 19:1-8. Paul took time, correctly explained baptism, and then re-baptized them in the name of the Lord Jesus. So, yes it obviously matters.

Out on the cattle ranches of the west unbranded calves and wild horses roam uninhibited. Known as “mavericks” these run free, until claimed by the person who puts his brand on them. A little western girl was baptized one Sunday. Her schoolmates questioned her the next day as to the meaning of the ceremony. “Well,” she said, “I will just tell you. I was a little maverick out on the prairie, but now I’m marked for Jesus. When Jesus sees me, he will know I am one of his children.”

Something about proper water baptism puts a mark on us declaring to whom we belong.

Other Related Sermons:

Call Your Husband – Father’s Day sermon video audio notes

What Then? – Easter sermon video audio notes

The Promise – Easter sermon video audio notes

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young