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The Importance of Baptism 
 
an investigation of  
the origin and meaning of this ceremony 
 
 

 

We are told in Mat 28 to go to the entire world to baptize them and teach them to observe what Christ has taught us. Let’s read that scripture: 

 

(Mat 28:19-20 NASB)  "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, {20} teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." 

 

There are many definitions of what baptism is and there are many opinions as to its meaning and significance. But baptism reflects a journey from death to life, from despair to hope, from bondage to freedom. 

 

In this booklet I want to discuss the process of baptism (many call it a sacrament or ceremony), how it originated, how Christians should perform it, what it pictures, and what it accomplishes. 

 

 

What is Baptism? 

 

 

Webster’s dictionary defines it as a dipping under, a symbol of washing away sin and of spiritual purification. That definition is quite accurate. The word comes from the Greek noun bap’tisma (G908) and the Greek verb bapti’zo (G907). As we shall see, its true meaning is much more significant than Webster’s definition. Sprinkling and pouring are not dipping under the water. As we shall see, Immersion into the water is.  

 

 

How did Baptism Originate? 

 

The process of washing away sin, what we might call a baptism, probably originated with Noah as the sin-laden world was washed away. Only just and perfect Noah, Gen 6:9, and his immediate family emerged into a sinless world; a new life.  

 

(Gen 6:9 NKJV) . . . . Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. 

 

In verse 18, God makes a covenant with Noah. This is the first recorded covenant between God and man. 

 

(Gen 6:18 NKJV)  “But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark; you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 

 

What was this covenant? A covenant is an agreement, a contract. God promised Noah safety if he would simply build the ark, bring his family into the ark (verse 18), bring the animals into the ark (verse 19) and bring enough food for all (verse 21). Each party had to do their part. So, as we shall see later, humanity was basically baptized through Noah. 

 

The next notable example of baptism occurred at the time of the Exodus. The Israelites were leaving a sinful world behind them. But the sinful world would not leave them alone. In Ex 14:9 we can read of the Egyptians threatening the Israelites’ exodus. But in the rest of the chapter we read of the deliverance of the Israelites from sin by escaping through the water of the Red Sea. Again sin was destroyed in the water and out of it came a cleansed Israel; at least cleansed for awhile. God had done His part. Now it was up to Israel to do theirs. Later we can read that God again established a covenant with Israel. 

 

(1 Cor 10:1-4 NKJV)  Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, {2} all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, {3} all ate the same spiritual food, {4} and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that went with them, and that Rock was Christ. 

 

Did you get that? Who was it that went with them? It was He who became Jesus Christ (or in Hebrew, Yeshua ha Meshiach). 

 

Starting at this time, Moses recorded a series of instructions, commonly called laws, in the Torah or Pentateuch by which the Israelites could govern their lives. Some of these so-called laws included instructions for assuring both physical and spiritual or ritual cleanliness.  For this sermon, we will pretty much ignore the instructions for physical cleanliness, not that they aren’t very important too, and concentrate on the instructions for ritual cleanliness. Let’s turn to two scriptures: 

 

(Exo 19:10, 14 NKJV)  Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. . ..   14  So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and sanctified the people, and they washed their clothes. 

      

These scriptures seem to just address washing clothes. But notice in verse 14 that Moses also sanctified the people. How was that done? A couple of other scriptures will show that they were also to wash themselves. Let’s look at Lev 15:18. 

 

(Lev 15:18 NKJV)  ‘Also, when a woman lies with a man, and there is an emission of semen, they shall bathe in water, and be unclean until evening. 

 

Now let’s go back to Ex 19, this time we’ll read verse 15. 

 

(Exo 19:15 NKJV)  And he said to the people, “Be ready for the third day; do not come near your wives.” 

 

They were not to become ritually unclean. On the third day the LORD was to come down the mountain in the sight of all the people. He would not come near anyone who was ritually unclean. To become ritually clean, the people were to immerse themselves in pools of clean water. These pools are described by the Hebrew word mikveh. 

 

Let’s look at some examples where the word mikveh is used.  

 

(Lev 11:36 NKJV)  ‘Nevertheless a spring or a cistern, in which there is plenty [mikveh H4723] of water, shall be clean,. . … 

      

(Exo 7:19 NKJV)  Then the LORD spoke to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your rod and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their streams, over their rivers, over their ponds, and over all their pools [mikveh H4723] of water, . . . . . . 

 

The word mikveh really means a gathering and we see the word used to describe a pool in both these scriptures.  When we compare these two verses with Lev 15:18, we can see that the only place ritually unclean people could become clean is in clean water. 

 

On the south side of the temple mount in Jerusalem near what used to be the south side steps into the temple, are a number of what are called mikveh. They are rock underground cavities which were built to enable people to walk down into them, dip themselves under the water, and become ritually clean before entering the temple. Apparently there were more mikvehs on the temple mount for use by the temple priests. They were cleared when the temple mount was scraped clean of all structures in 70 AD. Mikveh can also be seen at Masada, Herod’s mountain top retreat near the Dead Sea. Water for the mikveh was typically supplied by rain water and pure spring water. At any rate, ritual bathing in these mikveh constituted a type of baptism, the symbolic washing away of all sins.  

 

It is interesting and moving to consider that these mikveh undoubtedly would have been used by the Messiah and His disciples when they worshiped at the temple.  

 

The next scriptural examples of baptism were practiced by John the Baptist, or what is more accurate, John the Baptizer or John the Immerser. John’s Hebrew name was Yochanan’, meaning “God gives grace.” And indeed God did give grace through Yochanan. Grace means “giving unmerited pardon” and that is exactly what Yochanan’s baptizing did. It gave unmerited pardon after the person repented of their sins.  

 

(Luke 3:2-4 NKJV)  while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. {3} And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, {4} as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight. 

 

(Mark 1:4-5 NKJV)  John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. {5} Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins 

 

Genuine repentance and conversion are not based on sentiment or emotion artificially stirred up in an altar call. Genuine repentance and conversion involve coming to know that God is real, that He is the Supreme Being working out His purpose here on earth. That He is directly involved, in a personal way, in His creation. That He is a real spirit being with total power throughout the universe. And that He is our Creator and our Father if we truly surrender our lives to Him.. Repentance then becomes deep and personal, the beginning of a relationship between us and our Maker. Repentance is not temporary remorse over mistakes, failures, sins. Again, the emphasis is on the people confessing, i.e. recognizing, their sins and repenting of them..  

 

This is not at all unlike the bathing or dipping to remove ritual uncleanness. 

 

 

What, then, is the biblical definition of sin?  

 

(1 John 3:4 KJV)  . . . . sin is the transgression of the law. 

 

This biblical definition shows us that sin consists of thoughts  or actions that are not in harmony with God’s will.  

 

 

What, then, does Baptism Involve? 

 

(John 3:23 NKJV)  Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized. 

 

Baptism involves the symbolic burial of the old self in water. This verse describes another important fact about baptism: There must be abundant water to be baptized. Sprinkling or pouring won’t do. The person must be able to dip or be immersed entirely under the water. Immersion symbolically pictures being buried in a watery grave. Jewish tradition says the mikveh must contain at least 200 gallons of clean water. 

 

(John 3:22 NASB)  After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He was spending time with them and baptizing. 

 

(John 4:1-2 NKJV)  Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John {2} (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), 

 

So there was a period of time when both Jesus’ (Yeshua’s) disciples and John were baptizing following the person’s repentance from sins committed. 

 

 

Have We Considered What’s Wrong with Sin? 

 

(Rom 6:23 NKJV)  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

 

As we think about our need for forgiveness, we should seriously consider our Savior’s sacrifice for us. He died to pay the penalty of our sins. In so doing, Jesus humbled himself and allowed himself to be scourged, tormented and to be crucified for us. 

 

Do we understand the terrible consequences of sin? Sin destroys. Sin kills. All the curses, heartaches, emptiness, wretchedness and suffering of our society are cased by sin.  

 

What are the fruits of this world under the influence of Satan and our own human nature? We see families coming apart at the seams, single-parent families, divorce and separation. We see crime, juvenile delinquency, drug use, sexual promiscuity, the rapid spread of AIDS. We see human lusts and selfishness leading to massive environmental problems. We see wretched living conditions for the vast majority of the world’s people. Sin is the real cause of most of these problems. As you think about your past sins, consider these results of sin.  

 

But back to baptism.. There was one essential thing missing in John’s baptism. John’s baptism addressed repentance and it addressed Christ, but did not address the giving of the Holy Spirit. Let’s read about the affects of that in Acts 19. 

 

(Acts 19:1-6 NKJV)  And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples {2} he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” {3} And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” {4} Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” {5} When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. {6} And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. 

 

So these people had to be rebaptized in order for them to receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands. 

 

But John the Immerser wasn’t finished yet. He was about to baptize the most important personage in his or anyone else’s life.  

 

(Mark 1:7-11 NKJV)  And he [John] preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. {8} “I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” {9} It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. {10} And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. {11} Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 

 

Now some will say, “Why would Christ have to be baptized? He certainly had no sin to repent of.” The answer is given by Peter. Let’s look at it. 

 

1 Pet 2:21-22  For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 22 “Who committed no sin,. . . .” 

 

So there is your answer. Christ committed no sin, yet he was baptized. And His Father was so pleased he not only commended Christ but instantly gave him a visible gift of the Holy Spirit. Christ was not the first to receive the Holy Spirit. David and others had received it and been guided by it. But if Christ needed to be baptized as an example for us all, isn’t it obvious that we all should be baptized

 

So, again following Christ’s example, the next event after coming up out of the water is to receive the Holy Spirit. We will get into that later, but first let’s review more Biblical or historical sequence of events. The giving of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost as recorded in  the first part of Acts 2 marks the time when the Holy Spirit was given to about 120 believers. See Acts 1:15. After Peter’s inspired sermon to the Jews, we read the following: 

 

(Acts 2:37-39 NKJV)  Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” [They were desperate] {38} Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. {39} “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” 

      

So here we see the three necessary responses to God’s calling: Repentance, baptism for the remission of our sins, and receiving the Holy Spirit. Along with repentance we must be committed to living a life in concert with the motivation that will be given us by God’s Holy Spirit. We will discuss that later in this sermon but it should be obvious  from this why infants should not be baptized. Only those people old enough to truly repent and commit themselves to living a holy life should be baptized. 

 

 

Repentance and Commitment 

 

Once you have decided to be baptized, how long should you wait? Is there a period of time one should wait to repent from their past sins before being baptized? 

 

(Acts 8:35-39 NKJV)  Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. {36} Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?" {37} Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." {38} So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. {39} Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. 

 

No, when you as a solid believer feel that you have repented of your past sins and are committed to living a life in concert with God’s Word, you can be baptized at any time. 

 

And what did Christ himself instruct his disciples to preach regarding baptism? 

 

(Mark 16:15-18 NKJV)  And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. {16} "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. {17} "And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; {18} "they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." 

 

How should we conduct our lives following repentance and baptism, which is the burying of our old sinful life. Let’s read what Paul has told us in Romans 6, the Baptism chapter. 

(Rom 6 NASB)  What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? {2} May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? {3} Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? {4} Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. {5} For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, {6} knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; {7} for he who has died is freed from sin. {8} Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, {9} knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. {10} For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. {11} Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. {12} Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, {13} and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. {14} For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace. {15} What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be! {16} Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? {17} But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, {18} and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. {19} I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity [or uncleanness] and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. {20} For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. {21} Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. {22} But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. {23} For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

 

So, as we just read, commitment is a part of being baptized too. We must be committed to living the correct life and not returning to our old sinful lifestyle. Let’s read more about commitment in Luke 14. 

 

(Luke 14:1, 16-35 NKJV) [Count the Cost Chapter]  Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely. . . . . .{16} Then He said to him, "A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, {17} "and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, 'Come, for all things are now ready.' {18} "But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.' {19} "And another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.' {20} "Still another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.' {21} "So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.' {22} "And the servant said, 'Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.' {23} "Then the master said to the servant, 'Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. {24} 'For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.'" {25} Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, {26} "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate [G3404 - To the occidental mind: to love less in comparison] his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. {27} "And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. {28} "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it; {29} "lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, {30} "saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.' {31} "Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? {32} "Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. {33} "So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. [Let me read that again. whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple] {34} "Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? {35} "It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" 

 

Are we committed to live God’s way regardless of the difficulty? We shall have difficulties. But if we overcome those difficulties we can persevere. How committed are you? Are you willing to give up everything dear, if you have to, to follow Christ? 

 

 

What is the Reward of Baptism and What does it Accomplish?  

 

(Acts 2:38 NKJV)  Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 

 

And what is the value of the Holy Spirit? 

 

(Rom 8:9 NASB)  However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 

 

It is the presence of the Holy Spirit that makes one a Christian. 

 

Are we who have repented, who have committed ourselves to following the laws of Christ and God, who have had our sins washed away through baptism, and who have received the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands, to be set aside for any special purpose? As we read the resurrection chapter, we’ll see how baptism also pictures the resurrection into a new life. 

 

(1 Cor 15:1-29 NKJV)  Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, {2} by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you; unless you believed in vain. [You are saved at your judgement, not before.] {3} For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, {4} and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, {5} and that He was seen by Cephas [Peter], then by the twelve. {6} After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. {7} After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. {8} Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. {9} For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. {10} But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. {11} Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed. {12} Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? {13} But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. {14} And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. {15} Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up; if in fact the dead do not rise. {16} For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. {17} And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! {18} Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. {19} If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. {20} But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. {21} For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. {22} For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. {23} But each one in his own order [When God calls them]: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. 

 

Brethren, we who have been baptized, lead by His Spirit, and are chosen are destined to be made alive at His coming. Here are some scriptures which describe the conditions of that time. Hold your place in 1 Cor 15 and turn to Rev. 20. 

 

(Rev 20:4,6 NKJV)  And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. . . . . {6} Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. 

 

Back to 1 Cor 15 

 

{24} Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 

 

I won’t read from it but you might want to read from Rev 21 and 22 to see what will occur for the baptized Saints at the time of the end. Continuing in 1 Cor 15. 

 

{25} For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. {26} The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.  

 

Let’s go back to Rev 20:13. As we read this, notice that all those who have been resurrected will still be judged by their works. 

 

(Rev 20:13 NKJV)  The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades [the grave] delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works

 

But Peter observed a situation where a believer, a gentile, had been selected to receive the Holy Spirit even before his baptism. How was he chosen? By his works. But he still had to be baptized. Let’s read of this in Acts 10. 

 

(Acts 10:43-48 NKJV)  "To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins." {44} While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. {45} And those of the circumcision [Jews] who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. {46} For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, {47} "Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?" {48} And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days. 

 

And back again to 1 Cor 15 

 

{27} For "He has put all things under His feet." But when He says "all things are put under Him," it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. {28} Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all. {29} Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead? 

 

Verse 29 can be a confusing verse because of the translation of the word “for.” Its two occurrences should properly be translated as “in hope of” from the Greek word “huper”, G5228. I believe that verse 29 is saying, “Why be baptized in hope of a dead Christ if He did not rise at all? Why be baptized in hope of Christ if Christ is still dead?” 

 

Yes, baptism pictures resurrection, a rising from the dead, for no one can be resurrected and enter the kingdom of God unless he is baptized, has received God’s Spirit, and is lead by the Spirit. 

 

(John 3:5-8 NKJV)  Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. {6} "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. {7} "Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' {8} "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit." 

 

 

 

In conclusion, we have considered many aspects of baptism. Let’s now try to sum it up. Please turn to 1 John 5.  

 

(1 John 5:1-6 NKJV)  Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. {2} By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. {3} For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. {4} For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world; our faith. {5} Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? {6} This is He who came by water and blood; Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.

 

 

Sermon given by Wayne Bedwell 
December 2002  

 

Copyright 2002, Wayne Bedwell

 

 

 

       Church of God Most High 

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  Arizona City, AZ  85123 

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