Simple Answers on Baptism

Sometimes we struggle to know what we think about certain questions because all the noise of people’s opinions and traditions drowns out the simplicity of God’s word. The purpose of this post is to let the truth of God’s word simplify the meaning of baptism for us.

KEY SCRIPTURES

Matthew 28:19-20Acts 22:16; Acts 2:37-38; 1st Peter 3:18-22Colossians 2:11-12Romans 6:3-6Galatians 3:26-29; 1st Corinthians 12:13-14Matthew 3:11

IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, SON, AND SPIRIT

Matthew 28:19–20 (CSB) — 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Baptism describes one of the chief means by which we “make disciples”, in which we receive the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as the covenant children of God.

WASH AWAY YOUR SINS

Acts 22:16 (CSB) — 16 And now, why are you delaying? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’

Baptism is described as the singular event in which your sins are washed away when we call on our Savior’s name by faith.

OUR RESPONSE TO THE GOSPEL

Acts 2:37–38 (CSB) — 37 When they heard this, they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Baptism describes the saving response of faith that occurs when the power of the gospel convicts a sinners heart, and the Spirit of Truth sets them free from sin’s captivity so that they can answer the calling of their Savior.

THE PLEDGE OF A CLEAN CONSCIENCE

1 Peter 3:18–22 (CSB) — 18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, 19 in which he also went and made proclamation to the spirits in prison 20 who in the past were disobedient, when God patiently waited in the days of Noah while the ark was being prepared. In it a few—that is, eight people—were saved through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you (not as the removal of dirt from the body, but the pledge of a good conscience toward God) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.

Baptism corresponds to Noah’s flood, in which all the wickedness of the flesh was wiped away leaving behind only the righteous souls who were housed in the covenant of God. Accordingly, baptism is the covenantal pledge of a clean conscience that saves us through the resurrection of Christ by putting to death the Sin that previously held our lives captive to the power of death.

DIVINE CIRCUMCISION

Colossians 2:11–12 (CSB) — 11 You were also circumcised in him with a circumcision not done with hands, by putting off the body of flesh, in the circumcision of Christ, 12 when you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

Baptism is the mechanism through which the divine circumcision of the heart is accomplished without human hands.

BURIED WITH CHRIST

Romans 6:3–6 (CSB) — 3 Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we were buried with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in the likeness of his death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of his resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be rendered powerless so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin,

Baptism is the miraculous and supernatural means by which the believer is joined to Christ’s death and resurrection so that their old self can be put to death in his death, and their new-self can be raised in the power of the resurrection to new life.

PUTTING ON CHRIST

Galatians 3:26–29 (CSB) — 26 for through faith you are all sons of God in Christ Jesus. 27 For those of you who were baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ. 28 There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female; since you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise.

Baptism is the means by which God’s covenant-children are clothed by God’s grace in the righteousness of Christ.

BY ONE SPIRIT INTO ONE BODY

1 Corinthians 12:13–14 (CSB) — 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and we were all given one Spirit to drink. 14 Indeed, the body is not one part but many.

Baptism is the means by which the Holy Spirit brings us into the unity of Christ’s body.

WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT & FIRE

Matthew 3:11 (CSB) — 11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to remove his sandals. He himself will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Jesus comes with two baptisms: one for believers in the Holy Spirit, and one for sinners with fire.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit that is performed by Christ upon God’s covenant-children is the means by which the grace of God is supernaturally effected in the believer’s life according to the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

The baptism of fire that is performed by Christ upon unrepentant sinners is the means by which all the wickedness of this world will be immersed in the wrath of God and the scales of justice will be ultimately balanced with perfect retribution according to each one’s own deeds.

GOT QUESTIONS?

Do you have questions about how baptism works with faith and God’s grace? Are you struggling between what you read here and the traditions that you were raised with? Please do not hesitate to leave a comment below or reach out to me using the contact form and information on our main page.

~ May Christ Captivate!

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