Baptism: a few issues for consideration

Baptism is a controversial subject. We should not focus on controversial issues, especially when outward ordinances are concerned. On the other hand, it would be sad if topics such as baptism were not studied at all. We hope that this study outline, and in particular the Scripture references it provides, will be of help to those who do want to study the topic in the light of Scripture.

  1. Baptism with the Spirit
    • Promised before Pentecost (Acts 1:5)
    • Fulfilled at Pentecost (see Acts 1:5 and Acts 2)
    • Result: believers joined into one body (1.Cor.12:13)
    • Conclusion: Spirit baptism brings into the assembly, the body of Christ
  2. Baptism with fire
    • John the Baptist spoke of it (Mt.3:11)
    • The Lord will carry it out - yet future (Mt.3:12)
    • It would bring judgement: 'he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire' (Mt.3:12)
  3. Baptism with water
    1. John's Baptism
      • John's baptism was 'for remission of sins' (conclusion: baptism is 'in view of' something that is not necessarily possessed at the time when baptism occurs)
    2. The meaning of Christian baptism
      • Christian baptism speaks of death ('we have been baptised unto his death')
      • Association with Christ in His death
      • Consequently, the baptised Christian reckons himself dead (and cannot continue in sin)
    3. Baptism unto forgiveness of sins
      • Baptism does not result in forgiveness of sins (Acts 8:12)
      • Baptism is 'in view of' forgiveness of sins (recognising you need it, believing you will get it)
    4. Baptism 'unto'
      • 'unto' indicates direction ('eis', into).
      • Baptism occurs 'in view of'.
      • Baptism is forward-looking, not retrospective (e.g. forgiveness of sins with John's baptism).
    5. Baptism and discipleship
      • 1.Cor. 10:2 shows that the people of Israel had been baptised unto Moses, their leader.
      • John 4:1.2 associates baptism clearly with discipleship.
    6. Baptism and our position on earth
      • Baptism takes us into the 'house' or sphere of Christian confession (Eph.4:5).
      • Baptism therefore brings about a change in position, namely from being a Gentile (or Jew) to being a Christian.
    7. Baptism and salvation
      • Baptism does not affect our place in eternity, but our position on earth.
      • Baptism saves (1 Peter 3:21), but not for heaven but from 'this wicked generation' (Acts 2:40).
    8. Baptism - not related to the church
      • Some were baptised and did not belong to the church (John's baptism, Simon: Acts 8:12)
      • Ephesians 4:4-6 baptism brings into the house, not the body. Ephesians 4:4-6 three spheres. One body, one Spirit, one Hope (Church), One Lord, one faith, one baptism (House: confession), One God and Father of all (Mankind: creation)
    9. The initiative for baptism: Acts 2:38; 8:36; 10:48; 22:16; Mt 28:19; Mk 1:5; Mt 3:7
    10. Pictures of baptism (Noah, red sea and cloud, etc.)
    11. Baptised for the dead (1.Cor.15:29)
    12. Case studies
      • 1.Cor.12:13; Acts 2:4; Mt.3:11.12; Romans 6:3.4; Acts 2:38;
      • 1.Cor.10:2; Mt.28:18.19; John 4:1; Mk.16:16; Lk 7:29.30; 1.Cor.15:29
      • 1.Peter 3:21; Mk 16:16; Eph.4:4-6;
      • Acts 2:38.41; 8:13.16.36; 9:18; 10:47.48; 16:15.33; 18:8; 19:3-5; 22:16; 1 Cor 1:14-16;

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