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Baptism

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Key Verse: Acts 2:38
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye receive the gift of the Holy Spirit

Question: What does this verse mean to you?

LESSON:

Our key verse says to repent and then be baptized. Just what does it mean to be baptized? First let's look at the definition of the word. The actual word means to immerse or to submerge {907 baptizo bap-tid'- to immerse, submerge;}. We find from the scripture that Jesus Himself was baptized and that He came up out of the water, and when John was baptizing we find he was at a place where there was much water. (Mattthew 3:16), and when John was baptizing we find he was at a place where there was much water (John 3:23). We conclude from this that baptism means to be totally immersed into water, not sprinkled.

Just why should a person be baptized? To answer this question we must understand the fundamentals of the gospel that Jesus Christ brought to this Earth (Luke 3:3). The message is - The baptism of repentance FOR the remission of sins. Baptism represents something very dramatic and sobering and at the same time something very wonderful. It represents the abhorrence of the sinful, self-life and at the same time the ability to change our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit, which is given to us at baptism.

It's important to understand the symbolism of baptism. What does it represent (Romans 6:3-7)? Baptism represents a watery grave. You go down into the water and are completely immersed just like a corpse is laid down and covered with the dirt of the earth. You come up out of the water as a new man or woman. Just like the dead are going to come back to life in the resurrection, so the newly baptized person is brought back to life from a state of death. He was dead in his sins and is now given (at baptism) a new life, a new start.

Now we come to the most critical issue as to WHY we need to be baptized. The key verse says, repent and be baptized and you shall receive the GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. Just what is the Spirit of God? In essence, it is a very small part of the nature of God that is given to us at baptism. As it is nurtured and fed it continues to grow until it consumes the fleshly mind and overpowers our carnal ways. The Spirit of God is what makes conversion possible. The Spirit of God dwelling inside a person is what identifies a true Christian. The Bible clearly states that without the Spirit of God it is impossible to please Him and without the Spirit of God we are not His (Romans 8:7-9). The gift of the Holy Spirit is given to those who have surrendered their lives by the acts of repentance and baptism.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Considering the age at which Jesus was baptized, should small children be baptized?
    (Luke 3:21-23)

  2. What does baptism represent?
    (Acts 22:16; Colossians 2:12)

  3. What precedes baptism?
    (Acts 8:36-38; Romans 3:23-25)

  4. Must a person, before baptism, count the cost?
    (Luke 9:23, 14:16-35, 22:42; Acts 5:29; Romans 12:1-2)

  5. Why do I need to be baptized?
    (Acts 1:5, 5:32, 2 Peter 1:1-10)

  6. Do I need to be re-baptized?
    (Acts 19:1-6)

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