Sunday, October 11, 2009

Growing In The Word Series

Word family: Baptism, baptize
Synonyms: immersion, dipping,
Related ideas: new birth (regeneration), salvation, forgiveness of sins, the gift of the Holy Spirit, death-burial-resurrection of Christ, sanctification/purification
Definition: Baptism is the immersion of a person's whole body in water, in the name (by the authority) of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of sins by grace, and to receive the gift or indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Greek References: βαπτισμα baptisma (baptism), βαπτιζω baptizo (baptize), 907,908 (Strong) cf 909,910. [from 911 βαπτω bapto, to dip]
Between repentance and forgiveness of sins

Mrk 1:4 “John appeared... preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins”
Acts 2:38 “Repent and be baptized every one of you... for the forgiveness of sins”

Faith is a prerequisite
Mrk 16:16 “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved...”
Acts 8:36-37 “Look! water! What prevents me from being baptized? ...'If you believe with all your heart you may'”
Acts 18:8 “And many of the Corinthians hearing, believed and were baptized”

A burial and resurrection symbol
Rom 6:3-4 “...buried with him through baptism into death... in the likeness of his death... [and] resurrection”
1Co 10:2 “All passed through the sea, and all were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea”

Necessary for faith in Christ
Gal 3:26-29 “You are all sons [and heirs] of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ...”
1Pe 3:20-21 “ the days of Noah... eight persons were brought safely through the water, and the antitype of that is baptism which now saves you...”

Comment: Baptism is reserved for those who believe in the Lord Jesus as his/her personal savior. It is an outward sign of a person’s faith in Christ. Baptism presupposes the existence of faith. Baptism without faith does not bring about salvation “for it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Eph 2:8).

Baptism is defined in most secular dictionaries according to modern usage, not strictly according to Bible usage. We need to let the Bible alone teach us about what it calls baptism. Be aware that the word "baptism" is a transliteration (rather than a translation) of the Greek word. English versions of the Bible have generally resiled from actually translating the Greek (for example with "dipping" or "immersion").

(This article is edited and reprinted this week because the last section was left out last Sunday. Source:

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