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Water Baptism

Water Baptism

I.       Introduction:         Mark 15:15-16

II.    The Origin of Water Baptism

A.     Prefiguration in the Old Testament

1.        Noah and his family was save in the flood (I Pet 3:20-21; Gen 7:17-20)

2.        Receive circumcision to become the chosen people (Gen 17:12-13; Exod 12:43-44, 48-49; Gal 3:27-29)

3.        Israelites crossing the Red Sea (I Cor 10:1-2; Is 43:16; Exod 14:19-22)

4.        Customs of cleaning (Lev 15:5-13,16; 16:26,28; 17:15-16)

5.        Naaman bathe in Jordan River to cleanse his leprosy (II King 5:1-14; Lk 4:17)

B.     Prophesies in the Old Testament

1.        God will cast our sins into the depth of the sea (Micah 7:19)

2.        God will open a fountain for the house of David for sins and uncleanness (Zech 13:1)

3.        The redeemed will walk on a road through the depth of the sea (Is 51:10)

C.     The Baptism of Repentance of John the Baptist (Mt 3:1-12; Lk 3:7-17; 7:29; Jn 3:23; Lk 20:4)

D.     Baptisms of the Church in New Testament

1.        Jesus was baptized to serve as an example (Mt 3:13-16)

2.        Jesus instructed his disciple to perform baptism (Mt 28:19; Mk 16:15-16)

3.        Disciples followed the instructions of Jesus (Acts 2:41; 8:12, 35-36; 9:18; 10:47-48; 16:15-33; 18:8; 19:5)

III. The Purpose and Efficacy of Water Baptism

A.     For the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16; I Pet 3:21)

1.        Men have original sins (Rom 5:12-16; Ps 51:5; 58:3) and personal sins (Rom 3:9-10,23; Exod 20:3-17; Jas 2:10-11; 4:17; I Jn 3:4; 5:17)

2.        The consequence of sin is death (Lk 15:24; Eph 2:1,5; Col 2:13; I Cor 15:22; Gen 3:16-19) and everlasting pun­ishment in hell (Mt 25:30,41,46; Mk 9:48; II Thes 1:9; Rev 20:13-15)

3.        Those who have been baptized to wash away their sins can be saved from God’s wrath and be reconciled with God (Rom 5:9-11)

B.     Baptism of rebirth

1.        One needs to be reborn to enter into the Kingdom of God (Jn 3:3-5)

2.        We are united with Christ in his death, burial, and resur­rection during water baptism (Rom 6:3-4; Col 2:12)

3.        We must live a new life after baptism (Rom 6:3-11)

The creation of Eve from the rib of Adam prefigures that Jesus’ side will be pierced, issuing water and blood to create new men through water baptism and to establish the church (the bride) (Gen 2:21-25; I Cor 15:45; Jn 19:30-35; Eph 5:25-27; Acts 20:28)

C.     Saved through Sanctification

1.        We are sanctified through the blood of Jesus (I Cor 6:11; Rom 5:9; 3:25-26)

2.        We are saved from the power of sins and Satan and are delivered from destruction through water baptism (I Pet 3:20-21; Acts 26:18; II Tim 4:18)

D.     To belong to Christ

1.        In the past, we have no part with Christ and his salva­tion (Eph 2:12)

2.        Be baptized into Christ (Gal 3:27-29; Rom 6:3; Rev 5:9-10)

3.        Be reborn to regain the son-ship of God and to receive His grace (I Jn 5:19; Gal 3:26; 4:4-6; Eph 1:4-5; 2:19; Mt 3:16-17; Rom 8:15-16)

IV.  The Method of Water Baptism

A.     Full immersion

1.        “Baptism” in the original text means “immersion”

·         The Greek Orthodox continued to practice full im­mersion during baptism

2.        Jesus came up out of the water after he was baptized (Mt 3:16; Mk 1:9-10; Jn 3:23)

3.        The early apostolic church practice full immersion (Acts 8:36-39)

4.        Prefigurations:  flood in the time of Noah (I Pet 3:20-21); crossing the Red Sea (I Cor 10:1-2; Ps 77:19; Is 43:16; 51:10)

5.        Prophecies:  deep sea (Micah 7:19); fountain (Zech 13:1); baptisms must be performed in rivers or oceans

6.        Spiritual meaning:  full immersion has the mean of burial (Rom 6:4; Col 2:12)

B.     In the Name of Jesus Christ

1.        From the history of apostolic churches

 a.      In the Name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38; 10:48)

 b.      In the Name of Jesus (Acts 8:16; 19:5)

2.        Jesus is the only savior; our sins are forgiven by His name (Acts 4:12; 10:43; 22:16; I Jn 2:12; Mt 1:21; Col 3:17)

3.        The implication of Mt 28:19 is “in the name of Jesus”

 a.      In this verse, name is singular, showing that God is not in three persons, but only one, and His name is Jesus

 b.      Jesus is the name of the Father (Jn 17:11-12)

 c.      The Father and the Son are one (Jn 10:30; 14:7-11; Is 9:6; I Tim 3:16)

 d.      The Holy Spirit is the spirit of Jesus (Acts 16:6-7; Rom 8:9; II Cor 3:17; 4:24; I Pet 1:11)

C.     Head facing downwards

1.        Be united with the likeness of Jesus’ death (Rom 6:3-8; Jn 19:30)

 a.      Head facing downwards means death with Christ; full immersion in water means burial with Christ; to come up from the water means resurrection with Christ

 b.      Through baptism, the old self (sinner) is dead and the new man (righteous man) is born, therefore it is a baptism of rebirth

 c.      Those who die in Adam are resurrected spiritually through baptism (Col 2:12; Eph 2:5-6)

 d.      In the last day, we shall resurrect and have the like­ness of the glory of Jesus (resurrection of the body - transform into spiritual body) (Rom 8:11; Col 3:1-4; Phil 3:20-21; I Cor 15:50-54)

2.        It is the proper attitude for sinners seeking forgiveness

 a.      When sins rise over our head, we cannot face up­wards (Ps 38:4; Ezra 9:6)

 b.      Burdened by sins, we cannot look up (Ps 40:12; Lk 18:13-14)

 c.      Sinners should not be stiff-necked (Acts 7:51; Job 10:15)

3.        Revelation received by Paul Wei

On April 8, 1917, while Paul Wei was praying, a voice from heaven told him “you must receive the baptism of Jesus” and he was led by the Holy Spirit to a river out­side Beijing.  There he knelt down and prayed in the river.  The voice told him “you must be baptized facing downwards”, he obeyed that voice and was baptized.  When he came up from the water, he saw the glorious savior appeared to him and he felt that his body and soul have been totally cleansed.  The Lord appeared to him again and revealed that his name should be changed to Paul.  He was also instructed to correct the mistakes of other denominations and to preach the perfect Gospel.

V.     Qualifications of the Baptist

The person performing baptism must have been reborn from water and Holy Spirit

A.     The baptist must have received the correct baptism

1.        After we have cleansed ourselves, then we can baptize those who are unclean (Acts 2:38; Num 19:18)

2.        Before the priests are brought to the temple, they must first cleanse themselves (Exod 29:4)

3.        Jesus was baptized before he began his ministry (Mt 3:13-16)

B.     The baptist must be sent by the Holy Spirit

1.        To be sent by God in order that we can work for God (Rom 10:15; Jn 20:21-22; Lk 4:18; Acts 1:4-5; I Jn 3:24)

2.        The efficacy of water baptism depends on the abidance of Holy Spirit (I Cor 6:11; 12:13; Jn 20:21-22)

3.        Holy Spirit testifies that there is blood in the water (I Jn 5:6-8; Jn 19:34); sins are washed away by the blood of Jesus (Heb 9:22,12; Eph 1:7; I Pet 1:18-19; Rev 1:5)

Many people have seen the blood of Jesus in the water when our church perform water baptism

VI.  Qualifications of the Person Being Baptized

A.     Must believe (Mk 16:16; Acts 18:8)

1.        Believe that Jesus is the only savior (Acts 4:12; 8:36-37; 16:31-33; 26:18)

2.        Believe that our sins are washed away by the blood of Jesus during water baptism (Rom 3:25; Eph 1:7; Heb 9:13-14,22)

Many people’s illness were cured after receiving the baptism of our church proving that the baptism has the power to wash away sins (ref.: Mk 2:5-12)

3.        Believe in the TrueChurch established by Holy Spirit and with the abidance of Holy Spirit — Holy Spirit, Truth, and miracles (Acts 8:12-13; Rom 8:9; Eph 1:23; 4:4; Jn 15:1-6; I Jn 2:19)

One cannot be baptized if one believes Jesus Christ but not the efficacy of water baptism or if one be­lieves the efficacy of water baptism but fail to be­lieve in the TrueChurch

B.     Must repent (Acts 2:38; Lk 24:47)

The word “repent” in the original text means “turn back”; that is to admit the mistakes in the past and determine to depart from evil and to do what is good

1.        Passive actions:  repent of the sins in the past and de­part from sins (Mt 3:6; Acts 3:26; 19:18-19; Ps 32:3-5; Jonah 3:5-10)

2.        Active actions:  return to God and zealously do good deeds (Is 55:7; Lk 3:7-14; Acts 26:20; Tit 2:14; Micah 6:6-8)

Those who believe and repent may be baptized (Acts 2:41; 8:36; 16:33; 22:16)

Those who have received incorrect forms of bap­tism must be baptized again with the baptism ac­cording to the Bible (Acts 19:1-6)

VII.           May Infants Be Baptized?

A.     Infants also have sins (Ps 51:5) and they have no control over their death (Eccl 8:8), therefore, they also must be baptized to wash away their sins

B.     Baptism of infants was promised by God (Acts 2:38-39; Lk 18:15-17; Ps 115:13) and based on the faith of parents (Mt 15:28; Jn 4:49-51)

C.     Prefigurations

1.        Infants of Israelites must be circumcised on the eighth day (Col 2:11-12; Lev 12:3)

2.        Israelites crossed the Red Sea with their family mem­bers (Exod 10:10; Num 14:31)

D.     In early apostolic churches, entire households were bap­tized, including infants (Acts 16:15, 32-34; 18:8; I Cor 1:16)

VIII.        Things To Be Aware Of After Baptism

A.     Be determined to follow and keep the words of God until the end (Mt 24:13; Lk 9:61-62; 14:25-33; Acts 14:22; 20:24; I Thess 3:3)

B.     A person may only be baptized once (Eph 4:5); cannot in­tentionally commit sins after baptism (Jn 5:14; 8:11; Heb 6:4; 10:26-31; II Pet 2:20-21)

1.        After committing non-deadly sins, one must humbly repent to ask for God’s forgiveness (I Jn 5:16-17; 1:8-2:2; Ps 51:17)

C.     Parents have the responsibility to cultivate baptized in­fants (Deut 6:4-7; Prov 22:6; Eph 6:4; II Tim 1:5; 3:15)

IX.  Questions For Discussion

1.       Roman 10:9-10 states “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”  Nothing was said here about baptism.  Does this mean that baptism is not related to salvation?

2.       Acts 3:19 states “repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.”  Does this mean that one only needs to repent for the forgiveness of sins and needs not be baptized?

3.       Jesus said, “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19).  Why do we not follow this method?

4.       Infants do not know their own sins and cannot repent nor believe, isn’t it better for them to be baptized after they become mature?

5.       Baptism merely symbolizes the death, burial, and resur­rection with Christ.  What is wrong with this statement?

6.       What is the basis for claiming that the blood of Christ is present during water baptism?

7.       The robber on the cross next to Jesus was promised that he will be in paradise with Jesus without receiving water baptism.  Does this mean that baptism is not related to salvation?