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Be Water Baptized in the Name of Jesus
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Be Water Baptized in the Name of Jesus
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Acts 2:38
"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
39 "For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

    Friend, the short version of this Biblical command echoed by Peter on the day of Pentecost, is to as soon as possible and without delay obey the word of God given in Matthew 28:19, and be baptised in water in the name of Jesus Christ. In these last days However, this clear teaching of the Bible concerning this matter has been blurred, by those who without authority and in opposition to the commission given by Christ in Matthew 28:19, teach that water baptism is "not necessary" for salvation. No man has the authority to issue a waiver to the command of Jesus Christ. Rather, as a faithful witness of what Christ commissioned to be taught I exhort you to be so baptized.

    What a wonderful way to begin your new relationship to the heavenly Father, by obeying the first direction from Him after our faith in Him is established! Contact the nearest person you know to be in Christ that will do so, and enter into the heritage of Christ's Church, as soon as is physically possible.

Lord Jesus, ...provide for me the waters of baptism




(Full version follows...)

Water Baptism; The Commandment of Jesus Christ

Viewed From the Authority of God's Word- the Bible
    In presenting this information concerning water baptism, it is again necessary to emphasize the importance of depending on God's written Word- The Bible, as the standard of truth in every matter. Many times people will live and act on hearsay information that they have received and been taught since childhood, yet that information is not found in the holy Scriptures. A review of God's Word along with show you the truth of about water baptism.

    Since the age of twelve years, it has been stated to me that water baptism is "an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual faith." I can quote that phrase because in the church in which I was raised, this was a requirement for "confirmation" the Christian equivalent of a Jewish Bar Mitzvah. Point; Though this phase sounds good, but you will not find that definition of water baptism anywhere in God's Word.

    So as we look into God's written Word to explore the commandment of our Lord Jesus to be water baptised in His name, must ask ourselves the question, "What does God's Word teach concerning water baptism? What is His will for my life in this?" Afterwhich we must rest on the authority of the Bible. It is that word which our stewardship will be examined by at the Judgement Seat of Christ. (Romans 14:10-12, 1Cor 3:13-15, 2Cor 5:10)

I. Water Baptism Fulfills All Righteousness
    Our first stop in this biblical examination of water baptism is the water baptism the Lord Jesus Himself demonstrated. If you didn't already know-- the Lord Jesus Christ Himself was baptised in water by John the Baptist. Here is the Scriptural account;

Matt 3:13-15
Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

    What do we find? Jesus stated to John that water baptism "fulfils all righteousness". As we obey the commandment of Christ Jesus to be water baptised, we fulfil all righteousness as we walk obediently in His steps. After all, upon coming to faith in Jesus Christ, would it not be unrighteousness to disobey His first command to us as our "Lord"?

II. Water Baptism; A Commandment Of Jesus Christ
    In Matthew's gospel, where the scene is the ascension of Christ into heaven after His resurrection, and we hear some of His last words spoken to His disciples, this passage of scripture is often referred to as "The Great Commission."

Matthew 28:19
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

    Of the question of the hour, "What does God's Word say about water baptism?" Here in the above scripture we see that baptism is no less than a commandment of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He commanded His disciples to baptize all nations throughout the whole world. We are the disciples of Christ if we are born-again and this "commission" is therefore given to us as well.

    In light of that commandment, let me make the point that the Holy Spirit of God did not empower His church on the Day of Pentecost with the Holy Ghost for them to go throughout the world telling people that they need not be baptised. The Holy Ghost did not fill the Apostle's to overflowing on the day of Pentecost, so that they could go forth and teach that water baptism is optional to the decision of the individual believer. That concept is not what God's word teaches. Here in Matthew 28:19 we see that what the Messiah did say out of His own mouth was to "Go ye therefore... ..baptizing them." Water baptism is therefore a commandment of Jesus Christ. The same Jesus who said;

John 14:15
If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Luke 6:46
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Mark 16:16
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

    There is blessing in obedience to your Lord's command. Let us therefore be faithful to His word in this act of water baptism.

III. The Day of Pentecost and Examples of Obedience
    The 2nd chapter of Acts, is our next stop on this biblical investigation of water baptism. In this wonderful passage the entire assembly of believers numbering about 120, received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. The church was empowered by the Holy Ghost (as Jesus had said it would be Acts 1:8) and stood as witnesses before all Jerusalem to the salvation which is in Him.

    Just 90 days earlier, when Jesus of Nazareth was arrested by the temple guards, Peter had denied Christ when a mere maiden questioned him about his association with Jesus. Three times Peter had denied knowing Jesus. But now-- empowered by the Holy Ghost on the Day of Pentecost, Peter lifted up his hand (at risk of life) and boldly proclaimed in that anointing, salvation in Yeshua the Messiah;

ACTS 2:22-36
22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

...

32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

    This bold preaching made openly before all of Jerusalem, illustrates the power of the Holy Ghost in a believer's life. The effect on the men who heard these words, was conviction in their hearts and they asked of Peter what they needed to do;

ACTS 2:37
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

    Friend, let's let Peter's words speak for themselves. He taught "for" the remission of sins, as though water baptism was the entrance into the cleansing power of the blood of Christ. And Peter was careful to say, "every one of you...". Look now at the attitude in which these new believers received the command of Christ.

Acts 2:40-41
40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

    Look at what just happened! Three thousand people professing their new found faith in Jesus of Nazareth as Messiah, went down into the waters of baptism in one day! They obeyed the teaching of the Apostles.

  • They did not say--"Well, I was already baptized when I was a child."
  • They did not ask, "Is baptism really necessary for salvation?"
  • The Apostles did not schedule a class beginning the next month on water baptism, successful attendees completing the course, could be baptised months later.
Peter said, "Repent and be baptized *every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ..", and they did... 3000 in one day!

    Friend, this is the true heritage of the Church that you have been born into, and you are called obediance to this same obedience to God's will. Of those 3000 who received the word from the Apostles that day we reads in Acts 2:47 that they were "Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." The people were saved because they believed in the shed blood of Jesus, their Messiah. The people got baptized in water in obediance to His commandment and faith in His word because He had become their Lord.

IV. No Separation Between Water Baptism and Confession of Faith
    In the Church born at Pentecost, no separation was made between faith in the Lord Jesus, and water baptism. Look now in Acts chapter 10 and see "astonishing" evidence of the declaration of faith by water baptism, that took place as Peter preached the gospel in Caesaria. Here we will see a very clear illustration that the presentation of water baptism to those who come to faith in Christ, is an integral part of the gospel of Christ. Peter went to Caesaria, accompanied by other Jewish believers and began to preach Jesus to the people there. As we pick up in the passage Peter preaches to the Gentiles;

Acts 10:42
42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

...Watch closely

44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.
45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.
46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

    This is no less than a monumental event in Church history, because prior to this, the only people who comprised the church of Jesus Christ were Jewish brothers and sisters (or "they of the circumcision...verse 45"). In verse 44 the Holy Ghost falls on the Gentiles for the very first time! The Jewish brothers and sisters in the Messiah "were astonished" as they saw that salvation had come to the Gentiles! You must understand that salvation had been "of the Jews" (alone) for about 2000 years since God's covenant with Abraham.

    So when the Jewish believers in Messiah led by Peter saw that God's precious gift of the Holy Ghost was given to people outside of the nation of Israel (the Gentiles), their mouths dropped in astonishment! Now Peter, who was preaching when the Holy Ghost fell on these people said;

Acts 10:47
Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?
48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.

    Case and point- the first thing that the Apostle Peter did when he saw that the Gentiles were partakers of the Holy Ghost was to follow through with the water baptism of these new believers. The point is that in the Church empowered at Pentecost, there was no separation of faith in Christ and water baptism. The two simply went hand-in-hand. The church illustrated in the book of Acts is our example to follow.

V. The Expediency of Water Baptism
    Continuing to look at the consistancy of God's word in this matter of water baptism, we come to a major demonstration of the importance of water baptism and its role in God's salvation plan. Paul was directed by the Lord through a vision, to travel to Macedonia to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Silas traveled with Paul.

    After their arrival a young woman who brought much monetary gain to her master as a soothsayer followed Paul around anouncing him as being a servant of the most high God. Paul cast a demon out of this woman and she repented from soothsaying.

    For this deliverence by the hand of Paul, both he and Silas were severely beaten and cast into prison on false charges. In the middle of the night, as Paul and Silas sang songs of praise to the Lord, despite their persecution, a miracle occurred! GOD caused a major earthquake which broke the chains of Paul and Silas and opened their prison door! This is the point at which we pick up the account in Acts chapter 16;

Acts 16:23-31
25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.

27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.
28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

    This is a beautiful account of salvation showing that the Lord can use any circumstance to His glory. Now, think of this... the jailer is right in the process of becoming a believer, praise God! But-- If ever there was a time to postpone a water baptism, this would be the time most people would agree to do so, in light of the earthquake that had just happened.

    Paul could have easily said at this point, "Well, we've just experienced a major earthquake, and there exist the danger of after shocks so we'll dismiss now and meet again some other time for a water baptism. As long as you believe- you'll be find." NOT SO, friend. NOT SO! Look at the Biblical account of what did happen;

Acts 16:32-34
32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.

    It was not the attitude of the Apostles to put off the work of the Lord (water baptism) for any amount of time. That attitude is only a recent developement in today's church. But in the Church of Jesus Christ documented in the book of Acts, in the very same hour that the jailer believed, not only did the jailer immediately get water baptised, but his entire household was water baptised.

    This was the policy and the doctrine of the Apostles and of the church empowered at the day of Pentecost. Water Baptism was an integral part of the salvation process. It was a fulfillment of Christ's command, not to be neglected, and very much necessary.

VI. The ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH; The Right Attitude Towards Water Baptism
    There is a beautiful account in Acts chapter 8 of the right attitude towards water baptism as shown in a man from Ethiopia. This scripture also indicates the practice of the Apostles of including the commandment of water baptism in the sharing of the Gospel. Let's look!

Acts 8:26
26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.
27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet.

29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.

32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

    The Ethiopian had just come from Jerusalem to worship- yet he was still empty and still searching the scriptures! Phillip, by command of the Holy Spirit, joined himself to this man's chariot and shared the gospel of Yeshua HaMashiach with him from the exact scripture the eunuch was reading. Wonderfully, the Ethiopian received the gospel in His heart, and believed unto righteousness. Continuing down the road as they spoke....*this event is what followed;

Acts 8:36-40
36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
40 But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.

    Allow me to ask you this final question. What was the cause, let's say, of the Ethiopian eunuch immediately taking action to insure that he was water baptised? After all, it was the eunuch who pointed out the body of water and asked what would hinder him from being baptized.

    Case and point, loved one, Phillip obviously shared the Lord's commandment of water baptism with the Ethiopian as part of his sharing of tha Gospel! There is certainly no reference to water baptism in the book Isaiah, chapter 53 (where they were reading). Phillip must then, have told the man about being baptised as part of his presentation of the gospel. It was the very first thing that the Ethiopian did after declaring his faith!

    Obedience to the word of God in humbleness to the commandment of Jesus Christ was clearly demonstrated by this man's actions and in Phillip's presentation of His gospel. Once again we see that there existed no separation between coming to faith in the Lord Jesus and water baptism.

VI. Conclusion
    As we come to the end this walk through the scriptures looking at water baptism, we can summarize by saying these things about water baptism... which are the same things that the Bible is saying about the matter;

  • 1. Water Baptism fulfils all righteousness (Matthew 3:15)
  • 2. Water Baptism is a commandment of Christ Jesus (Matthew 28:19)
  • 3. Water Baptism is not an optional decision depending on the whim of the believer as to whether or not he or she considers baptism important enough to carry out. It is Christ's command to His Church (Matthew 28:19...Acts 2:38)
  • 4. Water Baptism is an integral part of the salvation process, and was shared by the church empowered at Pentecost as such. (Acts 19:7...10:47...2:41)
  • 5. Water baptism is part of the Lord's work to be accomplished by His disciples (Acts chapter 16:23-34)
  • 6. Water Baptism is a commandment to be obeyed by the new believer or the old believer if he was never baptised since coming to know the Lord Jesus Christ by being born-again.(Acts 8:37,38)

    This my friend is in part, what the Bible teaches about water baptism for believers in the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. We are saved by the shed blood of God's Christ. We get baptised in water in obediance to His commandment in becoming our Lord. There is blessing in obedience to the Word of God.

    Yours in the Messiah,
Michael Stevenson


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ADDENDUM

    The whole matter about the question, "Is water baptism necessary for salvation?", can easily be compared to the recent problem which has developed with the first amendment to the United States Constitution relative to prayer in public schools.

    AMENDMENT I -- Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    From the above amendment made to guarantee the freedom of the people of the United States, it was decided by the Supreme Court of the United States in 1962 that NO PRAYER BE ALLOWED in public schools. The 'logic' was "separation of church and state." This thought of ending prayer in public schools is utterly ridiculous seeing that the same legislative body (U.S. Congress) opens each session with prayer and always have since the birth of the nation.

    Case and point, the Continental Congress who drafted and signed the Constitution of the United States never considered the thought of removing prayer from Public schools would be derived from the first amendment. I'm sure that the thought never crossed their minds, in that the majority of them were God fearing men who regularly prayed.

    However, what happend was, a little less that 200 years later in 1962, liberals and atheist lobbyed forces to do the unthinkable- remove prayer from public schools (which resulted in disaster.)

The Comparision:    Likewise, I do not believe that the Apostles ever considered that the question would be asked, "Is water baptism necessary for salvation?" I don't think that the thought never crossed their minds as we see their actions recorded in the book of Acts. We can see there, and in Romans chapter six, that water baptism was an integral part of the Gospel of salvation. It was immediately carried out in
every instance recorded in Acts without exception.

    Unfortunately, in the last days, the whole concept of water baptism has come around full circle to the point where it is not uncommon to hear it taught that water baptism is "not necessary" for salvation. Not necessary for salvation? Is any commandment of God "not necessary"? This of course, is the complete opposite from what we find to be true in God's Word.

    Such a question is not for us (the church) to answer. Jesus Christ has clearly given us the commission-- to baptise new believers in water and that should be the end of the discussion for any person sharing Christ's Gospel. We have no authority, to teach that baptism is "not necessary" as that waiver supercedes the command of Christ. Our task as His Church is to present water baptism for the remission of sins, as Peter did on the day of Pentecost. Our task is to be faithful witnesses of His gosple and ambassadors to His kingdom. We are to echo what He commanded, not issue waivers for His commands.

    The question of the thief on the cross at the right hand of Jesus? That situation was address by the Lord Himself (prior to His words spoken in Mt 28:19) and is settled forever, praise God! Death bed repentance? These situations are all in the hands of Jesus, whose judgments are righteous judgments. They are His area. Our job is to preach His gospel and to do so faithfully.

    If the question, "Is water baptism necessary for salvation?" ever is posed to this writer, I would simply reply that, "Friend, all I can present to you, is that which I have heard. All that I can teach you- is what the Lord has commanded me to teach (Matthew 28:19). If you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, then be baptised in water in accordance with the Lord's command."

    "You'll be glad you did."           The Reconciling of Matthew 28:19 and Acts 2:38

Lord Jesus, provide for me the waters of baptism



    
 

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 Web Author:Michael Stevenson