BAPTISM INTO THE BODY OF CHRIST AND WATER BAPTISM
According to Hebrews 6:2, one of the foundational principles is called the “doctrine of baptisms”. The pleural signifies that there is more than one type of baptism discussed in the Bible. Baptism is defined as the process of immersion, submersion, or dipping. We will discus three baptisms: baptism into the body of Christ and water baptism in this session, and the baptism in the Holy Spirit next session.
- BAPTISM BY THE HOLY SPIRIT INTO THE BODY OF CHRIST
This baptism is synonymous with what we call our salvation experience.
“For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” (1 Cor. 12:13).
The ones receiving this baptism are the ones who are being saved.
They are being baptized into the body of Christ.
The one doing the baptizing is the Holy Spirit.
- WATER BAPTISM
In water baptism the believer is immersed in water as a testimony of his new faith and obedience to God.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (MT 28:19-20)
The one receiving this baptism are the believers.
They are being baptized in/into water.
The ones doing the baptizing are people, disciples.
- BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
The baptism of the Holy Spirit is presented separately from water baptism and baptism into the body of Christ. The primary purpose of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is to empower the believer be more effective witness open the dimension of the Spirit to him, and widen the depth of his understanding while studying the Word of God.
“As for me (John the Baptist) I baptize you in water for repentance, but He (Christ) who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not even fit to remove His sandals; He Himself will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (MT 3:11)
The ones being baptized are the believers.
They are being baptized with/in the Holy Spirit.
The One doing the baptizing is Jesus.
BAPTISM INTO THE BODY OF CHRIST
To be baptized into the body of Christ the Holy Spirit first convinces us of our sin and the need for Jesus. “And He (the Holy Spirit) when He comes, will convict (convince) the world concerning sin, and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me (Jesus).” (JN 16:8-9) The Spirit then washes (baptizes) us and renews us in salvation. “He saved us not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:5) As new believers we’ve just turned from the ways of the world, left those ways behind, and we now desire to walk with Jesus. The Holy Spirit empowers the new believer for this new walk with Jesus. “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore, we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory ofthe Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. (RO 6:3-4)
When you received Jesus as Savior and Lord, you were born again into a new family, into God’s family. “To all who received Him (Jesus), to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God….born of God.” (JN1:12-13) You are now part of a large family network that crosses borders and cultures – the universal body of Christ. Anywhere you go in the world you can find other believers and have an immediate “witness” in your heart that you are with family.
“There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called – one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Eph. 4:4-5)
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow-citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in Whom the whole building being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.”
(Eph. 2:19-22) This Scripture tells us again that, as believers, we are part of God’s family and that, as individual stones, each with our own unique differences and talents, are placed side-by-side in the proper order so that together we make up one HOLY temple, with Jesus Christ as the cornerstone that holds it all together.
Each of us, though different in many ways, yet one in the Lord, is a valuable and necessary part of the body of Christ, the church. I Cor. 12:12-13,16-18,21-22,25,27 explains it like this,” The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we are all baptized into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink….If the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were and eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were and ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be….The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’ On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable….so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other….Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
We want to be careful not to offend others who hold infant baptism sacred in their minds; however, infant baptism does not appear in Scripture. In every scriptural case repentance and believing on Jesus are prerequisites for water baptism.
“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; but whoever does not believe will be condemned.’ “(MK 16:15-16) Here we see that believing, understanding what you are “getting into”, precedes baptism.
“And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins.’ “ (AC2:38) Here we see that repentance, turning away from your old way of life, precedes baptism.
“And as they went along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, ‘Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?’ And Phillip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ And he answered and said, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’ “ (AC8:36-37) After hearing Phillip read and explain the Word of God, the Ethiopian eunuch believed, made a public profession of his faith, and followed Christ’s command to be baptized
THE PURPOSES OF WATER BAPTISM
1.) AN INITIAL TESTIMONY
It is so important for a new believer to become “public” with his faith. Many people remain secret and never fulfill God’s plan for them Water baptism is an open, public profession thatJesus Christ is your Lord. “Everyone therefore who shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.” (MT 10:32)
2.) A STEP OF OBEDIENCE
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.” (MT 28:19-20)
“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message….and he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ…” (Ac 10:44,48)
As people follow the Lord in water baptism, they are following through the steps of discipleship that lead to further obedience. If we fail to observe this command, we hinder our progress in God.
3.) A PHYSICAL SERMON
“Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection.” (RO 6:3-5)
Through baptism we identify with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Through submersion in baptism, we symbolically speak of the death and burial of our old way of life and raising up out of the water to a new way of life in Christ.
4.) FOLLOWING THE EXAMPLE SET BY JESUS
“When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as He was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’” (MK 3:21-22) When we are water baptized, we area following the example set by Jesus and all the disciples of the early church.
5.) A SACRAMENT
A sacrament is a physical sign of a spiritual reality; something actually occurs in water baptism: a.) A life of obedience is begun which is discipleship; b.) A physical sermon is established in the mind of the new believer – a sermon of identification with Christ.; and c.) The Holy Spirit helps us bury that “old man” which forced us to sin and the Holy Spirit empowers us to live that new life in Christ.
“Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” (RO 6:6)
“For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (RO 6:10-11)
INFANT OR CHILD DEDICATION
At GNFC we practice what is usually referred to as “baby dedication” where parents publicly dedicate their young children to the Lord. It is a time in which the parents make a commitment to bring their children up in the Lord. Here the parents also seek the prayers of the congregation for the child and for themselves, that they will have the strength and wisdom to be good Christian parents. The Scriptural basis for this is found in the First book of Samuel chapter one where Hannah recognized her son Samuel as a gift from God and brought him to the temple and dedicated him to the Lord for His service. Jesus also speaks of bringing the little children to come to Him so that He can bless them. “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom belongs to such as these and blessed them.” (MK 10:14, 16)