Are you wondering what is Baptism? Well this Introductory Lesson is just for You!
Welcome to the Introductory Bible Study Lesson entitled what is Baptism.
This bible study attempts to shed some light on this question that is often asked. This landmark represents the Fourth Step in our Salvation Walk and without Baptism, our salvation is incomplete.
Have you ever wondered why Baptism is so important?
It is important to note that Baptism was not instituted by man but by God. It was not required, just by Christians of the New Testament era alone, but it began as far back as Genesis 7. You will learn a lot more about this in my lesson on the History of Baptism. It so happens, that John understood the Word of God and the Pattern that was set out by God, throughout the scriptures, and he continued this process by Baptizing unto Repentance.
Now that we appreciate its foundation, let us go on to clarify what is Baptism. Baptism is the outward representation of the inward change that God has done in your life.
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism in death:
that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the
glory of the Father, even so
we also should walk in the newness of life
Have you ever wondered why a Marriage can be annulled if it is not consummated? It is because a man and his bride is not truly married unless, it is sealed by consummation. That’s when they become one flesh. So then, if the marriage truly begins with consummation, why then is there a necessity by law to ‘make it legal’ or have a ceremony? The ceremony is done as a outward show ( or witness to the public) that a marriage is taking place and if anyone has any legal objections, they are allowed to say.
Why did I say this? Because our baptism is that Ceremony or out ward show to the world that there has been an inward change. Our Baptismal ceremony cannot be omitted or substituted, because God himself instituted it.
Someone Must Die!
Table of Contents
There can never be a burial unless a death took place. Am I right?
Imagine a Pastor trying to bury a man that is still alive…. that is Murder! lol.
So what has died, in order for this burial to take place? … Our old man and his ways! Our sinful ways have died!
And because sin has died there must be a burial!
But as we are buried, it is not our individualities that God has chosen to hide; just our old sinful ways. As we do this, we are joining ourselves with Christ for he did it first as our perfect example. We can now begin our new walk! Our old man and his ways is dead!
We have become dead to this world and God has given us newness of life! Once something is dead, it can no longer feel any pain, desires, or emotions. It feels nothing! So then, we being dead , should have no lingering desires for the things of the world.
And Someone Must Live!
Our Baptismal Process also represents Christ’s Death, Burial and Resurrection and as we do this, we become partakers of his death, burial and resurrection. As Paul says, we are now walking in the newness of life, but it is not us but Christ that lives in us. Now, we have an awesome hope that because he was risen, we will also be resurrected, and will reign with him in eternity.
This was the Introductory Bible Study Lesson on What is Baptism. Now let us continue on to fill our hunger for the Word of God by learning more about where Baptism originated in the Lesson 2 of this Topical Bible Studies.
It is important to note that this step cannot be achieve unless we have sincerely repented. If repentance have not taken place, then unfortunately as my Pastor would say, we would have been and dry sinner and have now become a ‘wet one’.
God, through this Baptism History Lesson will take us on a wonderful journey and revealed to us the importance that lies within this 4th step to Salvation.
Now that we understand the purpose of Baptism it is time for us to dig a little deeper and find out some Baptism History.
As I mentioned in the previous lesson, Baptism did not originate in the New Testament as a ‘new’ requirement for all Christian believers. Instead, this has been one of God’s requirement from as far back as Genesis.
We will begin this Baptism History Lesson by discussing the earliest example of Baptism, which began with Noah.
1 Peter 3:20-21
… God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was preparing,
wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved
by water. The like figure( representation) whereunto even baptism
doth also save us…
By faith Noah built that ark of protection but only eight souls passed through the water and came out safely. Everyone else perished. This means then that because the flood was symbolic to baptism, we too must pass through the water to be saved.
There was no escaping the water for Noah and his family, and the same applies for us as believers. There is no escaping this 4th salvation requirement. But God has promised, like as he did for Noah, he will save us by water and we will come out renewed.
Baptism History: The Children of Israel
1 Corinthians 10: 1 -2
Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant
how that all our fathers were under the cloud,
and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized
unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea.
The next pattern of Baptism was the Children of Israel and the red sea.
Do you remember the story of the Red Sea? That was one of the most awesome miracles ever done, proving to all who believe, that there is truly nothing impossible with our God. Israel was trapped. A sea before them and the enemy behind them, but God made a way by parting the red sea and the Children of Israel walked straight through on dry land.
Imagine, our God did such a notable miracle that the ground that they were walking on was ‘DRY!’ No water at all was in it! Now that right there is a Mighty God!
Paul is saying to us that when this happened and the Israelites walked through the Red Sea that it was a symbol of baptism.
But Paul did not stop there. Remember the pillar of cloud that went with them by day? That was also symbolic of Baptism too.
But why should the cloud be symbolic of Baptism if they were all baptized by the Red Sea?
The answer is simply this. Many people died during the 40 years when Israel was in the wilderness. And as many people died, many persons were also BORN in the wilderness. So then, those that were born in the wilderness also had their baptismal experience! Everyone was baptized! None escaped!
Do you see how important Baptism is to God?
The Pattern of the Tabernacle
Now, we will usher this Baptism History Lesson, to the pattern of the Tabernacle that was given to Moses by God. There we will also see, again, the importance of baptism:
Exodus 30: 18, 19
Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass,
to wash withal ….For Aaron and his sons shall wash
their hands and feet thereat. When they go into the tabernacle
of the congregation, they shall wash with water, that they die not.
The Laver of water, which signifies cleansing, sanctification and baptism, was a brass vessel that was placed in the outer court. The priests would wash themselves, after the sacrificing of the lambs, before entering into the inner court ( or the Tabernacle) which we now call our sanctuary.
This was a law set forth by God. The water represented the washing away of filth or of one’s sins. Now you can see the importance of Baptism. Paul expressed this by saying
Hebrews 10: 19, 22
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest
by the blood of Jesus… Let us draw near with a true heart
in full assurance of faith having our hearts sprinkled
from an evil conscience and our bodies
washed with water.
Paul, in Hebrews, was making reference to the Old Testament and the pattern that was set forth by God. The pattern laid out in the Tabernacle was actually symbolic of what would take place in our lives as believers. So, as the priests washed themselves in the laver, so likewise, must we, priests unto God, be washed by baptism before having access to minister before him.
Now John, the forerunner of Jesus Christ, understood the importance of Baptism and also continued this step by baptizing all those that believed on his preaching, in the Baptism of Repentance. Paul said in
… John verily baptized with the baptism
of repentance, saying unto the people, that
they should believe on him which should
come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus
God, through this Baptism History Lesson have taken us on a wonderful journey and revealed to us the importance that lies within this 4th step to Salvation. I pray that your hearts were richly blessed as God continue to open the eyes of your understanding to his word.
Now that we have learn all about baptism history, let’s go on to Lesson 3 to answer the question of where Jesus Christ was baptized. There is a surprise waiting ahead!