foundation truth

Lesson 4 - Water Baptism

Water baptism is the next important step in the first principles of the doctrine of Christ. Water baptism is not a ritual or a meaningless ceremony but, instead, a definite experience in the life of a New Testament Christian, as recorded for us not only in the Gospels but in the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles. Hebrews 6:1-2; Acts 2:38-41

Foundation Truth - lesson 4 - bible verse

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THE WORD BAPTISM?

Baptism or baptize means “to dip, to plunge, or immerse.” Mark 1:5; John 3:23; Acts 8:36-39. By definition and usage, the word means “to put into or underwater so as to entirely immerse or submerge.”

WHY DO WE PRACTICE THE ORDINANCE OF BAPTISM?

  • Jesus commanded it. Mark 16:16; Matthew 28:16-20
  • Jesus was baptized. Matthew 3:13-17
  • The Apostles commanded it. Acts 2:37-47; Acts 10;44-48
  • If we love Him, we will keep His commandments. John 14:15
  • We validate our faith by our obedience. James 2:17-18

FOR WHOM IS THIS ORDINANCE?

The Scriptures show that when people heard, believed, and received the Word of God, they were baptized. Repentance and faith always preceded water baptism. Therefore it is a “believer’s baptism.”

  • “He that believes and is baptized… “ Mark 16:16
  • The Samaritans believed and were baptized. Acts 8:12-15
  • The eunuch believed and was baptized. Acts 8:35-38
  • Peter commanded that the Gentiles be baptized. Acts 10:47-48
  • The Ephesian disciples believed and were baptized. Acts 19:4-5

Also read Acts 9:17-18; 16:30-34; 18:8.

Water baptism is not optional, but an important part of obedience. To refuse water baptism is to live in disobedience to the revealed will of God and to reject the example of Jesus Christ. Acts 8:36 asks a good question, “What hinders me from being baptized?”

NOTE: Water baptism involves a confession of faith in the Lordship of Christ. Acts 8:36-39; Romans 10:9-10.
The prerequisites of baptism are repentance, faith, and confession (these clearly exclude infant
baptism because infants are innocent of sin and not capable of faith).

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THE ORDINANCE OF WATER BAPTISM?

Water baptism is a symbolic yet real spiritual experience. It is baptism into His:

  • Death – Romans 6:3-5, 11
  • Burial – Colossians 2:12
  • Resurrection – Colossians 3:1; Romans 6:4-5

Water baptism should be the first act of obedience for believers. Baptism is identification with Christ. In salvation, we accept Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. In water baptism, we identify with this triune fact.

How does water baptism symbolize a resurrection?

  • By baptism, we stand as “dead.”
  • By immersion, we bury the “dead.”
  • By raising out of the water, we rise to walk in a new life. Throughout the book of the Acts of the Apostles, you only find water baptism by immersion.

WHAT IS THE NEW TESTAMENT CIRCUMCISION?

  • It is water baptism. Colossians 2:11-12; Philippians 3:2-3
  • It is the fulfillment of the Old Testament circumcision. Genesis 17:1-14
  • It is the Seal of the New Testament Covenant. Galatians 3:26-27.
  • It is a sign and seal of covenant relationships, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. Joshua 5:1-9

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About the Author: Dr. Dale Yerton

Dr. Yerton serves as an overseer of a network of churches across the world. What began as a network of six church groups representing 500 churches in Mexico has grown into an international ministry. 

He and Evelyn, his wife over fifty years, live in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. They have two daughters: Lora–married to the Rev. Vince Farrell, pastors of Journey Church in Hopkinsville, Kentucky–and Kari—also of Hopkinsville–and are the proud grandparents of Emma and Bennett Farrell.

Dale Yerton