Episode 11: What is the place of water baptism in salvation?
Water baptism as we know it today was first introduced by John the Baptist when he was calling Israel to repentance. Jesus was introduced in this baptism in a very remarkable way. From that point on water baptism became an integral part of Christian initiation and the proclamation of the gospel. Yet controversy surrounds this subject to this day. Today we take a brief look at this subject with the desire that each believer may move in faith before God.
• The Baptism of Jesus
o Recorded in all four Gospels
o Jesus introduced in John’s baptism (Matt. 3:13-16)
o John connected water baptism and Spirit baptism on this occasion
• What can we learn from this account?
o Jesus verified that the baptism of John was of God by submitting to it
o Jesus identified with sin in John’s baptism as He would in reality at Calvary
o God’s plan of salvation was foretold in this event
o Water baptism is a symbol of Spirit baptism and leads to that
o The work of the triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is seen together
• Water baptism is seen as an act of obedience following repentance and faith in Christ
o Peter (Act 2:38)
o Samaria (Acts 8:12)
o Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:36-38)
o Paul (Acts 9:18, 22:16)
• What happens in water baptism?
o My faith in Jesus as Savior is demonstrated in an act of obedience to Him.
o It is a burial ceremony (following Jesus into death of my old life)
o It is a “washing away of my past sins”
• Some important points
o Water baptism is always seen in scripture as “believer’s baptism”
o The very word “baptism” indicates submersion (typifying our union with Christ)
o Water baptism without spirit baptism is not complete
o Water baptism normally precedes Spirit baptism but not always (Acts 10)
o There is “one baptism” (Eph. 4:5)
o We must not give too much or too little importance to water baptism
o The value of water baptism to us is the faith that we bring to the event