Date written: October 16th, 2004
Scripture ref: Matthew 28:18-20
SUBJECT: Baptism, Salvation
TITLE: The Proper Mode of Baptism
PROPOSITION: The mode of baptism makes a difference in salvation because 1) Doctrinally, there is only ONE baptism, 2) Historically, baptism was immersion, and 3) Theologically, baptism is a burial.
OBJECTIVES: Each should be able to state why the mode of baptism makes a difference and discuss which mode is correct for Christian baptism.
AIM: To aid each one in their study with others regarding the mode of baptism.
1. Read: Matthew 28:18-20
2. About the Text:
1) In this context, Jesus made it plain that baptism was important.
2) Baptism is linked directly to discipleship in this passage.
3) The entirety of those who claim to be Christians acknowledge some kind of baptism to one degree or the other.
4) Yet, of all of the teachings that we find in the Bible, baptism is the most disputed.
5) In this lesson, we want to look at the dispute regarding the proper mode of baptism-sprinkling, pouring, or immersion.
6) Many today think that baptism can be any of these three.
7) Is that true? Is that what the Bible teaches?
8) Can any mode of baptism satisfy the command of Jesus to be baptized?
9) Or does the mode of baptism make a difference?
3. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.
DISCUSSION: The mode of baptism makes a difference in salvation because . . .
I. Doctrinally, There is ONE Baptism.
1. Paul states as much in Ephesians 4:4-6.
2. It should be clear that because there is one baptism, one cannot expect for some other baptism to be considered valid.
3. Notice the inspired apostle Paul's comments on the matter in Acts 19:1-7.
4. Can sprinkling, pouring, and immersion-all three-be the ONE baptism?
5. It simply can't be the case, because there is only one baptism.
6. So which one is the ONE baptism? Sprinkling? Pouring? Immersion?
7. Let's continue to study.
II. Historically, baptism was immersion.
1. You may know that the word "baptism" is not an English, but a Greek word, BAPTIZW.
1) The Greek word literally means to dip, plunge, or submerge.
2) By definition, therefore, one may conclude that baptism is supposed to be immersion.
2. When we start looking at the context in which the word is mentioned in the New Testament, it becomes clear that the context supports the definition.
1) Matthew 3:5, 6; Mark 1:5 - notice that they were baptized IN the river. Not by the river or with the river, but IN the river. We all know what "IN" means.
2) Matthew 3:16 - When Jesus was baptized, he came up OUT of the water. We all know what it means to come out of something.
3) In John 3:22, 23 we see that baptism required "much water."
a. We all know that neither sprinkling nor pouring requires such.
b. Why would John need much water to baptize if it were not immersion?
4) In Acts 8:38, 39 we have an example of Christian baptism.
a. It says that both Philip and the nobleman went down into the water.
b. Then it says that they came up out of the water.
c. Why did they have to go down into the water?
d. Why couldn't Philip just get some water and sprinkle him.
e. Surely the Ethiopian had water with him in the desert.
f. Why did they have to stop at this place for him to be baptized?
g. Because the nobleman had to be immersed.
3. The definition of the Greek word, BAPTIZW is immersion AND, the context in which the word is used shows that immersion was practiced.
4. Historically, baptism was immersion and nothing else.
III. Theologically, baptism is a burial.
1. Notice Romans 6:3, 4 - here Paul describes baptism as being symbolic of Jesus death, burial, and resurrection.
2. Notice Col.3:11-12 - here again Paul describes baptism as a burial with Christ and then a resurrection.
3. Question: What does it take to bury something?
1) Suppose that a pet of yours suddenly died, a dog.
2) As sad as that is, you can't leave Old Spot laying around like that for the buzzards.
3) So, dad tells you to go bury Old Spot.
4) So you find a nice peaceful spot; move Old Spot there and sprinkle a little dirt on him. Did you bury him?
5) What if you poured a bucket of dirt on him? Is he buried?
6) Friends, the only thing that is going to keep the buzzards away from Old Spot is to sink him into the ground until he is completely covered. You'll bury him deep too if you don't want critters digging him up again.
7) Now, what constitutes a true burial? Sprinkling? Pouring? Or Immersion?
8) We all know the answer to that question.
4. Baptism is a burial in water, and the only thing that can satisfy the theological significance of baptism is immersion.
1. We've noticed this morning some things about the proper mode of baptism.
1) First, doctrinally, because there is only ONE baptism, there can be only ONE proper mode.
2) Second, historically baptism was immersion. We see that from both the definition of the word and the context in which it is used.
3) Third, theologically, baptism is a burial.
4) The mode of baptism is important, but it is not the ONLY thing that is important.
5) One must be baptized for the right reason, having believed in the right things.
6) We haven't discussed those things today, but we will in the future.
1) If you are a Christian this morning,
a. Do you remember your baptism?
b. Do you remember that you were buried in water in the likeness of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ?
c. If you remember that, but you having been living the resurrected life, then repent.
2) If you are not a Christian this morning . . .
a. Were you baptized properly?
b. Did you experience the correct mode of baptism?
c. Do you need to be baptized correctly?
d. If you do, then listen to God's plan of salvation and make things right with God today.
a) Hear the word; Romans 10:17 "Faith comes by hearing . . ."
b) Believe with all your heart; Hebrews 11:6 "For without faith it is impossible . . . ."
c) Repent of your sins (Acts 17:30).
d) Confess Jesus as the Son of God (Matt.16:16).
e) Be Baptized for the remission of your sins (Mark 16:15,16).