Romans 6:1-11, “The Gospel and Baptism”
April 5, 2009 Speaker: Brad Evangelista Series: Individual Messages
Passage: Romans 6:1–11
Click here for our doctrinal statement on baptism.
Speaking to 3 different groups of people today:
1. Christians that have already been baptized. I encourage you to understand and consider afresh the beauty of baptism.
2. Christians who have not been baptized. My motive is to exhort, admonish, and implore you to follow Christ through obedience by being baptized.
3. Not yet a follower of Christ. My hope is that God illuminates to your soul your need for salvation and that you respond with belief in Christ.
Lead up to the 4 questions:
Matthew 3:13-17; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:36-41-Clearly these three passages show us that 1) Jesus was baptized, 2) He commanded all Christians to do it, and 3) it was the pattern for all new Christians in the New Testament.
1. WHAT IS THE MEANING OF BAPTISM?
1.1 It is a vivid illustration of the Gospel and our salvation (Romans 6:1-11)
From sin (Romans 6:6)
From wrath and judgment (Romans 5:9; 1 Peter 3:18-22)
From death (Romans 6:8-9)
Into the newness of life (Romans 6:4)
*Important-it illustrates / symbolizes our salvation. It doesn't cause it. It is an external celebration of an internal transformation that has already occurred.
1.2 It symbolizes that we are washed (Acts 22:16; Titus 3:4-6)
2. WHY SHOULD CHRISTIANS BE BAPTIZED?
2.1 To obey Jesus' command. (Matthew 28:18-20)
2.2 To follow Jesus' example. (Matthew 3:13-17)
2.3 To identify with the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:1-6; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13)
• Some might argue that Paul is talking about Spirit baptism in these passages. That is likely true. The point still stands, that there is one baptism. A believer who has been baptized into the body by the Spirit is also then to be baptized by water. The New Testament has no category for the unbaptized believer.
• The point is that we are a community. And we do not have the option of standing on the sidelines of that community with only casual identification. To be a Christian is to join yourself to Christ and His people.
2.4 To proclaim the Gospel. (1 Peter 2:9-10).
Clarification: Is baptism necessary for salvation?
1. No. The thief on the cross was not baptized but was saved. (Luke 23:43)
2. The message of Romans and Galatians-justification by faith.
3. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone
4. This was at the heart of the Protestant Reformation
5. However-we also should realize that the NT has no category for an unbaptized believer.
(Christians who love Jesus very much differ on these questions about baptism that follow. For CrossPointe, these are open-handed issues of doctrine. This means that we can agree to disagree in a spirit of unity and that agreement on these issues is not necessary for membership, or fellowship in the same church body).
3. HOW SHOULD WE BE BAPTIZED?
3.1 The most biblical mode is full immersion.
• The word is "baptizo" which means to submerge, dunk, immerse.
3.2 Jesus was fully immersed. (Matthew 3:13-17)
3.3 The pattern of church leaders. (Acts 8:36-39).
• Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch. "into" the water and "out of" the water.
3.4 It is most clearly represents the Gospel.
4. WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED AND WHEN?
Everyone who has been born again.
Although strong parallels exist between circumcision in the Old Testament and baptism in the New Testament, it is not a direct one for one parallel. Spiritual circumcision of the heart in the New Testament is for the believer, not the infants of believers (Romans 2:28-29).
Thus, although we place great value in the ceremony of infant dedication, we believe that baptism is something that is clearly presented in the New Testament as something done by believers after they have received salvation. Children who are old enough to give a reasonable profession of faith can certainly be baptized. This age varies from person to person. We leave it to consultation between the parents and the elders to determine the readiness of a children to be baptized.
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