Listen to this Sermon: 04222012MisconceptionsAboutBaptismNathanHouse

Download the Notes: 04222012MisconceptionsAboutBaptismNathanHouse

Misconceptions about Baptism

What really matters?

  1. What really matters?
    1. We often get caught up in opinions. Traditions. There is nothing wrong with having opinions or traditions but when we begin to bind them and teach them as scripture then we are going beyond what is written.
    2. What really matters, on any subject, is what the bibles says—or in some cases, what it does not say.
  2. Concerning Who Does the Baptizing
    1. It is not about who immerses you, but who you are immersed into
    2. I Cor 1:14– Paul said he was thankful that he did not baptize many of the people in Corinth as they were getting caught up into divisions. As if there was some special power or honor based off of who baptized.
    3. If one’s baptism is dependent upon the character of the administrator, he would never know for certain whether his baptism was genuine.” WJ
  3. Concerning Where The Baptism Occurs
    1. It is not the baptistery (or the river (Jordan River), or the temperature) that makes the water holy, it is the blood of Christ
    2. Wayne Jackson- “By the middle of the second century, however, conviction was yielding to convenience. The first historical reference to a substitute for immersion occurs in a document known as the Didache (ca. A.D. 120-150). A passage in chapter seven reads:”
      Now as regards baptism, thus baptize: having first rehearsed all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in running water. But if you have not running water, baptize in other water; and if you cannot in cold, then warm. But if you have neither, pour water upon the head three times (Roberts and Donaldson 1994, 7.379).

      1. Not only do we see what brother Jackson points out, a substitution for immersion, we also see importance placed on other things:
        1. An expectation of certain words
        2. Running water is better than non-running water.
        3. Cold seems to be better than warm.
        4. Finally, if no water for immersion- just pour some on the head three times.
  4. Concerning The Words Used– Passage Comparison
    1. There are no magic words
      1. Acts 19:11ff- Seven sons of Sceva
    2. Matthew 28:19- Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
    3. Acts 2:38- And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
    4. Acts 8:37[NASB]- And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”]
    5. Acts 22:16- And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’
    6. “Passages like Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38, etc., are not prescribing a spoken formula; rather, they are expressing certain relationships connected with the act. Matthew’s emphasis is upon the convert’s relationship to the divine Godhead into which he enters at the point of his immersion. Acts 2:38 stresses that the ritual is by the Lord’s authority.” WJ
  5. What really matters? 
    1. Understanding the mode of baptism
      1. Bapto- how is it translatedin scripture
        1. Luke 16:24And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’
        2. John 13:26– Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.
      2. Why then didn’t English translators actually translate the word Baptizo?
        “To translate the word into the English expression “immerse” would scarcely be feasible commercially in a world where the mode of the procedure has been altered radically by the sprinkling or pouring of water.” WJ
      3. Is it important to distinguish a burial, from sprinkling or pouring?
        1. Baptism is spoken of in scripture as a burial 
          1. We bury the dead dog.
        2. Rom 6:4
          We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
        3. Col 2:12
          having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.
        4. Baptism was supposed to bring to the mind of Christian’s the burial of Christ.
      4. There is a distinction made in the Greek bible between pouring, sprinkling and dipping- the Holy Spirit chose the word for burial, or dipping.
        1. Lev 14:15-16– laws concerning lepers
          15 Then the priest shall take some of the log of oil and pour it into the palm of his own left hand 16 and dip his right finger in the oil that is in his left hand and sprinkle some oil with his finger seven times before the Lord.
    2. Understanding the purpose of baptism: 
      1. Why is it important that we understand the purpose of baptism?
        1. It makes it more meaningful.
          1. Understanding purpose makes actions more meaningful
          2. When we understand the purpose of dad working all those hours was so that he could put food on the table, it makes me appreciate more fully the hard work that dad put in.
          3. When we understand the purpose of baptism is to wash away our sins, to remove those ugly stains, does that make it more powerful?
          4. When we understand the purpose of baptism is to place us into a relationship with God- does that make it more meaningful?
        2. God has always wanted mankind to know and understand his hand in our salvation.
          1. Read Exodus 9:13ff, 29
            1. God wanted the Pharaoh to know that it was his hand that delivers
            2. God wanted his people to know that it was his hand that delivers
          2. Read Exodus 31:13– God wanted the Israelites to know that it is His hand that sanctifies them.
        3. God wants those who are being baptized to understand something about His character. Something about his grace.
          1. Know that he has the power to forgive sins
          2. Mark 2:1-11 (v 10)
      2. Understanding the purpose of baptism eliminates some as candidates for baptism.
        1. If there is a purpose for baptism, and we are supposed to understand its purpose, then it eliminates those who are unable to understand its purpose.
        2. Tertullian (ca. 150-222 A.D.), a scholar in the Roman province of Africa, opposed the practice:Let them come while they are growing up; let them come while they are learning, while they are being taught to what it is they are coming; let them become Christians when they are susceptible of the knowledge of Christ. What haste to procure the forgiveness of sins for the age of innocence! . . . Let them first learn

          to feel their need of salvation; so it may appear that we have given to those that wanted (On Baptism xviii). WJ

          1. Baptism is for those that “wanted”. For those that “feel their need of salvation.”
      1. Much of the purpose of baptism centers around our understanding of sin.
        1. We will see this as we look at some of the points to follow but we need to know that:
          1. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Ro 3:23)
          2. God hates sin. Sin separates us from God. (Is 59:1-2)
          3. We need to then make a personal application of that knowledge:
            1. If all have sinned, and if God hates sin, then God hates the sin in my own life.
            2. What sins do you have in your life?
        2. Understanding this about sin then brings us to the need for baptism.
      2. It is to wash away our sins (Acts 22:16)
        And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’

        1. One of the purposes of baptism then is to deal with this sin that is a barrier between us and our Holy God.
      3. Romans 6:1-6 – “sin” occurs 17 times in this chapter. “Slaves/enslaved” 8/1 times. “Death/dead” 9/3 times.
        What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.

        1. Baptism mirrors Christ’s crucifixion– Christ’s sacrifice. Paul said “our old self was crucified with him” (vs 6)
          1. So we see baptism as a death.
        2. Crucifixion was Christ’s means of death. Baptism is our means of death. Paul said “How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (v2) 
        3. The question is, at what point did the church in Rome die to sin?
        4. Paul answers that question in the next two verses: Romans 6:3-4.
        5. Baptism frees us from the enslavement of sin. Rom 6:6
      1. It puts us “into” Christ and puts Christ on us (Gal 3:27)
        For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

        1. What does it mean to be in Christ and what does it mean to put Christ on?
          1. So then we see that we are in Him and we are covered by him because we put him on.
        2. So baptism then puts us in a relationship with Christ.
        3. In that relationship we are freed from sin. We are no longer a slave. We are no longer kept at arm’s length from the presence of God.