( Part 1 )


In this study, I am not going to talk about the 'necessity' of Baptism, but rather what it is. We will discuss the 'necessity' in the next study, "Baptism Part 2". But for now you just have to know that = It is commanded = God said do it = therefore we MUST do it. It is part of God's plan to save man as we shall see.

Before I start in discussing what 'Baptism' is. Let us look at what the Bible says 'Baptism' is not.

Baptism is not something you do to JOIN a church. The church is not some kind of club you JOIN like you would some civic organization where you go through some sort of initiation process and then voted in by the members. It is not ‘a civic organization’, even though people try more and more everyday to make it one. The church does not belong to us, it belongs to God. And it was not established to be a benevolent civic organization. The Bible does not teach that the church is something you JOIN. It teaches that it is something you are ADDED to, by God ( Acts 2:41 , Acts 2:47 , & Acts 5:14 ). We will discuss this in greater detail on the study of ‘The Lord’s Church’, but if you still believe baptism is used to JOIN a church, then I need you to tell me, “Which church did the Ethiopian eunuch JOIN when he was baptized by Philip?”

It is not like taking a bath, where you are cleansing the outside of the body. In ( 1 Peter 3:21 ) "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:"

It is more like where in Matthew 23:25-28 Jesus told the scribes and Pharisees, that the inside is what needs to be washed (made clean) and the outside would automatically become clean also.

Baptism is a burial ( Colossians 2:12 ) & ( Romans 6:4 ).

Therefore, just as you would bury an animal or somebody, it is not sprinkling a little dirt or pouring a cup of dirt on the body. It is a complete covering of the body. A total immersing of the body, a burial.

There are two Greek words that mean immerse, but they have different meanings and usages. I have them listed here as they are found in Strong's Concordance:

dip: 911
bavptw Bapto (bap'-to); Verb, Strong #: 911

1. to dip, dip in, immerse
2. to dip into dye, to dye, colour

This word for DIP ( BAPTO ) is used in Luke 16:24 "And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may   'dip'   the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame."


baptized: 907
baptivzw Baptizo (bap-tid'-zo);
Word Origin: Greek, , Strong #: 907

1. to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk)
2. to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water, to wash one's self, bathe
3. to overwhelm

"Not to be confused with 911, bapto. The clearest example that shows the meaning of baptizo is a text from the Greek poet and physician Nicander, who lived about 200 B.C. It is a recipe for making pickles and is helpful because it uses both words. Nicander says that in order to make a pickle, the vegetable should first be 'dipped'(bapto) into boiling water and then 'baptised' (baptizo) in the vinegar solution. Both verbs concern the immersing of vegetables in a solution. But the first is temporary. The second, the act of baptising the vegetable, produces a permanent change. When used in the New Testament, this word..... refers to our union and identification with Christ.... e.g.Mark 16:16. 'He that believes and is baptised shall be saved'. Christ is saying that mere intellectual assent is not enough. There must be a union with him, a real change, like the vegetable to the pickle! Bible Study Magazine, James Montgomery Boice, May 1989."

Also some say that BAPTISM is not necessary for salvation, that "it is an outward sign of our obedient faith, so those around us will know we have been saved."

- that is done by CONFESSION
- that is not what word BAPTIZO means, (see above)

We know (believe) that Jesus died, was buried, arose back from the dead & grave. In other words, there was a death, burial, & resurrection.

Let us stop right here for just a brief moment, as I ask this question, "How many times have you ever heard someone say, 'If I could just live my life over again.'?"

Well, this is the golden opportunity. This is one of the things that Baptism does for us. Baptism also represents our death, burial, & resurrection. ( Romans 6:2-13 ).

It represents us dying = A spiritual death, where we spiritually kill the person that we used to be. A person that lived a sinful lifestyle. And that person, now being dead, we bury him in the watery grave of baptism. So now that person (our old man of sin), is dead and buried. So as we are physically raised up out of the water, it represents us being born a new creature (born again ( John 3:1-8 )). Ready to live our life over, starting over with a clean slate. This time in a service to God and not our own selfish lust.

Look at this passage of scripture in ( John 3:5 ). Where Jesus says, "...Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit...". We can readily see the water Jesus is talking about. The water we were baptized in. But what is this "Spirit" that He is talking about? He is talking about our heart, our mental state of mind, like in ( John 4:23-24 ), were we are told, we must worship both in truth (worshiping how God has told us in His word, how He wants us to worship Him) and in spirit (with our mind and heart, and not just going through the motions of worship.)

When we are baptized, if our mental state is not right, being baptized for the wrong reason, our heart is not in it. Then all we have done is just gotten wet = Dipped = Bapto. Instead of Baptizo.

There has to be a real spiritual change that takes place. We have to become a pickle and no longer be a cucumber.

Here are a few more passages that also describe baptism.

Colossians 2:12-13 Just read through Colossians chapter 3 .

And in the following passages, the Bible talks about us being a newborn baby, born again ( John 3:1-8 ). Starting our new life living as a Christian, a new born person. Where in 1 Peter 2:2 = milk & in Hebrews 5:12-13 = milk & meat.

So now we understand that baptism not only represents Jesus Christ's death, burial, and resurrection, but also our own death (of our old sinful life style), burial (getting rid of it), and resurrection (born again, a new creature, living a christian life and growing as we continue to study and obey God's word).

We must also remember that Baptism is also how we get into Christ. ( Galatians 3:26-29 ).

Now that we understand more what Baptism is. In the next 'Study', we will look at, "The Necessity of Baptism".

What do you think about this lesson ???
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