A Talk About Baptism
A TALK ABOUT BAPTISM
Romans 6: 1-11
When it comes to religious doctrine, no Biblical teaching seems to be denied and minimized to the extent that baptism is.
- Even though it is clearly and frequently taught in the New Testament the majority of religious groups do not regard baptism as a definite part of salvation…and they say that it is an optional act that you can participate in after you have already been saved. It is simply an outward manifestation of what has already taken place.
So this morning I want to talk to you about baptism.
- I want to talk to you about baptism so that you do not lose heart as its defenders.
- I want to talk to you about baptism because many have become confused about the essentiality of baptism and hopefully we can clear up some of the confusion that some of you may have.
- I want to talk to you about baptism because some of you may be considering being baptized.
- I want to talk to you about baptism because some of you may have been deceived into thinking that salvation is yours without it.
- I want to talk to you about baptism because it is Biblical, it is sound doctrine, and because a misunderstanding about baptism can be the difference between being saved and being eternally lost for you, your children, and your grandchildren.
So let’s look at the passage that was read…let’s begin in verse 7, and let’s talk about baptism. Paul says in verse 7:
“For he who has died is free…or acquitted…from sin.”
- Sin is deadly.
- If you will look down at the last verse in this chapter the apostle Paul tells us that the “wages of sin is death.”
- The Greek word for “death” in that verse is the word “thanatos” and that word isn’t speaking of dying physically.
- The word “thanatos” according to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon means “the miserable state of the wicked dead in hell.”
- Sin is infinitely worse than we give it credit for being.
- It not only costs us physically and emotionally but it condemns us eternally.
And Romans 3: 23 says that “all of us have sinned”…every one of us is guilty.
But notice verse 7 here again.
- The apostle Paul says that the only way you can be “set free…or acquitted from the condemnation of your sin…is if you die.”
- How can that be?
Well, don’t misunderstand.
- Paul isn’t talking about physically dying here.
- He is not talking about putting this body in the grave.
- If a man is still condemned by his sins that is the last thing he wants to do is put this body in the grave.
- Paul isn’t talking about a physical death here.
In fact, if you will notice, he used the past tense.
- He says: “He who has died…”
- He is talking about something these people had already done….and yet they are still alive physically.
- So Paul isn’t talking about physically dying here.
When Paul speaks of dying in this passage he is talking about 2 things.
- One: He is talking about dying to sin and no longer being a slave to sin.
- In other words, he is talking about stopping a life of sin…no longer practicing sin; repentance.
- Look at verse 6: knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin;
- Changing your lifestyle.
And number two: He is talking about dying in order to be made alive in Christ.
“Now, if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.”
So, Paul is talking about dying to be freed from sin…and dying to be made alive in Christ.
- When we do this…when we die to sin…and when we are made alive in Christ…then we are no longer under the condemnation of our sin.
- So, when does this dying take place? Well, look at verses 3-4:
3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
When do you die to sin?
- And when are you made alive?
- It is at baptism!
- Not before. Not without it.
- At baptism we “die to sin”, “no longer slaves” to its power and guilt.
- And at baptism we “bury the old man of sin”, 6.
- And at baptism we are “raised up to be made alive in Christ!”
Now, look at this slide. This is the most common idea today of baptism.
- Dead in sins (true). But the idea is you are saved first; then you are baptized.
- In essence, you are made alive first and then you bury the live man!
- We all know you do not bury people who are alive.
Look know at this slide: You are dead in your sins; you bury the dead man; and you raise him up alive!
At baptism we die to sin, no longer slaves to sin; at baptism we “bury the old man of sin and are raised up alive in Christ.”
But now, look at this slide again: Many will say, “I have been baptized.”
- Is this acceptable to God?
- First, I have some concerns: This is based on unsound doctrine.
- Second, in the scriptures God gives specific details and He expected those details to be carried out (Temple, Ark, Gideon and Jericho, Lord’s Supper).
- I don’t know if God will accept this.
- I would think the thing to do is do what God says: After all, we are talking about eternal salvation.
At baptism we die to sin, at baptism we bury the old man of sin, and we are raised to be made alive in Christ.”
Look at verse 11: “Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
At baptism you are going through, in human form, the event of redemption that Christ went through for us.
- You are going through a death, burial, and a resurrection just as Christ did.
Many today would eliminate this (baptism) altogether.
- They would deny the necessity of baptism, and in doing so, they eliminate this whole “redemptive process” that we are to go through.
Look at the passage again. Notice in verses 3-4…all the “into”s.
- In verse 3 it says “into Christ…into His death.”
- And again in verse 4 it says “into death.”
- Baptism is the means “into” every one of these.
And in verse 3 where it says that we have been “baptized into His death”?
- That means we are baptized into all that His death on the cross purchased for us such as: justification, righteousness, salvation, redemption, reconciliation, regeneration and so on.
- How important does that make baptism?
By the way, did you notice that Paul doesn’t say that you “believe into Christ?”
- And he doesn’t say that you “pray yourself into Christ”?
- And he doesn’t say that you “repent yourself into Christ.”
- He doesn’t say that you are baptized into some congregation or gathering.
- He says that you are “baptized into Christ.”
- That is the only way you get “into Christ and into all the benefits of His death.”
And notice this too: Paul says that you are “baptized into Christ”; vs. 3.
- Baptism is how you get “into Christ.”
- Now, look at this verse found in Romans 8:1:
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
We do not believe that salvation is in the water.
- Salvation is in Christ…but baptism is when and where you get “INTO Christ.”
One more thing, here in Romans 6 Paul tells us that we “are to be baptized…that the old man of sin might be done away with…and that we might be made alive in Christ.”
- Baptism is a resurrection into a new way of life.
Many people want to use their baptism as though it is an exemption card.
- Their whole purpose is to be baptized so they will have the guarantee of going to heaven.
- And then they return to a sinful way of life thinking, “I have been baptized…so on the day of judgment I will just whip out my baptism card and God will let me right into heaven.”
Some of us have taught our kids that.
- Parents and grandchildren have insisted that their child go forward and be baptized when the child has no idea what it is all about.
- All the child is doing is what mom and dad want…and mom and grandma walk away saying, “It doesn’t matter what he does…at least he has been baptized.”
That kind of thinking is similar to what these people here in Romans were thinking. Look at verse 1:
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue to sin that grace might increase?”
- That is what they thought.
- But look at Paul’s answer.
“May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?”
- Christ died for our sins…so that our sins can be forgiven.
- At baptism you die to sin…you bury the old man of sin and you raise up a new creature in Christ.
- And if you come up out of that baptistery and go right back to being a slave to sin, then that is just exactly what you are…you are a slave to sin and subject to the condemnation that comes with it.
Look with me at Acts 2 and look at verse 38. Peter says:
- That means to “make a change.”
- “To change your mind, your heart and your will so that you are no longer following after a life of sin…but instead you are following the teachings of Christ.
- You become His disciple.
Baptism is not an “exemption card.”
- You can be baptized all you want but if there is no change in your conduct and living it does absolutely no good.
There is so much more to be said about baptism.
- If we are honest with the word of God concerning the topic of baptism there is no way that we can deny that it is essential for salvation.
- A lot of people criticize us for our stand on baptism and they accuse us of being divisive over this issue.
- And they tell us that we could all be united as Christians if we would only give up our stand on baptism.
Well, religious unity should be based on what the scriptures teach and not on compromise.
- For the sake of Biblical truth, and for the sake of salvation for all those who are separated from God because of their sins, we must continue to teach and preach baptism as being essential for salvation.
- Even though we are often attacked and ridiculed for our stand, we must not surrender.
And let me add this: Don’t give in for the sake of your children.
- I have heard of too many instances where someone’s children are following after a different teaching and they say, “Well, at least they are going to church.”
- In the Bible you find many who were “at least going to church.”
- You have the Pharisees, and the worshippers of Diana, even the men of Athens in Acts 17.
- Just because they are going to church doesn’t mean that they are saved.
- To compromise the truth will cause us to quit trying to teach our children and that will assure them of being eternally lost.
Baptism is essential.
- At baptism you are “united with Christ.”
- At baptism you are subject to all the benefits of His death.
- At baptism you die to sin…you bury the old man of sin…and you rise up a new creature, alive in Christ.
For the sake of salvation won’t you be baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of your sins? If so, come now as we stand.
© Sunset Ridge Church of Christ 2023