What Jesus Said About Baptism
WHAT JESUS SAID ABOUT BAPTISM
My granddaughter and I went to the Caverns of Sonora last week and had a wonderful time…but on the way home I made a wrong turn and soon we realized that we were going the wrong way…we were lost.
- So, realizing we were going the wrong way, we immediately pulled over, pulled out the map, hooked up the GPS, and found out where we were and where we needed to go.
Now, I believe that is what people need to do when it comes to their eternal salvation…perhaps even some here this morning.
- People need to pull out the map and hook up the GPS (Bible) and find out first of all where they are!
- I am convinced that most people have no idea if they are lost or not…and a lot of people are simply going by what someone has told them.
- Listen, we are talking about an eternity of either heaven or hell…and there is nothing more important than that…and people need to find out where they are according to what God says…not according to what some people say!
- Because God tells us in 2 Peter 2:1-3 “that there will be false teachers among you” and some of those false teachers will tell you things that are not true.
- And they will be very convincing…and they will entertain you and make it fun…and tell you what you want to hear.
- But remember, even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
- For the sake of eternal salvation pull out the map, hook up the GPS, find out where you are and what you need to do to be saved…and then do it.
Now, this morning, I want to look at something that a lot of people who claim to be saved…or who claim to be disciple’s of Christ have never done even though the Lord Himself commands it for salvation. Look again at the passage that was read: Matthew 28:18-20.
- Now, when you come to what Jesus says here, He has been crucified which means that He and the “thief on the cross” have both died.
- A lot of people today want to look at the “thief on the cross” and say that Jesus saved Him and therefore you can be saved by simply “calling on the name of Jesus.”
- Well, it is true that while Jesus was here on this earth He had authority to save anyone He wanted to.
- But, when He ascended into heaven to the right hand of God, He did not pass that authority along to His disciples…instead He gives them some instructions…some commands…some orders that He wants carried out while He is gone…and here in Matthew 28:18-20 you find those instructions. Look what Jesus says:
18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
These are the final “marching orders”….the final instructions of Christ to the church while He was still here on earth.
- These are the last words that He spoke!
- And the thing I want you to notice in these verses are the 4 commands given.
- Jesus says, “Go”…”make disciples”…”baptizing”….and “teach.”
Now, every religious group that considers Christ to be Lord obeys 3 of these 4 commands.
- They “go”…they strive “to make disciples”…and they “teach!”
But, why is it that they leave baptism out?
- Jesus says here that the way you make a disciple is “you baptize them and you teach them.”
- When it comes to making disciples, Jesus is saying that baptism is indispensable.
- If one wants to be a follower of Jesus, you can’t leave it out!
- Why is it that many religious groups obey and practice the other commands and leave baptism out?
MARK 16:15-16 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.
Notice in this passage what baptism is associated with?
- It is associated with belief…or faith….and salvation.
- Belief is expressed in the act of baptism.
- If you believe…if you believe that Jesus is Lord…if you believe in His life and His death…if you believe in your sins and your condemnation from those sins…if you believe that He can save you and He can save you…you are going to be baptized…and you will be saved.
- But if you don’t believe…no baptism…only condemnation.
Faith and baptism go hand in hand.
- There are two choices in the NT.
- One choice is to believe and be baptized.
- The other choice is not believe and not be baptized.
- One leads to salvation…the other to condemnation.
JOHN 3:3-7 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?”5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.7 “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
Notice there in verse 7 that Jesus says, “You must be born again.”
- It’s not optional.
- It’s not “I’ll try to get around to it when I can.”
- It’s not, “If you want too.”
If you desire to enter into the kingdom of heaven and spend an eternity with God, you must be born again of “water and the spirit.”
- It is absolutely necessary.
- This is Jesus Himself saying this.
Now, a lot of people want to take this passage and say that the “water here is not talking about baptism.”
- You can go back and study the early church fathers….all the way up to and including Martin Luther…and every one of them agreed that this was talking about “baptism.”
- Only when John Calvin came on the scene did anyone deny that this was talking about water immersion.
Jesus Himself is saying, “You will not enter into the kingdom of God unless you are born of water…and the Spirit.”
- Baptism is absolutely necessary.
One more passage for this morning….there are others that I want to consider but I will do them another day….turn to ACTS 2:38
Peter had been preaching about Jesus and telling the people that when they crucified Him they crucified the Messiah…and the people cry out, “What shall we do? And Peter says:
38 “Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Now notice how Peter said, “Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins.”?
- I mentioned at the beginning that one of the major ideas found today in religious circles…in fact it is the predominant view today…that baptism is not necessary for the forgiveness of sin…
- Instead people teach that you experience the forgiveness of your sins first, and then you can be baptized as a public manifestation of your forgiveness…but baptism isn’t necessary…it is something you can do only if you want too.
- And what they say is, the meaning here is not, “be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins”….rather it is “because of the forgiveness of your sins.”
Well let me share with you three thoughts concerning this passage.
- The Greek word here for the word “for” is the Greek word “eis.”
- “Eis” is never translated “because.”
- The word “because” in the Greek is the word “epi.”
- This Greek word here translated “for” means “into…toward…pointing too…with a view toward…for the purpose of.”
Turn with me to Matt. 26 and look at verse 27.
Jesus is instituting the Lord’s Supper and he gives his disciples the cup and in verse 27 he says:
“Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.”
Where Jesus says, “FOR the forgiveness of sins”…that is the exact same word used in Acts 2:38 when Peter says, “FOR the forgiveness of sins.”
- Those who change “FOR” to “because” in Acts 2…do not change the word here.
- And the reason is, nobody in the religious world says that, “before Jesus died on the cross…there was forgiveness of sins.”
- It took the blood of Christ to forgive.
- And yet the same Greek word is used in both places and they want to change the one in Acts 2:38.
- You have to twist the passage to make it say what they want it to say.
Another thing I want you to think about here.
- If this word here in Acts 2:38 were translated “because” of the forgiveness of your sins”…when did they repent…and when did that forgiveness take place?
- You see, in the verses just before this, Peter tells these people that they have crucified the Messiah.
- The have committed a horrible sin!
- And immediately they say, “What shall we do?”
- It makes absolutely no sense for Peter to tell them to “repent and be baptized “because” of the forgiveness of their sins.”
- If their sins have already been forgiven…there is no need for him to tell them this.
- And besides, when were they forgiven?
- It says, “Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins.”
- Or “repent and be baptized” in order to be saved.
- No one in the religious world says that you don’t have to “repent.”
- And yet they say, “You don’t have to be baptized!”
- Isn’t that strange.
- You have to twist this passage to keep it from saying what it says.
This passage says what it says.
It says, “Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
No one is saved…no one comes into the presence of God…no one enters into the kingdom of heaven still bearing their sins.
- It can’t be done.
- Isaiah 59:2 tells us that our sins “separate us from God…and it causes Him to hide his face from you.”
- 2:1-3 tells us that our sins and trespasses, “make us dead”…separated from God.
- You cannot go to heaven still carrying the shame, guilt and responsibility of your sins.
- The only way you can go to heaven is to have your sins forgiven…and that forgiveness takes place at baptism.
- The blood of Christ is what forgives…it is what atones for them.
- Baptism is the when.
Now let me close with this.
Someone might say, “Well, what’s the big deal.” “What difference does it make?”
- “Why are you so emphatic about this?”
I will tell you. Didn’t Jesus say, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”?
- People every day…by the thousands….are being convinced that they are saved….without baptism.
- That they are saved by simply “calling on the name of Jesus” and asking Jesus to come into their heart to save them.
- First of all, that is less scriptural than baptism will ever be…and yet people believe that.
But the reason I am so concerned about this…and the reason you should be so concerned about this…is because people by the thousands and thousands…are believing they are saved…when in reality….they are not.
- And some of them are not just people….they are our sons…and daughters…and moms and dads.
- What a horrible deception!
And what adds to the tragedy of this is…some of us who have been baptized for the remission of our sins….are almost indifferent to this horrible teaching…
- And the fact of the matter is…we often endorse it by acknowledging those who practice it and who teach it as “brothers and sisters in Christ”.
What this dangerous doctrine should do is it should break our hearts and motivate us to oppose it like we would any other false teaching that leads people astray.
What about you this morning?
Were you “baptized for the forgiveness of your sins?” Or were you forgiven separate and apart from baptism.
Were you saved when you were baptized? Or were you saved….even without baptism?
Think about how and when you were saved?
If it wasn’t in accordance with what the Bible says…it may be that you were never saved at all.
Please, give it some serious, prayerful thought.
Don’t take a chance with this.
We are talking about an eternity in heaven or an eternity in hell.
Don’t you want to make sure you have it right?
Right according to what Jesus says:
“He who has believed and has been baptized, shall be saved.”
If you want to study about this more…please come see me.
If you want to just get it right this morning…we are here to assist you.
If you want to give your life to Christ…and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins…what ever your need is….
© Sunset Ridge Church of Christ 2023