Baptism - Purpose and Method

by Lynford Heron
The Centurion Press - Posted Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Before you begin, please say a word of prayer so that the Lord will reveal unto you what he would have you to understand.  Thank you.

Why should we get baptized - What is it's purpose?
John 3:5,6,22
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.  After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.
Dear reader, Jesus is speaking and he is saying that we must be born of the water, baptism.  We could just stop right there and say because Jesus says it, then I will do it.  But there is more.  So we see that baptism is a spiritual experience, "and that which is born of the spirit is spirit."  O.K., but why do we need to be baptized?  Consider the next text. 

Romans 5:12
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Dear reader, when Adam disobeyed God, he gave his allegiance to Satan by carrying out his biddings.  It is simple, you can either follow one or the other.  So through Adam sin entered into the world and is passed upon all men.  Consequently, the Psalmist has this to say:

Psalm 51:5
Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
So, King David was conceived in sin as result. Read on, we are getting to the punch line.
Romans 3:23
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
We are reminded again that "all" have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  Why, because of the sin nature of man.  We are conceived in sin.  We inherited our forefather's  sin nature.  That's why Christ said, "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."  Paul put it this way...
Romans 7:23
But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Therefore, there is a war within.  Why?  God in his love and mercy towards us did a beautiful thing after Adam sinned.  Read the next text...
Genesis 3:15
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
God placed "enmity" between man and the devil.  Enmity means a deep seated dislike, an antagonistic spirit, conflict.  Enmity was introduced so that we would not be totally controlled by the Devil.  That is what Paul is speaking about.  So, sin entered into the world by one man and the wages of sin is death.  But thanks be to God, by the death of Jesus Christ he stood in our place and accepted that wage, being made sin for us -
2 Cor. 5:21
Hebrews 9:28
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation
Therefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, likewise all are redeemed through the sacrifice of one man.  So, man need to be redeemed and the bible make this point clear.  
Titus 2:14
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
The word "Redeem" means "to recover ownership of by paying a specified sum."
Matthew 20:28
Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many
The word "Ransom" means, "the release of property or a person in return for payment of a demanded price."  It is very important for us to understand the words redeem and ransom.  Why would someone want to recovery ownership or release property if they are the owner and it is in there protective care.  Most importantly, we must understand that the sacrifice of Jesus
Christ was the provision He made, but the remission comes when the blood is applied through baptism.

Will his scarifies and spilt blood save everyman without the acceptance and application of the blood?
Mark 16:16
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Man has a part to play.  Believing in his death is not enough.  Christ said that, "He that believeth "and" is "baptized" shall be saved."  Jesus himself set the example for us stressing the importance of baptism.
Matthew 3:13-15
Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

The application of the blood is needed.  We need to be covered with his blood.  Consider the sacrificial system in the old testament and the day of atonement - click on the link below...
Leviticus 16:14-19
As we read Leviticus 16:14-19 we see that there was a sacrifice.  The blood of an bullock and a goat was shed.  But it did not stop there the high priest had to take the blood and apply/sprinkle it on the alter and mercy seat that were in the temple.  This was done to cleanse the sanctuary from the stain of sin.  Killing the sacrifice was not enough, the shed blood was not enough, the blood had to be applied for the cleansing of the sanctuary/temple.
1 Corinthians 6:19
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
Our bodies are the temple of the living God.  Therefore, as the blood was applied to cleanse the sanctuary, the blood of Christ has to be applied to our body temple to wash away our guilty stains.

Consider the account of the destroying angel in
Exodus 12:7,12,13.  The instruction was to take a lamb without blemish, kill it, and apply the blood to the door post.  When the angel of death saw the blood, he would pass over and the firstborn of the house would be protected.  However, if a family killed a lamb and had the blood in the house, it would profit them nothing.  The firstborn of that house would die.  The instruction was to "apply" the blood on the door post.  The lamb was killed, the blood was split, the blood is available, but if it was not applied, the lamb profits nothing.
There is no priest today to apply the blood.  There is no need for him because the sacrificial system ended at the cross.  Therefore, Christ is saying follow my example, get baptized to fulfill all righteousness.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17
Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

The bible makes it clear that our bodies are the temple of the living God.  And as the physical temple was cleansed and purified of sin by the application of blood, Jesus is saying, do likewise through baptism.

Does the Bible teach baptism by emersion or by sprinkling?
Emersion is the act of submerging the body underwater.  Sprinkling is the act of just sprinkling water on the 
head of an individual.  Let us see what the bible promote...
Matt 3:6 
"And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins." John choose a place were there was much water.
Matt 3:13-16
"Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.  But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?  And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.  And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water:"
Dear reader, the bible says that Jesus went up out of the water.  It is logical to conclude that he was under the water.  This he did setting an example for us to follow.
John 3:23
"And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized."
Dear reader, here we see that John continued in the teaching of the holy spirit where baptism by emersion is concerned.  He choose Aenon because there was much water there for the act of emersion.
Acts 8:36-39
"And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?  And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.
And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing."

Dear reader, the spirit of the Lord instructed Philip to baptize the eunuch via emersion.  They both went down into the water.  Philip submerge the eunuch's body under the water giving him a proper burial.  We understand that emersion is the bible way, but is there any other reason for this method.  Yes there is.  Can you breath under water?  No we cannot.  Emersion symbolizes death and the coming up from the water, our new birth.
Romans 6:3-11 
"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
Dear reader, Christ died and went to the grave.  Emersion is symbolic of going into a watery grave.  As Christ raised from the dead/grave, likewise the coming up from the water symbolize our resurrection and new life experience.


Study Topics

  The Gospel
  Creation or Evolution
  Accidental Sins
  The Sabbath Day?
  Man's Nature
  Testimony or Law
  Christ or the Law
  Religious Prejudice
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