Friendship Baptist Church
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Sturgis, MS

The Bible clearly teaches that baptism is the first step of obedience after making a commitment to Christ. Baptism allows a believer to communicate to the world their heart-felt commitment to Christ. People often have questions regarding baptism: Why should I be baptized? I’ve already been baptized. Do I have to do it again? Does it matter if someone is sprinkled or dunked? Take a few minutes to read these Baptism facts.

I. Why Should I Be Baptized?

A. To follow the example set by Christ.
At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. (Mark 1:9) (Matthew 26:63-65)

B. Because Christ commanded it.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19-20)

C. It demonstrates that I really am a Believer.
We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. (I John 2:3)
 
II. What Is the Meaning of Baptism?
 A. It illustrates Christ's death, burial, and resurrection.
Christ died for our sins... He was buried... He was raised on the third day. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
Having been buried with Christ in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised Him from the dead. (Colossians 2:12)
 
B. It illustrates my new life as a Christian.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
(II Corinthians 5:17)
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (Romans 6:4)
 
C. Baptism doesn't make you a Christian.
Only your faith in Christ does that.  Baptism is like a wedding ring - it's the outward sign of the commitment you have made in your heart (see Ephesians 2:8-9)
 
III. Why Be Baptized By Immersion?
A. Because Jesus was baptized that way.
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. (Matthew 3:16)
 
B. Every baptism in the Bible was by immersion.
(for example) ...Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water... (Acts 8:38-39)
 
C. The word "baptize" means "to dip under water."
 
D. It best symbolized a burial and resurrection (see Romans 6:1-11).
 
IV. Who Should Be Baptized?
Every person who has believed in Christ.  A Believer is someone who has realized that their sin separated them from God.  They have given up all efforts to reach God through good works or religious activity.  They have concluded that Jesus Christ's death on the cross for their sins in the only thing that can bridge the gap between them and God.  A Believer is someone who has decided to trust Christ alone for their salvation.  If you have come to that point in your spiritual journey, then you are ready to be baptized (Acts 2:41; 8:12-13).
 
V. What About Children?
The New Testament shows no example of baptism when the person did not request it. All instances of baptism followed an individual's decision to trust Christ alone for their salvation (Acts 2:41; 8:12; 10:47-48). At Friendship, we wait until the child is old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them. When a child makes a decision for Christ, we gladly baptize them into the Christian faith.
 
VI. What About Infant Baptism?
In the Bible we find parents bringing children to Jesus. He held them and prayed for them and told us to welcome them. But he did not baptize them, and he did not tell anyone else to baptize them. So it seems more Biblical to wait until after a personal decision to trust Christ as Savior has been made by the child. If baptism is a public profession of salvation (as the Bible teaches), only people who have intentionally received salvation should experience baptism.

If you have not experienced adult baptism, even though you have experienced baptism as an infant, the full meaning and significance of baptism has yet to take place in your life. We strongly encourage you to be baptized as an adult believer in Christ
 
VII. When Should I Be Baptized?
As soon as you have believed.  But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. (Acts 8:12)
 
VIII. Does This Mean It Has To Be Immediately?
No, but the Bible teaches that baptism should follow your decision to become a believer. There is no reason to delay. If you wait until you are "good" enough, you will never feel ready for baptism.