Baptism

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Baptism

The Bible clearly teaches that we are saved by faith. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31, also John 3:16). “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing” (Ephesians 2:8). “For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith” (Galatians 3:26).

We are saved by faith and faith is an act of the heart; it comes from the depths of our emotions and will. “For with the heart one believes and is justified” (Romans 10:10). We are called by God and given faith by God, but we must respond and decide to take Christ as our Lord and Savior.

What is baptism? Baptism is an act of obedience. Baptism comes from a desire to identify with Christ and confess what is in the heart to others. Baptism is symbolic but more than just a symbol; it is an act of the volition in response to an understanding of God’s grace, love, and His command.

Baptism is the acknowledgment of God’s rescue and redemption of your life before man:

So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 10:32-33

To follow Him is not just a theological confession but calls for a response of heart, emotions, will and our physical being. If we love Him, we will obey Him. If we love Him, we will love others. If we love Him, we will become like Him. If we love Him, we will confess Him. “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

The confession is simply an overflow of the heart. Just as it would be difficult to understand an individual who was married but unwilling to tell anyone, it would be difficult to understand an individual who proclaims to love Jesus but is unwilling to profess his loyalty. Jesus said, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). Confession with the mouth is simply an overflow of our faith; we cannot limit life in Christ to merely an emotional or internal affair.

Baptism as a Public Expression of Faith

God gave us baptism to embolden and preserve our faith. In some of His final words, Jesus commanded His disciples, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). In Peter’s first sermon after Jesus ascended, he preached, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38).

Baptism as a Symbol

Although baptism is symbolic of death and resurrection, it is more than just symbolism, a benign sign, or representation. Baptism is a symbol that is also an action. The symbol has power because of the action. For instance, the cross is a symbol reflecting an action; a heart shape is a symbol of love. Though we can sign notes with hearts, the hearts are merely symbolic and do not mean that we are acting in loving ways. When an action is involved, a symbol takes on new meaning. Baptism is more than a symbol; it is an action, a statement, an obedient act to express one’s love, devotion, and belief in Jesus. The action symbolizes Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.

Baptism is a symbol of faith and an expression with the whole body of the heart’s acceptance of Christ’s lordship because we give our entire selves to Jesus.

Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. Romans 6:13

The action Jesus commanded is baptism. Baptism gives expression to our faith, that all of us belongs to God. Although baptism is a symbol, it is much more than a symbol. Baptism is not required for salvation, but it is a response to salvation, part and parcel with salvation.

What to Expect on the Day of Baptism

We are excited that you have decided to make a public pronouncement of your faith in Jesus. This is an exciting day for you and will be an encouragement to the Remedy Body. Obedience is the way we express our love for God. We are praying that God uses this act of obedience as a reference point in your life, a demarkation that begins a different season of your life in Him. Below are a few verses on baptism to encourage you.

Jesus told His disciples, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). Jesus commanded that His followers be baptized. Baptism comes after belief, confession, and salvation. While baptism is not required for salvation, it is a public proclamation of belief and an act of obedience. In Acts 8, Philip shared with an Ethiopian eunuch who believed in Jesus. When he saw the water, he asked “What prevents me from being baptized?” (Acts 4:34-38) Baptism follows belief and is a symbol of being buried with Christ and raised with Christ (Colossians 2:12). Baptism is a public testimony of faith in Jesus (Acts 2:41, 19:5, 22:16). If we confess with our mouth, we will be saved (Romans 10:9-10). Confession is part of salvation; baptism is a confession of the mouth and an action. Jesus said that if we acknowledge Him before man, He will acknowledge us before His father (Matthew 10:32).

On the day of baptism, you will be asked:
• Do you believe that Jesus died on the cross as an atonement (payment) for your sin?
• Do you want to make a public profession that it is your desire to follow Jesus?

What to wear:
Dark shorts and a dark shirt, with a swimsuit underneath. Bring a towel and change of clothes.

Logistics:
Following the teaching, we will gather outside for the baptism. Each person will be asked about following Jesus (similar to questions above), then enter the baptismal one at a time. Family is welcome to be upfront to watch and you are also welcome to record the baptism. You are in our prayers.

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:9-17

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