Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Trailhead Post 1: Baptism (A Guided Journey for All Christ-Followers)

This week, our pastor is guiding us on a new trail.  His new series is titled "Trailhead:  A Guided Journey for All Christ-Followers."  You are invited to worship along with us as we start a new series.

This post includes my Bible study notes based on my pastor's sermon.  You are invited to watch and worship along with us here.

Trailhead - Be Baptized - March 10, 2019 (Message) from Christ Place Church on Vimeo.

As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector’s booth; and He said to him, “Follow Me!” And he got up and followed Him. - Matthew 9:9
The word follow means "to get on a path with."  If you are a Christ-follower, then you are on a journey with Jesus.  We will come to several trail post stops along this journey.

Trail Post 1:  Baptism

John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. - Mark 1:4
Baptism is an act of obedience in response to faith in Jesus Christ.

Where did baptism originate?  Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.
John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea was going out to him, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist, and his diet was locusts and wild honey. And he was preaching, and saying, “After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals. I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”  In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. - Mark 1:4-9
Why was Jesus baptized since He wasn't a sinner?  

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Jesus was baptized to fulfill all righteousness, to fulfill the law, and to provide an example for us.
13 Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” 15 But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he permitted Him. 16 After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him. - Matthew 3:13-16
The last thing Jesus told us to do (in what is known as The Great Commission) before his ascension was to baptize.
16 But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. 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.” - Matthew 28:16-20
16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. - Mark 16:16
In the first century, they baptized immediately upon salvation.  It was a big deal to first century Christ-followers.
38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” 40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “  Be saved from this perverse generation!” 41 So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. - Acts 2:38-41
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The people heard the gospel and then immediately followed the example of Jesus in baptism.
12 But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike. - Acts 8:12
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. 36 As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” 37 And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38 And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing. - Acts 8:35-39

47 “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” 48 And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days. - Acts 10:47-48

16 Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.’
 Baptism is part of God's pattern for His followers.

God expects us to:

1.  hear the gospel.
2.  respond to the gospel (be saved).
3.  be baptized.
4.  tell others.

1.  is an expression of our faith in Christ.
2.  is a sign of a covenant.
3.  is a picture of new life.
Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. - Romans 6:3-4

4.  bands us together.
There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism. - Ephesians 4:4-5

Common Questions Concerning Baptism

Is baptism essential for salvation?  No

Does baptism require immersion?  Yes

I was baptized as an infant.  Do I need to be baptized again?   Yes, because babies don't know what it means to be saved and baptized.  Babies don't understand repentance.

I'm not sure about my sincerity the first time.  I am saved now.  Should I be baptized again?  Yes, because order is important.  Baptism comes after belief.

What is the right age for baptism?  People are ready for baptism when they personally understand that they are sinners against God.  They need to understand the blood sacrifice.  They need to understand their commitment to follow Jesus.  Then they are old enough to be baptized.

You'll find all posts in the Trailhead series here.


Image Credit:  Ahstubbs - CCO Public Domain Image via Pixabay

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