Acts 8 Lesson

Why Should You Be Baptized?

PAUL RAVISHES THE EARLY CHURCH

Chapter 8 is a fascinating chapter.  It begins with Luke’s account of the persecution that began with the church in Jerusalem.  He writes that Saul (Paul) was:

  • “Ravishing the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, and putting them in prison.” – Acts 8:3

This “Saul,” that was so horrible to early Christians would later become the apostle Paul and go on to contribute many of the writings in the Bible.  Isn't that amazing?  God was able to use Paul to become an apostle and to write almost half of the books of the New Testament, even after he persecuted the church and imprisoned Christians!  

THE ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH

Later in chapter 8, Luke writes about the Ethiopian eunuch that was returning from Jerusalem where he had gone to worship.  The Ethiopian eunuch was on the side of the road studying from the prophet, Isaiah.  The Spirit said to Philip:

  • “Go up and join his chariot.” – Acts 8:28

Philip asked the eunuch:

  • “‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ The eunuch replied, ‘How could I, unless someone guides me?’ And he invited Philip to come and sit with him.” - Acts 8:30-31.

There are three teachable moments from this exchange that we will highlight in today’s lesson:

  1. Philip reached out to the eunuch to see if he understood what he was reading.  He did not wait for the eunuch to come to him,
  2. The eunuch was “teachable.”  Maybe we have had people offer to help us in our Christian walk, but our pride or our busy schedules get in the way, and we do not accept their invitation.  We can learn from the humility of the eunuch who was receptive to Philip’s teaching,
  3. It is ok to get some help in deciding when we are ready for baptism.  The eunuch asked Philip: “What prevents me from being baptized?” – Acts 8:36. Philip responded in verse thirty-seven, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” That was the only qualifier that Philip put on the eunuch being baptized. He wanted to make sure the eunuch believed in Jesus.

AN EXCERPT FROM VIRTUAL BIBLE STUDY’S LESSON ON BAPTISM

Why was Jesus baptized?

Why should we be baptized?

Consider the following scripture about the baptism of Jesus:

  • Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him.  But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?”  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.  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, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” – Mathew 3:13-17.

Jesus said that He was baptized, “To fulfill all righteousness.” In other words, because it was the right thing to do. God’s reaction to Jesus being baptized is captured in the following verse:

  • “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” – Mathew 3:17.

There are two things that we can learn from the baptism of Jesus:

  1. Jesus was baptized because it was the right thing to do (“To fulfill all righteousness”),
  2. It pleased God that Jesus was baptized (“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased”).

Are those enough reasons to be baptized? Absolutely! What could be more important than doing what is right, and what pleases God? 

CONCLUSION

Baptism is the right thing to do and is pleasing to God.  Additionally, baptism is necessary:

  • For the forgiveness of sins,
  • To receive the Holy Spirit,
  • To be able to enter the kingdom of God,
  • To be saved.

We will end today’s lesson with corresponding scriptures to the four bullet points above:

  1. When we repent and are baptized, our sins are forgiven.  Acts 2:38 says, Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgivenessof your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit,
  2. We receive the Holy Spirit when we repent and are baptized. Acts 2:38 again,
  3. Baptism is required to enter the kingdom of God.  In John’s Gospel, Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” – John 3:35,
  4. Baptism, along with belief in Jesus saves us. “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” – Mark 16:16.

Comments

Virtual Bible Study

How can you apply what you have learned / what questions do you have?

Click To View The Discussion
christopher Lichaha

Am happy in your study on the Baptism you have not gone beyond what is written, but you were on point with your scriptural references.

Reply
Virtual Bible Study

How can you apply what you have learned / what questions do you have?

Reply