Acts 8 Lesson

Baptism Is A Matter Of Salvation

BAPTISM

Baptism is one of the five Matters of salvation” that Virtual Bible Study™ discussed in our lesson from Revelation 20.

  1. Believe in Jesus. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” – Acts 16:31
  2. Confess our belief in Him. “For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” – Romans 10:10
  3. Repent (turn away from) of our sins. “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” – Luke 13:3
  4. Be baptized. Baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ .” – 1 Peter 3:21 and “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” – Mark 16:16
  5. Obey God’s commandments. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. – Mathew 7:21

In the fourth bullet point, we see two important scriptures about baptism:

  1. “Baptismnow saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” – 1 Peter 3:21,
  2. “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” – Mark 16:16.

Different denominations have different interpretations of baptism.

Some believe that baptism is done simply as public identification of our inward faith. For example, christianity.comsays that baptism is:

“It is your personal identification with the greatest act of human history—the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Baptism doesn't save you—salvation comes by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). Your guilt before God is removed the moment you trust in Christ. But baptism is your personal testimony to, and the inward assurance of, your passage from the old life to the new life.” (christianity.com)

This point of view is incomplete and incorrect. Baptism is much more than a personal identifier.

Returning to our scripture from Peter’s first epistle, we see that Peter wrote:

  • “Baptismnow saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” – 1 Peter 3:21,

In this scripture, Peter uses the actual words, “Baptism now saves you.” This should erase any doubt that baptism is necessary for salvation.

Peter also wrote that baptism is “An appeal to God for a good conscience.”

These scriptures tell us that baptism is much more than simply a personal identifier. Baptism is:

  1. Necessary for salvation (“Baptism now saves you”),
  2. An appeal to God for a good conscience.

WHAT DID JESUS SAY ABOUT BAPTISM?

To further illustrate the importance of baptism as a matter of salvation, we will look at two statements made by Jesus, Himself:

  1. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.  He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” -Mark 16:15-16,
  2. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spiritteaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” - Mathew 28:18-20.

In the above quote from Mark’s Gospel, Jesus identifies two salvation requirements:

  1. Belief,
  2. Baptism.

In the second quote from Mathew’s Gospel, commonly referred to as the “Great Commission,” Jesus puts together His plan to spread salvation throughout the world. Immediately after commanding us to go make disciples of nations, He tells us to baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

From these two statements, made by Jesus, we see that baptism is a lot more than an identifier of our faith.

JESUS WAS BAPTIZED

Mathew records the baptism of Jesus in the following scripture. As you read Mathew’s account of this important day in history, notice how John the Baptist initially tried to prevent Jesus from being baptized. Then ask yourself, “Why was it important for Jesus to be baptized?”

  • “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:

  • “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.” – Luke 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? 

THE ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH

In Acts 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 the prophet, Isaiah.  The Spirit said to Philip:

  • “Go up and join his chariot.” – Acts 8:29

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:

  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 invitations.  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.  

CONCLUSION

Baptism is one of five “Matters of salvation” that are identified in the Bible:

  1. Believe in Jesus.(Acts 16:31),
  2. Confess our belief in Him.(Romans 10:10),
  3. Repent (turn away from) of our sins.(Luke 13:3),
  4. Be baptized.(Mark 16:16),
  5. Obey God’s commandments.(Mathew 7:21)

Jesus was baptized for two reasons:

  1. 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”).

We will end today’s lesson with the following three scriptures on baptism:

  1. “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 Holy Spirit.” - Acts 2:38,
  2. “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,
  3. “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” – Mark 16:16.

If you have not been baptized into Christ and are convicted in your heart to do so, please do wait any longer. None of us are promised another day.

Comments

Virtual Bible Study

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think and feel?
2) How can you apply what you have just learned to something specific that is happening in your life?

***PLEASE POST YOUR QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS HERE***

Click To View The Discussion
Virtual Bible Study

1) What did today’s Bible study make you think and feel?
2) How can you apply what you have just learned to something specific that is happening in your life?

***PLEASE POST YOUR QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS HERE***

Reply
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