November 6, 2016 – Water Baptism
This morning, we are witnesses to a defining moment in the lives of a few of our church family members. They are being water baptized. Water baptisms excite me because they are a sign of a healthy and growing church and because of what it means for those who are being baptized. Water baptism it is their point of separation. They are publicly declaring that they “belong to God”. They are separated from the world because their identity is in Christ. We celebrate this day with them.
It is important though that we correctly understand what water baptism is and what it is not.
Let me start by saying that water baptism is not the method or agent of salvation. The method of salvation for Christians is faith – believing who Jesus Christ is and the sacrifice that He made for the forgiveness of our sins. The agent of our salvation is the grace of God extended to those who believe (place their faith in) the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 2:8-9, “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”
Water baptism isn’t even the process of our salvation because the water doesn’t wash our sins away. The blood of Jesus Christ that does that.
“But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.” – 1 John 1:7
In the New Covenant, Jesus gave to His disciples the command to “make disciples and baptized them” (Matt 28:19) and, throughout the Book of Acts, we find that the disciples obeyed this command. New converts to Christianity were baptized in water immediately after they were saved or as soon as the disciples discovered they had been saved. Water baptism was done after salvation and not as a part of it.
That doesn’t mean that water baptism isn’t important. It is very important or Jesus wouldn’t have instructed us to do it. Well let’s jump into today’s message and discover the New Testament truth about water baptism.