This Sunday, we will be discussing baptism. This subject sees a wide spectrum of beliefs, everything from “baptizing babies brings them into the covenant family” to “unless you are baptized you are going to hell“.
As always, we are just going to the Bible for answers. With all due respect to theologians and “church fathers”, their creeds and beliefs are not absolute authority - only the Word of God is.
As a preview, an appetizer, food for thought… get your Bible and check out these passages in Acts. The church came into being in Acts 2, and the book records accounts of people being baptized throughout the rest of its chapters. See if you notice any patterns or recurring themes…
Acts 2:37-41 -
The promised Holy Spirit came down and Peter preaches at Pentecost! Those who believed were baptized, the text seems to indicate it was immediate (v41).
Acts 8:12 -
Philip preached, the men and women believed, and they were immediately baptized.
Acts 8:26-39 -
Philip shares the Good News of Jesus Christ with an Ethiopian Eunuch, and upon belief, he is immediately baptized (v36).
Acts 9:1-19 -
Saul, persecuting the church, encounters Jesus Christ and is blinded for 3 days. God sent Ananias to Saul, who then was filled with Holy Spirit. He regained sight and was baptized immediately (v18).
Acts 10:44-48 -
Peter learns (v34) God shows no partiality - Gentiles included! Cornelius and company listen to Peter preach (v44). They believe and the Holy Spirit came upon them. Then they were, you guessed it, baptized immediately (v47-48).
Acts 16:11-15 -
Paul was preaching at a ladies fellowship (v13), they received the Word and were baptized immediately (v14-15). Then in verses 25-34, Paul and Silas are in prison and having a worship service! An earthquake brought a jailhouse rock. When the jailer is about to commit suicide, Paul stops him, preaches the Word to him, and he is baptized immediately (v32-33).
Acts 18:-1-8 -
Paul is in Corinth, and facing rejection at the synagogue from the Jews. He shook his garments and walked next door and preached to some Corinthians who believed and were baptized immediately (v8).
Did you see the pattern?
The Word preached, person believes, person receives Christ, person immediately responds by being baptized.
Have you been baptized?
Harvest Bible Chapel will be joining North Way (Wexford campus) in a worship / baptism service on Wednesday evening, March 21 at 7:00. Honor the Lord by making this profession of faith!
p.s. - Need more info about baptism? Come Sunday and hear all about it.