Baptismal Necessities

“Our weekly article in the Northport Gazette and the West Alabama Gazette”.

Watering the Tulips

05/11/2011

“Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, ‘See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?’” (Acts 8:36.)

The subject of baptism oftentimes is the center of disagreement. But, what does the Bible say? The passage before us seems to answer some of the common questions.

God sent Philip to the desert of Gaza for a specific reason – to preach to this Ethiopian man. God was working both ends as He always does. He had a man He was going to save and He had a man that was going to share the Gospel with him. When Philip arrived at the eunuch’s chariot, he found the man reading the 53rd chapter of Isaiah. This passage contains one of the most beautiful Gospel accounts in the Old Testament. Philip took the opportunity to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to him.

As they journeyed along, the eunuch desired to be baptized and questioned Philip as to the qualifications of baptism. Philip quickly answered, “If you believe with all your heart, you may” (Acts 8:37.) This passage obviously teaches that we are to baptize believers. Since there is no example of an infant ever being baptized in the Bible and they cannot profess faith in Christ, this seems to easily show that we ought not to baptize babies.

After the eunuch’s profession of faith, “both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him” (Acts 8:38.) They went “into the water”. Then, Philip “baptized” the eunuch. We see a baptism by immersion here. The same is true with the baptism of Jesus. “When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water” (Matthew 3:16.) If these two baptisms were performed by immersing one into the water, should we not follow that example today?

Does baptism then have a part in savings our souls? One passage seems to easily dismiss such a claim. Several Jews responded to the preaching of the Gospel by Peter. The Holy Spirit fell on these brethren. As He saw that they received the Holy Spirit, Peter said, “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” (Acts 10:47.) Obviously, these received the Holy Spirit prior to being baptized. In fact, Peter used it as a reason for them to be baptized.

The Bible teaches several things about baptism. First, it is the Lord’s church that was commissioned to baptize – nobody else. Secondly, we are to baptize believers. Third, we are to immerse when we baptize. Fourth, we do not baptize in order to save, but, because one is saved.

Hopefully, this short lesson in baptism will be beneficial to you.

Watering the Tulips is brought to you by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Northport, AL.  For more information, please visit www.sovereigngrace.net.  “Your app to the Gospel” is available for download in the iTunes app store and the Android market.  Download it today.

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