Sunday, 22 June 2008

What is Baptism - Part 2

We looked last post at what baptism is and the importance that the Bible places on it. We saw that it was not sprinkling and it was not pouring, but it was full immersion in water. We saw that to be a fitting subject of baptism you needed to both believe and also to repent (Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38). And we saw that baptism was necessary for the forgiveness of sins.

This week we are going to look in the book of Acts at some of the examples of people being converted to Christ – of people being saved, and we will notice what the Bible tells us they did.

The first conversion we read of in the New Testament is found in Acts 2 with the conversion of the 3000. After Peter telling the Jews gathered for Pentecost that they had crucified their longed for Messiah we read,
“Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?’ And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” Acts 2:37-37.
We then read in verse 41, “So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand souls.”

These people, after they had believed the preaching of Peter, repented and were baptised. Are we to do anything different today in order to be saved?

Let us now look at the conversions in Acts 8. Because of the persecution following the martyrdom Stephen, the Christians fled Jerusalem spreading the gospel where ever they went. Philip went into Samaria and preached there. We read in Acts 8:12, “But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike.”

We can see pattern forming here – the people believed and then they had to be baptised. It is a pattern followed in every case of conversion in the Bible. It is a pattern set by Jesus himself, “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned” Mark 16:16.

There are those who teach that all you have to do is believe to be saved, but that is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible, the word of God teaches you have to believe and be baptised in order to be saved.

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