What is Christian Baptism?

baptismTITLE: What is Christian Baptism?

SUBJECT: Salvation

PROPOSITION: In this lesson, we want to look at the question, “What is Christian Baptism?” We will note that Christian baptism is: 1) A burial in water. 2) An action of faith. 3) God’s work of righteousness.

OBJECTIVE: Everyone needs to be able to discuss what baptism is in relationship to the plan of salvation. Not many in the religious world today understand it. But it is part of the great commission and we must preach and teach it.

AIM: To encourage the brethren to teach others about Christian baptism.


1. Read: Acts 8:35-36 “Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?”

2. About the Text:

1) It is a noteworthy fact that Philip preached to the Eunuch, “Jesus.”

2) Yet, somewhere in the study, Philip spoke concerning baptism.

3) When they reached the water, the Eunuch ask to be baptized.

4) Philip made sure that the Eunuch believed.

5) The Eunuch was then baptized.

3. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.

DISCUSSION: What is Christian Baptism?

I.   It is a burial in water.

1. Look at John’s baptism.

1) Matt. 3:11 John baptized in water.

2) John 3:23 He needed a place where there was much water.

3) Matt. 3:16 Jesus came up “went up… out of” the water.

2. Jesus also baptized in water.

1) John 4:1 says that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John.

2) This passage also says that Jesus himself did not baptize, but his disciples.

3) Thus the precedence of baptism in water is established by John and Jesus.

3. Notice baptism after the commission.

1) Acts 8:35, 36 requires water.

2) Acts 10:47 water required for baptism.

3) 1 Peter 3:20, 21 baptism likened unto the water of the flood-requires water

4) Romans 6:4 baptism is a burial.

5) Col. 2:12 baptism is a burial.

6) Hebrews 10:22 bodies are washed with pure water.

II.  It is an act of faith.

1. Baptism is conditioned upon faith.

1) Mark 16:15, 16 “he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.”

2) Acts 8:12 “But when they believed Philip preaching good tidings concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.”

3) Acts 8:35, 36 “If thou believest, thou mayest.”

4) The Philippian jailer was told to “believe” and then he was baptized. Acts 16:33, 34 “And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, immediately. And he brought them up into his house, and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, with all his house, having believed in God.”

2. Baptism and faith go hand in hand.

1) Faith and obedience go hand in hand. John 3:36 ASV “He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

2) Luke 7:30 They rejected for themselves the counsel of God. Refusal of baptism is a refusal of God.

3) Baptism is in part a matter of obedience; Acts 10:48 “commanded them to be baptized.”

4) Faith must work in order for it to be effectual. James 2:22 “Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?”

5) Under the Christian dispensation, baptism is a work of faith that effects forgiveness.

6) There must be the faith, then the work, then the blessing.

3. The faith is in God’s promise to save upon our baptism, not in baptism itself.

1) Jesus’ promise is in Mark 16:15-16.

a. The universalist says, “He that is saved, may believe and be baptized.”

b. The infant baptist says, “He that is baptized is saved and may then believe.”

c. The faith only person says, “He that believes is saved and may be baptized.”

d. The person who believes that baptism is an action of obedience for the saved says, “He that believes is saved and must be baptized.”

e. Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.”

2) Acts 2:41 “They then that received his word were baptized:”

3) 1 Thess. 2:13 “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” What is the “effectual work” here?

4) Notice Colossians 2:12 “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” Baptism is a declaration of faith in God upon which declaration, God forgives sins.

5) Notice verse 13 “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;”

III. It is God’s Work of Righteousness

1. Can God command something that is not righteous?

1) Yet baptism is a command (Acts 2:38; Acts 10:47).

2) Hence, baptism is a work of righteousness.

2. When God commands something, it becomes a matter of obedience.

1) We cannot be saved without obedience. Hebrews 5:9 “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;”

2) Notice Romans 1:5 “By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:” and …

3) Romans 16:26 “But now (the gospel) is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith.”

3. When we obey God we are declaring God’s righteousness.

1) Notice Romans 10:3 “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.”

2) Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”

3) Hebrews 10:22 “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”

4) 1 Peter 3:21 “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:”


1. What is baptism?

1) It is a burial.

2) It is an action of faith.

3) It is God’s work of righteousness.

2. Invitation