Without any hesitation let's begin this first lesson on baptism.
Where does baptism come in?
Baptism represents the fourth step of salvation. I have to tell you the truth, which is, without Baptism, our salvation process is incomplete.
Let's learnt a little bit more about baptism and why it's so critical.
Baptism is the immersion ( to dip or submerge into liquid) into water, for the remission ( the cancellation of a debt, charge, or penalty) of sins.
Sound's a bit confusing?
Well that's where this baptism bible study comes in. :)
Why is baptism so important?
If we have heard and believed the Word of God, confessed and repented of our sins, shouldn’t that be enough? Why do we have to get ourselves all ‘wet’ in the process?… What is this Baptism really about?
It is essential we understand that Baptism was not instituted by man but by God.
It was not required, just by Christians of the New Testament era alone, but baptism began as far back as the old testament. Genesis 7 to be exact - You will learn a lot more about this in another baptism bible study lesson on the History of Baptism.
It so happens, that John understood the Word of God and the pattern that was set out by God, throughout the scriptures, and he continued this process by baptizing unto repentance.
Now that we appreciate its foundation, let us go on to clarify what is Baptism. Baptism is the outward representation of the inward change that God has done in your life. Now let's see the purpose of baptism in the bible in Romans 6:4 ( Ever realized that Paul just has a sweet way of explaining things? Ahh I digress!)
Have you ever wondered why a marriage can be annulled if it is not consummated? It is because a man and his bride is not truly married unless, it is sealed by consummation.
That’s when they become one flesh. So then, if the marriage truly begins with consummation, why then is there a necessity by law to ‘make it legal’ or have a ceremony? The ceremony is done as a outward show ( or witness to the public) that a marriage is taking place and if anyone has any legal objections, they are allowed to say.
Why did I say this? Because our baptism is that ceremony or out ward show to the world that there has been an inward change. Our Baptismal ceremony cannot be omitted or substituted, because God himself instituted it.
And no one can overturn God's word.
Someone must die:
There must first be a death, for there can never be a burial unless a death took place. Am I right?
Imagine a pastor trying to bury a man that is still alive…. that is Murder! lol.
So what has died, in order for this burial to take place? … Our old man and his ways! Our sinful ways have died!
And because sin has died there must be a burial!
But as we are buried, it is not our individualities that God has chosen to hide; just our old sinful ways. As we do this, we are joining ourselves with Christ for he did it first as our perfect example. We can now begin our new walk! Our old man and his ways is dead! And now Christ can begin to use our uniqueness for his glory!
We have become dead to this world and God has given us newness of life! Once something is dead, it can no longer feel any pain, desires, or emotions. It feels nothing! So then, we being dead , should have no lingering desires for the things of the world.
Our Baptismal Process also represents Christ’s Death, Burial and Resurrection and as we do this, we become partakers of his death, burial and resurrection. As Paul says, we are now walking in the newness of life, but it is not us but Christ that lives in us. Now, we have an awesome hope that because he was risen, we will also be resurrected, and will reign with him in eternity.
It is important to note that this step cannot be achieve unless we have sincerely repented. If repentance have not taken place, then unfortunately, as my Pastor would say, we would have been and dry sinner and have now become a ‘wet one’.
You may be wondering ...
There is no need to wait.
Remember Phillip and the Eunuch in Acts 8: 26 -40? When Phillip was through preaching the Gospel unto him the Eunuch was pricked. And he asked Phillip ( in my own interpretation) "see there is water, what is preventing a baptism from happening right now?"
And Phillip stopped the chariot and baptized him right then and there. At that very moment!
You see once you are serious about serving Christ you are ready and there should be no hindrance. Waiting and pondering and wondering may only cause the enemy to seep doubt or reasons into your mind, and then 20 years later - it still has not happened.
Now is the time. Now is the day of salvation.
Yes you are correct, baptism is a very serious step, but so is every one of the steps for salvation, and we have come this far by faith - God will keep you and I to the end.
Wait! If your still asking this question after we've come this far in this baptism bible study, then I must be losing my touch! :)
In short, the answer is that the salvation process is incomplete.
Once you understand the importance of baptism then you are now accountable for what you know.
And being a step of salvation, it really cannot be omitted.
If it is not done, then there is still time to do it.
So for your answer : "what happens if you are not baptized?" I would have say to get going. Better to do it God's way than to try to figure it out on our own.
That never goes right.
Nothing changes naturally when you have been baptized. Life goes on with family and work obligation. But the transformation has begun spiritually. So here's a few things I would suggest not to do after baptism:
1) Do not stay there: there is so much growth and depth in Christ that we will miss a whole lots if we do not begin to seek after God with our whole heart. As Hebrews 6 vs 1 - 2 (reading from the Amplified Bible)
" Therefore let us get past the elementary stage in the teachings about the Christ, advancing on to maturity and perfection and spiritual completeness, [doing this] without laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of teaching about washings (ritual purifications), the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. [These are all important matters in which you should have been proficient long ago.]"
It's time for growth!
2) Do not keep it to yourself: but witness of the goodness of the Lord and what he has done in your life to your family and friends. Do not be ashamed to be a light for Christ.
It was really a fun time, digging in the B I B L E and uncovering the truths found in God's word in this baptism bible study.
If you've forgotten everything I've said today, remember that baptism is an important step to salvation and cannot be left out; it is the immersion in water for the remission of sins and don't worry it will only take about one second, but the change will last a life time.
Let's just in to another baptism bible study lesson shall we...