What Doth Hinder Me To Be Baptized?
So you are thinking about baptism?
This brief article will help you go over what the bible says about baptism and how to prepare yourself properly.
WHAT IS BAPTISM
BAPTISM is an ordinance of the New Testament, foreshadowed in the Old Testament, instituted by Jesus Christ. It is intended to be, to the person baptized, a sign of his/her FAITH and FELLOWSHIP with CHRIST in His DEATH and resurrection, and of his/her being ENGRAFTED into Christ, and of the REMISSION OF SINS. It also indicates that the baptized person has GIVEN THEMSELVES UP to God, through Jesus Christ, so that they may live and conduct themself in NEWNESS OF LIFE.
The only persons who can rightly submit themselves to this ordinance are those who actually profess repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, being willing to yield obedience to Him.
WHY BE BAPTIZED
The Scriptures educate us to the reason that we are to be baptized.
Mark 1:4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
John the Baptist told the religious hypocrites that they needed to REPENT (to turn away from sin) and join the others in CONFESSION OF SINS and HOLY LIVING (fruit worthy of repentence).
Matthew 3:5-8 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
Repentance is a pre-requisite to baptism. It shows outward belief and faith in the willingness and ability of Jesus Christ to take away all your sins completely.
So why be baptized?
The end result of sin is DEATH. (Romans 6:23) Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is DEATH; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 3:23 For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Jesus, our elder brother, King and Savior showed us to follow His example of baptism (even though He did not sin and need to repent).
Matthew 3:13-17 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Being baptized shows your good conscience toward God. A token of the relationship you are about to enter – like an engagement ring to the betrothed. 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:
Through baptism and the giving of the holy spirit we are prepared to witness for Christ to bring others to know the same GOOD NEWS that God is not counting the sins of them who believe on His Son.
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
The next questions for someone preparing for the baptismal waters follow.
WHERE, HOW and WHO SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED INTO
The answer? Under water with the laying on of hands to receive the Spirit and in the authority of Jesus Christ.
The outward element to be used in this ordinance is WATER (enough to be immersed fully), in which the believer is to be baptized in the name of JESUS CHRIST. The greek word baptismo means to fully immerse or to dip. It does not mean ‘sprinkle’ (rhantizo).
Remember when Philip was asked by the eunuch “what doth hinder me to be baptized?” We see the eunuch believing on Christ and both went ‘down into the water’, the eunuch dipped/immersed, and them both ‘coming up out of the water.’ There
Acts 8:36-40 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? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.
Another example is found in Acts 10:47-48 “Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.”
Some people, borrowing from other religions, believe they need flowing water; as in a river. This is NOWHERE commanded in the scriptures but sufficient water that could be brought to immerse a person is the only requirement by definition of the word baptism itself. However, one should follow the dictates of one’s conscience in the matter so not to cause injury to the new faith.
The most important aspect of Christian Baptism is centered in the AUTHORITY by which sins are forgiven. New believers should be baptized, in the name (authority) of Jesus the Messiah (Christ). Also we will see in some of these passages that the gift of the holy spirit is given after baptism through the laying on of hands of the elders.
Acts 2:36-39 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Peter was one of the disciples to whom Jesus had spoken and whose understanding had been opened. After having listened to these instructions, a few days later he was inspired by the Holy Spirit to preach on the Day of Pentecost. The hearts of the hearers were pierced and, feeling condemned, they cried out to Peter and the other apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" (Acts 2:37). Peter did not hesitate but boldly answered, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" (Acts 2:38). "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized, and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls" (Acts 2:41).
The Samaritans, who were not Jews, were also baptized in the name of Jesus (Greek Iesous). “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them....” "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women " (Acts 8:5, 12).
Acts 8:14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
Let us see how Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, baptized. He went to Ephesus many years after the Day of Pentecost and found some disciples of John the Baptist there. "He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 19:2-5). Although these disciples had already been baptized, the name of Jesus was so important as to cause them to be rebaptized in His name.
There is NO OTHER AUTHORITY by which we may be saved because salvation is ONLY accessible through Christ Jesus. Please understand that the name is NOT a magic word or mystical mantra that has power in the phonetic sound. Some believers use Yeshua or another Hebraic variation of the Greek name Iesous (yes, the bible, written in Greek does record His name as such) or the modern usage of Jesus. The truth is being baptized in His name means being baptized under and into His own authority and personage. The power of baptism and forgiveness of sins is not in the phonetic sounds of speed but in the absolute authority of THE SON OF GOD.
Acts 4:12 "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name [authority”] under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved".
It is important to realize that believers are baptized into Jesus’ DEATH.
Colossians 2:10-14 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 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. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us (transgressions of His law i.e. sin), which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Our former self, the old man or woman of sin, willingly dies (dead to sin) and we no longer SERVE the FLESH willingly but rather we SERVE the SPIRIT OF GOD. We cease to live a lifestyle of sin and instead live a lifestyle of purity and holiness.
Romans 6:1-12 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
This implies a CHOICE and also a STRUGGLE. We CHOOSE to follow Christ. We STRUGGLE against the fleshly desires that strive against the spirit. Although after baptism and the laying on of hands you have become a ‘new creature in Christ’ you will not immediately be perfect in your Christian walk. You have the power to overcome but sometimes it will not be easy – it will be a spiritual battle requiring the full armor of God (Eph 6).
The churches like to center on the ‘count the cost’ as being a long process. As we have seen in several biblical examples the new believers did not enter into ‘bible study classes’ or spend weeks pondering their decision to be baptized and to follow Christ. However it is important to count the cost as we will see. Let’s look at the passage this term comes from.
Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
This passage the emphasis is placed on choosing to Love Christ more than anything else always. Christ must be followed and imitated even to the extremity of suffering. You may lose friends. Your own family may turn against you because the light that shines through you from Him might convict them. The cross you carry is to the death of the old you!
[v 30]. “Discipleship is character-building, and shame awaits him who attempts to be a Christian and fails to live up to his profession. Unless his tower rises to the heavenly heights to which it aspired, it is but a Babel at last. The parable is not intended to discourage anyone from attempting to be a disciple. It is meant to warn us against attempting so great an undertaking with the frivolity of spirit and want of determination which insure failure.” [John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible]
Jesus followed the first example with a second of counting the cost: Luke 14:31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
 Is the adversary here God or the devil? As warring against God is no part of discipleship, it might seem that the conflict was with Satan. But the case supposed is that of a man who, after counting the cost, is about to decline taking up his cross--about to rebel against the claims of God. But while in this rebellious state he sees a superior force coming against him. This superior force can not be the devil's, for Jesus could not counsel any to make peace with him, as the parable advises. The superior fearful the task of being a disciple may be, it is not so dreadful as to fight against God. As soon as the hesitating man takes in his thought, he will immediately take up the cross which he was about to refuse.]  [The tower can not be built by him who spends his time or squanders his money on other enterprises, nor can the peace be maintained by one who does not fully renounce his rebellion.] [John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible]
Philippians 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
Another cost to look at: You can tell how much something is worth by what someone is willing to pay for it. Let’s count the cost of your forgiveness ... what did it cost God? What are you worth to Christ? The highest price ever paid for anything was paid .... for YOU. Jesus died IN YOUR PLACE ... for YOUR SINS. He BOUGHT you to eternal life FOR A PRICE. Count THAT cost, my friend.
Lastly, count the cost of NOT believing and being baptized:
Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
1 John 5:10-12 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
Revelation 21:7-8 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Seems like a ‘no brainer’ to decide eternal life through Christ Jesus rather than eternal death without Him, doesn’t it?
WHEN SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED
The jailor asked Paul and Silas an important question in Acts 16. He received a proper answer which prompted an immediate and appropriate response.
Acts 16:30-34 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.
Acts 2:38-41 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
So reader .... have YOU sinned in your life? If you have even committed ONE sin in your life then you are self-condemned. You are under a death sentence (second death which is eternal). There is only one way and one person by whom you may be saved: Jesus the Christ.
So ... what are you waiting for???
Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
Notes: Baptism should be performed by the elders (those who bring forth mature spiritual fruit). Seek out the counsel of a local Christian fellowship that live obediently to the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus Christ. After baptism, study the bible and prove all things. Ask God for wisdom and truth. Fellowship with like-minded believers, especially on God’s holy Sabbath day. Faith is a long journey. Keep your course and in the end you will receive eternal life through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Romans 5:8-11 and God doth commend His own love to us, that, in our being still sinners, Christ did die for us; much more, then, having been declared righteous now in his blood, we shall be saved through him from the wrath; for if, being enemies, we have been reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved in his life. And not only so, but we are also boasting in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom now we did receive the reconciliation;
Author Email: Ken Hoeck
©2010 Truth On The Web Ministries: All the articles originated by Kenneth Hoeck or Brian Hoeck may be freely distributed or mirrored as long as presented in their entirety (including this statement), attributed to Truth on The Web, and that proper author credit is given.
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