1. Who has been water baptized? Could you tell us about that experience?
2. Has anyone ever had an experience where their conscience felt new or clean?
3. Why do you think it is important to make a public declaration for Jesus?
Key Verse- “Go therefore and baptize and make disciples (mt28:19).”
Teaching- Jesus put a great amount of emphasis on baptism. He was baptized. His disciples baptized thousands of people. Half of the great commission is to baptize. The early church was eager to see people take the plunge. All through Acts we see reports of a growing, baptized church.
What exactly is baptism? It is to immerse. The word was used of pickling cucumbers. To have them totally saturated and surrounded. Baptism comes from the Old Testament priestly idea of being cleansed. If a priest became on clean, they would have to bathe and wash, then they could be clean to perform their tasks. So, to be baptized has the idea of being set apart, made clean. It is also a method in which the believer further identifies with Jesus. When they go under the water, they are acknowledging Jesus death, when they come up, they signify His resurrection. It shows they are dead with Him and risen with Him.
Baptism of the body is not the same as salvation. It is commanded and it is highly beneficial. Peter says that baptism, “Cleanses the conscience and gives you a good answer towards God (1pet3:21).” You can boldly say, “I publicly announced my allegiance to you and demonstrated what I believe your Son Jesus did.” If we proclaim Jesus before others, He will proclaim us before His Father in Heaven (mt10:32). Baptism feels good. In helps you actualize your forgiveness. It acts as a sign of your identification with Christ in His death on the cross and resurrection.
We see in the book of Acts, in the early church, as soon as someone put their faith in Jesus they were baptized. Philip has a conversation with an Ethiopian eunuch and the man asks, “There is a puddle of water, what prevents me from being baptized (act8:36)?” Nothing prevented him and he was.
Closing- offer each person an opportunity to respond
1. Would you like to be water baptized in the next few weeks at RCA? (if yes, talk to Rev. Drew and we will make the arranged with great joy!)
2. How important is it to you to have a clean conscience? How does it affect your life?
3. What are somethings you have in common with people at RCA?