Lesson 6

Baptism

Is Water Baptism an Optional Extra?

The bible makes it clear that baptism is not an optional extra. Jesus himself was baptised. He had no need to repent of sin because he was without sin. However, he set an example for us to follow.

  1. Mark 1:9 at that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan.
  2. Jesus commanded his disciples in order to make more disciples they were to baptise them. 28:19.
  3. The early believers were told to be baptised. Acts 2:38
  4. Wherever the disciples went, they practiced baptism. Acts 8:12, 10:47,48
  5. The apostle Paul was baptised. Acts 9:18

Water baptism, or baptism by immersion, is also called “believer’s baptism”. Before a person is baptised, he must first have repented of his sins and believed on the lord Jesus Christ. This is clear in the verses we have seen.

Baptism speaks of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When we follow the Lord’s command to be baptised, we identify with him in this way.  When you accepted Christ as your saviour, your sins were forgiven, you became “dead” to your past life. Baptism signifies this death. The water into which you are immersed in is like a “grave” and indicates that you are buried with Christ. As you rise from the water you are testifying that you are a new creation, rising to newness of life in Christ Jesus. Romans 5:17, 6:4, Col 2:12.

Baptism is an outward demonstration of what has happened in your heart at the point of salvation. Salvation can be a very person decision you make between you and God. But baptism is a public declaration and an outward demonstration of your personal decision you made for Christ

Baptism Or Christening

Some people are puzzled about being baptised again if they were “christened” as a baby. What does the bible say about this?

If you are christened as a baby in your church or denomination the scriptures strongly suggest that you should be baptised in believer’s baptism. Baptism, as we have seen, is for those who have repented of their sins, believed on lord Jesus Christ, and are saved.

Babies and young children are incapable of making such a decision; hence their christening, or “infant baptism” was not a believer’s baptism.  Paul required those who had been baptised under the baptism of John the Baptist to be rebaptised. Acts 19:1-5.

Baptism always follows conversion. Once you have believed on the lord Jesus Christ and committed your life to him it is absolutely essential to take that step. Mark 16:16.

Secondly, the word “baptise” is the original Greek language of the New Testament, means “to dip” or “to immerse”.   How do we know that Jesus was immersed when he was baptised?  Mark 1:10.

When Philip baptised the Ethiopian eunuch, how do we know that he immersed him? Acts 8: 38-39.

It is clear baptism by total immersion is the valid means of baptism, according to the Word of God.

Total Identification With Christ.

The greatest truth about baptism is that as Jesus on the cross was totally identified with me:

He took my sins and my sickness on the cross
He died and was buried
He arose for my justification, (just as if I had never sinned)

In baptism, he expects me to be totally identified with him in death, burial and resurrection:

I die with Christ
I am buried with Christ
I am raised with Christ
I am now seated with Christ

Paul seems to sum up this Acts of obedience. Col.3:3

Carefully read Romans 6:1-11, Acts 2:38.

The Holy Spirit Baptism

As a Christian, God has another wonderful gift for you, the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

The Word of God teaches much about this experience. John the Baptist spoke of it and revealed that Jesus is the baptiser with the Holy Spirit.

Mark 1:8  I baptise you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.”

The baptism in the Holy Spirit is spoken of by a number of names, each describing an aspect of this wonderful Acts.

  • Baptism of the spirit (John 1:33)      – which means immersion into the spirit.
  • Receiving the spirit (Acts 19:2)       – referring to the Actual moment of reception.
  • Filled with the spirit (Acts 2:4)         – suggesting something poured into a person.

The baptism in the Holy Spirit is also spoken of as the promise of the father, for which the disciples were to wait. Luke 24:49.

Scripture reveals that Jesus fulfilled the promise from the father and sent forth that which they now saw and heard. Acts 2:33.

  • Before we can receive the Holy Spirit, we must first be saved. Acts 19:1-6
  • The baptism in the Holy Spirit is a separate experience from salvation. Acts 8:14-17
  • The baptism in the Holy Spirit is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Mat 3:11, Eph 5:18
  • The baptism in the Holy Spirit is for all. Peter’s words on the day of Pentecost are for us today. Acts 2:38-39.

This passage shows us the three experiences in a Christian’s life.

  1. Salvation through repentance.
  2. Water baptism, indicating our obedience to God:
  3. Baptism in the Holy Spirit Providing power for living:

It also clearly indicates that each experience is for every believer of all generations.

Power For Living

Jesus promised his disciples that when the Holy Spirit came upon them, they would receive power to be his witnesses. The change in their lives was dramatic, helping them to be powerful witnesses of the gospel.

When we are baptised in the Holy Spirit, we too receive power to be his witnesses. It does not mean that we will automatically become great preachers! But there comes a joy and a freedom and a boldness in sharing with others who Jesus is, and what he has done for us. Acts 1:4-8.

A Sign

God has given a lasting sign as evidence that we have been baptised in the Holy Spirit. That sign is speaking in tongues or praying in the spirit. It is part of this supernatural experience. Mark 16:17, Acts 2:4.

The language you receive when you are baptised in the Holy Spirit is not one that you have learnt with the mind. However, you must use your own mouth and tongue to speak the words that God will give you.

Speaking in tongues is more than just the initial evidence of our baptism in the Holy Spirit. It is primarily a prayer language in which the Holy Spirit prays through us to our heavenly father. Romans 8:26-27.

The Gift of Tongues

One of the biggest difficulties people have when it comes to speaking in tongues, or being used to bring a message of tongues, we often struggle with the fact that God does by giving us a supernatural language, a supernatural tongue and for that very reason many people find the whole concept quite strange.

Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues.

Although it seems strange it is a very biblical concept. Right from the beginning of creation God creates Adam and Eve as adult male and female and he would have had to have given them supernational communication as they did not have to learn it.

Gen 1:27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Gen 2:22  And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
Gen 2:23  And Adam said,
Gen 3:2  And the woman said,

  • How do you think they were able to communicate outside of God giving them a supernatural language?

The second incident of God giving people a supernatural communication

Gen 11:1 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech.
Gen 11:6-7 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

  • Now He’s not just doing it with one person he is doing it with a whole group of people, the entire population of that time.
  • Here he gives the entire known world a different tongue, they all started speaking in different tongues and different languages.

The third incident of God giving supernatural communication

Num 22:27-28 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat her with his staff.  Then the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”

  • If God can give a donkey a supernatural language, who believes that he use you in the gifts of tongues, not only can God give you the gift of tongues but he can give you the interpretation of that tongue

Isa 28:11 Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues God will speak to this people,

The Holy SPIRIT – A Good Gift

When you ask God for the gift of the Holy Spirit, you can be sure you will not receive an evil spirit or something that is not good for you. The bible says that God gives good gifts. James 1:17

The Holy Spirit is one such good and perfect gift from God.  Luke 11:11-13.

The baptism in the Holy Spirit opens a whole new dimension in God. As he reveals Christ and more of the wonders of God, we enter into a richer spiritual awareness of the lord.

  1. He guides us, John 16:13
  2. He reveals Jesus, John 16: 14
  3. He is our comforter, John 14:16

The Holy Spirit plays an important part in the life of a Christian. To live effectively for Jesus, we must make the Holy Spirit welcome in our lives and allow him to take possession of every area of our beings as we yield ourselves to him.

When Jesus baptises us with the Holy Spirit, he does so in a very personal way, a way that seems to suit our individual lives and personalities.  Some people receive the baptism when they are alone at home, others after being prayed for by another Christian. Frequently the baptism in the Holy Spirit comes through the prayer and laying on of hands by another Christian. This was common in the early church (Acts 8:17, 19:6) although not always so (Acts 10:44-46).

Please complete and submit this part of  lesson, we are looking forward to seeing what God has revealed to you in His Word and through this Study.

As disciples we don't always need more information but we need new revelation from God. Is there a certain part of the teaching that you loved, that stood out for you or you felt God was giving you insight into it?
Discipleship is all about learning God says. What was something new that you learnt in this lesson?
Putting God's word into practice is the greatest thing we can do. Was there a lesson, a principle or a promise that you can put into practice in your life?
The greatest part of discipleship is taking what you have learnt and sharing it with someone else. What part of this lesson could you pass on to others?
If there are any questions or queries about this lesson or regarding the school of ministry please feel free to ask.