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                Baptism In The Preaching Of The Apostles


1. Shortly before He ascended into heaven, Jesus gave His apostles The
   Great Commission:

   And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been
   given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples
   of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of
   the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things
   that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to
   the end of the age." Amen. (Mt 28:18-20)

2. In the gospel of Mark, The Great Commission is worded in this way:

   And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel
   to every creature.  He who believes and is baptized will be saved;
   but he who does not believe will be condemned."  (Mk 16:15-16)

3. In both places we notice the mention of baptism...
   a. In Matthew, it is related to the process of making disciples
   b. In Mark, it is mentioned in connection with salvation
   -- Whatever the purpose of baptism, it must be important to Jesus,
      for He commanded it!

4. But one might ask...
   a. What is baptism?
      1) Is it pouring, sprinkling, or immersion?
      2) Is one baptized in water, or in the Spirit?
   b. What is the purpose of baptism?
      1) Is it for the remission of sins, or because our sins have 
         already been forgiven?
      2) Is it to be saved, or a public confession of faith having 
         already been saved?
   c. Who should be baptized?
      1) Should infants be baptized?
      2) Should just anyone be baptized?
   d. Is there ever a need to be "re-baptized"?
      1) What if I was baptized as an infant?
      2) What if I was baptized for the wrong reason?
      3) What if I have sinned greatly after being baptized?
   -- These and many other questions are often asked when the subject
      of baptism is raised

5. This series is devoted to answering these and other questions 
   related to baptism...
   a. Since it was commanded by Christ, it is certainly worthy of 
      careful consideration
   b. It is my intention to glean from the Bible what is actually
      taught on this subject
   c. It is my prayer that you will have the attitude of those in Berea
      - cf. Ac 17:11
      1) To receive the word with all readiness (i.e., listen carefully
         with a desire to at least understand, if at first you do not
      2) To search the Scriptures (i.e., to read the Bible carefully to
         see if what I am saying is true)

[In this lesson, we will simply consider how the apostles carried out
The Commission Jesus gave them; i.e., to see what they said about 
baptism in their preaching.  We begin with...]


      1. In the first gospel sermon, Peter commanded people to be 
         baptized "for the remission of sins" - Ac 2:38
      2. Upon exhorting his audience to be saved, the response was for
         many to be baptized - Ac 2:41-41
      3. Does "for" mean "in order to" or "because of"?
         a. Note: We find the same grammatical construction in Mt 26:28
            1) Where Jesus said His blood would be shed for many "for
               the remission sins"
            2) Clearly Jesus meant "in order to" provide remission of
               sins, and not "because" remission of sins had already
            3) With rare exception, the Greek word (eis) means "into,
               to, unto, for, toward"
         b. Note also: "be baptized" is joined by the conjunction "and"
            to the command "repent" - Ac 2:38
            1) Both are commanded "for the remission of sins"
            2) Just as people were commanded to repent "for" (in order
               to) the remission of sins...
            3) ...so they were commanded to be baptized "for" (in order
               to) the remission of sins

      1. In the first gospel sermon to the Gentiles, Peter followed up
         by commanding his audience to be baptized - cf. Ac 10:44-48
      2. It is evident that what Peter commanded involved a baptism in
         water - Ac 10:47-48
      3. A future study will examine whether the people were saved when
         the Spirit fell upon them, or when they were baptized as 
         commanded by Peter

[At the very least, we can say that Peter's preaching was in harmony
with the statements of Jesus in the Great Commission:  Preach the 
gospel, command people to be baptized.  

So far the indication appears that it was a baptism in water, and done
for the remission of sins.  Let's consider now one who was not actually
an apostle, but certainly filled with the Spirit...]


      1. Though not an apostle, Philip went to Samaria and "preached
         Christ" - Ac 8:5
      2. The response to such preaching:  "...when they believed Philip
         as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and
         the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized."
         - Ac 8:12

      1. To this very religious man, Philip "preached Jesus" - Ac 8:35
      2. Though we are not told the content of Philip's sermon, from 
         the eunuch's question we can deduce that it included baptism 
         - Ac 8:36-38

[Like Peter, Philip "preached Jesus" not only by telling people about
Jesus, but also what Jesus commanded.  Baptism was an immediate result
of such preaching.  Is this surprising in light of Jesus' statements in
Mt 28:19 and Mk 16:15-16?  Let's now consider...]


      1. We note that again baptism followed apostolic preaching 
         - Ac 16:13-15
      2. As evidence that she "gave heed" to the things spoken by Paul,
         she and her household were baptized!
      3. Notice also her comment in Ac 16:15
         a. How could Paul have judged her to be faithful to the Lord?
         b. By her response to the command of the Lord concerning 

      1. Paul tells the jailor that he must believe on the Lord to be
         saved - Ac 16:30-31
      2. Paul went on to speak concerning the Word of the Lord to him
         and his family - Ac 16:32
      3. In response, they were immediately baptized! - Ac 16:33-34
         1) Evidently the word of the Lord stressed the need to be 
            baptized quickly
         2) In fact, in EVERY detailed example of conversion found in
            the Book of Acts, people were baptized after only one 
            lesson! (see chart below)

      1. Paul recounts his own conversion to the Lord - Ac 22:10-16
         a. He describes how he was told to go to Damascus, for there
            he would be told "all things appointed for you to do"
            ("what you must do" - cf. Ac 9:6)
         b. One of the things he was told was to be baptized without
            delay - Ac 22:16
      2. He was told to baptized in order to "wash away your sins"
         a. NOTE WELL: Despite seeing the Lord on the road to Damascus,
            having spent three days fasting and praying (Ac 9:9-11), he
            was STILL IN HIS SINS!
            1) Seeing the Lord had not saved him
            2) Accepting Jesus as Lord (cf. Ac 22:10) had not saved him
            3) Praying and fasting for three days had not saved him
         b. Not until he was baptized were his sins "washed away"! 
            (exactly how we will examine later)


1. That baptism played a prominent role in apostolic preaching becomes
   evident when we compare what is revealed in the examples of 

   Mt 28:18-20          EXAMPLES OF CONVERSION          Mk 16:15-16

                       BELIEVED    REPENTED    CONFESSED   BAPTIZED

   PENTECOST                       Repented                Baptized
   Ac 2:14-41                       37-38                    38-41

   SAMARIA             Believed                            Baptized
   Ac 8:5-13              12                                 12,13

   ETHIOPIAN           Believed                Confessed   Baptized
   Ac 8:35-39            36-37                    37          38

   SAUL                                                    Baptized
   Ac 9,22,26                                                22:16

   CORNELIUS           Believed                            Baptized
   Ac 10:34-38            43                                  48

   LYDIA               Heeded                              Baptized
   Ac 16:13-15           14                                   15

   JAILOR              Believed                            Baptized
   Ac 16:30-34            31                                  33

2. In every case of conversion described in detail in the book of Acts,
   baptism is mentioned...
   a. Clearly it is was an important theme of apostolic preaching
   b. G. R. Beasley-Murray, a Baptist scholar, has observed:

      "Baptism is...a part of the proclamation of Christ. In an
      Apostolic sermon it comes as its logical conclusion."

        - G.R. Beasley-Murray, Baptism In The New Testament, Grand
          Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1962, p. 393)

3. And what should be proclaimed regarding baptism?  In this lesson we
   have seen...
   a. That it was commanded "for the remission of sins" - Ac 2:38
   b. That it was done to "wash away sins" - Ac 22:16
   c. That it involved "water" - Ac 8:36-38; 10:48
   d. That it was done "immediately", with no delay even if after 
      midnight - Ac 16:25-33

4. This would certainly suggest that baptism is necessary for 
   a. But is this a fair conclusion drawn from the "preaching" of the
   b. Is this conclusion consistent with the "teaching" of the 
      apostles, as found in their epistles?

Our next lesson will examine what the apostles taught in their epistles
regarding baptism, as we continue to seek Bible answers to such
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