BAP-03 - Why Be Baptized? Purposes (Part 1)
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Jesus said, “He that believes and is baptized will be saved. He who does
not believe shall be condemned,” Mark 16:16.
We welcome you to our study of the purposes of baptism. Why be
baptized? What's the purpose behind it? Sometimes we hear people say,
‘Well baptism's something good you ought to do, something that you really
need to follow, but it's not essential to salvation.’ Does the Scripture teach
Many people hold various beliefs about baptism that the Scriptures
just don't teach. For example, some people will say that that baptism is
something good to do, a great outward sign, something you ought to do,
but not at all necessary to salvation. Does the Bible teach that baptism is
something good to do but not necessary?
Others will say that baptism is simply an outward sign of an inward
grace, by that by they mean that your baptism is a symbol and a sign that
you have received the grace of God and that you are saved. Is that what
the Scripture teaches about baptism?
Something some people say, baptism something you ought to do,
because Jesus did it and to follow His example. There's no doubt we ought
to follow the example of Jesus, but is that all there is to baptism? Then
others will say that baptism is just simply a means to be added to any
What do the Scriptures teach on the great subject in the Bible of
baptism? That's what we want to ask today.
Our emphasis is not upon what's popular, our emphasis is not upon
personal opinion, or what others think, or what some great scholars
somewhere may say. Today we want to ask this question: “Is there any
word from the Lord?” Jeremiah 37:17. Or in the words of the apostle Paul,
“What does the Scripture say?” on the subject of baptism, Romans 4:3.
We think about this great subject and what God teaches us about the
subject of baptism. What are the purposes of baptism in the Bible? Number
one the Bible teaches baptism is to save one's soul from eternal loss. I
want to direct your attention to a passage in Mark 16.I want you notice what
the Bible says in verse 16. In giving the great commission Jesus said, “He
said to them,” verse 15, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel unto
every creature.” Verse 16 “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.
He who does not believe shall be condemned.”
Friend I want to ask you to think real seriously about Jesus' words
here. I hear people say ‘Baptism is not essential. It's not necessary to
salvation. It's a good sign of something you ought to do, but you do not
have to be baptized to be saved.’ What did Jesus say right here in Mark
16:16? “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.”
Now let's just take the different parts of that and see if they're
essential. Would you say belief is essential? Well that's what Jesus said
too. But Jesus did not say ‘He who believes is saved.’ “He who believes
and is baptized will be saved.” Did Jesus give two conditions that are
essential to salvation in this verse? You bet He did! It it's kind of like this it's
kind of like saying ‘he who eats and drinks will be satisfied.’ If I eat only, I'm
not completely satisfied. If I drink only, I'm not completely satisfied. Both
conditions are necessary to receive the desired result salvation is the end
result. Christ said “You've got to believe and be baptized to be saved.”
I'll hear sometimes people say ‘Well Jesus didn't say at the end of
that verse he who does not believe and is not baptized will be condemned.’
First let's remember what He did say. He did say “He who believes and is
baptized will be saved.” It would be utterly ridiculous for Jesus to say ‘He
who believes, and oh yeah even though you don't believe, if you're not
baptized, you'll be condemned.’ If you don't believe, you're not even a
candidate to be baptized. If you do believe, you do have real faith; naturally
you're going to follow that up by obeying God's plan of salvation. So the
emphasis here, the clear emphasis of Scripture, is that baptism saves one
Why does the soul needs saving? From sin. The soul needs to be
saved from the consequences of sin and every accountable adult has to
face those. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” Romans
3:23. “The wages of sin is death,” Romans 6:23. I contact the blood of
Jesus and its soul saving power, Romans 6:3-4, when I obey God's plan of
salvation which includes being baptized to be saved, Mark 16:16.
Now listen carefully there are a host of religious preachers, there are
a host of commentaries, there a host of false ideas out there about baptism
and a majority of those will say baptism doesn't save. Friend just remember
what the Lord said. “He who believes and is baptized will be saved,” with
the truth of these words we say this ‘let God be true and every man a liar,’
And so, we think about the importance of baptism in the salvation of
Secondly as we think about the purposes of baptism in the New
Testament, we also realize that one of the purposes of baptism is it puts
one into God's kingdom. It's how I become a part of God's kingdom, God's
church, and the saved. Now let me illustrate from the words of Jesus to
Nicodemus. If you've got your Bible handy, I want you look in John 3 at
Jesus' discourse with Nicodemus here. Nicodemus comes to Jesus with a
question. Here's what the Bible says verse 1 of John 3, “There was a man
of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to
Jesus by night and said ‘Rabbi we know that you're a teacher come from
God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.’
Jesus answered and said him, ‘Most assuredly I say to you unless one is
born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said, ‘How can
a man be born when he's old? Can he enter a second time into his
mother's womb and be born?’ Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly I say to
you unless one is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom
Now friend as we think about this passage and its purpose relative to
becoming a part of God's kingdom, we want to ask first: What is the
kingdom of God? What's Jesus talking about here? I've got to be born of
water to get in the kingdom. What's the kingdom? Friend the kingdom is the
church. The kingdom is the saved. The kingdom is the place of refuge for
God's people which will ultimately be ushered to Heaven. How do we know
that? Jesus spoke about the kingdom in Matthew 16:18-19. Jesus said to
Peter who had just said ‘You're the Christ the Son of the living God.’ Jesus
said, “Upon that rock I'll build my church, and I will give to you the keys of
What's the kingdom? Kingdom's the church. It's the saved today.
Remember Acts 2:47? “The Lord added to the church daily those who are
being saved.” Now friend this is such a significant idea because to become
a part of the Lord's kingdom, I've got to be born again. I'll assure you, you
want to be a part of that kingdom. For the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:24
that “Christ is coming back and when He returns to the Father He will
receive the kingdom unto the Father.” At the second coming of Christ those
were taken to be with God are in the kingdom. Now listen again to John
3:5, “Unless,” that’s pretty strong language ‘except,’ ‘if and only if,’ the ‘only
way’ is the idea. “Unless a man is born of water and the spirit he cannot
enter the kingdom of God.” You cannot get into God's kingdom, which is
the church, which are those who are one day going to be with God in
heaven, unless you're born of water.
Now Nicodemus was confused a lot like some are confused today.
Some will say ‘Well that's natural birth.’ Some will say that means when
you're born that happens. Nicodemus said, ‘What do you mean be born
again? Lord you want me to go back up into my mother's womb and be
born again when I'm an old man? That can't happen.’ Jesus explained,
“Unless one is born of water and the spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of
We're born again by the word of God which the spirit inspired, 1 Peter
1:22 following. We're born again when we're buried with Christ in baptism,
and we're raised to walk in newness of life, Romans 6:3-4.
Now a third purpose for baptism that we find in the New Testament is
to get into Christ. Look at your Bible. Take your Bible and look with me in
Galatians 3, and I want you to see what the Scripture says about baptism in
verse number 27. Paul said, “For as many of you as were baptized into
Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” What's the purpose? What's
one of the purposes of baptism? To get into Christ.
Now why is that so important? Well here's why, Ephesians 1 verse 3
says, “All spiritual blessings are ours in Christ.” So, every spiritual blessing:
peace, love, joy, happiness all of God's blessings, they're in Christ,
Ephesians 1:3. Now 2 Timothy 2:10 says this, “Salvation is in Christ.” I
want you to think about this in your mind, imagine you've got a circle over
here and this circle represents being in Christ. All spiritual blessings are
here, salvation's here. I'm outside of Christ. How do I get into Christ where
salvation is and where all spiritual blessings are? “As many of you as were
baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” You cannot have
Christ, be in Christ, and obtain the blessings that Christ wants to give,
without being baptized into Christ. The Bible teaches Romans 6:1-4 and
Galatians 3:27 that the biblical way to get into Christ is through baptism.
A fourth purpose in the Scripture for baptism is to remove one sins or
to have one sins washed away. Now listen carefully as we say baptism
washes away sins reading from the Scripture, as we say baptism is for the
remission of sins, we're not saying that there something mystical or magical
in the water. It’s simply the answer of a good conscience, 1 Peter 1 and 1
Peter 3:20-21. But friend listen carefully, the Bible also teaches baptism is
essential to have my sins washed away.
Now let's preface this by understanding the horrible consequences of
having sin in one's life. “The soul who sins shall surely die,” Ezekiel 18:4.
“The wages of sin is death,” Romans 6:23. “Sin separates a man from
God,” Isaiah 59:1-2.
Friend if I can know when the moment in time occurs when sins are
removed I can know when I'm saved. Two verses that I want to direct your
attention to and both are in the book of Acts. I want you to look in Acts 2,
and I want you to look at what the Bible says in verse 38. That's Acts
chapter 2 the first gospel sermon is preached to those who killed their
Savior. In Acts 2:38 the Bible says “After they asked ‘Men and brethren
what shall we do?’” The Scripture records, “Then Peter said to them,
‘Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ,’
Notice now, ‘for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the
Holy Spirit.’” Why did Peter say repent and be baptized? For the remission
of sins. Must one repent to have his sins washed away? Absolutely! Acts
3:19 “Repent and be converted that your sins might be blotted out.” Must
one be baptized to have a sins washed away? Absolutely!
I'll often hear people say, as it relates to Acts 2:38, that that word ‘for’
there which the Greek word eis, literally means ‘because of.’ Friend you
don't find that word being used that way 99% of the time in the New
Testament, and we have an identical syntactical Greek corollary passage
which helps us to understand that Greek syntax. Here's what we mean by
that. If I can find a passage where that phrase ‘for the remission of sins’ is
used in another place, and I can understand it, friend, I can understand it
here as well. Let me illustrate from the Scriptures.
Matthew 26:28 Jesus, in instituting the Lord's supper, said “This is my
blood of the new covenant shed for many,” listen now, “for the forgiveness
of sin,” same as Acts 2:38. Now, question: does that word “for” in Matthew
26:28 me because of this is my blood shed for many because sins are
already forgiven? Of course not! That's ludicrous to say the blood of Christ
was given because men sins were already forgiven. Same Greek structure
in Acts 2:38 one will say that means ‘because of.’ The good thing is I know
I contact the blood of Jesus at the point of baptism, Romans 6:3-4. Baptism
is for the remission of sins. When one is baptized in obedience to the
gospel, his sins are remitted.
Now a second passage helps us to understand that and that's Acts
22, and I want to direct your attention to verse number 16. Now
remembering the conversion of Saul, who we know now as Paul, in Acts 9
God told Saul ‘you go into the city and it will be told you what you must do.’
Here is what Paul had to do Acts 22:16 Ananias comes to Saul he says,
‘And now why are you waiting?’ listen now, ‘Arise and be baptized and
wash away your sins calling on the name the Lord.’ Why did Ananias tell
Saul of Tarsus to be baptized? ‘To wash away your sins.’ Obedience to the
gospel plan of salvation which culminates in baptism is for the removal and
for the washing away of sins.
Again, we’re not saying there is something mystical or magical in the
water. It's the answer of a good conscience. It’s when God tells me to do it
and I obey God by doing what He says. Friend listen carefully, one cannot
have their sins removed. The Bible does not say belief is where sins are
removed, doesn't say repentance is where sins are removed; it says
baptism is the point in time which sins when sins are removed. Are all
those things essential leading up to that? Absolutely! But the Bible also
says baptism is for the remission of sins. Saul had his sins washed away at
the point of baptism in obeying God's plan of salvation.
Now let's mention another purpose that we find in the New Testament
for baptism and that is to get into the Lord's church. I want to direct your
attention to 1 Corinthians 12, and I want you to look with me in verse 13.
That's 1 Corinthians 12. I'd like for you to look in Paul's words in verse 13.
The Scripture says, “For by one spirit are we all baptized into one body
whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we've all been made
to drink into one spirit.” How you get into the body? Now remember the
body's the church, Ephesians 1:22-23. How do I get into the body, the
church of the Lord Jesus Christ? By one spirit, the spirit’s inspired word.
We're all baptized into one body.
Now is it essential that I become a member of the church? “The Lord
added to the church daily those who were saved,” Acts 2:47. It's the place
of the saved and it is the group that is going back to God when the final day
comes. Yes it's absolutely essential that I become a member of the Lord's
church! I do that by obeying God's simple plan of salvation.
Now friend we mentioned it earlier, but we want to emphasize as well
that baptism is part of the purpose of baptism, seen in Scripture, is to
receive forgiveness of sin. Acts 2:38 again says Peter said to them,
“Repent and be baptized for the remission of your sins and you shall
receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” If there is ‘none righteous, no not one’
Romans 3:10, and if the Scripture says ‘all have sinned and the soul who
sins shall die,’ Romans 3:23 and Ezekiel 18:4. I need forgiveness of sin.
God is ready to forgive, Psalm 86:5. God is willing to remove all our
iniquity. Hebrews 8:12-13 God said, “I'll be merciful to their sins their
lawless deeds I'll remember no more.” God wants to save. God wants to
forgive. He gave His Son as a sacrifice. He's made His plan available.
The Bible says we receive the forgiveness of sins when we obey
God's plan of salvation culminating in baptism. You cannot argue with it.
You can try and try all you want, but you cannot argue with the plain
teaching of Acts 2:38. “Repent and let every one of you be baptized for the
remission of sins.” If baptism is for the remission of sins, then friend let's
believe what God says on that. Let's obey His teaching and let's submit to
His will as God wants us to do.
Now we mention another purpose for baptism and it is simply baptism
is to become. I become a new creature, and I get a second chance or in the
words of Jesus ‘I'm born again.’ 2 Corinthians 5:17 says this ‘If anyone's in
Christ he is a new creation, old things have passed away, behold all has
become new.” In Christ the slate's been wiped clean. I get a second
chance. I get a do over. I get to reboot and try again we might say. How do
you get in Christ? Remember Romans 6:3-4? We're buried with Christ.
We're baptized into His death, and we're raised to walk in newness of life.
Galatians 3:27, “As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed
yourselves with Christ.”
What's the Christian like when he comes out of the waters of
baptism? He's clean. He's whole. He's pure. He's innocent in the sight of
God. He's been forgiven of every past sin. The slate has been wiped clean.
He gets to do it all over again this time not living for self, not living for sin,
and not living for the sensuality of this world. He's now living a life of
service and sacrifice to God. Does that mean he's going to be perfect?
That's not what we're saying. We all fall short and sin from time to time. We
now have the blood of Christ, and we're trying to walk in the light and do
what God wants us to do in this life.
As we think today about this first lesson in our series of purposes of
baptism, friend we want to ask you to consider your own conversion. We
want to ask you to think about your own baptism. When were you
baptized? Did you understand what you were doing? Did you understand
the purposes of it? Or maybe somebody taught you error about baptism,
maybe you were taught baptism was it wasn't essential to salvation, maybe
are taught that a host of people are taught this maybe you were taught ‘well
I was saved two weeks ago and in two weeks later I'm baptized, to as a
sign of an outward confession to be added to whatever religious group.’ Is
that what we see in the Bible? We want you to know today that God loves
you, that we love your eternal soul that our motivation in clearly teaching
what God says on this subject is for the salvation of people from sin.
If you've been taught error on this subject and you've been taught the
purpose of baptism that you don't find in the Bible, then friend all we're
asking of you is to get your Bible out, to study these things that to read the
Scriptures for yourself to see if these things are true, and if this is what the
Bible says. If this is what Scripture teaches, then friend we're pleading with
you obey God. Do what God says on this subject.
Now in line with the teaching on baptism, let's also teach those things
that precede baptism. To be immersed into Christ for the remission of sins,
one's got to hear the message. You can't be saved without hearing about
Jesus. “How shall they hear unless someone preaches the gospel?”
Romans 10:13-17. You’ve got to hear the word of God ‘For true faith comes
by hearing and hearing by the word of God,’ Romans 10:17. Having heard
about Christ, His life, His service, His death, His sacrifice, His resurrection
to the right hand of the Father, having heard that, I've got to make a
commitment to it. Jesus said in John 8:24, “Unless you believe that I'm He
you'll surely die in your sins.” Having believed in Christ, I must be willing to
repent. Repentance precedes baptism. Repentance means I've got a turn
from sin and turn to God. Luke 13:3 Jesus said, “Unless you repent you'll
likewise perish.” I must also make the good confession. Acts 8:36 following
Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart you may.” I believe Jesus is
the Christ the Son of the living God.
Having done those things friend we ask you today, have you been
baptized for the right reasons with the teaching of the Scripture?
Remember Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth will make
you free.” Do you know the truth? Do you understand it? Have you obeyed
it? And are you free from sin free to serve God and give your life to Him
each and every day?
Study Questions for: “Baptism Lesson 3: Purpose 1”
1. According to Mark 16:16, who will be saved?
2. Who will be condemned according to Mark 16:16?
3. According to Mark 16:16, must you believe to be baptized?
4. Who have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God according to
5. According to Romans 6:23, what are the wages of sin?
6. What must a man be born of to enter the Kingdom of Heaven according
to John 3:1 following?
7. According to Acts 2:47, who are added to the church?
8. What does Matthew 16:18-19 tell us about the Kingdom?
9. According to 1 Corinthians 15:24, what will Christ receive when He
returns to the Father?
10. What must a man do to enter the Kingdom of Heaven according to