BAP-04 - Why Be Baptized? Purposes (Part 2)
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By inspiration of the Holy Spirit the apostle Peter said “Baptism does now
also save us,” 1 Peter 3:21.
We welcome you to our second study on the purposes in this series
on the purposes of baptism.
What's the purpose of baptism in the Bible? Why should one be
baptized? There are a host of people who say baptism is not essential and
not important. But today we're asking: What does the word of God say on
the purposes of baptism in the New Testament?
One of the clear purposes of baptism that we find in the Scripture is
simply to obey God. I want to please God. I want to obey Him, and Jesus
demands our obedience. Do you remember Matthew 7:21? Jesus said, “It's
not everybody who pays lip service but those who do the will of the Father
who are going to be saved.”
I want to direct your attention in this series of lessons, as we're
thinking about the purposes of baptism; we want to encourage you to get
your Bible. Have it ready to look at these verses with us so that you can
read it in your own Bible and see for yourself this is what God teaches on
Would you get your Bible and look with me in Acts 10:48? A purpose
of baptism that we find in the words of Peter here is to simply obey God.
Verse number 47 Peter answered, “Can anyone forbid water that these
should not be baptized to receive the Holy Spirit just as we have?” Now
watch verse 48, “And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of
the Lord then they asked them to stay a few days.”
If baptism is a command of God, can I forsake, can I a reject a
command of God and be pleasing to Him? Of course not!
Jesus said, “If you love me,” What? “Keep my commandments,” John
14:15. Luke 7:28-29 certain Jewish elite who rejected baptism also rejected
the will of God for themselves. If Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to
all who obey Him and if baptism is a clear command of God, then friend
one of the purposes is to obey God's commands, to be pleasing to Him,
and to honor Him with my life and with yours.
Another purpose that we find in the New Testament for baptism is it's
central to the Lord's great commission to His disciples. In Mark 16:15-16
Jesus said “Go into all the world and preach the gospel unto every
creature.” Matthew 28:18, “Go unto all nations with the gospel,” Jesus said.
What did Jesus say next? “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved
baptizing them in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit.” So
the great commission is God wants all people to hear about Jesus, hear
about God's love, and have salvation. What a loving merciful God we
serve! “God wants all men to be saved,” 1 Timothy 2:4. “God so loved the
world He gave His only begotten Son,” that's the power of the great
commission and everybody needs that chance to hear it.
Tied directly to the great commission, to go teach the gospel is to
teach them how to be saved. It's part of God's great commission in that it is
the essence of God's plan of salvation in Christ. How does one get in
Christ? How do we have our sins washed away? When I heard about
Jesus what do I do to get into Him? “He who believes and is baptized will
Now friend we mention then another purpose of baptism in the New
Testament that is when I obey the gospel, I become a part of the spiritual
family of God, the spiritual family of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Remember Matthew 28:18? “Go into all the world teach the gospel to every
creature, teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father the Son
and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things I'm commanded
you or all things commanded you.” And so, when I'm baptized, I'm baptized
into the name, the power, the authority, and into the family of the Godhead,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God becomes my Father,
Galatians 4:1. I can look up to heaven and say “Our Father who art in
Heaven,” Matthew 6:9. Jesus our Savior is the one who made the great
sacrifice in, and we have the Holy Spirit of truth whose words we follow in
What a wonderful privilege I have to become a part of the family of
Almighty God and have all the blessings and privileges that go along with
We also mention that in the New Testament we find part of the
purpose of baptism is simply to become a disciple or follower of Christ. Do
you remember the words again in John 8:31-32? Jesus said, “If you
continue in my word you are my disciples indeed and you shall know the
truth and the truth shall make you free.” How do I continue in the word of
Christ and become a disciple of His? “Baptizing them in the name of the
Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit,” Matthew 28:19. ‘Those who gladly
received His word were baptized.’ Acts 2:42-47 says “The Lord added to
the church daily those who are being saved.”
How do I become a follower of Christ? By doing what Christ says
which includes obeying God's plan of salvation as seen in the New
We also want to mention that baptism is the point which my faith
actually becomes active, and I have a saving faith. Ephesians 2:8-9 says,
“By grace are we saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it's the gift
of God.” Don't get me wrong, we understand without the grace of God
salvation isn't even available. ‘By grace are you saved.’ God's grace, His
mercy, His favor is what made salvation available. ‘By grace are you saved
through faith.’ My faith becomes active when I do what God says to obey
the gospel and that includes becoming immersed in Christ for the remission
of my sins. “He that believes and is baptized will be saved.” If I hear the
words, listen carefully, if I hear the words of Jesus in Mark 16:16 “He who
believes and is baptized will be saved,” and I do nothing, do I have an
active saving faith? If I hear the words of 1 Peter 3:21 “Baptism does now
also save us,” and I say ‘You know baptism doesn't save. It's not that
important,’ Scripture says it does. Do I have an active saving faith? When I
obey God's plan of salvation that's the point at which my faith becomes
effective and active. It is a faith that will glorify and honor God all the days
of my life and will bring ultimately the joy and hope that God wants me to
have in this life.
Now let's mention this as well, baptism is how we express our faith. It
is an expression of faith motivated by faith. Our faith is embodied in Christ,
His death, and His resurrection. Listen to Acts 18:8 “Many of the
Corinthians hearing, believed, and were baptized.” Do I believe in Christ?
Sure I do! Does that belief motivate me by my faith? Absolutely! Our faith
motivates us to actually do something which includes obedience to the
gospel of Christ. It's how we show, it's how we act upon that belief in
obedience to the Lord and His teaching in the New Testament. So faith in
action one believes in Jesus. That faith is put into action and that action
that faith of action demands that we obey God's plan of salvation including
the teaching on baptism.
In the Bible another purpose that we find for baptism is it is an act of
submission to the will of God. I want to direct your attention to Luke 7, and I
want you look in verses 29 and 30 with me. This is probably one of the
more overlooked verses in the Bible about baptism, and I want you to look
in Luke chapter 7 look in verse 29 with me. The Bible says “And when all
the people heard Him, heard Jesus, even the tax collectors justified God
having been baptized with the baptism of John,” now notice this, “but the
Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves not having
been baptized by him.” Listen carefully; a failure to obey God's teaching on
baptism is an out and out rejection of God himself. That being true when I
submit to baptism, I am submitting to God. I am submitting to the authority
of Christ, and I am submitting to the Father of our souls who will ultimately
determine our destiny based on the gospel teaching of our Lord and Savior
Also a purpose of baptism is we express repentance to God when we
follow through with God's to commands to be baptized. It's no little
incidental idea that repentance and baptism are directly tied together.
Remember Acts 2:38? “Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins.” I
repent, and then I'm baptized. If I truly repent, if I truly say to God ‘I'm going
to turn from sin. I'm sorrowful for my sin. I'm going to turn from it. I'm going
to live my life for you.’ What's naturally the next thing to follow? Expressing
that repentance by obeying God's plan of salvation, following that up by
being immersed in water for the remission of sins to commit myself to
Jesus Christ each and every day.
Now I understand that repentance is prior to baptism, and it's also
essential. Luke 3:6 John said to certain Jewish elite who came out “You
brood of vipers who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth
fruits worthy of repentance.” If a person’s not willing to repent, he's not
ready be baptized. Once we do repent, we must follow that up by
submitting to God's plan of salvation in baptism into our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ so that we can have the hope and joy of salvation.
Now let's also mention that another purpose of baptism, when we're
baptized this is how we gladly receive God's word into our lives. It’s not this
lip service. Baptism is not just lip service. It is not just saying ‘You know I
want to pay lip service to Christ, and I'm going to do this because I go out
and say that.’ No, when we obey God's plan of salvation we gladly received
His word into our life and we're ready live for Him. How do we know that?
Look in your Bible if you would to Acts 2, and I want you to notice what the
Scripture says in verse 41. Now the context is they've just heard they killed
their Messiah. They are now ready to obey God's plan of salvation. “Men
and brethren what shall we do?” The answer is, “Repent and be baptized.”
Now those who did that what’d they do? Look in Acts 2:41. “Then those
who gladly received His word were baptized and that day about 3000 souls
were added to them.”
You know sometimes I hear people talk as though baptism is an ugly
thing and the teaching about baptism in the Scripture. They demean the
idea that you know it's for the forgiveness of sin. These people here who
heard Peter's words “Repent and be baptized for the remission of your
sins,” when they obeyed God's plan of salvation, they gladly received that.
What's that mean? There's a way of salvation. There's a way we can
overcome sin. There’s joy. There’s hope. There’s peace. There’s
forgiveness. They gladly received that word, and they were baptized.
Friend those today who are looking to please God and not men, they
gladly received God's word about baptism. They don't just pay lip service.
They really appreciate and understand the joy of becoming a child of God.
Another purpose for baptism in the New Testament is it's the proper
response to hearing the good news about the kingdom of Jesus Christ. I
want you to turn in your Bible just a few more pages to Acts 8. I want you to
look in verse 12. The Bible says ‘But 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.” When we hear about the
kingdom, which is the church, when we hear that there is a Savior ‘His
name is Jesus. He'll save His people from their sins,’ Matthew 1 verse 19 to
21, when we hear the power of the gospel, that Jesus saves, that God
wants all men to be saved, that you can come to know Him, receive
forgiveness of sins, and that you can be a child of God, and have the hope
of heaven, when I hear that and when I hear about the church and Christ
being the head of there being one body and that church being God saved
today, what's the proper response to hearing about Christ and His
kingdom? Listen again to Acts 8:12. “As he preached the things concerning
the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ both men and women
were baptized.” If I'm going to respond properly to God's message about
His Son and His kingdom and His salvation, I need to respond in
submission to the will of God and the teaching of Christ our Lord and
Friend another very important purpose of baptism that we find in the
New Testament that is often so overlooked is this baptism it’s how you call
on the name of the Lord. Now let me preface this with some of the false
teaching that we sometimes find today. Sometimes I'll hear people say that
all you got to do to be saved is call on the name the Lord. By that they
mean this, they mean all you've got to do is say ‘Jesus I accept you as my
Lord and Savior, and I ask you to now come in my life,’ in essence to say
the sinners prayer.
Don't get me wrong the Bible says in Acts 2:21 “Whoever calls on the
name of the lord will be saved.” But friend wouldn't we be best to let God
tell us what it means to call on the name of the Lord? Does calling on the
name of the Lord just mean looking up into Heaven and saying the name of
Jesus? I know it doesn't mean that! For Jesus said in Matthew 7:21 “Not
everybody who looks up into Heaven and says Lord Lord's going there but
he who does the will of the Father.” Does calling on the name the Lord
mean saying some scripted prayer, a sinner’s prayer, maybe Billy Graham
started? You don't find that in the Bible. Let's let the Bible teach us what it
means to call on the name of the Lord correctly.
Would you look in your Bible in Acts 22:16? I want you to see from
the Scriptures that being baptized into Christ for the remission of sins is
how you call on the name of the Lord scripturally. Acts 22 at the conversion
of Saul, Ananias now comes to him and here's what he says to Saul, “And
now why are you waiting? ‘Arise and be baptized and wash away your
sins,” watch this now, “calling on the name the Lord.” What does it mean to
call on the name of the Lord? Ananias told Saul exactly what it meant. ‘Get
up and be baptized and wash away your sins having called on the name of
the Lord.’ It's very simple my friend. When God makes a plan of salvation,
when God provided the blood of Jesus, when forgiveness of sin is offered,
and God sets the terms of pardon, then I call on the name correctly by
saying ‘Lord I need saving.’ God says ‘Here's what I've got for you to be
saved,’ and I get up and do that. I've called on the name of the Lord
correctly when I obey God's plan of salvation which includes baptism to
have one sins washed away. Don't buy into the idea that some are saying
‘just say the name Jesus and you're saved.’ Don't buy into the idea of the
sinner's prayer that you don't even find anywhere in Scripture like some are
saying today. Call on the name of the Lord according to the Scripture,
letting the Bible define its own terms means that we obey God concerning
baptism, and have our sins washed away just like Saul did in Acts chapter
Friend a very clear and powerful teaching that we find on baptism in
the Scripture is that baptism is how one accesses the death of Christ. Now
let me ask you this: Can you be saved without the death of Jesus? Without
the blood of Christ is there forgiveness? Absolutely not! Jesus said, “This is
my blood of the new Covenant shed for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
Now if it's true that we must have the death and the blood of Jesus, when
do I contact Jesus death and blood? When it is that's when I can know I'm
saved right? Look in your Bible and let's see Romans 6. I want to direct
your attention to verse 1 through 4. “What shall we say then? Shall we
continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who
died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as
were,” watch this, “as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into
His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death
that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father even
so we also should walk in newness of life.”
The death of Christ, the blood of Christ saves there's no doubt about
that. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin, Hebrews
9:22. When does the word of God say I access the death and the blood of
Jesus? Romans 6:2-4, “We're baptized into His death; we're buried with
Him into the sacrifice Christ made.”
Listen carefully if the Bible teaches at the point of baptism I access
the soul saving blood of Jesus and His death, then baptism is not an
insignificant matter. Baptism is not a nonessential. Baptism isn't just the
outward sign of inward grace. Baptism is essential to reaching the death of
Jesus which everyone believes is for the salvation of our soul.
Let's also realize that baptism, the listen carefully now and I don't
want you miss this point, I hear so many people say baptism is not
essential, baptism doesn't save, you don't have to be baptized to go to
heaven, and I even hear sometimes people say baptism does not save.
And sometimes people say ‘Well you know we heard what you said in all of
this, but you know the Bible never says baptism saves.’
Did you know that God explicitly says baptism saves? Now don't
misunderstand what we're saying. If God says in the Bible baptism saves,
and He does, how dare we say baptism is not essential. Let me show you
from your own copy of the Bible. Would you look in 1 Peter 3:21? That's 1
Peter chapter 3. I want you to look in verse 21 with me. The Bible says,
“There is also an anti-type,” don't miss this, “which now saves us baptism
not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good
conscience toward God through the resurrection of our Lord and Savior
Now look at it again. Does that verse say baptism now saves us?
Well in clear explicit language it says exactly that.
Friend if that's true, then every person who teaches baptism doesn't
save, every person who teaches baptism isn't essential is teaching
something contrary to the Scriptures.
Second question: If God wanted to make it any clearer that a person
has to be baptized to go to Heaven, could He do it any clearer than 1 Peter
3:21? “Baptism does now also save us.”
If God says baptism saves, how dare any person in direct
contradiction to the word of God say that it doesn't save.
Friend we want to make sure that it we also realize that from this
verse, baptism is how you answer with a good conscience. The Bible says
again in 1 Peter 3:21 “Baptism does now also save us, not the washing
away the filth the flesh, not as we were cleaning sin off our body.” What is
baptism? The answer of a good conscience. What's part of the purpose of
baptism? It's how I answer with a good conscience. What's the
conscience? A conscience is just simply an echo of the knowledge we
provided. If I read the Bible and I see that the Scripture says baptism
saves, I answer with a good conscience by obeying the words of our Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ.
Friend as we think today about these purposes of baptism, I know
some of these things we've taught today may be different, maybe you've
never heard some of these verses, maybe the things you were taught are
different than what you've heard today. Our challenge is simply this; all we
ask of you is for you to get your own copy the Bible just as we've looked at
it today in our own Bibles. We just ask you to take what you've heard today
your own copy of the Bible, read those verses, study those teachings, and
friend if those things are true, obey them because God said so.
Maybe it's different. Maybe you didn't understand that maybe you
didn't know what the Bible taught about this friend if that's the case, then
you need to be baptized correctly for the remission of your sins so that you
can have that hope and joy of living with God forever.
Do you understand God's plan of salvation today? Do you realize
there is a Savior, His name is Jesus, and He can save His people from
their sins? Matthew 1 verses 19 to 21. Do you realize He lived that perfect
life? Hebrews 4:15. He gave His life as a sacrifice for sin on the cross and
died there on a cruel death, so that I can have the hope of Heaven. 1 Peter
Are you willing to really believe in Him as the Lord and the Savior?
Acts 8:36-38. Would you change your life, turn to God, turn from sin and
turn to God? Acts 3:19. Would you make that good confession before men?
Matthew 10:32-33. Friend, would you be baptized to be saved for the
remission of sins and to obey God? 1 Peter 3:21, Mark 16:16, and Acts
10:48. If you've never done that, friend we want you to know God loves
you. We love you. More than anything we want you to obey God and
ultimately go to that beautiful place called Heaven.
Study Questions for: “Baptism Lesson 4: Purpose 2”
1.1 Peter 3:21 “_______________ does now also save us.”
2. According to Matthew 7:21, who will be saved?
3. What were they commanded to do in Act 10:48?
4. If we love Jesus, what will we do according to John 14:15?
5. What does Matthew 28:18 tell us to do?
6. According to 1 Timothy 2:4, who does God desire to be saved?
7. According to John 8:31-32, what must we continue in to be disciples of
8. Who were added to the church in Acts 2:42-47?
9. How did the Pharisees and lawyers reject the will of God in Luke 7:29-
10. According to Acts 8:12, what’s the proper response to hearing the good