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6 Bible Verses on Baptism

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Acts 2:41 “So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.”

Commentary from the sermon “The Biblical Basis for Baptism” by Alistair Begg:

“What does baptism mean? First of all, baptism is a confession of faith in Christ. If there is no confession of faith, there is no significance in the baptismal waters. Secondly, baptism is expressive not only of our confession of faith in Christ but is expressive of our communion with Christ. So that in my baptism I am saying, ‘I am hanging tough with Jesus. I am united with Jesus. I have confessed faith in Jesus. I am all tied up with Jesus. When God looks from heaven and sees me, he sees me and Jesus holding hands, if you like. He sees Jesus and I completely interwoven. He does not see me apart from Christ. He does not see Christ apart from me. And in my baptism, I was displaying the nature of that communion.’ It’s not just a thing! It’s not just an event! It’s not just something you do! It is expressive of the fact that our lives are irrevocably wrapped up with Jesus Christ.”

1 Corinthians 6:11 “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

Commentary from the sermon “New Life, New Lifestyle — Part Two” by Alistair Begg:

“They had been dirty, and now they were made clean. There can be little doubt that Paul has in mind the activity of baptism. Think of his own situation as he recounts it before others in Acts chapter 22. He had heard the word: ‘Get up, and be baptized for the washing away of your sins.’ He had a good enough theology to understand that as he penned these words to the Corinthians, he didn’t get his sins washed away by baptism, but the washing away and cleansing of his sin was pictured in baptism. And he reminds them, he says, ‘Listen, you got washed. You went down in the river. Your friends saw you. Some of the people from those old bathhouses were out there on that day. They saw you. They saw you go down in your old togs and come up in your new clothes. You were washed. You made a decisive break with the past. And behind your washing there was a sanctifying work of God. You were set apart for the Master’s use. Your baptism publicly declared you to be under new management. And the Spirit’s work within your life enabled you to say yes to what was right and no to what was wrong. And behind the work of God making you a place for His dwelling was the work of justification, whereby He took you, who were like this, and He made you a brand-new person. He justified you. He declared you righteous in God’s sight. He declared you guiltless before Him. And all of this by the will and power of the Lord Jesus Christ, by the Spirit of our God!’”

Ephesians 4:4–5 “There is … one Lord, one faith, one baptism”

Commentary from the sermon “One Baptism” by Alistair Begg:

“The reality of who we are in Christ is a shared reality, because the same grace that has united us with Christ, brought us into union with Christ, has brought us into communion with one another. And that picture of our engagement with one another, of our unity in the Lord Jesus Christ, is the focus of Paul at the beginning of chapter 4. He wants to make sure that those to whom he writes are now, as he says, ‘eager to maintain’ this unity ‘with all humility’ and with ‘gentleness,’ and with forbearance to one another. …

“There is one Lord. There is one Spirit. There is one body. There is one hope. There is one faith—both a faith that we proclaim and a faith that we embrace objectively and subjectively, as we saw last time. And there is one baptism. And that baptism is an indication, again, of who we are in Christ.”

Colossians 2:12“… having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.”

Commentary from the sermon “Fellowship and Freedom” by Alistair Begg:

“‘When you were baptized,’ he said, ‘you went down under the water. And as you went down under the water, it symbolized your identification with Christ in his death.’ … Paul is underlining the fact that as the believers exercised faith, they experienced God’s mighty power raising them to newness of life. And that, of course, is something that we see graphically before us every time we come to a baptismal service. As the people go down into the water, they then go down under the water; they come back up out of the water. And in doing so, there is being not performed, but pictured, their dying with Christ, and being pictured, not performed, their being raised to newness of life in Christ.”

Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Commentary from the sermon “A Workshop on Baptism” by Alistair Begg:

“Just as in the physical frame we need to grow, so in the spiritual realm we also need to grow. And one of the means that God has given to us for our growth is in the Word of God. And when we turn to the Word of God, we realize that we are then not only to trust Jesus as our Savior but to obey Him as our Lord. And one of the places that we are immediately confronted by that is in this matter of baptism. …

“Why do we baptize? The answer, first of all, is that we baptize because, quite simply, Jesus commanded it. Jesus said to His disciples, ‘I want you to go into all the world and to proclaim this Gospel and to make disciples.’ In other words, He charged His church with the responsibility of baptizing. And therefore, it is incumbent upon all who believe to be baptized. To be baptized in this way is not an option; it is actually an obligation. Since Jesus Christ is my Lord, I must obey Him. Since Jesus is my Savior, I will want to obey Him.

“So, we baptize first because Jesus commanded it. Secondly, because the New Testament church practiced it. …

“You see, to submit to baptism in this way is, if you like, the first step of an obedient life. And it is a token, then, of our commitment to be obedient to Jesus in everything. Because the new life that we profess in Jesus is a life of obedience lived under the lordship of Christ.”

Acts 8:36“ And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, ‘See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?’”

Commentary from the sermon “A Baptismal Sermon” by Alistair Begg:

“‘What prevents me from being baptized?’ That’s a very interesting question, isn’t it? Because presumably, Philip had dealt with the issue of baptism—which makes perfect sense. Jesus commanded that baptism would be proclaimed in His name. And so, when Jesus had said to His apostles, ‘I want you to go into all the world and preach the Gospel, teaching people and proclaiming the reality and necessity of baptism,’ then anybody who was paying attention to what Jesus was saying would not have baptism as a sort of add-on extra. …

“It would be impossible for somebody to actually explain the nature of the saving work of Jesus without saying, ‘And baptism is the very emblem of this thing’—and perhaps even pointing out that Jesus Himself was baptized by John the Baptist, and not as a baby but as a man of thirty. And He who had no sin was baptized in order to fulfill all righteousness. In other words, it was necessary to do this, … to do the right thing before God, because Jesus was identifying with sinners. And when He went down into the dirty waters of the Jordan, … the sins of the people of God, if you like, were poured over Him in symbolic form. And that which was symbolic in His baptism was procured in His death, because in His own body He bore their sins, which was anticipated in His baptism.”


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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.