Core Rhythms - Baptism
Topic: Topical Scripture: Romans 6:3–6:4
Signs and Seals of the New Covenant
For they are visible signs and seals of something internal and invisible, by means of which God works in us through the power of the Holy Spirit…
The Belgic Confession -1619
- Great Unity
- Great Diversity
- Focus on Clarity
Baptism in the Scriptures
Why we baptize—Jesus commanded it; the apostles taught it
- Matthew 28:18-20
- Acts 2
Further Examples in the New Testament
- Jesus’ baptism
- The Book of Acts
Acts 8—Ethiopian official
Acts 16—Two households
- Lydia a successful business woman
- A Jailer’s house party
Early Christian Writings
And concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. But if you have no living water, baptize into other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, do so in warm. But if you have neither, pour out water three times upon the head into the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and the baptized, and whoever else can; but you shall order the baptized to fast one or two days before.
Cleansing from sin (Imagery in Psalm 51:2, Acts 22:16)
Identification and Union with Jesus in the gospel (Romans 6:3-5)
Identification with God’s Covenant People (Colossians 2:12)
What Baptism DOES and DOES NOT accomplish
- Identify us with Jesus and his church – his work cleanses us from sin, reconciles us to God, identifies us with new life, as one of his people
- Follows him in his example, is the first step for New Christians – we have no secret handshake or decoder rings – we publically get baptized
- IT DOES NOT – Save you, remove your sins apart from faith/trust in Jesus/gospel
…So they are not empty and hollow signs to fool and deceive us, for their truth is Jesus Christ, without whom they would be nothing.
-- The Belgic Confession -1619
Who Should Be Baptized
- All Christians - New Christians, Unbaptized Christians
- The Question of Infant Baptism
The importance of birth and new birth - see further discussion of baptism and the new covenant here on the site.
Baptism at Jacob’s Well
- Public - Matthew 10:26-33
- Proclamation - it is a visible display of the gospel message
- Participation - it is a community event, not only individual
- Party - Luke 15:3-7
Community Meditation Questions
- How are the sacraments to be a visible sign of eternal, spiritual truths? Why is it good for us to “see” and “participate” in the gospel story this way?
- Discuss the biblical symbolism which baptism carries and the impression each has upon you. Thanks God together for each
1) Cleansing from the stain of sin
2) Identification with Jesus death, burial and resurrection—New life now!
3) Identification with and belonging to God’s people
- Have you been baptized as a believer in Jesus? It is time for the public proclamation and party.