Route 8 - The Design of Water Baptism - Mark 16:15-16
Almost every denomination practices something that it calls baptism. However, while there is wide acceptance of it,
there is a great diversity in conviction regarding its purpose or design. Many sects accept it as wholly symbolic, the
outward sign of an accomplished salvation. Others contend that it is a sacrament administered by the Church
necessary for the removal of inherited sin. Still others accept it as essential for Church membership but
non-essential for salvation.
The purpose of this study is to simply learn the purpose or design of water baptism. We will attempt to answer
questions concerning who should be baptized and why.
Church of Christ
Locks Cross Roads
8 - Mark 16:15-16
- Who does Jesus command to be baptized? Everyone.
- What is the purpose for which He gives this commandment? Their salvation.
- Consider what some say about baptism contrasted with what the text really says:
- Quakers say: "He that believes and is not baptized shall be saved."
- Catholics say: "He that does not believe and is baptized shall be saved." (infants)
- Universalists say: "He that doesn't believe and is not baptized will be saved."
- Baptists say: "He that believes and is saved may be baptized upon a vote."
- The Bible says: "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved."
8 - 1st Peter 3:21
- What else does the Scripture need to say to affirm the essentiality of water baptism for salvation?
- The New International Version says "And this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also.." The waters
of the flood were the means by which God brought Noah into a saved relationship by destroying the wickedness
of which they had once been a part.
- Genesis 7:7
- 2nd Peter 3:6
- Corresponding to that, baptism brings the believing penitent into the kingdom of God's Son, purging his
conscience of sin through the sacrificial work of Christ.
- Hebrews 9:14
8 - Acts 22:16
- Saul's sins were washed away after he was baptized. Saul was not saved on the road to Damascus, or while he
was praying in Simon's house. The Lord had told him he would be told in Damascus what he "must" do.
- Acts 9:6
8 - Hebrews 10:22
- In this text the full assurance of faith is had when our hearts are sprinkled from an evil conscience and our
bodies are washed with pure water.
- The only washing commanded by Christ is that of water baptism.
- Therefore, we have the assurance of faith after we are baptized.
8 - Ephesians 5:25-27
- How does Christ sanctify and cleanse the church? It is with water through the word. The only water that comes
through the Word of God is the water of baptism.
8 - 1st Corinthians 6:9-11
- Paul says that the Corinthians were sinners alienated from the kingdom of God before their washing,
justification and sanctification.
- Baptism is the only washing in the New Testament associated with the cleansing of sin.
- Acts 22:16
- 1st Peter 3:21
8 - Titus 3:4-5
- We are saved by the "washing of regeneration" which is the "renewing of the Holy Ghost." We have just
learned that the only washing connected with salvation is water baptism.
- Mark 16:15-16
- Acts 22:16
8 - 1st Corinthians 12:13
- The Holy Spirit led us to be baptized into the one body, that is, the Church, when we heard and received the
teaching of that Gospel from the mind of God.
- 1st Corinthians 2:11-15
8 - John 3:1-8
- Jesus identifies two agents in the "new birth:" water and the Holy Spirit.
- The water of the text is not the "water" (amniotic fluid) of physical birth.
- The only water associated with salvation is the water of baptism.
- 1st Peter 3:21
- Moreover, as we have just seen, the Holy Spirit brings the new birth through the Gospel.
8 - Romans 6:3-4
- There are three things which this text asserts:
- Baptism stands between the believer and Christ.
- Baptism stands between the sinner and the death of Christ.
- Baptism stands between the old man of sin and being raised to walk in newness of life.
- If these things are true, what is the condition of the unbaptized man? He is without Christ; he is estranged from
the blood of Christ, and he is dead in his past sins.
- Romans 6:17-18
- The form of doctrine corresponds to "the likeness of His death" in verse 5. In construction, the form is not the
structure, but it is LIKE the structure.
8 - Colossians 2:11-12
- In Baptism there is a spiritual operation performed by Jesus Christ - "the circumcision made without hands."
- Before baptism we possess the body of the sins of the flesh; in baptism that body of sins is cut off through faith
(circumcised), and we are buried and raised with Christ.
- Before baptism we are dead in our sins: after baptism we are dead to sin and alive in Christ.
8 - Galatians 3:26-27
- Prior to baptism we were "under sin"
- Galatians 3:22
- However, we became "children of God by faith in Christ Jesus" when we were baptized into Christ.
- We are "in Christ" when we are "baptized into Christ" which is when we "put on Christ."
8 - Acts 2:36-38
- Here are men that were convicted in their hearts that Jesus of Nazareth was the crucified, resurrected, glorified
Son of God and Saviour of the world.
- What were these believers told to do? Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins.
- Repentance and baptism are joined together. Whatever their repentance was "for," baptism was "for." Both
are "for" remission of sins: salvation. They were not baptized because they were already saved any more than
they repented because they were already saved.
- Matthew 26:28 uses same word "for," "eis," when stating that Christ's blood was shed "for" the remission of
8 - Matthew 28:18-20
- It is Jesus, the Son of God, who commanded water baptism. He is the Savior of those that obey Him.
- Hebrews 5:8-9
- Notice only those that are taught the Gospel can be baptized.
- Mark 16:15-16
- In addition, notice that baptism is not the final step in our life of commitment to Christ - but it initiates us into the
- Romans 6:4-7
- However, the most compelling aspect of the text is the statement that baptism is in or into "the name of the
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." In water baptism we are brought into a relationship with the Godhead. We are
not in God, in Christ, or in the Spirit apart from being baptized into the name.