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Buried with Him in Baptism

INTRODUCTION: There are two stages of baptism for the present day believer: the spiritual (Spirit baptism) and the physical (water baptism).  In spiritual baptism, we are baptized by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13) into Christ (Galatians 3:27).  Spiritual baptism occurs at the moment of salvation and spiritually places us into Jesus Christ (Romans 6:3).

Physical baptism is an outward picture and public profession of what happened inwardly at the time of salvation.  In physical baptism, we are baptized by a representative of a local church (Acts 2:41) into water (Acts 8:38-39).  Water baptism occurs after salvation and places the believer into a local body of believers: a church (Acts 2:41). The two work together to make up the one baptism of Ephesians 4:5.

  1. OUR BAPTISM INTO CHRIST (Romans 6:1-6)
    1. Buried Unto Death  (Romans 6:1-3)
      1. Dead to sin (Romans 6:1-2; Colossians 3:1-5; 1 Peter 2:24)
      2. Dead in Christ (Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:12,20)
    2. Raised Unto Life (Romans 6:4-5)
      1. To walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:14-15; Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:9-10)
      2. In the likeness of His resurrection (Romans 6:5; Romans 8:10-11; Galatians 2:20)
    3. Crucified With Christ (Romans 6:6)
      1. To destroy the body of sin (Galatians 5:24)
      2. To refuse to serve sin (Romans 6:11; Romans 8:13)
    1. The Scriptural Purpose
      1. Obedience
        1. The first step of obedience (Acts 8:34-39; Acts 16:30-33)
        2. To fulfill all righteousness (Matthew 3:13-15)
      2. Representation
        1. In His death (Galatians 2:20)
        2. In His burial (Colossians 2:12)
        3. In His resurrection (Romans 6:5)
      3. Identification
        1. With Christ (Romans 6:3)
        2. With other Christians (Acts 2:41)
        3. With a local church (Acts 2:41)
    2. The Proper Elements
      1. The proper candidate: a believer (Acts 2:41; Acts 8:34-39)
      2. The proper administrator: a local church (Acts 2:41)
      3. The proper mode: immersion (Matthew 3:16; John 3:23; Acts 8:38-39)
    1. Regenerate Church Membership
      1. The belief that only those who have a clear testimony of personal salvation should be admitted into the church.
      2. During the second and third centuries, the early churches strayed from believers baptism and began to introduce infant baptism. However, they never stopped thinking of baptism as the way to enter into church membership.  As a result, many lost people were accepted as church members.  Again, the Protestant churches historically continued the practice of infant baptism and unregenerate church membership.
    2. Believers Baptism
      1. The belief that only believers in Jesus Christ as personal Saviour have any reason to be baptized (Acts 8:36-37).
      2. The early churches did not baptize infants.  This came about as the belief of original sin became perverted so that parents who feared for the eternal destination of dying children allowed them to be baptized in order to bring them into covenant relationship with God.  It came about because of a growing belief in baptismal regeneration, a growing control of the church hierarchy on the people, and the marriage of church and state with the declaration of Christianity at the state religion of the Roman Empire by Constantine early in the 4th century.
    3. Baptism by Immersion
      1. The belief that the scriptural mode of baptism was by dipping the entire person into water.
      2. Again, the early believers baptized by immersion (John 3:23; Acts 8:38).  The argument for pouring and sprinkling went like this: baptism is necessary for salvation; some people, because of sickness, etc., cannot be immersed; another way must be provided or these people will be lost; infant baptism further reinforced the practice of sprinkling.
    1. Early Quotations
      1. Clement of Rome (c.96AD) said that they are right subjects of baptism, who have passed through an examination and instruction.
      2. Clement of Alexandria (c.190AD) said, The baptized ought to be children in malice, but not in understanding; even such children who, as the children of God, have put off the old man with the garments of wickedness, and have put on the new man.
      3. Tertulliam (c.216AD) said that adults were the only proper subjects of baptism, because fasting, confession of sins, prayer, profession, renouncing the devil and his works, are required from the baptized.  And, The soul is sanctified, not by washing, but by the answer of a good consciencebaptism is the seal of faith; which faith is begun and adorned by the faith of repentance.
      4. The Lutheran church historian, Mosheim, in speaking of the first century after Christ, states, Whoever acknowledged Christ as the Saviour of mankind, and made a solemn profession of his confidence in him, was immediately baptized and received into the church. And, The sacrament of baptismwas performed by the immersion of the whole body in the baptismal font.
      5. Conclusions
        1. Early baptism was for adults (or those old enough to consciously believe in Christ) only
        2. Early baptism followed salvation
        3. Early baptism was by immersion
    2. Baptismal Regeneration
      1. One of the earliest corruptions of Bible doctrine
      2. A carry-over from Judaism and the gospel of the kingdom
      3. Influenced by the Babylonian Mystery Religions
      4. Men as early as Justin Martyr (c.150AD) were teaching baptismal regeneration
      5. Even today, every major Protestant group, as well as the Roman Catholics, teach some form of baptismal regeneration
      6. Baptismal regeneration became the basis for a number of other false doctrines
        1. Pouring and sprinkling
        2. Infant baptism
        3. Penance
        4. Extreme unction
        5. Purgatory
        6. Indulgences and prayers for the dead
    3. Pouring and sprinkling
      1. Immersion was always performed in the earliest churches according to church historians such as Schaff, Mosheim, etc.
      2. Immersion was performed in rivers and lakes, in private baths, in subterranean waters and later in man-made baptisteries
      3. The sprinkling of water is spoken of by several of the early church writers (including Justin Martyr and Tertullian) as being purely heathen.
      4. Pouring and later sprinkling appear to have been invented in Africa
      5. Argument for pouring and sprinkling
        1. Baptism is necessary for salvation
        2. Some people, because of sickness, etc., cannot be immersed
        3. Another way must be provided or these people will be lost
        4. Infant baptism further reinforced the practice of sprinkling
      6. Infant Baptism
        1. Only adult believers were baptized until at least 200AD
        2. According to Philip Schaff, Origen was responsible for the acceptance of infant baptism
        3. Argument for infant baptism
          1. Infants are born polluted by sin and therefore need remission of sins for salvation
          2. Remission of sins comes only by means of baptism
          3. Therefore, infants must be baptized so that they will go to heaven if they die before they are old enough to believe
    4. Provisions for Post-baptismal Sins
      1. Further corruptions came about from a concern for post-baptismal sins which (it was believed) were not washed away in baptism
      2. The fear of post-baptismal sins caused Constantine to wait until he was on his deathbed before he was baptized
      3. The doctrine of penance was eventually formed to atone for the sins that were committed after baptism
      4. Later, extreme unction was added as a safeguard
      5. Purgatory finally became necessary for those who failed to do enough penance
      6. Indulgences and prayers for the dead were the results of the doctrine of purgatory
      7. In this doctrinal environment, assurance of salvation became absolutely impossible
      8. NOTE: Since all this corruption is the logical result of the doctrine of baptismal regeneration and since the Protestant churches never succeeded in ridding themselves of this belief, therefore the return of the Protestant churches to the doctrinal position of Roman Catholicism is only a matter of time.