I Cor 15:3-5
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, NKJV
J. B. Jeter's third wife was a Presbyterian. A baby was born in that home. His wife said something about like this: "Mr. Jeter, you knew I was a Presbyterian, when you married me. As an honest Presbyterian I believe that our baby ought to be baptized." He consented on condition that she would consent to his holding the baby while the ceremony was performed. She thought it would be a feather in her cap to have the most prominent Baptist preacher in Virginia and one of the best known Baptist editors in the South to hold their baby, while a Presbyterian preacher baptized it.
So she consented. J. B. Jeter announced in his church in Richmond, that he would be out of his pulpit to be present at the Presbyterian church and why. That church was jammed and packed. The scholarly and dignified Presbyterian preacher preached and then announced that those who had babies to be baptized would please bring them forward. Bro. Jeter and his wife arose and he took the baby in his arms and they walked to the front. He was careful to get at the end where they were to begin. Quite a number of other parents had children present for that purpose. Just as the honored pastor of that Presbyterian church raised his hand to say the baptismal formula and baptize Bro. Jeter's baby, Bro. Jeter said something like this: "My brother, you and I have been good friends for many years. My wife has been a member of your church for years and I have never tried to proselyte her to my faith. But as a Baptist I believe that we ought to be able to give a thus saith the Lord for all that we do. This is my baby as well as my wife's. Before you sprinkle my child, I want you to take your Bible and read out of the Book your authority for what you are about to do." The scholarly, old-school Presbyterian preacher slowly raised his hand and pronounced the benediction. Mrs. Jeter soon became a Baptist. She said that her pastor was one of the most scholarly Presbyterian preachers in all the South. If he could not find infant baptism in the Bible, then it must not be there. If infant baptism was not in the Bible, she had never been baptized, for infant baptism was all she had ever had. With an open Bible she soon was led to the truth and obeyed her Lord in baptism. The Bible was written to make Baptists and it will do the work in every regenerate heart if they will only read it and obey it.
- It is designed to be God's instructional video of the gospel.
- Before the days of multimedia, God understood the importance of illustrations.
- The OT is filled with examples, word pictures, the whole sacrificial system was meant to picture the person, ministry, and death of Jesus.
- So baptism is also meant to be a picture, a picture of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
- In every baptism you see the gospel, the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
- You also see the professed death to sin, the burial with Christ, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life for the believer.
Rom 6:1-9 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 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. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. NKJV
- As many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
- The believer is identified with Christ's death because in his baptism he is saying I am dead to sin and to the world.
- I have died and no longer live only for myself.
- When Christ died the believer died with Him.
- Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death.
- Our watery grave symbolizes the burial of Jesus in the newly hewn tomb.
- Baptism identifies the believer with Jesus and the gospel.
- Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
- But Jesus burial was not His end.
- Instead He was raised from the dead.
- So to the believer is raised to walk a new life, having died to the old one.
5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.
- Once we were slaves to sin.
- Baptism is only for those who know of their sin and failure.
- Baptism is only for those who are saying that they have been set free from the sin that once bound them.
- But now they are free to live for Jesus Christ and not only for themselves.
- Once we were walking in the flesh and its sinful desires.
- Now we are walking in the spirit living our life for God.
- That is who baptism is for and no others.
- If a person has not changed they are not correct subjects for baptism.
- Matt 3:7-8 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them,"Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, NKJV
- Verse 7 says, "For he who has died has been freed from sin."
- The introduction of Romans 6 tells us that the freedom from sin is the theme.
- Rom 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? NKJV
CON: Baptism is designed to look back at the cross and forward to our new life in Christ. Maybe you have that new life in Christ but you have never proclaimed it publicly in baptism. You can do that. By submitting to baptism and being added to the church you can proclaim to the world that you too are a follower of Jesus Christ
"Baptists do not teach that baptism is essential to salvation but that salvation is essential to baptism." J.R. Graves
This message was preached at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com/