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Notes for meeting

Lousianna gentleman wants 80% off instead of 75
Announcements
Youth Lock-in tonight
Labor Day workday and funday
Pond questions
Reminder about the Book store before Tuesday

Introduction

Well today as we begin, we will not be going through Galatians today.
We’ll actually be walking through the Biblical case for infant baptism...
I’m just kidding.
We’ll be walking through a proper Biblical understanding of Baptism and what it means.
And at the end of the sermon we will follow that up with the Baptism of Isaac Whipple and Mary Baugh.
So let’s begin by turning in our Bible’s to and we’ll read .
Read
Pray
If I were to guess, I would assume that many of us in here would be in full agreement concerning the nature of baptism.
Many of us would agree that Baptism in no way saves anyone.
If someone is an unbeliever and they make a profession of faith irregardless of the reason and are baptized.
That baptism did absolutely nothing!
All that they did was get wet.
Yet this has not always been the case.
And it’s not the case in many Church’s today.
In fact, early on in the Church, some of the views that surrounded Baptism were pretty extreme.
Around 306 AD, a man named Constantine had become a ruler in the Roman Empire.
Through a series of internal struggles, he became the Emperor over the entire Roman Empire.
Now during this period of time, the Church itself was under extreme persecution.
And not just any kind but it was a persecution sanctioned by the state.
The authority that was over all the people which should have been there to watch after them had authorized for the Church to be persecuted.
And this man Constantine was no different.
At least at the very start of things.
In 312 Constantine recieved a vision of a battle that was soon to take place.
Here is Eusebious’ description of this battle:
“A most marvelous sign appeared to [Constantine] from heaven, the account of which it might have been hard to believe had it been related by any other person. . . . He said that about noon, when the day was already beginning to decline, he saw with his own eyes the trophy of a cross of light in the heavens, above the sun, and bearing the inscription, CONQUER BY THIS. At this sight he himself was struck with amazement, and his whole army also, which followed him on this expedition, and witnessed the miracle.”
And in this battle, the cross was shown as a symbol and he was told to lead by this symbol.
He did so and when his victory came through during the Battle of Milvan Bridge, Constantine began to favor Christians.
And this was when the Church began to be seen in a different light.
Constantine began to shift the underlaying worldview of the Roman Empire.
The persecution of the Church from the state dwindled and was eventually removed.
And many for years have contributed this to what they call Constantines conversion.
That this vision caused him to see his need for Christ which is why things changed the way they did.
Now whether Constantine himself was converted or not, I am not the judge of that.
But here is my whole point in telling you that.
Constantine although he did profess Christ, waited to be baptized.
He waited to be baptized because he knew that as a ruler he was going to have to do a lot of things he wouldn’t be proud of.
But he wanted to wait until the very last possible moment to receive the ordinance of baptism so that as many of the sins committed throughout his life would be washed away.
Did you catch that?
He wanted to wait to be baptized until the very last moment possible so that all that he had done could be absolved.
Absolved through the waters of baptism.
And he wasn’t the only one.
During the fourth century, many others actually followed suit.
Throughout the age of the Church, there have been many views concerning baptism.
Not that there have been many correct views, but deeply significant differences that divided many of great brothers in Christ.
From Presbyterians and Baptist, to Church of Christ and the non-denominational Church’s, there are core differences in the view of baptism in the life of the local Church and the believers.
Sermon Outlines on Great Doctrinal Themes Why Baptists Are Baptists (Acts 8:26–40)

Baptism must be significant to at least one group of Christians because they call themselves Baptists. What do Baptists believe about baptism?

I. The Only Example of Biblical Baptism

A. It excludes Christ’s which was different from ours in several ways.

B. Trace the story of the Ethiopian official.

1. Notice the stress (vv. 36–37).

2. Notice the sequence:

a. Salvation then baptism.

b. Consistent where baptism is mentioned.

3. Notice the statements:

a. “See here is [a] water” (v. 36).

b. “And they went down both into the water” (v. 38).

c. “And he baptized him” (obviously in the water) (v. 38).

d. “And when they were come up out of the water” (v. 39).

4. Notice the symbolism:

a. A picture of death, burial, resurrection of Christ.

b. A picture of washing away of sins.

II. The Language of Biblical Baptism

A. Notice the meaning of the word.

1. Baptism is not an English word.

2. It means to immerse.

3. It can mean so in entire New Testament.

B. Notice the clear teaching of Scripture (Rom. 6:3–5).

1. Its symbolism is very obvious.

2. It is totally lost on any other form of baptism.

C. It is derived versus direct teaching.

1. There is a case for other positions.

2. All other kinds of baptism are based on derived arguments.

3. Immersion is based on direct teaching.

4. Always prefer direct teaching when it is available.

III. The Clarity of the Baptism Commandment (Matt. 28:18–20)

A. Notice the sequence:

1. “Teach”—make disciples of.

2. “Baptize.”

3. “Teach”—instruct.

B. Notice the clear intention:

1. If we are commanded to baptize those of whom we make disciples, then those who are discipled are obviously intended to be baptized.

2. “Teaching to observe all things which I have commanded” also includes the commandment to baptize.

C. Notice the importance of obedience:

1. It has nothing to do with actual salvation.

2. It is a clear commandment.

3. As a commandment, you should either obey or have a clear reason for not doing so (other than upbringing, etc.).

Conclusion:

Have you ever been biblically baptized? Have you ever been converted?

There can be no question that there are differences among the views.
In the Catholic view, Baptism has a redeeming capability.
Listen to this qoute from the Catholic catechism:
“Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: "Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word."
This view presents Baptism as being the gateway to receiving the life lived through the Spirit.
It has the ability to change something that was not already changed.
In this view, Baptism is in many ways salvific.
It is the gateway to one being saved.
Yet that teaching does not come from the text of Scripture.
In the restoration movement also known as Disciples of Christ or Church of Christ, baptism is the act that regenerates the heart.
They teach a view that is somewhat similar to Catholicism in many ways.
To say that Baptism is what makes the heart of the person alive to Christ and new through Christ is to drastically misunderstand Scripture.
This view is called Baptismal Regeneration and is actually quite wide in the number of people who hold to it.
And although the Lutherans wouldn’t like to be classified in this view, it really is no different.
So we are now left to choose between two different views.
The traditional baptist view and the reformed baptist view.
The traditional baptist view teaches that Baptism is a symbol of Christ’ saving work.
Which I would agree with for the most part but I think there is more to it than that.
I hold to the Reformed Baptist position that says that Baptism is not only a symbol of Christ’ saving work, but it is also a Sacrament of the New Covenant.
It is the replacement for circumcision as the sign and the seal of the covenant.
But before I go much farther, we need to address one other issue real quick.
I know that many here today for years had or may even still have an aversion to the title of Baptist.
But I ask you this question in hopes of engaging you for a moment.
If I could remove the stigma of a Baptist stigma in the name Baptist, would you be open to the terminology?
Would you at the very least be open to saying that what you believe is baptistic in it’s nature?
Now listen, my goal is not to turn you into a 1689 London Baptist Affirmer.
Wait, that’s not really true, I would love it if everyone in here would adopt those views.
But today, my goal on the other hand is to point you to the text of Scripture and ask the question, is this what you believe?
And if so, irregardless of whether you like the terminology, that category of thought is where you fall.
Now I say all this very cautiously as I have someone extremely close to me who hates titles.
She’s fine with being called a Christian or a Calvinist even, but that’s about it.
And I understand that.
In today’s culture, these names carry stigmas alongside of them.
In fact I had to adopt Dr. Allen’s approach when someone asks me if I’m a Calvinist.
Because often times their question carries with it a whole slew of issues that I would not affirm.
And it is no different with any other term that’s out there.
I mean how many people in the U.S. would tell you that yes they’re a Christian if you asked them?
According to Pew Research, 70.6% of people would tell you that they’re Christians.
Yet of those, 44% of them also said that they weren’t sure that only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation.
Notice an issue here?
Many of these people are holding to a title where they have absolutely no understanding of what it means.
Do you know how many times in evangelism someone has corrected me when I asked them if they were a Christian?
Many times over their response would be that they’re not a Christian, they’re a Baptist or they’re a Lutheran or something along those lines.
....Wow, I didn’t realize those were different, maybe I should go back to school.... :)
I say all that to say this, there is a reason why the term baptist exists.
It defines something very crucial about what they believe.
It defines the form and their view of Baptism.
Now there are other issues that come along side of this term, but nonetheless as you might have figured by the name.
Baptist are Baptist because of their view concerning Baptism.
And the main text for their view comes from this passage.
So now the question then becomes this, what do baptist believe about baptism?
What we find here in this text is the practice of Baptism after the resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ.
Which makes it our only example of a Baptism where we see the earliest Church’s mode, method and requirements for salvation.
This view excludes Christ’s baptism which was different from ours in many ways.
Jesus’s Baptism wasn’t reflective of salvation.
Jesus had no need of having His heart made new through the good news of the Gospel.
He was the Gospel.
Instead Jesus’ baptism was done in obedience.
In we find this account of Jesus being baptized.
And in verse 11 John says this, I Baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.
Notice that John’s baptism was being done so that those coming forward may repent.
John’s Baptism was so that a person might come forward and repent and be made right with God.
It was a preparing of the people for the coming of the Messiah.
This was the baptism that Jesus underwent.
And in verse 14 John makes it clear that he should be the one being baptized by Jesus, and yet here Jesus stands ready to be baptized.
If we had a little more time we could walk through that text and see much more but for today we’ll leave it at that.
Matthew clearly shows that Jesus had no need to be baptized but instead was the one who was to be baptizing.
This was Jesus sharing in the very Baptism of the people for the sake of joining humanity to be the one to fulfill all righteousness.
So while Christ’ baptism isn’t the same as ours today, it was the predecessor to it.
Now the Ethiopian Eunuch on the other hand, his baptism is a direct representation of our practice today.
As you walk through our text for the day, we find the Ethiopian Eunuch.
The book of Acts shows us things that transpired during the earliest parts of the Church.
And because this was the early Church, certain things were taking place that aren’t common place for us today.
A good example of that would be that we don’t have Apostles today.
We don’t have prophetic gifts in the same way as the early Church.
We don’t have the gift of healing flowing through the Church today.
The list could really go on for quite some time but the point is that we’re not the 1st century Church.
And since the foundation of the Church has been laid, some of what was seen in the early Church are not seen today.
Therefore we should be very careful in using the book of Acts as the standard bearer for common practice within the Church.
However when it comes to baptism, this is a great example for us to follow.
Our first introduction to the man shows him traveling along trying to understand .
And in his reading of this text you can almost see a stress about his situation.
He is returning from worshipping in Jerusalem and is really struggling to understand what it is that he’s encountered in this text.
We can see that from Phillips question of whether he understands what he is reading.
And his response was how can I understand this?
Someone’s gotta explain it to me because I can’t make heads or tails of it.
Now that’s the Cory Special translation but it covers the gist of what was said.
And Phillip began telling the Eunuch about Jesus.
How He was the sheep led to the Slaughter.
He was the one spoken of who would be the redeemer for mankind.
And notice what happens.
Without a command to repent.
Without an alter call if you will, the heart of this Eunuch was transformed.
And through the reading of this passage, he saw that this person being spoken of wasn’t the Psalmist but it was the promised Messiah.
He knew that he needed to repent.
And he knew that he needed to look unto Christ and follow in obedience.
He was redeemed and in his heart his desire was instantly transformed to follow Christ in obedience.
Notice the sequence here.
He was redeemed prior to his salvation.
No man can say with full honesty that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the giver of life and the only way unless they have been made new through Him.
So the idea that is often times portrayed by those who would lean toward Baptismal Regeneration is squashed here.
The Eunuch’s heart was transformed prior to ever touching the water.
That thought is consistent with the rest of Scriptures teaching which is one of the many reasons we adhere to it.
Notice something else here, Phillip didn’t need to point him to be baptized.
The Eunuch on his own accord asked if there was anything that prevented him from being baptized.
Phillip didn’t offer it up.
It was almost as if the burning desire of the Eunuchs heart after that regeneration was to walk in obedience to the Father.
Which leads us to the next point here.
Baptism is done out of obedience to Christ.
It’s not done for any other reason.
Someone who has been changed in the heart through the Gospel will have a desire to be baptized.
Now let me preface that statement with a couple things.
Many people have been told that they should wait for baptism to see the fruit of the Spirit in that persons life.
And while I can emphasize with why they do that, my question is where do they get that from in Scripture?
The reality is that when and if someone makes a profession of Faith in Christ and they can illustrate what has transpired in their life, they shouldn’t be held back.
They shouldn’t be held back by their Elders or by their own conscious without good cause.
This baptism that they should be seeking after is a very good thing.
It’s a great desire for someone to want to be baptized.
And providing they can make that very same profession as the Eunuch, they should be baptized.
Because their baptism is representing something far greater than merely what has happened in their own life.
It’s a picture of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
Their baptism according to is the washing away of their sins through Christ Jesus.
And this is where the distinction between the traditional baptist view and the Reformed Baptist view really comes in.
It’s the sign of Christ’ fellowship with that person.
It shows that this person is ready to walk in newness of life that has been granted them through Christ.
So as the old language goes, it is symbolic of an inward change that is expressed outwardly.
But it is much more than that.
It is that person showing that they have been brought into the new Covenant through Christ Jesus.
Going into the water is their being buried with him by baptism into death.
And their coming out of the water is their being raised unto newness of life through Jesus Christ.
This is one of the many reasons why we practice baptism by immersion.
First off the word most of the time means to immerse.
However I would add a few notes to that.
There are manuscripts where the word baptize doesn’t merely mean that they are submerged and then come up right after.
In fact the one I’m thinking of uses the word Baptizo for the process of making pickles where the cucumber soaks in the liquid for weeks.
Aren’t you happy we don’t baptize that way? :)
There wouldn’t be any new converts then :)
I guess if that was the case I could sympathize with Constantine :)
Seriously though, baptism as taught in Scripture and for countless many years has been by immersion.
But here is where there can and should be a distinction made.
In the same way that the water doesn’t save anyone, the method or the mode doesn’t save anyone either.
You don’t need to dip them 3 times in the river Jordan for their baptism to be effective.
This is why on this issue, guys like myself practice baptism by immersion as the common ground but in some cases, sprinkling or pouring would be sufficient.
For instance, when the new baby arrives.... :)
I’m just kidding, you don’t baptize the babies when they first arrive.
You wait until their Baptist parents aren’t looking on the 8th day. :)
Okay back to the point.
I better quit making those jokes, I’m really going to get accused of being a Presbyterian if I don’t. :)
Okay back to the point.
There are situations that should allow for us to baptize using a different method.
If someone has been receiving only sponge baths for a medical reason then it would be ridiculous to tell them they need to be fully submerged.
If someone has an anxiety over the water or something like that, we should be willing to budge on our position a little within reason.
Some Baptize by sprinkling and some by pouring.
Others such as ourselves baptize by immersion.
And each of them have great arguments and defences concerning their position.
And that really is okay.
It’s not an issue to divide over.
At least in my opinion it’s not.
There is one other thing that should be pointed out though.
This profession and this ordinance of Baptism should always happen through the Church.
Many of the Church’s today have allowed things like youth pastors to baptize privately during retreats and such.
But the problem is that nothing should happen outside of the authority of the Local Church.
When someone is being baptized on the mission field, that missionary should have been sent by the local Church.
And since this work comes through the Church, the Church should take part in observing them.
The Church should be witness to such great statements of faith.
Because the Church has an obligation to that person once they have been baptized and made that profession of faith.
They have an obligation to help them to walk in Christ likeness.
They have an obligation to shepherd the people well and to watch over their souls.
And that person now has an obligation to their local Church as well.
They have an obligation to faithfully serve their local congregation in any way they can.
They have an obligation to seek after supporting the work of the Church through their time, their prayers, their financial support or whatever else may be needed.
Their lives from that point forward should be ingrained into the heart of the local Church.
I’m not saying that they should eat, sleep and breath being in the Church but they should have a desire to be in fellowship.
Obedience
If you look at , we see this command being laid out by Christ.
The Church is to make the disciples.
The disciples are to be baptized.
And the Disciples are to be taught.
And that should be happening over and over again within the congregation.
The Church is commanded to baptize those who are made into disciples.
And those who are made into disciples are to be baptized.
The idea of teaching them to observe all things that Christ commanded includes the commandment of being baptized.
Before I conclude this sermon I want to leave you with a question.
Have you ever been Biblically Baptized?
If y
As a Church today, we have the joy of baptizing two of our very own.
Mary Baugh and Isaac Whipple.
Would you two please come forward and share with the congregation your testimony.
After their testimony we will head out back for their baptism.
And when we return, brother Charlie would you dismiss us in prayer?
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