Exploring baptism

Exploring baptism

We have a baptism service this coming Sunday, which gives us an opportunity to think again about the meanng of this important moment in our lives.

Here's an extract from the order of service at that point, explaining what baptism is all about, followed by some of the discussion whestions we'll be following during the discussiomn after the service:

Introduction

The Bible teaches that all who follow Christ must repent of their sins, trust in him and be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Jesus himself commanded, ‘Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you’ (Matthew 28:18–20). The apostle Peter said, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins’ (Acts 2:38).

Baptism is the formal moment of entry into the people of God, and a sign and seal of God’s covenant. Accordingly, the Bible associates baptism with such covenant blessings as union with Christ in his death and resurrection, the forgiveness of sins, the gift of the Holy Spirit, moving from death to life, and indeed salvation itself (Acts 2:38; Romans 6:1–6; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21). As members of the church, all those who have been baptized belong to Jesus Christ, and Jesus himself invites us to feed by faith on his precious body and blood, sustaining us while we await his final coming in glory.

These blessings are not received without faith. So today we pray that N’s faith would be strengthened and their repentance deepened as they grow towards maturity in Christ, and that God would equip them day by day to remain faithful as servants of Christ.

Matthew 28:18–20

  • Who should be baptized?
  • What else should happen to those who are baptized?

Acts 2:38-39

  • Who should be baptized?
  • What else does God do for those who are baptized?

Romans 6:1–6

  • What happens when we’re baptized (vv. 3-4)?
  • What results follow from this (vv. 5-6)?

1 Peter 3:21-22

  • What does baptism do?
  • Does v. 20 help us to understand the imagery that Peter is using in v. 21?