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6: Baptism (Steve Atwood)

04 Jul

Steve Atwood, pastor/teacher of ‘Grace Bible Church Chattanooga Tennessee’.
Understandingyourbible.com

King James Bible (KJV A.V. 1611). The KJV is NOT copy-right protected! It can be downloaded for free at: http://www.bibleprotector.com/KJB-PCE-MINION.pdf
e-sword.net (a free Bible software)

Watch the bible study, and read along! Thanks for your time, and have a nice day!

Daniel,

youtube.com/romansthruphilemon

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Rightly dividing the word of truth is simply to distinguish between the Scriptures that were written to the nation Israel and the Scriptures were written to the church the body of Christ.

The old testament
The gospels: Matthew-John. The life of Jesus Christ and his earthly ministry, where he trained 12 men (disciples) to preach the gospel of the Kingdom. Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry to the nation Israel; to the Jews.
Acts 1-8: The ministry of the twelve disciples continues.
Acts 9: Paul is saved – given the gospel of the grace of God.
Paul’s epistles: Romans-Philemon.
The gospel of the grace of God
Committed to Paul
Paul the apostle of the gentiles
The dispensation of the grace of God
The church the body of Christ
Hebrew epistles: Hebrews-Revelation.
The doctrine of these books will match that of the kingdom gospel in Matthew-John.
Primarily emphasis is on the tribulation and the millennial kingdom.

I’ll talk to you about something that is is very controversial among some people: water baptism. I want us to consider what the Bible has to say about baptism. Maybe you’ve never considered this?! Maybe you’ve always considered that water baptism was the thing to do; either to be immersed or sprinkled?! I want to present some information about water baptism that may be a little bit different than what you’ve heard previously.

Ephesians 4:1-6
1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

It’s very interesting that the apostle Paul would say there that there is one baptism. I know that that has to be in relation to the church; the body of Christ. Paul is the apostle to the Gentiles. He was given the dispensation of grace of God, and Paul’s doctrine is to the church the body of Christ, during the dispensation of grace; a period of time in which we are living today. Now when Paul said that there’s one baptism, he must be talking in relation to the church, for in Matthew chapter 3 we find that obviously there would be a contradiction in the Scriptures, if we did not rightly divide the word of truth. In other words, if we don’t distinguish between what Paul said to the church, and what Christ taught the nation Israel, then there is going to be contradictions in the Bible, and personally I don’t believe there are any. I believe the Bible is perfect, pure and that it is the preserved word of God, and that you can understand the Scriptures by comparing Scripture with Scripture and by rightly dividing the word of truth.

In Matthew 3, John comes forth preaching the kingdom of heaven is at hand:

Matthew 3:1-12
1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Now, he lists there (verse 12) three baptisms: with water, with the Holy Ghost and with fire. Now, I want us to notice those 3 baptisms, and how that those are associated with the nation Israel. First of all I want you to notice that the baptism of repentance was water baptism. You see, there are people today who practice water baptism and they believe in baptismal regeneration; that a person must be baptized in order to be saved. On the other hand there are those people who say “no baptism is not necessary for salvation, but we practice water baptism in obedience to the Lord”. Well, I don’t believe you can have it both way, because we find that the baptism of Matthew-Mark-Luke-John and the baptism of Acts 2 was not optional. Now, I do not believe that a person has to be baptized today to be saved. I believe that salvation is by grace through faith, without any works, and I’m sure that’s what the Bible declares, but there are many people today who try to have it both ways. They may say “well, we don’t believe it for salvation, but we believe it ought to be practiced by those who are saved”. I want you to see that it was necessary as far as the nation Israel was concerned:

Mark 1:4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

In other words this baptism was for the remission of sins, just like Peter said in:

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

John 1:31-33
31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

In other words, John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; it was water baptism! Jesus Christ, before he ascends into heaven, said:

Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Water baptism under the kingdom gospel was absolutely necessary for salvation!

There is no doubt about that, if you believe the Bible means what it says.

Matthew 28:19-20
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

If he said “this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world”, and then immediately after his resurrection he told them to go and preach the gospel, obviously it’s the gospel of the kingdom. It’s not hard to figure out that that is exactly what happened, because they’re preaching the same thing; the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

It does not say because of. There are many people who try to get around the issue that water baptism was once required for salvation, because they don’t believe it’s necessary, and I don’t either, but they get around the issue by saying that Acts 2:38 should say “repent and be baptized BECAUSE of the remission of sins.” It is for the remission of sins, but that’s for the nation Israel.

Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

There are people today to talk about being fire baptized, let me tell you that if they were fire baptized, they wouldn’t be around to tell us about it it. Fire baptism, that we’re going to see in a moment, has to do with wrath, but at any rate Jesus Christ told the disciples;

John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter [the Holy Ghost] will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

It’s absolutely clear that the tongues there were other languages. It was not the gibberish that you hear going on today in the charismatic movement. They were other languages, and they were baptized with the Holy Ghost; given the gift of other languages so they could fulfill the great commission they were given. That was to go into all the world and preach the gospel. How in the world were they going to do that when they could not speak the languages?! These were Jews, they were Hebrews. God gave them a supernatural gift to be able to speak the language of the people that they were talking to. Those were the tongues of Acts 2, and those tongues went away as their ministry declined.

Matthew 3:11-12
11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

The third baptism that he mentions (Matthew 3:11-12) is baptism with fire. In other words, during the tribulation as God is dealing with the nation Israel, there will be a period of time when fire will be poured out.

Luke 12:49 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?

Isaiah 66:15-16
15 For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.
16 For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many.

Malachi 4:1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

This is during the seventh week of Daniel, and it’s called the time of Jacob’s trouble. It’s the time when God is going to pour out his wrath upon this world.

It is clear then that there are at least three baptisms that are associated with the nation Israel. John mentioned all three in the very beginning of his ministry.

Three baptisms for Israel (not for the church today):

1: Baptism with water for the remission of sins.
It was performed by an individual with and in water. It was water baptism and it was absolutely necessary.

2: Baptism of the Holy Ghost.
Took place in Acts 2, a fulfillment of the prophecy in Joel 2, and as that baptism took place it empowered the twelve to do that which God Almighty had commissioned them to do in Matthew-Mark-Luke-John, and that was to go into all the world and preach the gospel.

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

3: Baptism with fire.
Comes upon those that don’t get the baptism with water. It comes upon those that are rebellious.

Matthew 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

That gospel of the kingdom included water baptism, keeping the law, selling out, it also included enduring to the end, and that was based upon the fact that God was going to pour out his wrath upon them.

Matthew 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

Well, then the question comes up: Why in the world would the apostle Paul make a statement like he makes in Ephesians 4, that there’s only one baptism, when we’ve already seen that there are three that are clearly outlined in the Scriptures, numerous Scriptures about each one of them…why would Paul say that there is just one baptism? Well, because Paul is the apostle to the Gentiles, says he is several times. He says ‘be ye followers of me’ (1 Corinthians 4:16, 11:1, Philippians 3:17)

Paul’s doctrine is for the church today (the body of Christ), and for the church today (the body of Christ) there is only ONE baptism.

There’s not several baptisms, he said there’s one baptism. Now, you know people try to get around that all kind of ways. Some people say that one baptism is water baptism. Others say that one baptism is Spirit baptism, and some say that it’s only one that really matters, and that’s the Spirit baptism. There’s all kind of ways to try to manipulate the Bible and Scriptures to make it fit the doctrine that people have been taught by by tradition of men. The fact is folks that there is just one baptism today, and we find it in Paul’s writings. The same man that wrote Ephesians 4, wrote:

1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

The first thing people usually think of is; “well, if Paul said that there’s only one baptism, and it’s Spirit baptism, why did Paul baptize people?” Well, the same reason that Paul did several things in his ministry that was associated with going to the Jew first. In the book of Acts Paul kept the law, he had his head shaved under a vow (Acts 18:18), and he spoke in tongues. Paul did many things during the book of Acts, and he said (in Corinthians) that the reason he did those was because he became all things to all men. That’s why Paul baptized, but you know there is no way that Paul could have been under the same commission that we find that Peter and the other disciples were under. Jesus Christ told them emphatically, it was not optional, to ‘go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, baptizing them that believe’.

What did Paul say?

1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

The ONLY baptism for the church today is Spirit baptism.

The baptism by the Spirit, and every saved individual today has experienced that baptism.
People say; “well, you don’t believe in baptism?”. Yeah, I believe in baptism, I believe in Spirit baptism. I believe 1 Corinthians 12:13; “by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body”. When Paul said there’s just one baptism, that’s the one that I find that he mentions, and therefore I know that there’s only one today, and therefore there is no need for anybody to practice water baptism today. It does nothing but get a person wet. It has nothing to do with their salvation. It has nothing to do with them being in obedience to Christ.
As a matter of fact;

Colossians 2:10-13
10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Obviously, Paul is talking here about Spirit baptism. It’s interesting that people say “oh, no, that’s water baptism in verse 12!”. Well, if that is water baptism in verse 12, then it would only be reasonable to conclude that verse 11 is physical circumcision! In other words, if verse 11 is physical, then verse 12 would be physical, or they’re either both Spiritual, and obviously they’re Spiritual. In our next session we’ll talk about that circumcision of verse 11.
It’s interesting what Paul says in verse 10: “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power”. There is not anything that you can do to add to that which Christ has already done in your behalf. He died for our sins, he was buried and he was raised again for our justification.

People look at Romans 6, and they assume that that’s water baptism. There is no way that Romans 6 can be water baptism, yet there are many people who say that salvation is by grace through faith, and that Romans 6 is not water baptism, and yet they’ll quote this while they’re baptizing people.

Romans 6:3-5
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up 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 planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

“if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death” There’s the key! How is it that you could be planted together with him, if that’s water baptism. Obviously not everybody was baptized in water at one time. Well, we all were, as members of the body of Christ, identified with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection, identified by that Spiritual baptism. What do I mean by identification?

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

When Christ died on that cross, it’s as though you died! When he was buried, it’s as though you were buried, and when he was raised from the dead, it’s as though you were raised from the dead. We were raised with him to walk in newness of life. Not walk, raised out of water, we were raised from the dead, he died for our sins, we were buried with him and we were raised with him, to walk in newness of life.

1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

It’s interesting to me that there is so much emphasis today upon water baptism, among so many people. You ask people today “are you saved?” and they say “well, I’ve been water baptized”. People equate water baptism with salvation. It’s a dangerous thing to baptize people because when you do, you imply to them that it somehow has something to do with them being saved! Salvation is a free gift, it’s not by works, it’s not by water baptism, it’s not by joining the church, it is by trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ, and that is clear in Romans 6, Colossians 2 and 1 Corinthians 12:13. The Spirit baptism that Paul talks about does things for people that water baptism could never do.

Spirit BAPTISM…

1: …is performed by the Holy Spirit and not by human hands.
This baptism is not one has to be scheduled. It is not one you have to dress up for.

2: …takes place the moment a person is saved.

3: …places a person into the body of Christ, and that person placed into the body of Christ is secure in Christ; “by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body “

4: …abolishes all national, social and sexual distinctions in Christ.

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

5: …makes a person a partaker of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.

6: …makes a person complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10).

7: …is the “one” and only baptism for the believer today in the body of Christ.

That’s why Paul said:
Ephesians 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

Many people will say “baptism has nothing to do with salvation, but there’s two ordinances of our church; water baptism and the Lord’s supper”. I want you to consider how hypocritical it is for somebody who says that you can be a member of the body of Christ simply by trusting in what Jesus Christ did for you….that “salvation is by grace through faith; that salvation is by believing the gospel; trusting in what Christ did on the cross”, then turn around and say “you cannot be part of our local fellowship without being baptized in water”. Why is it that a local assembly would require more of people to be part of their assembly, than God requires to be part of the body of Christ? I tell you why, it’s because of one simple word, and that is tradition. Somewhere , somewhere along the line, somebody said that you had to be baptized to be part of this particular church, so it’s been passed down by tradition. There are scriptures that they go to, but they’re scriptures that are associated with the nation Israel. The word of God rightly divided, when you look at Paul’s epistles; Romans thru Philemon, you see that today there is just one baptism. That baptism is by the Spirit and that baptism places people that believe the gospel of Christ; that believe that Christ died for their sins, in Christ. That’s the only baptism today that needs to be associated with the church; the body of Christ. It’s not water baptism, it’s Spirit baptism.

The Apostle Paul said:

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Water baptism has nothing to do with your salvation today! Salvation is dependent upon what you believe, and water baptism is not a testimony of salvation today. A testimony of salvation is what comes out of your mouth; if you have believed the gospel of Christ, and trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, then you can tell somebody that you have. That’s the testimony that’s important, not going into a pool of water and getting wet and coming forth. It has always amazed me that people who say it’s a testimony of salvation, only get baptized once in their life. It’s not a testimony of salvation, the testimony of salvation is to open your mouth and proclaim that Christ died for you and you’re trusting in him.

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2 Comments

Posted by on July 4, 2011 in Steve Atwood

 

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2 responses to “6: Baptism (Steve Atwood)

  1. Gloria Coleman

    July 17, 2011 at 19:07

    Steve,
    I enjoyed your message on baptism this morning. I attend a Baptist Church where the pastor is so-o-o-o close to being a grace preacher. Most messages you see only grace. But last Sunday night they had a baptizing, because that is what the church by-laws demand for a new convert. Just as you said, the local assembly requires more to be a member than the body of Christ. I haven’t figured out yet how all this is reconciled, so I keep asking questions. I have asked the Pastor to have a Bible study with me and go over some of these same scriptures you used today. This was a great time to hear your message. You look the way you did when I was there. (Smile) Love to Mary and all our friends at church.
    Gloria

     
    • romansthruphilemon

      July 17, 2011 at 19:26

      Hey Gloria. I wish u the best showing this to this baptist pastor. U could show him this video?
      I’m uploading these messages, on behalf of Steve Atwood. I don’t think he knows about this blog.

      Daniel 🙂

       

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