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What is New Testament baptism? A recent article in the newspaper stated that it is one of the “sacraments…that transforms us fallen mortals into beings divinized by grace.” Wrong. A few years ago another article stated that it is borrowed from the Old Testament purification practices of the Jews. Wrong again. Briefly stated, New Testament baptism can be summarized in the following manner.

Baptism is practiced in OBEDIENCE to the command of Christ in Matthew 28:19, 20. In the book of Acts it is seen to be the COMMON PRACTICE in the New Testament for believers and identifies our ASSOCIATION because it is connected with becoming part of a local assembly of believers (Acts 2:41). Baptism then is not part of your salvation, but for those who have trusted Christ as Savior. The Apostle Paul wrote to the young minister Titus, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (Titus 3:5). It associates the believer (Acts 2:42) with: a defined body of DOCTRINE, a particular FELLOWSHIP and COMMON MINISTRIES.                                   

Water baptism by IMMERSION is a FIGURE (picture) of the new birth (I Peter 3:21) because the Bible says, 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 (Galatians 2:20). Just as Christ, to pay the debt for our sins, died, was buried and resurrected (I Corinthians 15:1-4), so when I receive Christ by faith as Savior, through the work of the Holy Spirit (John 3) I am placed into the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. My spirit that was “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1) is resurrected to new life…eternal life.

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