Baptism is an outward act that symbolizes the faith of accepting Jesus Christ as real, as God incarnate, as the sacrificial means by which those who believe in him can be forever reconciled toGod. The purpose of baptism is to give visual testimony of our commitment to Christ. It is the first step of discipleship (Acts 8:26-39).
The symbolism of baptism is that, just as Christ died and was buried, so the baptized person is submerged under water. And just as Christ rose again, so the baptized person rises again from the water. Under the water is the believer’s old, dead, heavy, suffocating life. Out of the water, is the believer’s new, fresh, purposeful life.
Do You Need to be Baptized to be Saved?
According to God's Word, Baptism is not a requirement of salvation. Yet, we should understand the call to baptism and the importance of baptism in our faith.
Salvation is by grace through faith alone (Romans 3:22, 24, 25, 26, 28, 30; 4:5; Galatians 2:16;Ephesians 2:8-9; Philippians 3:9, etc.). If water baptism were necessary for salvation, we would expect to find it stressed whenever the gospel of Jesus is presented. Paul never made water baptism any part of his gospel presentations. In 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, Paul gives a concise summary of the gospel message he preached. There is no mention of baptism. In 1 Corinthians 1:17, Paul states that “Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel,” thus clearly differentiating the gospel from baptism.
According to Romans 6:1-10, baptism pictures at least three things:
First, baptism is a picture of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. As we stand in the water we are representing Christ on the cross. As we are dipped underwater we illustrate the burial of Christ. As we come out of the water we demonstrate the resurrection of Christ.
Second, baptism is a personal testimony to us of the washing away of our sins. As we go under the water we reconfirm that our sins are forgiven and as we come out of the water we are resurrected to live a new life in Christ.
Third, baptism represents our personal identification with Christ. Paul declared in Romans 6:3-4 “We were buried with Christ in baptism and we are raised to walk in a new life" as forgiven followers of Christ empowered by the Spirit of God.
Goals for Home Group
Summit will be celebrating baptism November 18th. During this home group time we would love to help all our people talk about the scriptural meaning of baptism. We know that many of our people
NOVEMBER 18, 2018 HOME GROUPS
come from different backgrounds and we want to be respectful of that while pointing to God’s word as we learn to exhibit unity in the church. Along with this we want to make sure we take the opportunity to ask people about their own experience with baptism and encourage any of our people who have never followed through with believers baptism to celebrate with Summit in this way.
1. Romans 6:1-10
SCRIPTURE READING SCRIPTURE DISCUSSION
WhatdoyoubelievethatPaulistryingtocommunicateinRomans6:3whenhesaysthatweare “Baptized into His Death?”
PaulusesseveralwordpicturestodescribetherelationshipbetweenaChristianandsin.Heuses: death, baptism, slave, and master. In your own words how would you describe the relationship between a Christian and sin?
Read Ephesians 4:22-24. What is the process of putting on the “New Self” that we see in Ephesians 4 and Romans 6? What can we learn here that is helpful for us?
Read Romans 6:6. How can Christians be dead to sin, but still have a daily struggle with sin?
InRomans6:1-10PaulisexplainingwhatGodhasdoneforallbelievers.InRomans6:11-14Paul is explaining what a believer’s response should be to what God has done. How would you explain this passage to a new believer who may not necessarily feel a great victory over sin in their life?
From what we have read and your own background. What is the point of baptism?
Doyoubelieveyouarecurrentlylivinga“NewLife”?Howdoesthis“NewLife”effectyourfamily? Work? Community?
Jesus has called all His people to walk with unity together. How do we do that if we have different views on issues life baptism? What’s can God teach us when we strive for unity in these areas?
Take time to pray that God would remind us of our own baptism and the new life that He has invited us into.
Children Teaching Element
1. What is important for my child to know before they are baptized?
2. How do I know if my child is ready for baptism?
3. How do I help my child who is afraid to get up in front of everyone? 4. How can I help make baptism a meaningful experience for my child?