“It was one of the proudest moments of my life. I’ll never forget it,” Bill says as he reflects on the day of his baptism. “It felt good knowing I was taking a stand for Jesus Christ and publicly committing myself to being a follower of Jesus. I know God was smiling from above saying. ‘This is my child in whom I am well pleased.’” Bill and so many others share these feelings about their day of baptism. But, just what is baptism and why is it so important for a disciple of Jesus? It’s an important subject in the Bible and in our lives; so let’s take a closer look.
Read verses 25-32 and describe some practical ways you can take off the old and put on the new.
Baptism proclaims that our old self is put to death, and the new self has been raised in Christ. How does the Apostle Paul describe his death to the old self in Galatians 2:20?
We already see that baptism represents our old life or self being buried with Christ. We also learn that the word baptize means “to dip, to plunge under, to submerge.” The words “pour” or “sprinkle” are not used regarding people being baptized in the Bible. Please fill in the blanks for these verses.
Mark 1:10 “As Jesus was _____ the water”
Acts 8:38 “Then both Philip and the eunuch _____ _____ the water”
Acts 8:39 “When they _____ the water”
This aspect of baptism reminds us that we have a personal relationship with each name mentioned. God the Father forgives us and adopts us as His children (Ephesians 1:3-8). Jesus the Son makes the way for us through the cross (John 14:6.) The Holy Spirit lives in us and empowers us to live as children of God (Romans 8:9-17).
An interesting account about baptism is found in Acts 8:26- 40. What does the eunuch ask Philip right after hearing and accepting the gospel message?
As you have seen through this study, baptism is commanded
by Jesus for all those who would follow him. You have also observed that baptism is pictured throughout the book of Acts as a response carried out by people who hear and believe the Gospel of Jesus. -Sometimes, people raised in other Christian traditions were presented for baptism as babies or very young children by their parents. Babies and very young children cannot confess their own faith in Jesus and choose to be baptized.
Matthew 28:19-20 tells us we are to make disciples of all nations. The first step a disciple takes is the step of believers’ baptism. With this step the disciple is declaring he or she has truly laid down his or her life to follow Christ. Now that you’ve investigated what the Bible teaches about baptism, write down any decisions you are making as a result of what you have learned. If you were already baptized as a true follower of Christ, then write down what that day meant to you. May your baptism be a great day reminding you of what Christ has done for you and your public commitment to follow Him.
Complete your Daily Bread calendar in the front inside cover of this book. Record the scriptures that speak to you each day.
Practice your Memory Verse for this week. Memorize it to hide God’s Word in your heart.
Review your Prayer List in the back inside cover of this book. Ask God who you can pray for and share with this week.