Step 09 Baptism with Water

Instruction about Baptism with Water


The Third of Six

“Elementary Teachings about Christ”

from Hebrews 6:1,2


We are studying Hebrews 6:1-2:

Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again 

     the foundation  

          of repentance from acts that lead to death, and  

          of faith in God,

 2  instruction about  


          the laying on of hands,

          the resurrection of the dead, and

          eternal judgment.


Topic Headings:

  • The History of Baptizing with Water
  • The Benefits of Baptizing with Water
  •  Summary of the Benefits of Baptism with Water
  • What about Baptizing Babies?
  • How to Baptize
  • What Should You Do?
  • How Long Shall I Wait?
  • “With Water, Word” (A Hymn)
  • “When the Water Poured on Me” (A Hymn)


The History of Baptizing with Water

And so John came, baptizing in the desert region (Mark 1:4).  A remarkable man named John began baptizing with water.  Who is this man?

Two Old Testament prophecies foretold John’s activities.   One was  Isaiah 40:3 –

A voice of one calling in the desert:

Prepare the way for the LORD;

make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.”

It was John’s voice which was eventually heard in the desert.  It was his duty to prepare the sons of Israel for the appearance of the Seed, “the LORD,” Who was promised to our first parents!

The other Old Testament prophecy of John is Malachi 3:1 –

[The Son of God, more than 400 years before He became a man (!) said:] “See, I will send My messenger, Who will prepare the way before Me.”

The prophet Malachi also predicted that John would “prepare the way before” Jesus.

Also, John would be the messenger of the LORD.  That is to say, the message that John proclaimed was the LORD’s message, including the message that accompanied the baptizing with water that he was doing.

Once Jesus asked the Jewish religious leaders, “ . . . John’s baptism – was it from heaven, or from men?  Tell me!” (Mark 11:29)  From the Old Testament above we clearly see that the right answer is: “From heaven”!

And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. (Mark 1:4a)

The word preaching has various meanings in English, but the Greek word here refers to the activity of a herald.  A herald was a person who went into the king’s realm and announced to the people of the king’s realm the message that the king wanted to be announce to his people.  So, John was performing the duty of a herald.  God is the King.  John was a herald; he was announcing to the people of this world the message that God the King wanted them to know.

John was preaching a baptism.  The Lord, the great King, gave John the words to say about this baptism.

The baptism with water that John announced for the great King was a baptism of repentance.  This application of water was intimately connected with repentance.  Do you remember the teaching on repentance?  Repentance is the great turning of a person, with the result that he turns toward God.  You will soon see the wonderful benefits that God gives through baptism toward that end. (One benefit is mentioned already in this passage, Mark 1:4!)

 [Paul said about John:] “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the One coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” (Acts 19:4)

[John said:] “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come One who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry.” (Matthew 3:11)

Jesus and His disciples continued to baptize with water as John the Baptist did (John 3:22, John 4:2, Matthew 28:19).

The Benefits of Baptizing with Water

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)

We saw this benefit in Mark 1:4 already.  Baptism with water is for the forgiveness of your sins!  John told the people to believe in Jesus.  Jesus would die for the people of this world and provide the forgiveness of sins for all.  Because Jesus did this God can grant this gift to people through baptism with water.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, . . .” (Ephesians 5:25-26)

This is an important passage to understand baptism with water.  Here baptism with water is called the washing with water through the word.  The water is not alone; the word of God is connected to this water.  We saw this idea before as we considered that John the Baptist was preaching a baptism.

Notice what the loving Christ accomplishes by the washing with water through the word – He makes His church holy, cleansing her!

for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (Galatians 3:27)

Christians are baptized into Christ.  There is a union, an intimate connection, that occurs between Christ and a person through baptism.  This concept is amplified in Colossians 2:12:

[You have] been buried with Him [Christ] in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

The result of having been united with Christ in connection with baptism, then, is that we have died with Christ, have been buried with Him and have been raised to newness of life with Him!  In other words, all the benefits of His death, burial, and resurrection become ours!

For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. (1 Corinthians 12:13) 

Here the apostle Paul says Christians are baptized by one Spirit into one body.  The body to which he refers is the body of Christ.  He means the whole body of believers.  When a person is baptized he enters this body of people!

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, (Titus 3:4-5)

Here baptism is called the washing of rebirth.  Rebirth (being born again) and repentance are similar ideas.  Both are connected intimately with baptism with water.  Being born again into the family of God our Father is a tremendous benefit connected with baptism with water!

Notice carefully the word through.  This verse clearly says that God saves us through the washing of rebirth.  “He saved us through the washing of rebirth.”  Clearly, baptism with water is a means through which God accomplishes such a great thing as our salvation!

The Lord taught the same connection between baptism with water and being born again in John 3:3-5 –

     Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

    Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?”

   Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Peter repeats the idea that baptism saves in 1 Peter 3:21 –

and this water [that is, the water of the Great Flood] symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the promise of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Summary of the Benefit of Baptism with Water

  1. 1.   Repentance
  2. 2.   The Forgiveness of Sins
  3. 3.   Being Made Holy, Being Cleansed
  4. 4.   Union with Christ
  5. 5.   Death, Burial, and Resurrection with Christ to Newness of Life
  6. 6.   Union with the Body of Christ
  7. 7.   Rebirth (being born again)
  8. 8.   A Way by Which God Saves Us


In baptism what is the main thing?

Are YOU doing something for GOD?


Is GOD doing something for YOU?


What about Baptizing Babies?

1) “all nations” include babies.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (Matthew 28:19)

2) Jesus wants babies in His kingdom.

But Jesus called the children (The Greek word is ‘brephe,” referring to nursing babies and even unborn babies.) to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. (Luke 18:16)

3) Babies need baptism.  We are all “sinful” from the time of conception.

Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. (Psalm 51:5) 

4) Babies can believe – “these little ones who believe in Me”

But if anyone causes one of these little ones (literally, micro-people) who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. (Matthew 18:6)

How to Baptize

The word ‘baptize’ means to apply water.  This can be done in a variety of ways.  Please consider HOW the various things were ‘baptized’ in the following passages:

Mark 7:4  When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing (literally, baptizing) of cups,

                      pitchers and

                      kettles (and

                      dining couches).

But the Pharisee, noticing that Jesus did not first wash (literally, baptize) before the meal, was surprised. (Luke 11:38)

1)    Sprinkling

Moses purified or cleansed the tabernacle and everything used in it (and the people – see Exodus 24:8) by sprinkling them with the blood of a sacrifice mixed with water. (Hebrews 9:21)

In this way these things were cleansed and set apart of God’s purposes.

2)    Washing

Moses made a bronze basin for water so that the priests could “wash” their hands and feet from it, “so that they will not die.” (Exodus 30:19,20)

wash away your sins” (Acts 22:16)

“cleansing her by the washing of water through the word” (Ephesians 5:26)

3)    Immersion

buried with Him through baptism”  (Romans 6:4)

This method beautifully shows how the “old man” in us is drowned and dies and how the “new man” comes out of baptism.

What Should You Do?

  •  Review the wonderful promises that God attaches to this application of water.
  • If you have not been baptized,  arrange to be baptized.
  •  Continue to believe the promises.
  •  Daily live in the forgiveness, status, and power that you have received.


How Long Shall I wait?

Consider the example of the early church:

Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. (Acts 2:41)

As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” (Acts 8:36)

And he took them [the jailor at Philippi and his family] that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household.  (Acts 16:33)

Also consider:  Acts 9:18, Acts 10:47, Acts 16:15

With Water, Word

(a baptism hymn)

1. With water, Word You turned my will

    From self to You; baptized I see

    The turning point in life for me –

    The font, the source for turning still.  (Mark 1:4)

2. A bath of water with the Word

    Which both reveals what You have done

    And Who You are, O Triune One,

    Connects me to this Name I’ve heard. (Ephesians 5:26)

3. With water pure You have bathed me,

    My heartfelt grief You sprinkled clean!

    My conscience now by Blood serene,

    To You I come with certainty.  (Hebrews 10:22)

4. Of water and Your Spirit’s breath,

    To new kin, I am born again,

    My Father You, Your son I’ve been

    Since You caused life where living death.  (John 3:3,5,7)

5. You have in mind that I should love

    My brother, sister fervently

    Without a masked hypocrisy;

    For this you cleansed me from above. (1 Peter 1:22)

6. As You bore Noah to the height,

    So by a flood my life starts fresh.

    Your flood is not for soil on flesh;

    It makes my conscience feel all right!  (1 Peter 3:21)

7. All glory be to God above

    And to the Son, the Prince of Love,

    And to the Spirit, One in Three!

    We praise You, blessed Trinity!

When the Water Poured on Me

(a baptism hymn)

1.  When the water poured on me          Alleluia!

    In the name of Persons three,            Alleluia!

    I was joined to God the Son               Alleluia!

    And received all He had done!           Alleluia!

2.  For me He was crucified;                  Alleluia!

    That is when my old self died!            Alleluia!

    Since I’m dead to sin inside,              Alleluia!

    I will not in sin abide!                          Alleluia!

3.  When the Lord rose from the dead,  Alleluia!

    I rose, too, the Scripture said!            Alleluia!

    The new me by faith may live            Alleluia!

    Life such as He came to give!            Alleluia!

4.  Sing we to our God above,               Alleluia!

    Praise eternal as His love:                 Alleluia!

    Praise Him, all ye heav’nly host,       Alleluia!

    Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!            Alleluia!

© copyright 2011

Lyra Publications

Preston, Minnesota

Leave a Reply