THE PURPOSE OF WATER

John baptism was an early preparation.  After Jesus completes His saving work, Christian baptism takes over (Matthew 28:19).  The two baptisms are different. (Those who later receive John’s baptism must be immersed again into Jesus baptism, Acts 19:1-5).  Yet both share a similar purpose.  John was “preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Luke 3:3). Compare this with Peter’s words to the people who are convinced that Jesus has risen from death.

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. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-for all whom the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38-39).

Noah and his family were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves us also: not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God.  It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1Peter 3:20-21).

Peter joins belief with water for salvation (Acts 2:10; 1 Peter 1-3).  Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for it to make it holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word (Ephesians 5:25-26; like Hebrews 10:22).  

Faith and baptism go together for entering Christ and becoming “sons of God.” This is true for everyone (John 3:3-5; Mark 16:15-16).  Jesus set the example by submitting to baptism to show his obedience to God. 

Excerpts from WBS Series

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