Bible Passage: Mark 12:28-44
Austin and Jonathan talk about sprinkling, dunking, and baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Discussion Question: When were you baptized and what was the significance of baptism in your life?
Tonight we want to talk about three different understandings of baptism. The third one will be Venture Church’s understanding of baptism.
Jonathan will begin by talking about paedo-baptism, or the baptism of infants.
30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family.34 Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.
Talk about the history and the radical reformation.
The second understanding of baptism that we hear a lot about particularly in our setting is baptism of the Holy Spirit. Some people teach that this is something that is separate from coming to Christ and being water baptized. One Scripture often referred to is in Acts 8.
13 Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed.
14 Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John,
15 who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit,
16 for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
17 Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.
This interpretation of the baptism of the Holy Spirit focuses on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. But see how 1 Corinthians 12 speaks of giftings.
4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;
5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;
6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
7To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
8For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit,
9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–Jews or Greeks, slaves or free–and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many.
But a different view of the baptism of the Holy Spirit would focus on the fruit of the Spirit. In other words, what is the Holy Spirit actually doing in the life of the person who is possessed by him?
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
6 We know that our old selfwas crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,
20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,
21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
So finally what do we teach and practice at Venture-Believer’s Baptism?
The Second London Confession is helpful on this
- Baptism is an ordinance of the New Testament, ordained by Jesus Christ. To those baptized it is a sign of their fellowship with him in his death and resurrection, of their being grafted into him, of remission of sins, and of submitting themselves to God through Jesus Christ to live and walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:3–5; Colossians 2:12; Galatians 3:27. Mark 1:4; Acts 22:16. Romans 6:4.
- Those who personally profess repentance toward God and faith in and obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ are the only proper subjects of this ordinance.
Mark 16:16; Acts 8:36, 37; Acts 2:41; Acts 8:12; Acts 18:8.
- The outward element to be used in this ordinance is water, in which the individual is to be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 8:38.
- Immersion, or dipping of the person in water, is necessary for this ordinance to be administered properly. Matthew 3:16; John 3:23
Venture has adopted elements 1-3 into our own teaching about baptism. As for point 4, even though the Greek word baptizo usually means to dip, we do not think that the mode of baptism is the point of baptism. We can think of instances where someone is baptized for whom it is physically impossible to submerge underwater. Their baptism is still valid. The point of baptism is that it is a sign of our spiritual fellowship with Christ.
We focus on the passages in Matthew, but also this one.
In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,
12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.
13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,