CHAPTER 28-BAPTISM #Mt 3:15
Baptism is one of the most familiar subjects to Baptists and we may come to think that we have learned all about it. Many Baptists think they have graduated in this one subject if in no other. But the word of God is so wonderful that we never learn all there is to learn on any subject. Just the last few days I have seen things in the Scriptures on Baptism that I had never seen and understood before. The Bible uses baptism in a literal and figurative way. Literally baptism is the plunging of a person in water and then raising him out of the water. It is both an immersion and an emersion. Figuratively, it is used of suffering and of joy as well. John said that he could only baptize in water but that Christ would baptize in the Holy Spirit and in fire. Christ would perform two kinds of baptism. He would baptize in the Holy Spirit. The first time He baptized in the Holy Spirit was on the day of Pentecost. All the lost who have died physically are in a baptism of fire and after the day of judgment all the wicked will be baptized in the lake of fire.
Why was Christ baptized? Why did John at first refuse to baptize Him? What does it mean to fulfill all righteousness? In what way did His baptism fulfill all righteousness? Only in a typical way. It was His pledge to go to the cross and actually provide for sinners the righteousness they so much need.
Christ had another baptism. "But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able" (#Mt 20:22); "But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!" (#Lu 12:50). This baptism was essential to our salvation. A baptism of suffering.
1. Symbolizes faith in the righteousness He provided in His baptism of suffering.
2. It is like putting on a uniform. "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ" (#Ga 3:27).
3. It ought to be submitted to promptly and gladly. "Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan (sixty miles) unto John, to be baptized of him" (#Mt 3:13).
4. Washes away sin pictorially.
1. Baptism of fire.
2. Begins immediately after death. "And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom" (#Lu 16:23).
3. Continues forever in the lake of fire. "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death" (#Re 20:14).