Lesson 15: A Humanitarian by Giving Us Baptism
Study Guide Pages 115-122
More Key Bible Verses
Read Ephesians 5:25-27.
Paul uses the illustration of a husband and a wife to talk about Christ and the church’s relationship. (The church is all believers of all times and places). As he talks about how Christ has redeemed the church, he references his work in baptism. Notice what this washing and cleansing of Christ does for his bride, the church.
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.Read Ephesians 5:25-27
Read Isaiah 54:10.
Through baptism, we have the comfort of knowing that when God looks at us, he doesn’t see our sinfulness but Christ’s perfection. That comfort is the beauty of baptism. Baptism is a way that God makes a “covenant of peace” with us. This covenant is based on faith in the work of Jesus Christ. The beauty of baptism is that even when we aren’t faithful in keeping God’s commands, God is faithful in offering us forgiveness. In Isaiah 54:10, God says his love for us “will not be shaken.” His covenants will not “be removed.” Incidentally, God’s covenant of peace — his promise to forgive — is the reason that we don’t need to be re-baptized every time we sin. Our unfaithfulness cannot negate God’s faithfulness!
For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.Isaiah 54:10
Read and study the following quotes from “A Humanitarian by Giving Us Baptism,” chapter 15 of God—The Ultimate Humanitarian.
Baptism is a divine activity, not a human work. Being baptized is no more a work than reading the Bible. Baptism is a place where the Holy Spirit works.God—The Ultimate Humanitarian, 105
In many cases a person will be saved, or born again, by hearing or reading the Word. (Remember there is one saving gospel but two different outlets. No matter what outlet people use, they receive the same powerful, Spirit filled gospel.) This doesn’t mean, however, that such people gain nothing from baptism. It becomes another wonderful way for them to receive God’s forgiveness and acceptance. At Pentecost Peter first preached to the crowd. He then said: “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, my emphasis).God—The Ultimate Humanitarian, 108
More Questions to Consider
- Since we already have the forgiveness of sins through the Word of God, why did he give us baptism as well?
- Agree/Disagree: If I commit a great sin, I must be re-baptized.
- Agree/Disagree: We lose the blessings of baptism if we don’t live up to God’s standards.
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