That baptism has profound theological importance and has had a long historical significance is obvious. This does not mean, however, that Christians are agreed on the subject. It has even been suggested that for some, baptism has become "the water that divides."
I. Some Commonly Held Convictions.
A. Jesus was baptized. Matthew 3:1-17
1. John's baptism pinpointed sin's awful consequences.
2. Jesus' baptism identified Him with sinners' awesome condition.
B. Jesus commissioned His disciples to baptize. Matthew 28:19-20
1. The command to make disciples.
2. The necessity of "going," "baptizing," and "teaching."
C. The church immediately obeyed. Acts 2:41; 8:38; 9:18; 10:47-48
D. The church has continued to practice baptism.
1. In missions outreach.
2. In families of adherents.
II. Some Widely Recognized Confusions.
A. What does baptism signify?
1. The Roman Catholic view.
a. A sacrament bringing salvation, church membership, remission.
b. "ex opere operato"-(Response not necessary) (of original sin).
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