New Life 2024 Homework

Week 7

The purpose of this lesson is for you to understand the difference between Holy Spirit baptism and water baptism and thereby examine your reasons for wanting to be water baptized.

What was the problem?

Death – we were without life. Of ourselves, we were unredeemable.

What was the solution?

Life – through the death and resurrection of Christ, we are made eternally alive the moment we believe.

If we understand how hopelessly lost we are and then realize how fully and completely we are saved, we are called to respond to what God has done – this is where water baptism comes in.

Does the Water Save?

No. There is no saving power in water baptism – It’s just regular water.

It serves only as a symbol or sign of your death, burial, and resurrection with Jesus – it is an outward expression of what has happened on the inside – repentance of sin, and belief in the finished work of Jesus. Your water baptism serves as a public confession letting other believers know that you are now a part of God’s family with them.

What Saves?

Mark 16:16 Jesus says, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

Acts 2:38 “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.”

Verses like these appear to say that water baptism is required in order to be saved but note that ‘water’ isn’t specified.

When we hear the word baptism, our minds automatically think about water, but the word baptism simply means, to be submerged. Even though water is implied, most often, water is used to illustrate a spiritual meaning.

For example, Romans 6:3-4

“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 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.”

The reference here is spiritual and because Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection took place over 2,000 years ago, we are baptized by faith.

Ephesians 2:8 says that we are saved by grace through faith and not by works. Salvation grace happened over 2,000 years ago but was applied to you the moment you believed by faith.

The baptism that saves you is a Holy Spirit thing; a spiritual thing not a physical thing. Because of the fall, where were you dead? In your body, soul, or spirit? In your spirit.

So, where does saving baptism need to take place? In your spirit – not your body.

In Matthew 3:11 John the Baptist says, “I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

What does it mean to be baptized by the Holy Spirit?

It is the work of God through the Holy Spirit by which we become members of Christ’s body. “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.” (1 Corinthians 12:13)

This is true baptism and is what Jesus was referring to when He said, “Whoever believes and is baptized (by the Holy Spirit) will be saved.”

The moment you confess Jesus to be Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, the Holy Spirit brings you to life; at that moment, you become a brand new creation in Christ.

The water baptism doesn’t cleanse you of your sin; Jesus has already done that – upon believing, the Holy Spirit makes that a reality in you.

The water baptism doesn’t make you worthy to go to heaven; Jesus has already done that – upon believing, the Holy Spirit makes that a reality in you.

Who should receive water baptism?

If you believe that your sins are forgiven through the blood of Christ and believe Him to be the risen Saviour of the world, the only begotten Son of the living God, you have been baptized by the Holy Spirit.

If this is you, you should be baptized with water. You do not need to be mature in your faith – the Holy Spirit rushes in the second you open your heart to Him no matter how small your faith is and that’s all you need.

It is only on the basis of your faith in Jesus that you should proceed with water baptism. If you do not believe and are being pressured by some other person to go through with this, then you should not be baptized with water.

There is only one reason for water baptism and that is on the basis that you have already opened your heart to Jesus. This is the most intimate and personal moment you will ever experience. This is only between you and your Saviour who loves you.

The baptism that saves only happens once; the moment the Holy Spirit comes in, He’s there to stay for all of eternity.

Likewise, your water baptism should only happen once, where you declare that your history of sin and shame has been washed away in the flood of God’s grace for you, where the old you, with all the lies, has been nailed to the cross with Jesus, and buried in the ground to never surface again, where you have been raised to life as a brand new, and perfect being full of the Spirit of God Himself who will now walk with you every day to renew your thinking until you confidently believe you are the child of God He is pleased with.