Baptism

Sermon for Sunday, January 31, 2017

Baptism

1 Peter 3:

[18] For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.  He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.

[19] After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— [20] to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.

In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, [21] and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.

It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, [22] who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

Translations of 1 Peter 3:21

KJV – “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us…”

NKJV – “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism…”

NASB – “Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you…”

NAB – “This prefigured baptism, which saves you now.”

Which statement is true: “Baptism saves” or “Baptism does not save”?

Salvation of Noah:

1 Peter 3:

[19] After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— [20] to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.  In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water…

Genesis 6:

[8] But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

[8] But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. (NKJV)

Hebrews 11:

[7] By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family.  By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

An old time preacher once said, “A preacher who is true to the Bible will find himself very lonely sometimes.”  As a preacher, I can relate to the point he is making.  And if that is true, I wonder what it must have been like for Noah.

If you stop and think about it, Noah was not just one of many in his generation, he was the only one.

Genesis 6:

[5] The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.

[6] The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.

[7] So the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them.”

[8] But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

Notice that out of that whole generation only eight people were preserved.

What was his generation like?  The Bible says the wickedness was great (Genesis 6:5):

1) There was no right and wrong;

2) the focus was on evil and not good;

3) the wickedness was continuous.

4) Violence:  God told Noah,  “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them” (Genesis 6:13).

(5) Religious indifference:   As wicked as this society was, they had a righteous preacher who was continually preaching to them about what they could do to be saved from the coming judgment of God.

Jesus said of Noah’s generation:

Matthew 24:

[37] As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

[38] For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; [39] and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

Note that Jesus calls attention to their indifference and not their sins.  Perhaps Jesus says this because their indifference caused them to overlook their sins, or not consider their sins that important.

There is nothing wrong with eating, drinking, and marriage.  They were indifferent to Noah’s preaching and what was going to happen.

Note this is increasingly the attitude of our culture today.  If a preacher talks about sin and judgment to come, he is either ignored or made fun of.

The point here is this:  If Noah could stand up against the culture of his day then we should also do this as well.

I believe that we are also living in a time when people in this nation are becoming increasingly wicked as our culture turns farther and farther away from God.

Note the contrast with what was going on in the world with what is expressed in verse 8.  Despite all of the wickedness that was going on in the world, the Bible says that “Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.”

Why did Noah find grace and favor before God?

Noah was saved by grace because of his obedience:

Hebrews 11:

[7] By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family.

Noah was spared because he was a man of faith.  Note our text in Hebrews: “By faith Noah…”  This is why he was singled out in this chapter on faith.

Noah’s faith was expressed in his obedience to God’s commands.

Genesis 6:

[22] Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

Notice our text again:

1 Peter 3:

[19] After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— [20] to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.  In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water…

Jesus also sets us an example of obedience:

Hebrews 5:

[8] Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered [9] and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

Here is the point: A person is saved by grace when he has enough faith to obey God’s commands.

Noah’s faith was expressed in a very wicked generation.

Genesis 6:

[9] Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.

Noah lived in a morally corrupt world and yet he was not corrupted by this world.

John 2:15-17  Do not love the world or anything in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

In 2 Peter 2, the Bible says God protected Noah and that he was “a preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5).

Baptism facts:

1) Baptism is by immersion.

Romans 6:

[4] We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Colossians 2:

[12]  having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

2) Baptism is a necessary part of God’s plan of salvation.

Faith:

Hebrews 11:6  And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Acts 16:31 Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…

Mark 16:15-16  He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.  16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Repentance:

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

Confession:

Romans 10:10  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

Matthew 10:32-33  Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.  [33] But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.

Baptism:

Acts 2:41  Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

1 Peter 3:20-21  In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,  21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ…

Who can be baptized?

1) Those who hear the gospel of Christ.

Note verse 19, “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them…”

Mark 16:

[15] He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.

[16] Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

Romans 10:17

Are all who hear the gospel saved?

2) Those who believe and obey the gospel of Christ.

It is possible to believe and not confess Christ:

John 12:

[42] Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him.  But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; [43] for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.

It is possible to believe and not be baptized:

Luke 7:

[29] All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John.  [30] But the Pharisees and experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.

Acts 2:

[41]  Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

Acts 8:

[12]  But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

3) Those who want to be cleansed.

Acts 22:16  And now what are you waiting for?  Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.

Galatians 3:

[26] You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, [27] for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

J B Myers
jbmyers1@gmail.com

Books:
Faith and Addiction
Elders and Deacons
Life Choices