|Lesson 12 Page 2
In Heb. 10:25, we are warned not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. The regular fellowship with the believers is essential to Christian growth.
The Church has only two ordinances – Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
Baptism is observed at the beginning of our Christian life. (Baptism is not part of salvation). Baptism is a picture of what has happened in a life when one accepts Christ. The Greek word, “Baptizo,” means to dip, to plunge, to immerse for the purpose of dying (It can never mean sprinkling of pouring.) All Christians are commanded to be baptized. Matt. 28:18-20 - “And Jesus came and spoke unto them saying ‘All power is given unto me in Heaven and in earth, Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
This is a picture of our identification into the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. You go down in to the water = death; you are under water = burial; you come up out of the water = resurrection. This is a public declaration to the world of your identification with Christ.
Notice that in Baptism, you are not left under the water, but as Christ came out of the tomb in resurrection power, so we come out of the water; a declaration of being raised with Christ (after burying the old life) to walk in newness of life with Him. II Cor. 5:14-15 – “For the love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead; And that He died for all, that they who live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again.”
I repeat, Baptism does NOT save you! "You do not need to go through the water to get to the blood;" but , it is the only thing we can do, just as Christ did. Read Jesus’ baptism in Matt. 3:13-15 – “Then came Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbade Him, saying; ‘I have need to be baptized by thee, and comest thou to me?’ And Jesus answering said unto him, ‘Suffer it be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he suffered Him.”
If there are circumstances that hinder you from being baptized right away; that does not affect your salvation. The dying thief on the cross who accepted Christ, never had a chance to be baptized. Yet Christ said, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Luke 23 - Read verses 39-43.
As soon as possible after salvation you should seek a good Bible-believing, Bible-practicing church; be baptized by immersion. Join the local church and become an active member.
Again, I repeat – joining a church, being baptized does not save you. The only way to be saved is to repent of your sins, and accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. John 3:36 – “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
THE SECOND ORDINANCE OF THE CHURCH IS “THE LORD’S SUPPER.” That is: believers partaking of the bread and wine (symbolizing the broken body and poured out blood of Christ).