pdf of Bible Correspondence Course - Lesson 10 link to Bible Correspondence Course - Lesson 10
Bible Correspondence Course - Lesson 10
Bible Correspondence Course - Lesson 10

The Apostle Peter commanded the crowd gathered in Jerusalem: “Repent and be baptized every one of you...” But is this command relevant in the twentieth century? Just what IS baptism, and does God require it for salvation?

THE New Testament practice of water baptism seems outdated to many today. There are Christian-professing churches which no longer require baptism, dismissing it as merely an antiquated ceremony of a primitive church.

Can we prove if water baptism is just an old-fashioned idea of men, or a teaching our Savior wants His followers to obey today?

A Required Step for Salvation

The most direct Biblical passage concerning water baptism is found in Acts 2:36-41. In his inspired sermon on the day of Pentecost, A.D. 31, the Apostle Peter convicted his listeners for their part in having put the Messiah to death. Several thousand became filled with guilt and shame on that memorable day over 1900 years ago. Their spontaneous response was: “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Verse 37.)

A very good question.

When a person comes to recognize, as this first century group did, that he has been in rebellion against the laws and purposes of his Creator, what should he do?

Notice the inspired answer to that question: “And Peter said to them, 'Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit' " (verse 38, RSV).

The preceding lesson made crystal clear the necessity of real repentance for salvation. But the very next step, as stated in Acts 2:38, is baptism.

Water baptism, as we shall learn from this study of the Bible, is a required step in God's plan of salvation. With the help of this important lesson, we will come to understand exactly what God commands concerning water baptism. We will begin by learning the symbolic meaning of baptism. Then we'll study the Old Testament events that prefigured New Testament baptism, noticing also the practice of John the Baptist, Jesus' personal example, and the apostolic practice in the first century Church of God.

This lesson will answer such questions as: What is baptism? What is its Biblical history? What is its purpose? What is its meaning for us today? Why is it indeed a vital step in becoming a member of the very Family of God?

Let's begin!