Scripture: Acts 8:34–38 (ESV) And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.
Baptism is a significant and sacred act that has power for a believer that has too often been reduced to an optional ceremony that some believers participate in! Not in this house!
one of the first disciples, immediately inviting others to follow - John 1:43–46
preached, signs, wonders, impacted a city (Samaria) – Acts 8:6–8 (ESV) And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip, when they heard him and saw the signs that he did. For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was much joy in that city.
tuned into heaven’s voice - Acts 8:26–29 (ESV) Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.”
Acts 8:30–33 (ESV) So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this: “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.”
Acts 8:34–38 (ESV) And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.
BAPTISM defines our formal starting point with Jesus.
possession without contract… lots of grey areas!
salvation is a covenantal act – an agreement with God
baptism is the public signing of our agreement with Him
everyone has a different process of being drawn into a relationship with Jesus, but everyone should have the same process of formalizing the relationship with Jesus - Mark 16:15–16 (ESV) And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Examples of People Formalizing Their Relationship:
Day of Pentecost - Acts 2:41 (ESV) So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.
Saul, Paul - Acts 9:17–18 (ESV) So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized;
Peter & Gentiles - Acts 10:47–48 (ESV) “Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.
Paul and Lydia - Acts 16:14–15 (ESV) One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.
Paul & Silas, singing in prison - Acts 16:33 (ESV) And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family.
Crispus - Acts 18:8 (ESV) Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord, together with his entire household. And many of the Corinthians hearing Paul believed and were baptized.
Ephesus - Acts 19:5 (ESV) On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
BAPTISM is a powerful prophetic declaration that impacts your future.
declaration – what we say sets the tone
prophetic – agreement with what heaven says, pulling heaven to earth
the symbolism: His death, His resurrection
the symbolism: Your past, Your future! 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
BAPTISM is an act of obedience that unlocks next things.
formalizing your commitment to God, unlocks next things, like buying a house, purchasing a car, getting married
Jesus Baptism - Luke 3:21–22 (ESV) Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
Obedience Leads To Blessing: Deuteronomy 28:1–3 (ESV) “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field.
Disobedience Leaves You Less Than What God Intends (cursed: slight, unimportant, insignificant, trivial, minor) - Deuteronomy 28:15–16 (ESV) “But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you. Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field.