1. Baptism scriptures: Luke 3:21-22; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 16:31-34; Rom 6:3-6; 1Cor1:12-17
Jesus himself was baptised at the start of his ministry and commissioned his disciples to baptise others. All new believers in the New Testament were immediately baptised. The meaning and benefits of baptism are most thoroughly discussed in Romans chapter 6.
Activity: read the scriptures on baptism above. All the above scriptures should be read together, with 4 volunteers taking one scripture each, and a short pause after each one.
2. Questions on baptism scriptures
- What was Jesus’ first step into ministry when the appointed time had come?
- What is the condition for salvation according to Mark 16?
- Mark 16:15-16 is known as the Great Commission. Who was it given to, to pastors and leaders, or to every believer?
- When did the jailor and his family get baptised? When should people get baptised today?
- How does baptism help us lead a Christian life? (Romans 6:3-6)
3. The name of Jesus
Scripture references for further study on water baptism: Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38; 8:16; 19:5; Romans 6:2-3. All except Matthew 28 show the use specifically of the name of Jesus in baptism.
4. One issue is “who can do the baptising?”
Some would say it must be an ordained pastor or minister. We hold strongly
that any believer can and should baptise others. This can be seen clearly if
we consider the great commission of Matthew 28:18-20.
Who is the great commission given to? Just to pastors and leaders, or to every believer?
The fact that it is given to every believer means every believer is commissioned to baptise others. This realisation from scripture has greatly assisted many church planting movements to grow rapidly. 1 Corinthians 1:12-17 shows it doesn’t matter who does the baptising.
Discussion: who should baptise? How are you going to apply this in your ministry?
Trainees’ Practice time: baptism preparation- practical (40 mins)
Trainer: If possible organise a baptism to coincide with this study. Introduce the following guidelines for the time or for the future.
If there are no people needing to be baptised, or if there is still time, participants may role-play giving teaching on Baptism..
- Make sure you tell people who want to be baptised to bring a set of clothes to be baptised in. A pair of trousers/jeans/shorts and a t-shirt works fine. Whoever is baptising will need the same. If you are baptising in a stony river bed for example, you will need shoes/jandals that you can wear in the water.
- If possible find a place where there is enough water to completely immerse the person in water (see John 3:23-24), as “baptism” comes from the Greek “baptiso” – to immerse. Check that the person believes fully in Jesus in his/her heart, and wants to follow Jesus and be a disciple.
- Ways of doing this are to ask the person to share his/her testimony prior to baptism, and/or lead him/her in a prayer of commitment to Jesus. The prayer can be something like Lord Jesus,I completely surrender my life to you. I have repented of my sins, and believe you died to take the penalty for me, so that I have been forgiven from my sins, and receive eternal life with you. Please take charge of my life and help me be a follower of you for ever.
- When you and the person are in the water and all the scripture-reading, testimony sharing, and prayer you planned are finished, you are ready to baptise the person. As you are helping the person get completely under water say “I baptise you in the name of Jesus Christ – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”.
- After this, there can be a time for prophecies and/or prayer for the Baptism in the Holy Spirit if desired.
Set goals for evangelism and pray for the coming week.
Memory verse – Matthew 28:18-20
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen