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Chapter 8
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WATER BAPTISM AND THE LORDS SUPPER

 

Both ordinances of Water Baptism and the Lords Supper relate to the death and the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In Water Baptism, Christians are identified with the Lords death and resurrection.

In the Lords Supper they remember the Lords death and resurrection.

Water Baptism:

Jesus clearly commanded His disciples to be baptized.

Matthew 28:19

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"

He set an example by being baptized Himself.

Matthew 3:13-16

"Then cometh Jesus from Galilee, to the Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.

But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

And Jesus answering said unto him, suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water:"

Jesus went to the Jordan River to John the Baptist to be baptized of him. John felt that he was not worthy to baptize Jesus, but Jesus insisted. Jesus said that by being baptized He was fulfilling all righteousness. John went ahead and immersed Jesus in the water. When Jesus came up out of the water the Holy Spirit came upon Him in the form of a dove. God the Father spoke out heaven saying that He was pleased with His Son Jesus.

Jesus personally baptized many disciples.

John 4:1

"When therefore the LORD knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John."

Baptism fulfils all righteousness and is a part of the experience of salvation.   

Mark 16:16

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."

Water Baptism relates to four things:

1. It is an outward sign of an inward experience of cleansing.

The baptism of water on the outside symbolizes our cleansing with the Blood of Jesus on the inside.

Acts 22:16

"Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."

2. It is symbolical of the burial of our old sinful life and resurrected new life in Christ.

When we are saved, we are symbolically placed on the Cross with Jesus, because He died in our place as our substitute.

Galatians 2:20

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:"

In salvation God sees us crucified with Christ and by baptism we are buried and resurrected spiritually with Christ. Baptism helps us to reckon the exact time of our spiritual burial and resurrection.

After we have been saved we have to do two things:

Reckon ourselves crucified with Christ and dead to sin.

2. Be baptized to experience burial and resurrection with Christ.

Romans 6:11

"Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Romans 6:4

"Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."

When Jesus died on the cross He was taken off the cross and placed in a tomb. After the third day He was resurrected and came out of the tomb in a glorified body.

Symbolically we are taken from the cross, buried with Him in a water grave and resurrected with Him in the Name of the Father, Jesus the Son of God and the Holy Spirit.

The Greek word for baptism is "Baptiso".

It means to immerse or dip into.

When one is immersed or dipped into water by baptism, it is a form of burial.

3. Baptism is a public confession that we are true followers of Jesus Christ.

In baptism we openly testify to the world that we are disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ.

4. Baptism plays an important part in our deliverance.

The children of Israel were in captivity in Egypt and God delivered them from bondage. Egypt is a type of mans sinful bondage. The Passover Lamb that was sacrificed for Israel was a type of Jesus Christ. The blood of the lamb that was smeared on the doorposts to protect the Israelites from the destroyer, was a type of the Blood of Jesus sprinkled on our hearts and lives. The Israelites had to pass through the Red Sea to be delivered from Egypt and Pharaoh. The Red Sea is a type of our deliverance in baptism from all the effects and the bondages of sin.

1 Corinthians 10:1-6

"Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;

And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

Now these things were our examples."

Baptism is the part of Salvation that brings us deliverance.

1 Peter 3:20-21

"When once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah ... eight souls were saved by water.

The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us."

In baptism Christians experience deliverance from their old sinful life and bondage.

By faith they experience deliverance from all the old sinful habits and begin to walk in their new life.

Ephesians 4:22-24

"That ye put off concerning the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;

And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."

The Israelites practiced the baptism ceremony in Old Testament times.

When someone who was diseased with leprosy completely recovered, they had to then show themselves to the priest, be baptized and cleansed in water. When John the Baptist arrived on the scene he preached repentance and baptism. Because baptism was not strange to the Jews, thousands came to the Jordan River and were baptized.

Baptism was also practiced and preached by New Testament Christians.

Acts 2:37-41

"Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls."

Phillip the Evangelist went down to Samaria to preach the Gospel, many men and women were saved and immediately baptized.

Acts 8:12

"But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women."

Phillip ministered to the Eunuch in the desert; he believed on Jesus and asked Phillip to baptize him. After he was baptized he went on his way rejoicing.

Acts 8:36-39

"And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch and he went on his way rejoicing."

The Eunuch:

Believed in Christ

Desired to be baptized

Saw water

Went into the water

Was baptized

Went on his way rejoicing.

This practice of baptism has continued until this day.

What is the mode of Baptism?

The Bible clearly teaches how water baptism should be done.

When a candidate is baptized their entire body should be immersed or dipped in water.

Mark 1:9-10

"And it came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John.

And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:"

The whole body of Jesus was immersed in the Jordan River and came up out of the water.

In whose name should we be baptized?

Matthew 28:19

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"

The Greek word for "name" used here is "honoma." It means authority.

We are therefore to be baptized in the authority of God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Ghost. The three days that Jesus was buried in the Tomb, is symbolical of the threefold authority of the Godhead that Believers are baptized into.

1 John 5:7

"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."

Baptism is a command and not an option.

Jesus never requested His Disciples to be baptized.

He commanded them to be baptized.

Matthew 28:19

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"

The Lords Supper:

The Lords Supper is also known today by the names Holy Communion and Eucharist.

It finds its roots in the Passover which was kept by Jesus and His disciples over two thousand years ago in the city of Jerusalem.

Before Jesus was crucified He kept the Passover with His Disciples.

He gathered with His Disciples in the upper room in Jerusalem to have the Passover Meal.

Matthew 26:19-30

"And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.

Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;

For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.

And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the Mount of Olives."

As they participated there were two things of significance:

Jesus had looked forward to this Supper with His Disciples.

Luke 22:15

"And he said unto them, with desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer:"

He shared His Cup with them.

Luke 22:17

"And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, take this, and divide it among yourselves:"

A Cup of unfermented wine was on the Passover Table. It was called Elijah's Cup. It was designated only for the Messiah to drink if He should suddenly appear. Only the Messiah could take it. At every Passover Meal, the door of the house was left open for the Messiah to be able to enter in. When Jesus took this cup in His hands, it clearly revealed to them that He was the Messiah. What was so amazing was that He shared the Cup with them.

The Disciples continued keeping the Lords Supper.

After Jesus ascended into Heaven they continued to come together and keep the Lords Supper.

Acts 20:7

"And upon the first day of the week ... the disciples came together to break bread."

Paul's gave special instructions about the Lords Supper.

Paul gave detailed instructions on how Christians should keep the Lords Supper.

1 Corinthians 11:26-33

"For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.

Whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another."

These instructions emphasize six things:

1.  Before we eat the Bread or drink the Cup of grape juice, we should

     >examine ourselves to see if there is sin in our lives.

2.  If we have sinned against Heaven or someone, we should confess it and receive forgiveness and cleansing.

3.  We may then break the Bread and eat it in remembrance of the

     >crucified body of Jesus.

3.  We may drink the Cup in remembrance of the precious Blood of Jesus

     >shed for us.

4.  We should calmly and patiently give others the time they need to

     >participate and enjoy the Lords Supper.

5.  Worship and the singing of Hymns is a part of the Lords Supper.

More specifically, the Lords Supper involves three important aspects:

Confirmation:

The Lords Supper confirms the existence of a New Covenant that has special blessings.

When Jesus was keeping the Passover He confirmed with His Disciples, that through His Blood they would receive a New Testament.

Matthew 26:28

"For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."

As we partake of the Cup, by Christ's Blood we participate in this New Covenant with Jesus.

Ephesians 2:12-13

"That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ."

In this Covenant, all the blessings and benefits that Abraham had have been passed on to us.

Galatians 3:14

"That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ;"

Psalm 103:2-5

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagles."

These benefits are:

1. Forgiveness of sin.

2. Healing of diseases.

3. Redemption from destruction.

4. Experiencing Gods love, kindness and mercy.

5. Enjoying the blessing of good things.

6. Experiencing physical renewal.

Examination:

We are told by the Apostle Paul to examine ourselves when we partake of the Lords Supper.

If we have sin we should confess our sin and be cleansed through the Blood of Jesus.

1 Corinthians 5:7-8

"Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."

We should not participate unworthily, because if we do, we will be judged and chastened by the Lord.

1 Corinthians 11:28-32

"But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many are dead.

For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord."

If any sin comes to mind while we are about to partake of the Lords Supper, we should immediately confess it. If we have sinned against another person we must ask their forgiveness. If we know that someone has something against us we should go to them and resolve the matter. This is Gods way of making sure that issues are dealt with and sins confessed and forgiven amongst Christians.

We should not refuse to eat the Bread and drink the Cup.

Some Christians reason that because of sin in their life they should not partake of the Bread and Cup. That is why they let it pass.

The Lord expects us to participate and emphasizes its importance.

John 6:53

"Then Jesus said unto them, verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you."

It is important for us to frequently share in the Lords Supper with other Believers so that the Body of Christ (the Church) remains spiritually clean and healthy.

It is at the Lords Supper that we are confronted with the issue of sin and the possibility that we have wronged someone.

We must correct things done wrong.

We must participate.

At the Lords Supper the Church is cleansed.

Celebration:

The Lords Supper is a Victory Celebration and we celebrate three things:

1.  We celebrate the event of Christ's victory.

The enemy satan did everything he could to kill and destroy Jesus.

However, Jesus totally destroyed and overcame him and all the forces of hell.

On the Cross, Jesus cried "It is finished." (John 19:30)

After Jesus died on the cross, He descended into Hades, took on satan and his kingdom, spoiled and triumphed over them.

Colossians 2:15

"Having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them."

2. We celebrate Christ's exaltation.

After His resurrection, Jesus ascended into Heaven.

He sat at the Right Hand of God the Father who highly exalted Him.

Ephesians 1:20-22

"Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead and set him at his own right hand.

Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church."

Philippians 2:9-11

"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

3. We celebrate the effects of Christ's victory.

Jesus gained the following victory for us:

He overcame sin so that we could be made righteous.

2 Corinthians 5:21

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."

He overcame sickness for our healing.

Mark 16:17-18

"In my name they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."

He overcame poverty for our prosperity.

2 Corinthians 8:9

"Yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich."


He overcame satan and his principalities for our victory.

Luke10:19

"Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you."

He overcame death and hell so that we could live and go to Heaven.

Revelation 1:18

"I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."

Christians should attend church services and partake of the Lords Supper:

Hebrews 10:25

"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is;"

Acts 20:7

"And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them."

Christians are told to have Holy Communion as often as they can.

1 Corinthians 11:26

"For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come."

Today Christians continue to enjoy the Lords Supper.

Over four hundred million Christians come together in church or home settings all over the world to partake of the Lords Supper.

What are the proceedings of the Lords Supper?

A Pastor or church leader officiates and leads the proceedings.

Christians are told to prepare themselves to participate, examine themselves and confess any hindering sins.

The leader breaks the bread and passes it to the Christians to eat in remembrance of Christ's crucified body.

He passes the grape juice to them to drink in remembrance of the Blood of Christ, shed for forgiveness of sin.

He reminds them of the victory of Christ over satan, hell, sin, sickness, death and poverty.

They celebrate and rejoice in the resurrection and Lordship of Christ.

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