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Water Baptism

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ALL WET—WATER BAPTISM 

Scripture: Matthew 28:18–20; Mark 1:9–11; Romans 6:3–4; 2 Corinthians 5:17

Memory verse: Matthew 28:19
"Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

Lead—In

To set the stage for this week’s study, display pictures of objects people wear to identify themselves with a particular group. Such objects should include hats, pins, or badges worn by members of certain organizations. Then ask the students the following questions: “How many of you belong to an organization? Does your group have a special uniform or badge you wear to let others know what group you belong to?” Allow the students to name their school’s special badge or uniform.

Mention that when people belong to a group, they are usually proud to be members and want to let others know of their association with that particular group. Tell the students Christians should feel the same way. Christians should be proud to belong to the God of the universe. They should want to let the world know they have chosen to live for Jesus.

Tell the students this study will show them one way to let others know they have chosen to belong to Jesus.

Hearing God’s Word

Ask: “What is water baptism? Why would a person want to be baptized in water?” (Allow responses.)

Baptism is not Salvation

Ask: “Can a person become a Christian by being baptized in water? How does a person become a Christian?” (Allow discussion.)

It is as simple as A–B–C: Admit you have sinned; Believe Jesus is God’s Son who died for your sin; Confess and turn from your sins and ask Jesus to forgive you. Is there any other way to be saved? No. There is no other way. Water baptism cannot save you or rid you of sin.

God has given each human being the ability to make choices. Each of us has to understand that Jesus died for our sins. Then we must choose whether or not to repent of our sins and ask Jesus for forgiveness. Each person makes this choice for himself.

In our church parents sometimes “dedicate” their babies. When a baby is dedicated, his parents bring him to church and present him to God, asking His help in teaching the child about God. But a baby dedication is not the same as baptism, and it is not the same as salvation. The baby is not old enough to know he is a sinner or to believe in Jesus as Saviour.

A Picture of Salvation

Ask: “When should a person be baptized?” (Discuss.)

A person should be baptized after he has asked Jesus to be his Saviour and Lord, and understands what water baptisms means. Remember our ABCs: Admit you are a sinner, Believe in Jesus; Confess and forsake sin and ask Jesus to forgive you. Water baptism is one of the ways we show others we have been forgiven of sin. Water baptism can never save anyone; it is a picture of what happens in a person’s life when he is saved.

When a Christian goes down under the water, he is showing everyone watching that his old life is dead. He is showing that his sins were completely washed away when he repented and asked Jesus to forgive his sins. (Ask a student to read 2 Corinthians 5:17.) When the Christian comes out of the water after being baptized, he is showing the world that because Jesus is now his Saviour, his sins are buried, and he has become a new person.

Since water baptism is a picture of having been saved, it doe not make sense for someone to be baptized if he has not asked Jesus into his heart. Water baptism is a symbol to others that the person has been forgiven of sin and Jesus is already his Lord and Saviour.

Philip Baptizes the Ethiopian

(Instruct the students to look up Acts 8:26–40.) These verses tell us about a man named Philip. One day Philip met a man who worked for Queen Candace of Ethiopia. Philip helped the man understand the Scriptures as they rode in the man’s chariot. When he understood the Scriptures, the Ethiopian became a Christian.

As Philip and the Ethiopian rode along, they came to some water. “Can I be baptized here?” the Ethiopian asked. Philip told him he could if he really believed in Jesus. The man said he believed and Philip baptized him in water right there along the roadside.

Baptism by Immersion

Does it matter where you are baptized? No, not at all, just so there is enough water to cover you completely. Do you know what the word baptize means? It means, “to dip or immerse in water.” When something is immersed, it is plunged into or buried under the water. Accounts in the New Testament use the word baptize to tell us about people going completely down into the water and then being raised back up out of the water.

At times it is difficult to find a place deep enough to baptize a Christian in water. Christians in Japan are sometimes baptized in the ocean, but in the winter the water is ice cold and the waves are sometimes three feet high. Once six new Japanese Christians who were saved during the winter walked in a blinding snowstorm to the bathing pool of a public bath so they could let others know they were now Christians.

Christians are sometimes baptized in lakes and rivers or in baptisteries right in the church.

Ask: “How are Christians baptized in our church?” (Allow discussion.)

This would be a good point in the study to let some invited guests speak briefly to the class. Arrange for two or three members of the church to come and tell about where they were baptized and what this experience means to them now. Perhaps some youth in your class have already been baptized. If so, let them share their experiences.

Baptism—An Ordinance

Water baptism is called an “ordinance” of the Church. (Write ordinance on the chalkboard.) The word ordinance means “a rite or practice.”

Ask: “Why do you think water baptism is so important? (Allow discussion.)

The main reason is that Jesus commanded us to be baptized. Our memory verse this week gives us Jesus’ command. (Read the verse and repeat it several times with the students.)

Another reason for water baptism is that Jesus was baptized, and as Christians we should follow His example. John the Baptist agreed to baptize Jesus in the Jordan River. When Jesus came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit came down from heaven in the form of a dove and settled on Him. Then God spoke from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11).

How are we commanded to be baptized? Our memory verse tells us to be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Each Person of the Trinity was represented at Jesus’ baptism. God’s presence is also with us when we are baptized according to this example.

Who can be baptized? Any person who is old enough to understand that Jesus died to be his Saviour and who stops his sinning and accepts Jesus should be baptized.

If you have accepted Jesus as your Saviour, but you have not yet been baptized in water, you ought to do so. You need to follow Jesus’ commandment, showing the world that you belong to Him.

Accepting God’s Word

Emphasize that before someone is baptized in water, he should have accepted Jesus into his life. Review the ABCs of accepting Jesus as Saviour. Ask if anyone would like to ask forgiveness for sins. Pray individually with each student who desires salvation.

Market Town 

Rashaida living in Sudan today make their home in the northeast region of the country, near the city of Kassala. Kassala is the capital city of the state of Kassala, in northeast Sudan. Because it is located along the main highway from Khartoum to Port Sudan, it is an important market town in the region.

The city is especially known for its fruits, and it rumoured to sell some of the best fruit in all of Sudan. Throughout the twentieth century, refugees from Ethiopia, Eritrea, and elsewhere in Sudan have fled to Kassala for refuge from conflict and war. It is said that over 100,000 refugees still live in or around the city of Kassala today.

REMEMBER TO PRAY
Pray for Market Evangelism Among Rashaida   

1. Youth to visit the markets and meet new people—perhaps a believer in Christ,
2. God to prepare their hearts as they prepare to wear traditional Rashaida dress,
3. A village evangelist to present a clear introduction of the gospel to them.

Prayer Promise

"My God, in whom I trust" (Psalm 91:2).

Remember: ALL WET—WATER BAPTISM 

Memory verse: Matthew 28:19
"Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

1. Jesus was baptised in water and set an example for all believers.
2. Water baptism is an act of obedience to the command of Jesus.
3. Water baptism is a testimony of God's saving grace.

Pray for Market Evangelism Among the Rashaida.

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Study 8 | Jesus Says Go/We Believe | africaatts.org/go-teach

 

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