Category Archives: what does baptism do? What does baptism not do? Understanding Bible baptism

What baptism does and does not do

1. There are some things that baptism does and some things baptism does not do.
2. The Corinthians were informed about this matter in 1 Cor. 10:1-4.
3. 1 Cor. 10 is based upon what is said in the previous two chapters.
4. In 1 Cor. 8 there is a lot of instruction about eating meat sacrificed to idols.
5. Paul responded to the Corinthians’ false conclusion in 1 Cor. 9.
6. There he pictured the Christian life to an athletic contest and said God’s people are like athletes.
7. Based on this background we come to 1 Cor. 10; in this chapter Paul drew some parallels.
8. He went back to the nation of Israel to show how God had dealt with the Jewish people.
9. One of the key points is that the Hebrew people felt secure.
10. They had memorial feasts. Israel had a “baptism” unto Moses (verses 1-2).
11. Israel came to realize that having a feast was not enough.
12. Having Moses, the law, and many other things did give the nation of Israel certain blessings.
13. At the same time, these blessings did not take care of some things.
14. Paul said: remember Israel – know that things like baptism and the Lord’s Supper are not enough.
15. There were some things that baptism and the Lord’s Supper could not do for these Christians.


1) Baptism will not give someone a license to sin.
2) The Corinthians thought they could use their baptism to trample on fellow saints.
3) If they had been immersed, they felt like they could do whatever they pleased with the idol meat.
4) Rom. 6:1-6 says a person chooses to leave behind sin when they are baptized.
5) When we decide to become a Christian we make a decision and we are to stick with it.
6) A related point on what baptism does not do is becoming “immune” to sin.
a) Let’s compare this idea to 1 Cor. 9:27 – READ
b) By using the present tense Paul showed this was an ongoing battle in his life.
7) If baptism does not remove the temptation to sin, what does it do.
8) Baptism helps a person obtain forgiveness of sins (Acts 22:16). Acts 2:38.
a) There can be some lasting consequences from sin.
b) If a person likes to drink and kills a person because of drunk driving, he can be baptized.
c) The guilt from that sin can be successfully addressed by the blood of Christ.
d) There will still be a scar from that sin. A man is still dead.
9) When a person is baptized they may feel like they have fulfilled their responsibility to God.
10) Paul says in Rom. 6:4 that after baptism we begin a “new life” (there is a new way to live).
11) Some have had the false idea that baptism does away with the need for repentance.
a) Baptism is not designed to take the place of repentance. It will not take the place of repentance.
b) Baptism and repentance go together. A person first repents (they begin to make changes).
12) Thinking about what baptism will not do reminds us that it will also not overcome a lack of faith.
13) Baptism will also not change a person into something he is not.
14) In our culture people are often told to be baptized to “join the church.”
15) We never—not one time—find that information in the Bible.
16) Men say baptism is “for the saved.” Jesus said baptism is “to get (become) saved,” Mk. 16:16.
17) Many have the idea that one baptism is as good as another.
a) God does not believe that. Eph. 4:4-5 – “one God” just as there is only “one baptism.”
18) Baptism does not mean “just do it some place and somehow.”
19) Baptism does mean “do it as God has said and just as God has said.”
a) That one way is immersion, a dipping, plunging, submerging.
b) Baptism is called a “burial” in places like Rom. 6:4 and Col. 2:12.

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