Listen:  111.5

Let’s look at the Lord’s directions to His disciples in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”  The Lord spoke these words after his resurrection and prior to His ascension to Heaven.  Although this was spoken to the remaining eleven apostles, these are instructions for all believers as well.

The Lord’s desire is that all men everywhere are reached with the precious Gospel of salvation.  2 Peter 3:9 tells us, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”  We cannot all go to the far reaching places of the world, but we can preach the Gospel in our own neighborhoods.  The Lord provides so many opportunities so share the truth of salvation to others in our own areas.  We can also be faithful to pray for those who do carry the Gospel to foreign lands, and as the Lord leads, we can give financial support to those who preach the true Gospel.

After salvation, the Lord desires that new converts are baptized.  Here, we are told the proper mode of baptism is “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”  Later, we read in Acts 2:38, “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.”  It was on the day of Pentecost when Peter said these words.  The Jews, as a whole, had rejected the Lord Jesus as the Messiah.  Peter is emphasizing that this One who had been rejected is the only one that can offer remission of sins.  The thought in Peter’s words are that these new converts should be baptized in submission to the authority of the Lord Jesus. Upon their repentance and faith, they are to be baptized by the Lord’s authority, according to the Lord’s command.  Peter is not saying that a new believer should not be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit; he is merely emphasizing the name of the Lord Jesus Christ before a nation that had previously rejected Him.

What is the proper mode of baptism?  The Greek word for baptize is ‘baptizo’ which means to immerse.  While some practice sprinkling in baptizing others, the clear meaning of the word indicates that one is to be immersed in water.  Let’s read Acts 8:38 as a proper example of baptism.  That says, “And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.”

In addition to preaching the Gospel and baptizing new believers, the disciples were also told to teach others to follow all the things the Lord had taught them.  How important it is that, as true believers on the Lord Jesus Christ that we grow.  We read in 2 Peter 3:18, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”  The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:2, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”  So, the proper order is that we learn the truth found in God’s Word, we walk in obedience to it, and we teach others from the Word of God.  We have the promise of the Lord’s presence with us to give us needed strength and guidance, even until the end of the world.  As we read in Hebrews 13:5, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  (111.5)