Understanding Baptism

Today we have the joy of having a baptismal service, we are baptising four believers into the membership of the church. Everyone knows what baptism is, but not everyone is clear on what baptism means. Some of this is due to ignorance; some of this is due to confusion due to disagreement between Christians. Today I am going to do a topical sermon on the issue of baptism. I want to put forward a definition that I am borrowing from Bobby Jamieson, an American Reformed Baptist who is deeply involved with 9marks. And I would like to unpack his definition leaning on his booklet, Understanding Baptism. I will of course be rooting our definition in the Bible, but he is a helpful guide. Let’s look at the definition.

Definition: ‘Baptism is a church’s act of affirming and portraying a believer’s union with Christ by immersing him or her in water, and a believer’s act of publicly committing him or herself to Christ and His people, thereby uniting a believer to the church and marking off him or her from the world.’