Lesson 9. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper: Their Significance and Meaning

What command did Jesus give concerning baptism?  See Matthew 28:19.

In what way does the New Testament rite of baptism (baptisma) differ from the ceremonial “washings” (baptismos) of the Jews?  Mar 7:4, Heb 6:1-2, 9:10, Mat 3:7-12 and note below.

Note: While the dead formalism of the Jewish purification rituals came to epitomize the fleshly religious traditions that so many Jews supposed would save them, the rite of baptism came to epitomize the exact opposite: that true religion was religion of the heart and if one wished to truly be saved he needed not just a cleansing of the flesh but a cleansing of the heart that comes from the heartfelt repentance that John the Baptist preached to prepare the way for the Lord.  It was thus in preparing the way for the Lord that John the Baptist transformed the empty formalism of the Jewish baptismos into the New Testament rite of baptisma that became the sign of the new covenant.

What is the meaning of baptism?  Baptism is a picture of the washing away of ______.  See Acts 22:16, Titus 3:4-7.

Baptism in/with/by water is a picture of the baptism in/with/by the ______ ______: Matthew 3:11-16, John 1:33, Acts 1:5, 2:38, 9:17-18, 10:47-48, 19:5-6, 1 Cor 12:13.

Baptism unites us with Christ in His _____ and _________: Romans 6:1-11, 1 Peter 3:21.

Baptism is the sign of the new covenant just as the _________ was the sign of the Mosaic covenant and ___________ was the sign of the Abrahamic covenant : Hebrews 4:10, Colossians 2:11-13.  It is a picture of the ________ of the heart and symbolizes a “cutting away” of the sinful flesh that frees the believer to walk in the Spirit: Deuteronomy 30:6, Jeremiah 4:4, Romans 2:29.  As ________ was done after physical birth as a setting apart into the covenant community of the Jews, so is baptism done after spiritual birth as a setting apart into the covenant community of the Christians.  It is a testimony before witnesses that one is entering into a covenant relationship with God, just as in the marriage relationship.  It is the public record of our betrothal to Christ to become His Bride: 2 Corinthians 11:2, Galatians 3:27, Isaiah 61:10-11, Ruth 3:9, Ezekiel 16:8.

Baptism is a picture of the ________ one can expect to face as a Christian: Mark 10:38-39, Luke 12:50, 2 Tim 3:12.

What requirements must be met before a person can be baptized?  See Acts 2:38-41, 8:12, 16:14-15, 18:8.

From the examples of Scripture, how long after conversion (as evidenced by faith in Christ and repentance from sin) should a person wait to be baptized?  See Acts 8:36-38, 9:17-18, 10:47-48, 16:30-33.

In whose name is a Christian baptized?  See Acts 2:38, 8:16, 10:48, 19:5, Rom 6:3.  Note: Baptism in the name of Jesus is a recognition of the Father who sent Jesus and of the Holy Spirit poured out upon those who join themselves in covenant to Him; see Mat 28:19.

What modes of baptism are described in Scripture?  ___________ See John 3:23, Acts 8:38; cf. Romans 6:1-4.  ____________ Compare Joel 2:28 and Acts 2:17-18,33 with Matthew 3:11 and Acts 1:5; see also Acts 11:15-16, 1 Corinthians 10:1-2, Psalm 77:17-21.  _________ See Ezekiel 36:25-27, Hebrews 10:22.  Note: The efficacy of Baptism lies not in its mode of application, but in understanding its meaning and becoming obedient to the newness of life in Christ into which we are baptized.

As baptism is the sign of the new covenant, what is the significance of the Lord’s Supper to the new covenant?  See Exodus 24:1-11, 1 Corinthians 10:16.

Why did Jesus say we should celebrate the Lord’s Supper?  See 1 Corinthians 11:24-26.

Of what were the sacrifices of the old covenant a reminder?  See Hebrews 10:3.  What did they look forward to?  See Hebrews 10:1,11-12, 8:5-6.

Of what is the Lord’s Supper a reminder?  See 1 Corinthians 11:26.  What does it represent and look forward to?  See Isaiah 25:6-9, Matthew 22:2, 25:10, 26:29, Luke 22:15-18, Revelation 19:7-9.

When Jesus said of the bread, “This is my body”, and of the wine, “This is my blood” (Matthew 26:28), did He mean that the elements were literally His body and blood, or figuratively?  See also John 6:47-63.

What is the relationship between observing the Lord’s Supper and studying the Scriptures?  With Jesus’ words in John 6:47-63 see also John 1:1,14.

What great danger does Paul warn about in regard to partaking of the covenant meal of the Lord’s Supper?  See 1 Corinthians 11:27-30.

How does this danger relate to the violation of the terms of a covenant?  See Leviticus 26:14-39, Deuteronomy 27:15-26, 28:15-68, etc…

What example do we have in Scripture of a person who ate the bread and drank the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner?  See Luke 22:21-22, John 13:21,26-27, 1 Corinthians 11:23.  What warning does his example give us?  See Acts 1:18-20, 1 Corinthians 11:17-22,27.

Scriptures to Memorize:  “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?  Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3-4).

“Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ?  Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ?” (1 Corinthians 10:16).

“Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.  For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not judge the body rightly.” (1 Corinthians 11:28-29).

Assignment:  Write down in your own words the significance and meaning of baptism and the Lord’s Supper in relation to the new covenant.

2 thoughts on “Lesson 9. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper: Their Significance and Meaning

  1. Hello Clark, wanted to get your thoughts on the corporate aspect of baptism that seems to make more sense of 1 Pet. 3:21. Many get hung up on “now saves you” as a proof text of baptism having a saving effect upon the one it is applied to. And that makes baptism works-oriented salvation. But the opposite view is just as confusing, as it requires reinterpretation of “now saves you” to mean “does NOT now save you.”

    But a corporate view, in my opinion, would successfully resolve this. As a sign and seal of a covenant of grace, baptism would assume regeneration among those it’s applied to. This happened with Philip, who said, as a representative of the faithful, “you may” to the eunuch. For infants and young children born to Christian parents, the same assumption would take place as with John’s cousin leaping in the womb at the mention of our Lord’s name. When taken in a general, overarching sense, that assumption does allow us to say, Amen, our baptism as an assumption of regeneration, at any age God decides, does now save us as a people!

    • Hi Don; thanks for visiting! I agree that as a sign of the new covenant baptism assumes regeneration among those to whom it is applied. However, it seems a little bit of a stretch based on this passage to apply that to infants and children. Colossians 2:11-12 relates baptism as an antitype to circumcision, accomplishing after spiritual birth what circumcision accomplished after physical birth, namely, the entrance into the covenant.

      Here in 1Pe 3:21 the idea seems to me to be somewhat similar: Noah and his family were “saved through” (literal) the waters of the deluge, which is a type of our salvation through the waters of the present evil age that threaten to engulf us. The waters of baptism are an antitype (literal words used in 1Pe 3:21) of the waters of the flood: in baptism we die with Christ, but are brought safely through those waters, raised up with Him to a newness of life, even as Noah’s family was brought safely through them to a newness of life free from the evil of antediluvian world that was swept away in the flood. I would understand “now” saves you to mean the present time of salvation wrought by Christ in opposition to the salvation experienced by Noah in the ark which is a type of Christ who is the one who carries us through the waters–it is His death and resurrection into which we are baptized. I think the context is clear that there is nothing inherently salvific about the physical act of baptism, for Peter is clear to say “not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience–through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Our salvation is through Christ, through the ark that carries us through the waters; hence I would understand that baptism now saves us in the sense that it is our entrance into the ark of our salvation.

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