Research Paper: Baptism According to Luke-Acts
10 December 2014
Baptism According to Luke-Acts
A religious sacrament marked by the symbolic application of water to the head or immersion of the body into water and resulting inadmission of the recipient into the community of Christians; this is the definition of baptism according to The Free Dictionary Online1. In order to understand how Luke presents baptism in the book of Acts and how baptism is a part of God’s plan of salvation we must dig deep into the confines of the scripture and rely on the teachings to lead us into an ultimate educated discussion that will teach us that Paul took on several meanings of the word Baptism and in each situation meant something different and deeper than simply being surrounded by the spirit. While many believe baptism isn’t necessary, I will attempt to show both sides of the viewpoint as well as why I believe it is important to recognize baptism. Research Methodology
For my study I will move through my research in order to show that Baptism according to Luke is encompassed in stages and different perspectives depending on the deepening of the baptism through a several steps. First and foremost I will study the Biblical text. This would be my most important resource throughout my research. Next I will explore what others have said in regards to the study. I will finalize by interviewing a few people of the ministry to find what else I can discover about the subject. What does the book of Luke say about Baptism?
The book of Luke begins by speaking about John the Baptist who paved the way for the Lord to come. Many people believe that by being baptized means you have accepted Christ as your savior but the reality is that you can be baptized and repent of your sins without ever accepting Christ. However, you cannot accept Christ without being baptized and repenting of your sins. Through the use of the following verses I will attempt to explain what each reference to baptism meant for Luke in perspective to the events that were happening during that time. Baptized in water
He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Luke 3:3 In accordance with this scripture it is very clear that when Luke speaks on about baptism through water he is telling us that in order to truly repent of our sins we must be baptized in the water. This type of baptism comes to us as purely ceremonial. This is to show the community that you repent of your sins. John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Luke 3:7 This verse also speaks on the ceremonial water baptism. I include this verse, however, to show how John turned away those who were doing the baptism, not because they felt in their hearts it was right and just but because it was trending. Ultimately what John did here was to reinforce the fact that the baptism was for the sole purpose of repentence of your sins; not to be done simply because everyone else was doing it. Even tax collectors came to be baptized. "Teacher," they asked, "what should we do?" Luke 3:12 Here again we see John reaffirming the need to be remorseful for your sins and to repent. In this case, these tax collectors came to John asking what they should do to fix their actions and John informs them of a course of action to take in order to fix the wrongs that had been committed. These men were very remorsefull for their actions and sought help in order to repent for the sins they had committed. Again, this shows how being baptized by the water is purely symbolic of the actions that you must take to be completely repentant. Baptized of the Spirit
When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened Luke 3:21 This verse is truly remarkable in the study of baptism and...
Bibliography: Armstrong, John H. Understanding Four Views on Baptism. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan,
Beasley-Murry George R. Baptism in the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans,
David S. Dockery, “Baptism,” in Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, ed. Joel B. Green and
Scot McKnight (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1992)
Dunn, James, D.G. Baptism in the Holy Spirit. London: SCM Press, 1970.
Longnecker, Richard N. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary Luke-Acts. Zondervan, 2009.
NIV Bible. Zondervan, 2012.
Witherington, Ben. Troubled Waters. Rethinking our Theology of Baptism Baylor, 2007
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