Safeguard the Lord’s Churches by Keeping the Ordinances – Part 1 (Baptism)

The ordinances cannot save sinners, but are observed by believers to symbolize and remember the death, burial and resurrection until Christ returns.

A Sermon From Missionary Raymond Johnson

I Corinthians 11:2 “Now I praise you, brethren that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.”

Watering hole - Sermon Outlines


  1. The word “ordinances” found in I Corinthians 11:2 speaks of “a handing down,” or denotes “a tradition.” In this passage it is used to refer to the teachings declared by Paul while giving instruction to the Corinthian Church on Christian Order and the Lord’s Supper. The word in this sense is used for the believers as a decree or command to keep the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper as a continual practice in the Lord’s Church until He returns.
  2. The Lord gave the church two ordinances: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, in that order.
    1. In Matthew 28:18-20 the authority to baptize was placed in the church under the Great Commission.
    2. In Matthew 26:26-28 the authority to observe the Lord’s Supper was placed in the church. These ordinances were designed for the saved to teach us and remind us of the doctrine of the death and resurrection of Christ. Not receiving alien immersion or practicing open communion from the Protestants or Catholics would help the Lord’s churches to maintain doctrinal purity, protect the church from unregenerate membership, and from taking the Lord’s Supper with those who are not under the discipline of the Lord’s Church.
    3. Baptism is a prerequisite to partaking the Lord’s Supper and the doorway into the local church for membership. (Acts 2:41-42) The Lord’s Supper is for church members under the discipline of that particular local Church. (I Corinthians 5:1-13) The Church alone has the authority to administer these ordinances.
  3. Both ordinances are symbolic and not sacramental in their meaning. The word “sacrament” comes from a Latin word “sacramentum” meaning “something sacred.” Catholics and some Protestants believe by being baptized and taking the Lord’s Supper they will in turn receive saving grace. The ordinances cannot save sinners but are observed by believers to symbolize and remember the death, burial and resurrection until Christ returns. (Matthew 28:19; Luke 22:19; I Corinthians 11:23-26).
  4. Historically, Baptist have rejected foot washing as an ordinance because it does not portray the Gospel; the death, burial and resurrection.
  5. It would be impossible to deal with both ordinances in one outline but we will attempt to deal with this subject in future issues of The Baptist Arrow. In this issue we will began with the ordinance of Baptism. Scriptural Baptism must have:

 I. Proper Authority (Matthew 28:18-20)

    1. The distance of sixty miles that Jesus walked from Galilee to Jordan, to be baptized of John, teaches the importance of proper authority. (Matthew 3:13-17)
      1. John the Baptist received his authority to baptize from Heaven. (Matthew 21:23-27; Mark 11:30-33; Luke 20:1-8)
        1. John was the first baptizer: “The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men?” If John had copied previous baptisms, as some would say he did, then the enemies of Christ could easily have escaped their dilemma by saying, “of men.” But “they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed.” They all knew that John’s baptism was something new, never before seen. But if they admitted that it came from heaven, Christ would say, “Why then did ye not believe him?”
        2. Jesus submitted to the ordinance of baptism by receiving it at the hands of John. The Lord was endorsing John’s authority and fulfilling all righteousness. (Matthew 3:16-17) How was righteousness fulfilled that day literally or figuratively?  Righteousness was fulfilled figuratively: (1Peter 3:21)
          1. Jesus’ baptism was a picture of his humiliation.  He was the sinner’s substitute in death.
          2. Jesus’ baptism was a picture of his judgment.  His burial in death reminds us that the penalty of sin must be paid.
          3. Jesus’ baptism was picture of his triumphant victory.  His resurrection and deliverance from the grave is the believer’s hope.
        3. When Jesus entered his public ministry, he continued the administration of baptism through the agency of his disciples. “Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,” (John 4:1-3)
    2. The authority to baptize is now placed into the hands of the local New Testament Church. (Mathew 28:18-20)
      1. The word “power” speaks of authority. The Lord himself gave authority to his Church to administer this ordinance. To be one of the Lord’s New Testament Churches they must be qualified by the scriptures. The church would have to be started at the right time in the first century during Christ  earthly ministry, started in the right place in Palestine, and started by the right person Christ himself. (Matthew 16:18)
      2. The church was authorized to baptize in the name of the: (Matthew 28:18-20)
        1. The Father who predetermined our Salvation. (Ephesians 1:4)
        2. The Son who purchased our Salvation. (Acts 20:28)
        3. The Holy Ghost who persuaded us to Salvation. (John 6:44)

II. Proper Subject (Acts 8:35-38)

    1. Baptism is to be administered to those who have believed and received Christ. (Acts 8:12; Acts 2:41; Acts 8:36-37; Acts 9:18; Acts 16:14-15)
    2. The order is to believe then be baptized.  This would eliminate baptism to be performed on infants and unbelievers.

III. Proper Mode (Matthew 3:16)

    1. The mode of baptism was demonstrated by Jesus when he came up straightway out of the water, indicating that he was immersed. (v16)
      1. The word “baptize” comes from the Greek word “baptizo” which means “to dip, to plunge, or to sink beneath the water by immersion.”
      2. The first mention of baptism in the Bible is found in Matthew 3:6, when John the Baptist came from the wilderness preaching repentance and baptizing.
    2. The New Testament supplies evidence that the only mode of baptism practiced was immersion.  (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12; Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:9-10; John 3:23; Acts 8:38-39)

IV. Proper Design (Romans 6:3-9)

    1. Those that follow this example that Christ set for us are showing their first step of obedience by being baptized after their conversion. (Acts 2:38) The word “for” means “because of.” Because of the remission of sin as a result of repentance and the gift of the Holy Ghost, they should be baptized.
    2. Those who are baptized are identifying with Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. (Romans 6:3-4)
    3. Those who are baptized display a picture of newness of life. (Romans 6:4-9)
      1. We die to the world.
      2. We are buried with him into his death.
      3. We are resurrected to walk in newness of life.
    4. In baptism the believer pictures the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. To the world it is an outward picture of an inward work of grace.