S.R. Acts 2:21-38


  1. Personal Loss when the heartbeat of Cheyenne Marie Hartman stopped last Sunday.
    1. When an infant dies or one whose heartbeat stops while in the womb, parents, family and friends often think seriously about the spiritual condition of that child and themselves.
    2. Knowledgeably and wisely, Dan and Carrie Hartman knew what God teaches. Do you?
    3. Some teach that children, at the point of conception, have what is called by many “original sin.”
  2. Original sin defined:
    1. Westminster Confession of Faith in the Presbyterian Book of Confessions. All emphasis has been added.
      1. “Our first parents … sinned … By this sin they fell from their original righteousness, and communion with God, and so became dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the faculties and parts of soul and body. They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed, and the same death in sin and corrupted nature conveyed to all their posterity…From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions” — Chap. VI, sec. 1-4.
      2. “Every sin, both original and actual … doth, in its own nature, bring guilt upon the sinner, whereby he is bound over to the wrath of God, and curse of the law, and so made subject to death, with all miseries spiritual, temporal, and eternal” — Chap. VI, sec. 6.
    2. For example, the Augsburg Confession of Faith (1530), asserted that
      1. ”. . . all men, born according to nature, are born with sin, that is, without the fear of God, without confidence towards God and with concupiscence, and that this original disease or flaw is truly a sin, bringing condemnation and also eternal death to those who are not reborn through baptism and the Holy Spirit” (Article II).
      2. "Original sin, then, may be defined a hereditary corruption and depravity of our na­ture, extending to all the parts of the soul, which first makes us obnoxious to the wrath of God, and then produces in us works which in Scripture are termed works of the flesh." (Institutes of the Christian Religion. John Calvin, Vol 1, p 217)
  3. Some, who profess to believe in original sin, will claim that only the consequences of Adam’s sin are imputed to future generations. But note carefully that the confession expressly states that all people inherit the “guilt” of Adam’s sin. According to this document, regardless of our own conduct or choice, we are born guilty of sin and held accountable for the guilt of what Adam did.
    1. InfantIf babies are born guilty of Adam’s sin, then it is reasoned that they must be baptized to forgive the guilt of original sin. This is the origin of infant baptism.
    2. Some now practice infant baptism as a declaration of their intention to rear their child in a particular church or denomination.
  4. What does the Bible say about original sin and the purpose of baptism?



  1. Original Sin
    1. At some point in our youth we begin to contemplate and act upon evil “the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth;” (Genesis 8:21)
    2. But that is not how we are born. “This only have I found: God made mankind upright, but men have gone in search of many schemes." (Eccl. 7:29)
    3. We are reminded that children do not inherit the sins of their parents (Ezekiel 18:20) “The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son's iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself,”
      1. People do not “inherit” sin from Adam or anyone else.
    4. Dan and Carrie did nothing to “cause” the death of their precious little girl. She was a pure, innocent and sinless child, made in the image of God.
    5. Jesus said upon one occasion when his disciples were trying to keep little children away from Him, “13And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. 14But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, "Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Mark 10:13-14)
    6. Luke 18:17 in recording this event goes on to say, "Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all."
    7. Do little children need to be baptized? Who needs to be baptized?
  2. Baptism is for people who hear and believe
    1. Acts 19:1-5 “1It happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus, and found some disciples. 2He said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" And they said to him, "No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit." 3And he said, "Into what then were you baptized?" And they said, "Into John's baptism." 4Paul said, "John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus." 5When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
    2. Several things should be clear from this text -- just any baptism will not do.
      1. The Ephesians had been baptized, but they needed to be baptized again.
      2. They had been baptized unto John's baptism -- a baptism that was no longer in effect.
      3. It was a baptism preparing the Jews for the coming of the Christ. By the time the Ephesians were baptized the Christ had come, died, was buried, and had risen from the dead.
      4. The Ephesians needed to submit to that baptism – baptism "in the name of the Lord Jesus."
      5. By this time there was only “one baptism” (Eph. 4:5)
      6. One must be baptized to be saved (1 Pet. 3:21 “baptism now saves us), but he needs to be sure that he is baptized for the right reasons.
  3. Baptized by the Correct Authority
    1. The second baptism that the Ephesians received was "in the name of the Lord Jesus" or by His authority.
      1. "In the name of" suggests authority. If a policeman says, "I arrest you in the name of the law," he is invoking the authority of the law.
      2. When Jesus gave the instructions to His apostles he declared that he had all authority and commanded that people be baptized in order to saved (Matt. 28:18-20)
    2. Baptism into Christ is not by church authority.
      1. Never read in Scripture of a congregation voting before one could be baptized.
      2. It is not by preacher authority. No one is specially "ordained" to "administer baptism."
      3. If one wants to be baptized in the middle of the night, he has the authority of Christ to do so. No church needs to assemble and vote on him.
      4. He does not have to find an "ordained minister" and ask if he can be baptized.
      5. He has all the authority that he needs in the word of God. (Acts 22:16)
  4. Baptism for the Correct Purpose
    1. The purpose or objective of "baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus" is "the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38). 
    2. It is to submit to the authority of Christ (Matt. 28:18-20). It is not to please any person on earth. It is not to get into any denomination.
    3. There were no denominations in New Testament times with various baptism requirements.
    4. It is not to show that one has been saved, but in order to be saved.
      1. (Mark 16:16; 1 Pet. 3:21) “Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you – not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience – through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
      2. As result of being baptized, one is saved and added to the one body.
        1. (Acts 2:47) Christ is the one who adds saved persons to his body.
        2. (1 Cor. 12:13) “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,”
  5. The Correct Action in Baptism
    1. Not only is it right to be baptized in water, it is immersion in water.
    2. It is immersiondefinition.
      1. It is a transliteration of the Greek, baptizo: "to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (used of vessels sunk)" (Thayer).
    3. It is immersiondescription.
      1. It is described twice as being "buried" in(Rom. 6:4)
      2. “having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” Col. 2:12). 
    4. It is immersiondemonstration.
      1. Two notable New Testament examples demonstrate that baptism is an immersion.
        1. Notice the Ethiopian eunuch's baptism: “As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, "Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?" (37And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.") 38And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing. (Acts 8:36-39). The fact that they both went down into the water indicates immersion rather than sprinkling or pouring.
        2. Secondly notice: "John also was baptizing in Aenon near to salem, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized"(John 3:23). 
  6. The Correct Preparation for Baptism
    1. Acts 2:21-36
      1. Must be able to “call upon the name of the Lord.”
      2. In order to do so one must understand who the Lord is and how He came to be both Lord and Christ. (Romans 10:17) “Faith comes by hearing”
      3. That one has had to believe and be drawn by the words of(John 6:44 – 45; 8:24) “Except you believe that I AM he you will die in your sins.”
      4. The person preparing to be baptized must have heard and believed prior to baptism (Acts 18:8). “…and many of the Corinthians when they heard were believing and being baptized.”
      5. One preparing to be baptized must have repented of his sins (Acts 2:38).
      6. One contemplating baptism must first have sufficient knowledge of who Jesus is in order to confess Him as Lord and that God has raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 10:9). “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;”
      7. Having accepted the terms of salvation extended by Christ one may then say with the Ethiopian, “What prevents me from being baptized?”
      8. I caution all of us, not to rush into this decision lightly or without serious consideration of the cost and commitment to Christ included in this decision.
      9. Jesus warns about those who start and then quit. "No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62)
  7. Conclusion: Baptism is for Whom?
    1. Babies and young children are not prepared to be baptized.
      1. They have no sins of which to repent.
      2. They have no need for forgiveness.
      3. They are not capable of having faith in a resurrected King; produced by hearing the word of God.
      4. Therefore, they have no need to be baptized.
    2. What about your baptism?
      1. Is it like the ones you read about in the New Testament?
      2. You never read about babies being baptized in Scripture.
      3. If someone else sprinkled or poured some water on you as an infant:
        1. You were not baptized.
        2. You were not baptized based upon your faith in Christ as resurrected Lord of your life. (Romans 10:9-10)
        3. You were not baptized into Christ, nor by His authority.
        4. Surely your parents were well meaning in their action, but now you
        5. Must give account of yourself before God (Romans 14:12; 2 Cor. 5:10) “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
    3. We plead with you to carefully consider your need to be baptized into Christ at His direction and for the reasons He describes.