11 Outlines on Baptism

In these 11 detailed outlined lessons on baptism, Edward walks with you through some of the most comprehensive biblical study of its kind available anywhere today. Focused throughout on Jesus Christ’s finished work of salvation, these studies call believers to the restoration of this biblical gospel ordinance.

Also available in pdf format: Studies on Baptism

by Edward Fudge
LESSON 1 of 11
The work that set us right with God


I. The Gospel is Not “Good Do’s” (Moralisms) or “Good Views” (Doctrinal
Systems), but “Good News” (Evangel). Not History, Commands,
Exhortations or Prophecy, but an Announcement.

A. Isa. 43:10-13 – God declares, saves and proclaims.
B. 2 Tim. 1:9 – God foretold, saved and called us.

II. The Good News is the Announcement that God has Forgiven us and Made
Us His Friends, and That He Will Finally Restore All That Has Gone
Wrong in His Universe.

A. Eph. 1:13 – It is the “good news” of our salvation!
B. Eph. 1:10; Rom. 8 – God will sum up and redeem “all things.”

III. There are Many Ways of Talking About What God Has Done.
The Reality is Greater Than Any Attempt to Describe It.

A. Glimpses from Jesus’ human encounters.
1. Father of the wayward son (Lk. 15:11ff).
2. Woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11).
3. Zaccheus (Lk. 19:1-10).
4. “Come to me all who labor” (Matt. 11:28-30).
5. Thief on cross (Lk. 23:39-43).

B. Metaphors from business and commerce.
1. Prison: was guilty — now pardoned
2. Court: was accused — now acquitted
3. Baths: was dirty — now cleansed
4. Street: was forsaken — now adopted
5. Home: was estranged — now reconciled
6. Inn: was hungry/thirsty — now filled
7. Bank: was impoverished — now enriched

C. Analogy of the covenant with its stipulations, blessings
and curses (more later).

IV. God Did All This in Jesus of Nazareth.

A. Jesus says “Yes” to all God’s promises so we may say “Amen.”

1. 2 Cor. 1:20.
2. Acts 3:18ff.

B. The core of the good news is that Jesus personally took our
place and acted in our stead. He became our representative,
our substitute, our proxy before God in all he did and in all
that was done to him.

1. This is the meaning of his priesthood (Exod. 28; Lev. 16;
Heb. 8-10).

2. Jesus was thus “born of a woman” (man), “born under the
Law” (Israel), to rescue Israel and humankind and set them
right with God (Gal. 4:4).

a. He is the righteous remnant, true Israel.
(1) John 15:1 (contrast Isa. 5:1-7).
(2) Matt. 1-5 – retracing Israel’s footsteps.

b. He is the Second Adam, true humanity.
(1) Lk. 3 – baptism and genealogy.
(2) Phil. 2 – retracing Adam’s footsteps.

c. Adam and Israel had covenant with God (Lev. 26; Deut.
28). Jesus accomplished what neither Adam or Israel
did: he kept the covenant stipulations and earned the
covenant blessings, then took on himself the covenant
curses in place of his people (Isa. 53:4-5; Gal.
3:13-14; 2 Cor. 5:21).

d. This involved Jesus’ perfect doing (active obedience)
and in his perfect dying (passing obedience).

(1) His perfect “doing” (Heb. 10; Rom. 5).

(2) His perfect “dying” (Heb. 9; Isa. 53).

3. Jesus himself has become the “covenant” (basis of
relationship) between God and sinners, not external
stipulations, blessings and curses (Isa. 42:6; 49:8).

4. Jesus himself is our wisdom, righteousness, holiness and
redemption. We can glory only in him.
a. 1 Cor. 1:30-31.
b. Jer. 23:5-6 and 33:15-16.
c. Jer. 30:21-24.
d. Phil. 3:3-11.

V. The Work That Accomplished Salvation is Done.

A. The testimony of the scriptures.
1. 2 Cor. 5:19 – God was in Christ, reconciling the world
to himself.
2. Col. 1:19-22 – God has reconciled us to himself.
3. John 6:37-40 – Jesus came to do God’s will and save his
4. John 17:4; 19:30 – Jesus did what he came to do.
5. Isa. 53:11 – God saw the result of Jesus’ work and was
6. Rom. 4:25 – He was put to death because of our
transgressions and was raised again because of our

B. We cannot alter it, improve on it, add to it, diminish from it
or make it more complete or sure than it already is.

C. This saving work was done outside of us, but for us — before
we ever heard about it. Nothing we think, do or feel is any
part of the work which accomplished our salvation.

D. Because this saving work of Christ occurred outside of us and
our experience, we must trust entirely in it and not in
ourselves. We either accept it, rely on it and respond to it
— or we disbelieve it and ignore it at our peril.



by Edward Fudge
LESSON 2 of 11
The Savior and the sinners

I. The Accounts of Jesus’ Baptism.

A. Matthew 3:13-17 (Jesus is the Righteous Remnant of Israel
who does the Father’s will).

“In this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all
righteousness” (Matt. 3:15; see Isaiah 64:5).

B. Mark 1:9-11 (Jesus is God’s Son).

“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son
of God” (Mk. 1:1).

C. Luke 3:21-22 (Jesus is the Second Adam who redeems humankind).

“When all the people were being baptized, Jesus also
was baptized” (Lk. 3:21).

II. The Signs at Jesus’ Baptism.

A. The heavens open (Matt. 3:16; Mk. 1:10; Lk. 3:21).

1. God comes down from heaven to redeem his people
(Isaiah 64:1; context 63:15-19).

2. Mark 1:10 (schizo “torn”; see Mk. 15:38).

B. The Spirit of God descends (Matt. 3:16; Mk. 1:10; Lk. 3:22).

1. Jesus is the King/Servant Messiah (Isa. 11:2; 42:1; 61:1).

2. Jesus is the Suffering Servant of God (Isaiah 42:1; Isa.
61:1) who will die for the sins of the People (Isa.53).

3. Jesus is God’s Lamb who takes away the sin of the world
(John 1:29-34).

C. The heavenly voice says: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I
am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17).

1. Jesus is the beloved Servant of God (Isa. 42:1).

2. Jesus is the King-Son of God (Psalm 2:7).

III. The Consequences of Jesus’ Baptism.

A. Jesus commits to do all God’s saving will (Matthew).

B. Jesus takes on the specific role of sin-bearing Lamb of God
(John), identifying with those he came to save (Luke).

C. Jesus begins a journey of obedience which will culminate in
another “baptism” — of blood, in his voluntary death for sin
and in the place of sinners (Lk. 12:49-50; Mk. 10:38; see
I John 5:6).

by Edward Fudge
LESSON 3 of 11
“Meet me at the water”

I. Matthew 28:18-20.

A. As risen Messiah of the end-time with universal sovereignty
granted by God himself, Jesus sends out the 12 to bring all
nations into discipleship to him.

B. The inclusive scope: all authority;
all the nations;
all I commanded;
all the days.

C. “All authority given” (see Daniel 7:13-14).

D. The commission: “going, make disciples” bring the people
into submissive relationship with Jesus the risen Messiah.

1. Two participles elaborate on disciple-making.

a. Baptizing.

(1) “Into the name of the Father, Son and Holy

(a) No example of Trinitarian formula in
Acts; unexpected in this “Jewish”

(b) Might reflect Matthean practice
(Antioch?) or perhaps simply
theological reflection.

(2) Importance of expression “into the name of”.

(a) Greek background (eis to onoma)
appropriation, dedication. Papyri: of
payments “to the account of.”

(b) Hebrew background (leShem) “with
respect to.”

(b1) Matthew 10:41; Matthew 18:20

(b2) Rabbinic (Strack-Billerbeck)

(b2a) Heathen slaves in Hebrew
house baptized leShem of
slavery; of freedom.

(b2b) Offering slaughtered
leShem of six things
(offering, offerer, God,
altar fires, sweet savor,
good pleasure).

(b2c) Israelites can circumcize
Samaritans but not vice-versa,
because Samaritans do so
leShem of Mt. Gerazim.

b. Teaching (all that Jesus has taught).

E. Jesus promises his personal presence each day on this mission:
“I am with you all the days, even to the consummation of the

II. Mark 16:15-18.

A. The risen Jesus charges the unbelieving 12 to tell the world
the message they have been so slow to accept, with the
assurance that believing messengers will have his powerful
presence and believing hearers will receive salvation.

B. Note the apostles’ own slowness/lack of faith in context.
Can they find the faith to tell anyone else what they
scarcely believe?

C. Jesus sends them out to preach the gospel in all the world
and to baptize believers.

1. Hearers have two options: to believe or not to believe.

a. Those who believe and are baptized will be saved.

b. Those who disbelieve will be condemned.

2. Our primary task is to preach the gospel (God’s saving
work in Jesus), not to baptize (1 Cor. 1:17).

3. However, when Jesus is preached and received, baptism
is expected to follow (Acts 8).

4. This is how believers express their faith: by being

D. Jesus promises his own powerful presence: the “signs
following those who believe” (will the apostles fit this
description?) attest to that.

III. Luke 24:46-47.

A. Jesus who was slain and is risen has thus fulfilled the
ancient Scriptures; the 12 are to proclaim repentance for
forgiveness in his name to Jews and the Gentile nations alike.

B. Context: verses 25-27, 44-45.

C. Suffering and risen Messiah fulfills Moses, prophets and

D. God will forgive those who truly repent, for the sake of
Jesus and on the basis of what he has accomplished.

1. Luke 3:3 – John preached a baptism of repentance for
forgiveness of sins.

2. Acts 2:38 – Peter commanded repentance and baptism
for forgiveness of sins.

3. Acts 3:19 – Peter announced repentance and wiping away
of sins, as the prophets said.

4. Acts 10:43 – Peter declared that all the prophets
attest that whoever believes on Jesus receives
forgiveness of sins.

5. For Luke, faith/baptism so obviously accompany
repentance as to make their mention unnecessary.

IV. Summary Quotation.

A. “Finally we should observe that the authority of Christian
Baptism is of the weightiest order. It rests on the command
of the Risen Lord after His achieving redemption and
receiving authority over the entire cosmos; it is integrated
with the commission to preach the good news to the world,
and it is enforced by his own example at the beginning of
His messianic ministry. Such a charge is too imperious to
be ignored or modified. It behoves us to adhere to it and
conform to it as God gives grace.” G.R. Beasley-Murray,
Baptism in the New Testament (Paternoster/Eerdmans 1962,
1983), p. 92.

B. The Apostles carried out Jesus’ commission: preaching the
gospel to all their world, baptizing those who believed,
then teaching them all that Jesus said. Jesus fulfilled
his promise to be with them in power as they accomplished
this task.

1. Acts 2- Pentecost pilgrims.
2. Acts 8- Samarians, Ethiopian.
3. Acts 10- Cornelius’ household.
4. Acts 16- Lydia, Philippian warden.
5. Acts 18- Corinthians.
6. Acts 22- Saul of Tarsus.

by Edward Fudge
LESSON 4 of 11
Washing God’s newborn child

I. How We Understand and Interpret Scripture Depends on
our Perspective/Framework. Remember: the Reality is
Larger Than Any Window’s View of It.

A. Sacerdotal (“right” words + “correct” motions = desired
result) vs. evangelical (God meets words and deeds
done in faith).

B. Sacramental (God acts in the ordinance) vs. symbolic
(the ordinance only points to God’s action).

C. Reformed/Calvinist (Christ’s atonement accomplished
salvation for all who will finally be saved = the elect)
vs. Arminian/Wesleyan (Christ’s atonement made
salvation possible for all people but did not accomplish
salvation for any).

II. The OT Anticipated a Time of National Regeneration Involving
Water and God’s Spirit, Aimed at the People’s Obedience and
God’s Glory (Ezek. 36:22-28).

III. Jesus Spoke of (Personal; Collectively National) Regeneration
Involving Water and God’s Spirit, Related to the Coming
Kingdom (John 3:1-7).

A. Unless one is born again/from above, one cannot see
God’s kingdom.

1. Born = people do not need a fresh start but a new origin.

2. Again/from above = this comes not by human effort
but by divine act (vv. 4, 6; John 1:11-13; see Rom. 9:16).

B. Unless one is born of water and Spirit, one cannot enter
God’s kingdom (v. 5).

1. This phrase might refer to two contrasting births (vv. 4, 6).

2. This phrase might well refer to baptism (John 1:31-33;
3:22-26,34; 4:1).

3. National identity is not a substitute, even for the “chosen”
nation (v. 7).

IV. Paul Spoke of Regeneration Involving Water and God’s Spirit,
Aimed at the People’s Obedience and God’s Glory, Related to
the Coming Kingdom (Titus 3:3-8).

A. Our former condition (v. 3; see Eph. 2:1-3).

B. What changed that status: God’s grace and mercy, not our
works (vv. 4, 5, 7; see Eph. 2:4, 5, 8-9).

C. God demonstrated his grace in Christ’s saving work (v. 4;
Titus 2:11; see Eph. 2:5-6).

D. We are saved “through” (think of a path we walk from one
place to another) the outer ceremonial washing and/even
inner spiritual renewal (vv. 5-6).

1. Washing of regeneration.

a. Washing (see Eph. 5:25-26 with “spoken word”).

b. Regeneration (palingenesia; see Matt. 19:28).

2. “And” / or “even” (further explaining)

3. Renewal of the Holy Spirit.

a. Renewal (anakainosis; see Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 4:16;
5:17; Col. 3:10; Barnabas 6:11 — God made us new
by the forgiveness of sins [in baptism]).

b. Holy Spirit (see Eph. 1:13; Ezek. 36:22f; John 3:3f).

E. As a result, we are to live obedient, holy lives (v. 8; Titus
2:11-12; see Eph. 2:10).

F. We await the final consummation of God’s kingdom at
Christ’s return (v. 7; Titus 2:13; see Eph. 2:7; 1:14), when
all things will result in praise and glory to God (see Eph.
1:10-14; Ezek. 36:22-23).

V. Our Present Baptism Looks Back and Relates to Christ’s
Saving Work in the Past and Looks Forward and Relates to
the New Creation and God’s Future Coming Kingdom.


by Edward Fudge
LESSON 5 of 11
Surrendering to a new master

I. Baptism in Jesus’ Name Means Surrendering to Jesus
Based on Who He Is: the Prophesied Messianic Lord Whose
Resurrection Presages Divine Salvation From Sin and the
Arrival of the Last Days (Acts 2:14-38).

A. The occasion: first gospel proclamation/conversion
of Jews.

B. The proclamation: Jesus (14-36).

C. The response: conviction (37).

D. The apostolic reply (38-39).

1. Repent (plural) and be baptized (singular) for
forgiveness of sins (plural) and receive the Holy
Spirit (plural).

2. “In the name of Jesus Christ” (epi- based upon who
Jesus is and what he has done).

II. Baptism in Jesus’ Name Means Coming Into Relation to
Jesus as the Powerful Lord who Conquers Satan and Brings
God’s Messianic Kingdom (Acts 8:12-16).

A. The occasion: first gospel proclamation/conversion of

B. The powerful proclamation: Jesus (5-7, 12).

C. The conversion response: faith and baptism (12, 16).
“In the name of the Lord Jesus” (eis- into relationship with).

D. The aftermath: Holy Spirit later given through apostolic
hands (14-16).

III. Baptism in Jesus’ Name Means Obeying the One By
Whom God Forgives Believers and Will Judge the World
(Acts 10:34-48).

A. The occasion: first gospel proclamation/conversion of
Gentiles (Acts 10:34-48).

B. The proclamation: Jesus (34-43).

C. God gives the Spirit to faith (44-47).

D. Peter commands water baptism in the name of Jesus
(en- by the authority of).

IV. Baptism in Jesus’ Name Means Committing to Live as a
Representative of Jesus Thereafter (Acts 9:14-18; 22:16).

V. Baptism in Jesus’ Name is Not a Mere Formula, but Means
Entrusting Oneself to Jesus Who Gives the Spirit (Acts

VI. Baptism in Jesus’ Name Means Invoking His Name in Prayer
While Being Baptized (Acts 22:16).

VII. Baptism in Jesus’ Name Means Yielding Allegiance to
Jesus Who Was Crucified, and Who Permits No Lesser
Sectarian Loyalties (1 Cor. 1:10-17).


by Edward Fudge
LESSON 6 of 11
A conscience washed clean

I. Imagery of Forgiveness as “Washing”.

A. Objectively (in God’s sight).

1. The blood of Christ (Rev. 1:5).

2. The Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:11; Titus 3:5).

3. The word of God/Christ (John 15:3 – logos; Eph. 5:25-26 –

B. Subjectively (for “clean” conscience): baptismal water
(Heb. 1:22; Acts 22:16; see also 1 Pet. 3:21).

1. The outer is meaningless without inner.

2. The inner calls for form in meaningful personal experience.

II. Old Testament background of forgiveness (lit. “release”).

A. Scapegoat “released” into desert (Lev. 16:26).

B. Jubilee “release” of land and debts (Lev. 25; see also Deut.

C. Messiah anointed with God’s Spirit to proclaim “release” to
captives (Isa. 61:1).

III. New Testament concepts relating to forgiveness (“release” of sins).
A. Christ’s blood (Matt. 26:28; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14).

B. Repentance toward God (Lk. 24:47; Acts 2:38; 5:31; 26:28).

C. Faith in the Lord Jesus (Acts 10:43; 13:38-39).

D. Baptism (Lk. 3:3; Acts 2:38).

by Edward Fudge
LESSON 7 of 11
The inside and outside of the matter

I. The Outward Act: Dipping in Water and Bringing Out.

A. We believe the most biblical physical act of baptism to be
immersion in water.

1. The primary meaning of the word baptizo/bapto suggests

a. Bapto Baptizo
b. Ex. 12:22 2 Kings 5:14
c. Lev. 14:6, 16, 51 Isa. 21:4
d. Josh. 3:15
e. Ruth 2:14

2. Narratives of biblical baptisms suggest this.

a. John 3:23
b. Acts 8:38-39

B. The significance of this outward physical act.

1. Burial and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-4; Col. 2:12).

2. New creation (2 Cor. 5:17; Gen. 1:1-2).

3. Deliverance as in the Flood (1 Pet. 3:20-22) and Red Sea
(1 Cor. 10:1-2).

C. We acknowledge that not all Christians have maintained this
practice, which is now being recovered in many places as the
primitive rite.

1. Early changes (Didache 7:1-4).
2. Reformers (including Anabaptists).
3. Modern resurgence.

II. The Inward Act: Sprinkling of the Blood of Jesus.

A. Old Testament backgrounds.

1. Sprinkling of water for purification (Lev. 14:1-9; Num.

2. Sprinkling of blood for atonement (Lev. 16:14-19).

B. The prophets described the messianic era as a time when God
would sprinkle Israel and the nations alike.

1. Ezek. 36:25-27
2. Isa. 52:15

C. New Testament writers see this fulfilled in spiritual
cleansing/atonement by Christ’s blood.

1. Heb. 10:22
2. Heb. 12:24
3. Heb. 9:13-14
4. 1 Peter 1:3

III. The Inward Act: Pouring Out of God’s Holy Spirit.

A. Old Testament background: prophets, priests and kings were
dedicated by pouring oil over their heads (anointing;
christening). This symbolized God’s lavish outpouring of his
empowerment and blessing on the person being consecrated.

1. Ex. 29:7; Lev. 8:12
2. Psa. 133:1-2

B. The prophets described the messianic era as a time when God
would pour out his Spirit on all his people, empowering and
consecrating them all for his service.

1. Isa. 32:15
2. Isa. 44:3
3. Joel 2:28-29

C. New Testament writers see this fulfilled in the giving of
the Spirit to the believer.

1. Acts 2:33 (Luke)
2. 2 Cor. 1:21-22 (Paul)
3. 1 John 2:20, 27 (John)

IV. Baptism Involves Immersion (Outwardly) and also Sprinkling
(Inwardly) and Pouring (Inwardly) — Each Full of Meaning for the
Person Looking in Faith to Christ.


by Edward Fudge
LESSON 8 of 11
Divine power for new life

I. The Holy Spirit Creates Spiritual Life (Titus 3:3-7; Ezek. 36:22-27;
John 3:3-6).

II. Jesus “Baptizes” Believers in God’s Spirit (Matthew 3:11; Mark
1:7-8;Luke 3:16; John 1:33; Acts 1:1-8).

A. Jewish believers (Acts 2). Those who repent and are baptized in
Jesus’ name (and also those God will “call” later) are promised
“the gift of the Holy Spirit” (2:38-39; see also 5:32).

B. Gentile believers (Acts 10-11). Those who received the Spirit
are commanded to be baptized in water in Jesus’ name (10:48).

C. Every Christian (1 Cor. 12:13; compare 1 Cor. 10:1-4).

D. This occurs in connection with faith/baptism in water.

1. At baptism (Acts 2:38).

2. Before baptism (Acts 10).

3. After baptism (Acts 8).

III. The Spirit Empowers for Witness and Service (Acts 1:8; Mark
13:11; 1 Cor. 12:4-11).

IV. The Spirit Signifies the Intimate Presence of God and Jesus
(John 14:16-21; John 16:16; John 7:37-39; compare Isaiah 32:14-18;

A. For holy living.

B. For guidance.

C. For ministry.

by Edward Fudge
LESSON 9 of 11
Stepping across the dividing line

I. The larger context: Peter encourages Christians who suffer for
their faith.

A. They are “different” from unbelievers around them. The
unbelieving world therefore mistreats, slanders and persecutes

1 Peter 1:1
2:11-12, 15
4:3-4, 12

B. Unbelievers also judged Jesus and mistreated him, but Jesus
bore it patiently and entrusted himself to God who is faithful.
God raised Jesus out of death and exalted him in glory. This is
the gospel story.

2:4, 7
3:18-19, 22

C. Truly believing this gospel enables Christians to stand alone
against an unbelieving world and to suffer with assurance (good
conscience). They are not evil-doers, as the world accuses, but
are imitating Christ’s suffering, trusting God for final
vindication and glory.

2:12, 19-21
5:6-7, 9-10

D. The enemy is not other people but Satan and his forces, and
Jesus has won the victory over Satan and all evil spirits.

3:18-20, 22

II. Faithful people have always been out of step with the world and
have had to trust God to vindicate their trust in him (3:18-20).

A. Noah’s believing family was slandered by an unbelieving world
(Gen. 6:5-9).

B. But God reversed the world’s mocking judgment and had the final
word by means of the Flood (Gen. 7:21-23; 8:1). The Flood water
“saved” those believers from their wicked world and judged the
unbelievers who mocked Noah. (Not saved “from water” but
“through water”. After the Flood, there was no confusing the
two groups of people or their true status as determined by God.)

III. The water of baptism is to suffering believers much as the Flood
was to Noah’s family (3:21-22).

A. The water of baptism “saves” believers “now” (undergoing
trials) from the stigma and sting of unjust judgment and cruel

1. This is not about removing impurity, but about living
confidently (in good conscience) under persecution.

2. “Salvation” in the midst of persecution comes by remembering
that God will have the final word about all parties involved.
He has demonstrated this by raising Jesus from the dead in
glory, and exalting him over all his foes (3:22).

B. The water of baptism also “saves” believers from union/
identification with the unbelieving, mocking world which await
God’s judgment. Peter had made a similar point years before on

1. That audience had helped kill Jesus (Acts 2:22-24), but
God had raised and glorified him (2:32-36).

2. This announcement convicted their hearts (2:37).

3. Peter commanded repentance and baptism in Jesus’ name
(2:38-39). He urged them: “save yourselves from this
perverse generation!” (2:40).

4. Those who believed were baptized and 3,000 left the ranks
of unbelievers to stand publicly with God’s people (2:41).

IV. To be baptized is to take a stand with those who trust God’s
faithfulness as seen in Jesus’ resurrection. The person baptized
pledges to imitate Jesus’ obedience even under persecution. For
all these reasons, baptism “saves” believers when they are called
to suffer for God’s sake.


by Edward Fudge
LESSON 10 of 11
Life (now) beyond the grave

I. Being baptized into union with Jesus means we live in newness of
life, free from Satan’s effective power (Rom. 6:1-4).

A. Satan’s power stops at the grave (6:7).

B. Jesus died and rose to live beyond the grave, out of Satan’s
reach (6:9-10).

C. We died and rose with Jesus, as evidenced by our baptism, and can
now ignore and defy Satan when he tempts (6:3-6).

D. We should reckon this to be the case and continually present our
bodies for obedience to God (6:11-14).

II. Being baptized into union with Jesus means we live by faith
although we never perfectly keep God’s law (Galatians 3:26-28).

A. Abraham was declared righteous by trusting God, and God promised
to bless people of all nations the same way (3:6-9).

1. No one ever becomes righteous by obeying God’s law because no
one obeys all of it perfectly all the time (3:10-14).

2. God’s promise to bless all nations was a one-sided covenant
which depended only on God; the Law involved a two-party
covenant which depended on the people living up to God’s
requirements (3:15-21).

3. Although the Law cannot save anyone, it prepares people to
hear the Gospel and put their trust in Christ (3:22-25).

B. We are God’s children by faith, baptized into union with Christ
and heirs of God’s promise to Abraham (3:26-28).

III. Being baptized into union with Jesus means we live complete in
Jesus without fearing any hostile powers of the universe
(Colossians 2:10-15).

A. Jesus fully embodies all that God is and means to us (2:3, 9).

B. He has conquered all hostile powers and rules over all powers
(2:10, 15).

C. We are complete in Jesus, baptized into union with him,
trusting God’s power who raised him from the dead (2:12-14).

by Edward Fudge
LESSON 11 of 11
All in the family

I. Background in earlier lessons: we are one because of a new nature
and new relationships.

A. We have a new basis for relating to God.

1. The core of the gospel is that Jesus became our personal
representative and substitute in all his doing and dying, so
that God views us now in Christ and not in ourselves apart
from him (Isa. 42:6; 49:8; Jer. 23:5-6; 33:15-16;
1 Cor. 1:30-31; Phil. 3:3-11).

2. Jesus publicly accepted this representative role as Lamb of
God at his baptism, symbolically taking up the sins of the
people to carry them to the cross (Lk. 12:49-50; Mk. 10:38;
see I John 5:6).

3. As risen Messiah of the end-time with universal sovereignty
granted by God himself, Jesus commissioned the Twelve to bring
all nations into discipleship to him (Matt. 28:18-20;
Mk. 16:15-18; Lk. 24:45-47).

B. We have a new nature.

1. God regenerates us by his Spirit, enabling us to obey God to
his glory, in view of his coming Kingdom (Ezek. 36:22-28;
John 3:1-7; Titus 3:3-8).

2. God washes and cleans us, both objectively (in God’s sight —
Rev. 1:5; 1 Cor. 6:11; Titus 3:5; John 15:3; Eph. 5:25-26) and
subjectively (in our own conscience — Heb. 11:22; Acts 22:16;
1 Pet. 3:21).

3. Jesus himself baptizes us in God’s Spirit and the Holy Spirit
lives within us as God’s personal, powerful presence, enabling
holy living and Christian service (Matt. 3:11; Acts 1:1-8;
Acts 2:38; Titus 3:3-7; Isaiah 32:14-18; 43:25-44:5;
Ezek. 36:22-27; John 7:37-39; 14:16-21; 16:16; 1 Cor. 12:4-11).

C. We have new relationships.

1. To Jesus. To be baptized in/into Jesus “name” means
surrendering to Jesus based upon who Jesus is and what he has
done (epi; Acts 2:38), coming into relation to him as the
powerful Lord who conquers Satan and brings God’s messianic
Kingdom (eis; Acts 8:12-16), and obeying him by whom God
forgives believers and will judge the world (Acts 10:34-48).

2. To the unbelieving world. To be baptized is to take a stand
with those who trust God’s faithfulness as seen in Jesus’
resurrection. The person baptized pledges to imitate Jesus’
obedience even under persecution. For all these reasons,
baptism “saves” believers when they are called to suffer for
God’s sake (1 Pet. 3:18-22).

3. To sin, law, and evil forces. To be baptized into union with
Jesus means: we live in newness of life, free from Satan’s
effective power (Rom. 6:1-4); we live by faith, although we
never perfectly keep God’s law (Galatians 3:26-28); we live
complete in Jesus without fearing any hostile powers of the
universe (Col. 2:10-15).

II. Baptism binds believers together in one body in a unity we should
acknowledge and diligently maintain.

A. 1 Corinthians 1:10-17.

Only Jesus was crucified for us, we were baptized in his name,
and he is not divided. Therefore we should all maintain a
common (noncompetitive) allegiance, shouting a common slogan
under a common banner.

B. Galatians 3:26-29.

Jesus is Abraham’s descendant through whom God is blessing the
entire world and we have divine blessing only by identification
with Jesus. Therefore we should recognize the oneness of all
who are baptized into Christ even as God does.

C. Ephesians 4:4-6.

There is but one body, animated by one Spirit. Those in it
share one hope and calling. They all relate to one Lord by one
faith expressed by one baptism. We are to diligently preserve
this unity in bonds of peace.