This thorough study of baptism and its significance offers a clear explanation of the Gospel, a grounding in the new identity of the believer in Christ, and practice in applying Biblical perspectives to life.
In Acts 8 we read of the Ethiopian eunuch, whose encounter with the Christ of the Scriptures led him to blurt out, ‘Look! There’s some water! Why can’t I be baptised?’ It’s interesting to note that Philip’s sharing of the good news evidently included specifically talking about baptism.
If you have the privilege of helping new disciples prepare for baptism, consider asking these six questions, and studying together what God’s Word teaches about each.
- Why baptism? Before jumping into what, when, or how, talk together about why we pursue baptism: in obedience to Christ as his disciples (Matt. 28:1820).
- Why me? Why now? Reflect together on the gospel and how God has worked in their life to bring them to baptism. This is the perfect opportunity to clarify and deepen their understanding of repentance and faith in Christ (Acts 2:1441).
- What is this New Covenant? Look at how baptism celebrates our entrance into a new, radically different covenant relationship with God through Christ (Luke 22:20; Col. 2:615).
- Am I ready to die? To live? Explore what the Scriptures say concerning baptism as a picture of our union with Christ: dying to sin and rising to life in him (Rom. 6:34).
- Am I on my own? Discover how baptism unites us with other believers, giving us not just a new individual identity but a new communal identity with God’s people (1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:46).
- Do I hear an echo? Reflect together on how participating in the Lord’s Supper reaffirms our identification with Christ, an echo of our baptism (1 Cor. 11:26).
Each of the six lessons is followed by a session with a church leader or mentor to encourage reflection and life application. A final lesson instructs the candidate to prepare his/her testimony, for a total of 13 sessions. Lessons can be taught using the oral story method, the inductive written method or a combination of both. It was specially designed for those from a non-Christian background.