Gospel Essentials:  Why Baptism?

What Question did Adam Ask? 

What was God's answer? (Inspired Version)

Genesis 6:54-71

54 And our father Adam spake unto the Lord, and said, Why is it that men must repent, and be baptized in water?

55 And the Lord said unto Adam, Behold, I have forgiven thee thy transgression in the garden of Eden.

56 Hence came the saying abroad among the people, that the Son of God hath atoned for original guilt, wherein the sins of the parents cannot be answered upon the heads of the children, for they are whole from the foundation of the world.

57 And the Lord spake unto Adam, saying, Inasmuch as thy children are conceived in sin, even so, when they begin to grow up sin conceiveth in their hearts, and they taste the bitter, that they may know to prize the good.

58 And it is given unto them to know good from evil; wherefore, they are agents unto themselves.

59 And I have given unto you another law and commandment; wherefore teach it unto your children, that all men, everywhere, must repent, or they can in no wise inherit the kingdom of God.

60 For no unclean thing can dwell there, or dwell in his presence; for, in the language of Adam, Man of Holiness is his name; and the name of his Only Begotten is the son of Man, even Jesus Christ, a righteous judge, who shall come in the meridian of time. 

61 Therefore I give unto you a commandment, to teach these things freely unto your children, saying, that by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death; and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so become of dust a living soul;

62 Even so ye must be born again, into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye may be sanctified from all sin; and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come; even immortal glory.

63 For, by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified; and by the blood ye are sanctified.

64 Therefore it is given to abide in you, the record of heaven, the Comforter, the peaceable things of immortal glory, the truth of all things, that which quickeneth all things which maketh alive all things, that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice and judgment.

65 And now, behold, I say unto you, This is the plan of salvation unto all men, through the blood of mine Only Begotten, who shall come in the meridian of time.

66 And, behold, all things have their likeness; and all things are created and made to bear record of me; both things which are temporal, and things which are spiritual; things which are in the heavens above, and things which are on the earth, and things which are in the earth, and things which are under the earth, both above and beneath, all things bear record of me.

67 And it came to pass, when the Lord had spoken with Adam our father, that Adam cried unto the Lord, and he was caught away by the Spirit of the Lord, and was carried down into the water, and was laid under the water, and was brought forth out of the water; and thus he was baptized.

68 And the Spirit of God descended upon him, and thus he was born of the Spirit, and became quickened in the inner man. 

69 And he heard a voice out of heaven, saying, Thou art baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost; this is the record of the Father and the Son, from henceforth and forever;

70 And thou art after the order of him who was without beginning of days or end of years, from all eternity to all eternity.

71 Behold, thou art one in me, a son of God; and thus may all become my sons. Amen.

What was Adam told regarding repentance and baptism?

 

All mankind is born into a world of sin.  God's desire is for us to be with Him again, but it's not possible in our current stain of sin.  Just as we were physically born into this word by water and blood and the spirit, we need to be re-born by 'dying to sin' (repentance) and becoming reborn into God's kingdom by the water (baptism) and the Spirit (gift of the Holy Ghost).  

 

Because of the atonement (Jesus death), this allows those who have made this choice to return, sinless, to the Heavenly Father.  Without the atonement, repentance would merit nothing.

 

There is no other way in the universe to be able to be with Him, but by this plan of salvation.

Nicodemus asked about this 're-birth.'

What was Jesus' Response?

John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water, and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

(Compare the definition of being born of water and born of spirit here in John, with the definition from Genesis above.  It refers to the literal act of immersion, i.e. baptism by water,  and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, i.e. baptism by fire).

Is there a physical pattern, or 'type and shadow' teaching about Baptism?

Just as the earth was cleansed by water (i.e. Noah's flood) and will be cleansed by fire (end of the world), this is a pattern for us to learn from. Christ requires us to make a covenant with Him via water baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost. 

Paul refers to the Israelites passing through the parted Red Sea as their baptism, and when the cloud descended on Sinai. (learn more on this on the plan of salvation handout).  Both baptisms occurred physically to the nation, to represent Christ's plan for the Christian.

I Corinthians 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

What does baptism actually symbolize?

The act of immersion during baptism represents death of the body/soul. We covenant with God that we 'have died' to our former sinful ways and lusts, and have repented from our sins.  

When we are brought forth out of the water, it symbolizes being resurrected, i.e. brought back to life, a new creature in Christ.  The priesthood member stands in the stead of Jesus when the baptismal candidate is brought up--Jesus is the one who will resurrect the souls of men.

To make our covenant with Christ, we must spiritually die unto ourselves and become new creatures in Christ.  

Symbolically, Christ taught:

John 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

But I've been told that Baptism is just an outward act.  Is it really required?

How many commandments given by Jesus did he offer as optional?

The token of the covenant of the choice we have made is required by Jesus.   It is necessary for salvation's plan to be complete.

Jesus commanded:

Mark 16:15 He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not, shall be damned.

Is any baptism acceptable?

Jesus was questioned by the Pharisees regarding why he did not accept their baptism.  His response suggests that there was one baptism, one faith that was acceptable by him.  This did not allow one to choose for himself his own faith and/or baptism.

Matthew 9:18 Then said the Pharisees unto him, Why will ye not receive us with our baptism, seeing we keep the whole law?
Matthew 9:20 I receive not you with your baptism, because it profiteth you nothing.

Paul said there was only 'one' baptism in the body of faith:

Ephesians 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

Baptism has been restored to the earth in the latter day by priesthood having authority, as called by God.

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