New Life in Christ

Baptism expresses the forgiveness of our sins and the freedom to live a new life in Christ.

TOPICS:

Baptism, Forgiveness, Obedience, Sin 

MATERIALS:

Roll of toilet paper
Large bowl or bucket of water
Paper towel for drying hand

DURATION:

Approximately 10 minutes

Baptism and Cross

WHAT YOU WILL DO:

You need one volunteer for this little experiment. First, you will take toilet paper and wrap it around the fingers of one hand about ten times, so the fingers cannot be spread apart. Then you will have the volunteer submerge his or her wrapped hand into the bowl of water. After about 20 seconds, he or she will be able to spread his or her fingers apart and remove the hand from the water free from the toilet paper. The toilet paper represents being bound by sin, and the water shows how baptism expresses how we are free to walk a new life in Jesus, forgiven of our sins.

Note: Many Christian churches believe immersion is the best way to express this new life we have in Christ, while others say the spiritual meaning is what matters, and not the method. However, baptism by immersion is consistently found in scripture. 

WHAT YOU WILL SAY:

I need a volunteer. Great! Now hold out your hand. I'm going to wrap a lot of sin around it. (Take the roll of toilet paper and tightly wrap it about ten times around the fingers of one hand. Make sure it is snug so the volunteer cannot spread his or her fingers apart.)

Your hand now represents how each of us are bound by our sin. Can you spread your fingers apart? (The answer should be No.)

Because of our sin, we are separated from God. We are spiritually dead. But Jesus forgives our sins. He cleanses us from all unrighteousness, so we can receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and live a new life in Jesus. This truth is expressed by baptism. Let's see how it works. I want you to submerge your hand in this bowl of water. Keep it in there. Everyone else, let's count to 20.

(After counting to 20) Now can you spread your fingers apart? Go ahead and spread your fingers, and remove your hand leaving all the sin behind. Great job, you can now dry off.

We are baptized out of obedience to the Word of God for the forgiveness of our sins. (Acts 2: 38) When you are baptized for real, you may hear something like the following: "Because of your confession of faith, and in obedience to Christ, you are now baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, for the forgiveness of your sins, and for the gift of eternal life or the Holy Spirit."

Discussion Questions:

1. What should someone do before they are baptized? (One must first accept and trust in Jesus.)
2. Why should someone be baptized (Out of obedience, because Jesus commands it.)
3. When should someone be baptized? (As soon as they can after accepting Jesus into their heart.)