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When Tailgating is Good

Road Trip

Tom LundeenJuly 31, 2022Baptism Messages

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Passage: Matthew 3:7-15

Tailgating when driving is a not a wise choice. When following Jesus, however, it is a very important thing to do! Staying close to Jesus and following his footsteps in every way should be the goal of every Jesus follower - including water baptism.

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When Tailgating is Good


Pastor Tom Lundeen


The  is that every single driven by something.

 = to guide, control, direct. 


Tailgating when you're driving is a bad thing to do. But tailgating in following Jesus is a very important thing to do. Staying close to Jesus and following in His footsteps in every way should be the goal of every Jesus follower, and that includes water baptism.


1. What the New Testament Tells Us About Water Baptism


A. What baptism means - "Baptizo" = "to immerse"

  • I would have those who are to be baptized to be  immersed, as the work imports and the mystery signifies. (Martin Luther)
  • The word 'baptize' signifies to immerse. It is certain that immersion was the practice of the  church. (John Calvin)
  • Buried with Him, alludes to baptizing by immersion according to the  of the first church. (John Wesley)

B. John the Baptist - his ministry shows us that baptism was not a new idea  by Christians, or even by John the Baptist.

  • Baptism =  always a symbolic .
  • John the "Baptizer" practiced a baptism that symbolized . (note Matthew 3:7-11a).


C. Baptism of Jesus - His baptism was  of a number of things:

  • It was to " all righteousness" (note Matthew 3:15)
  • Fulfilled the mission of John the Baptist and marked the start of Jesus'  ministry.
  • Jesus identified Himself with the  condition of humanity which He had come to save.
  • It is an example to  His followers. 


D. Other New Testament examples - baptism practiced  after commitment to Jesus Christ, so much so that often baptism and salvation closely tied together:

  • Acts 2, Pentecost
  • Acts 8, Samarian converts and Ethiopian government official
  • Acts 9, Saul of Tarsus
  • Acts 16, Lydia of Thyatira and Philippian jailer and his household
  • Acts 18, believers in Corinth
  • Acts 19, Ephesian disciples

Every example of baptism in the New Testament is believer's baptism (no examples of  baptism).

Note Matthew 28:18-20. Baptism is an outward sign and symbol of what has happened inwardly and spiritually to a person who commits their life to Jesus . The  of baptism does not provide salvation.


2. Why Baptism Matters


A. Baptism describes visually what  means. (Note Romans 6:4-5)

B. Baptism is an initial  of discipleship. (Note John 14:15)

C. Baptism represents .

D. Baptism is a  testimony.

E. Baptism represents !



  • Baptism is not an " extra" for Jesus' followers.
  • It's to be done as soon as you say '!' to Jesus as Lord as possible (note Acts 8:34-39).
  • The challenge is for you to make a bold commitment to be baptized. 


Here are the 3 qualifications to engage in baptism:

  1. You need to be a follower of Jesus. 
  2. You need to have not be baptized as an adult believer in Christ already.
  3. You need to be at least 12 years old.


(We do baptize children younger than 12 if they have parental support and have talked it through with our Riverside Kids leaders. Riverside Kids also has a discipleship class called No Limits for children under 12; they are given a chance to engage in baptism after completing this course; details at


Don't get baptized:

  • If you're not sure about following Jesus.
  • If you're trying to impress others.
  • If you think it would be a "cool" experience with your friends/family. Do what Jesus calls you to do. 

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