Saturday, January 3, 2009
What Is Baptism About?
Baptism is the act in the Bible to show your commitment to Jesus
“Make disciples of all men, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19
To commit yourself to Jesus, you don’t pray a certain prayer, you don’t go up to the altar, you don’t raise your hand at the right time. In the Bible, there is only one action to show that Jesus is your Lord and Savior—baptism.
Baptism is for those who are willingly choose Jesus.
“Those who believe and are baptized will be saved.” Mark 16:15
Baptism is for those who are ready to give their lives over to Jesus, totally with no turning back. It isn’t for the faint of heart or for those who aren’t sure. Nor is it for infants or those who don’t know what they’re doing—we can bless them and they can participate in the church, but they are not yet willing followers of Jesus. Only the seriously committed need apply.
Baptism means to die.
“You will be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized.” Mark 10:39
Baptism is a symbol of dying. In ancient civilizations, Water is the great enemy of mankind, and to enter into the realm Water is persecution, suffering and death. To be baptized in the name of Jesus is to die with Jesus on the cross. Those who are baptized are giving up of their own life and they do not have it any more—they are unable to take it up again.
Baptism is all throughout the Old Testament
“All were baptized with Moses in the sea.” I Corinthians 10:2
Noah was baptized as he passed through the flood and emerged through the storm to a new life. Moses and the children of Israel were baptized through the Red Sea, from one side to another, to be delivered from slavery into a new life. Joshua and Israel were baptized as they passed through the Jordan River into the land God had promised them. Elijah was baptized. Namaan was baptized. Creation was a type of baptism.
Baptism shows that we are dead to the world, and alive in Jesus
“Do you not know that those of us who have been baptized have been baptized into his death?” Romans 6:3
Any of us who are baptized are now dead to our old lives, our old ways of thinking, our old patterns of living. God leads us instead to a new life—which is the life of Jesus. We will live in Jesus and live the life of Jesus. Jesus is our life and Jesus’ life is the pattern of our life.
Baptism means that we receive the Holy Spirit.
“Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38
To have the Holy Spirit is to have the power of the life of Jesus. Because the Holy Spirit now fills us, we will live the life of Jesus and receive gifts which we can use for other believers.
Baptism means “inundated with water”
“I baptize you with water, but one comes after me who will baptize you in the Holy Spirit.” Luke 3
To be baptized, in Scripture, means to be “drenched.” Baptism isn’t only for part of us—it requires our whole lives to be dead to us and then renewed in Jesus. We aren’t partly dead. We aren’t partly filled with the Spirit. This is why we get soaked when we are baptized.
Baptism means that you are accountable to the church you have been baptized in.
“By one Spirit we were all baptized into one body.” I Corinthians 12:13
Those who participated in and witnessed our baptism have the right to ask how we are doing in the Lord—and they have the right to receive an honest answer.