Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Baptism, the Next Step

Previously, I wrote about salvation through Jesus Christ. As we look through the Bible, Jesus told His Disciples to baptize the new converts. We read in Matthew that the Disciples were to teach all nations and baptize the believers in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. What an honor to be baptized that way. To be given permission to use those names to do so. Do we really understand what we have here, the ability to baptize in the names of the Most High? As we tell people about the need for salvation, we need to show them the need to obey by getting baptized.
Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. (Matthew 28:16-20). Jesus was very clear about baptism and when it took place. Everyone who was saved was to be baptized as soon as possible.
Jesus went to John the Baptist to be baptized before He started His earthly ministry. Bible says, "Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him. And lo a voice from heaven, saying, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:13-17). Jesus goes to the river Jordan and asks John to baptize him. I feel if Jesus thought it to be important enough to do himself then we need to take heed and follow. The whole time Jesus traveled around with the disciples, He was showing them how to be like Him and how to respond to different situations and the attitudes in which to use. I can only imagine how that would have been had I been one of them traveling, watching Jesus do miracles, and seeing educated men of God being out witted by a carpenter. I would hope I would have been like a sponge, soaking up all the knowledge first hand. After Jesus was baptized, God said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Christ being baptized showed obedience to His Father and the public that same obedient act. So, after you have gone forward to accept Jesus as Savior, take the next step and get baptized as soon as possible. I know when I was baptized; I came up out of the water different. From that day forward my knowledge of the bible grew and grew. The Word began to make sense and I saw my life start to change over time. I grew spiritually and an understanding of the personal relationship Christ wants and needs began to develop. It is my belief that, this single act of obedience brings blessing to your life.

In every instance of salvation there has been a baptism of the believer. In Acts 2:38, Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Peter told everyone at Pentecost to repent and be baptized. In Acts 2:41, Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. All who believed were baptized. When Saul was converted in Acts Chapter 9, he was baptized after he received his sight. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. (Acts 9:17,18). That whole story can be read from verse 1 through 18. Saul who was named Paul by the Lord also was obedient to the command of baptism. Jesus intended for us to be saved and then publically show our inward decision through baptism to be His. I believe it is a seal to the deal of salvation that brings the Holy Spirit to us for growth and it also creates an atmosphere of success for ministry work.

In Romans 6: 3-5, Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. This passage best describes what really happens in baptism. We go under the water as unto death and burial, then come back up out of the water again as Christ rose again giving us the newness of life He has. This outward display of our inward decision shows everyone we are not ashamed to claim Christ as our savior.

If you read my previous post about salvation and got saved, then get baptized as soon as you can. God will take you places you never dreamed.