Be Baptized Every One Of You.

Daily Spirit & Word: 517: Be Baptized Every One Of You.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 33: Baptism.

Good morning my friends, today we’re thinking about the next part of Jesus’ Great Commission: He told the disciples to “GO” to “Make Disciples” and to “Baptise them in the Name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit”.

Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit …”

Baptism:

On Sunday we’re having an Open Air Baptism Service: It’s an amazing time, not just for the candidates, but for the whole church. I’ve been encouraging everyone to come and to bring their family and friends to this service. It’s great for those being baptised because they know they’ve made a public commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s a mark of obedience to Jesus Christ. It’s a witness to the world and the community in which we live and minister, that people today still believe and trust in the Living Lord Jesus Christ. It’s an encouragement to Christians, that God is still adding to our numbers those who are being saved today. If you can come along we’d love to welcome you.

But what is Baptism?

What is baptism and why is it so important? The original Greek word of the New Testament is Baptizo (Bap-Tid-Zo). It means literally; to submerse or immerse in water. When you are having a bath and washing yourself, you don’t just sprinkle a few drops of water, you get into the bath and submerse your whole body. Like a Submarine, it’s doesn’t stay on the surface at sea, it goes under the water. That’s what baptism means, going underneath, to submerse completely. In the Church of England, that’s what Baptism really means, there was permission in the Book of Common Prayer to allow for those who are sick or unable to undergo proper baptism to be sprinkled with water, but the true baptism, full submersion, was always meant to be the NORMAL practice.

Today many more people are coming to the Church later in life and want to be baptised in the NORMAL way: Full Submersion. I’ve known some people who want to be baptised every year, but there is only ONE baptism needed.

So baptism means to submerge, but why do Christian need or want to be submerged in water?

Origins of Baptism:

From just before the time of Jesus Ministry, there was a man called John the Baptist and he called the people of Israel to come back to God, he encouraged them to REPENT (more on repentance later) and BE BAPTISED for the forgiveness of their sins. Since John the Baptist, baptism has had a prominent place in the lives of followers of Jesus Christ. It’s part of Jesus commandments to His Disciples; to go and make disciples then to baptise (submerse) them in the name of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

BEFORE YOU CAN BE BAPTISED.

But there are certain pre-conditions before someone is baptised: Those conditions are: REPENTANCE & BELIEF IN JESUS CHRIST.

You are not made into a Christian by being baptised, but you get baptised because you’ve already become a Christian.

After preaching about Jesus on the day of Pentecost, the people felt the Holy Spirit’s conviction and asked Peter what they should do, listen carefully to what Peter said;

Acts 2:36-41 36  “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
37  When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
38  Peter replied, Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39  The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40  With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
41  Those who accepted his message were baptised, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

So we can see clearly that before they were to be baptised, they needed to REPENT (More on repentance later).

In another place we read that people were encouraged to “Believe and be BAPTISED”.

Mark 16:15-16  He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
16  Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

So we can see that both; Belief (Faith) and Repentance are pre-requisites before a person is to be baptised.

Preparation for Baptism:

In the 2nd and 3rd Centuries of the Church, people had to undergo three years of preparation before they were baptised. We don’t require people to do that, because the Bible doesn’t teach such a thing, but it shows how serious the early Christians took baptism. Some time later, again because of false notions of Baptism, people put off being baptised, because they believed if they sinned after baptism, they’d loose their Salvation.

But part of proper preparation is to ensure or try to ensure a much as we can, that people know what they are doing, that they’ve actually; REPENTED OF THEIR SINS and BELIEVED (put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ).

Having been encouraged to trust in Jesus and repent of sins, we ask people to come and be baptised.

What Does Baptism Mean?

We’ve looked at what it is, what the pre-requisites are, but what’s actually happening in Baptism? (apart from the obvious, that people are being plunged underneath the water).

Thankfully, the Bible (God’s Word) is explicit. He’s told us clearly whats happening when people are baptised in water.

In Romans chapter six, Paul helps us to understand. Even though baptism doesn’t save us, it’s was so closely connected with Christian conversion, that Paul here explained what happened to a believe when they gave their lives to Christ.

Romans 6:1-14 1  What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning, so that grace may increase?
2  By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
3  Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death?
4  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5  If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.
6  For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—
7  because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
8  Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
9  For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.
10  The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11  In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.
13  Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.
14  For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

When a person gets baptised, they are dying to the OLD SELF, DEAD to SIN and begin to live a NEW LIFE in Christ Jesus. WOWzer!

BAPTISM IS NEW LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS.

Baptism then, is a moment in time when you are giving OVER your life to God: every part of it. Just as God tells us in;

Romans 6:13 (NIV) “Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.”

What does this mean?

Well it includes giving over to God everything that makes up who you are: Your mind, your heart, your will and your desires. It includes;

  • Your head (mind, desires and will),
  • Your Eyes: You’ll be looking at the world differently from now on.
  • Your Hands: (how from now on your life and work will be done for Jesus. You’ll never use your hands to steal of do sinful things),
  • Your Feet: (You’ll only go to places that Christ would go; e.g. would Jesus go to be entertained in a bar with strippers? Would Jesus go to the Cinema where explicit sexual scenes are being shown? Would Jesus watch TV shows with swearing or foul mouthed actors for entertainment? NO! Jesus wouldn’t do that)
  • Your Sexual Parts: (only to be used for their bodily functions and in the bond of Marriage: Not for sensual pleasure in wrong ways).
  • Your Tongue: (Not being used to talk maliciously about people, gossiping, back-stabbing or knocking and mocking others, nor lying or cheating),
  • Your Mind: (not thinking or dwelling upon sinful things, vain imaginations, envy or greed, lust and desiring inappropriate things, not dwelling upon the things this world has to offer too much {inordinate affection}.

My friends, when we surrender to Jesus Christ, we really do need to think deeply about what “Dying To Self” really means. Your body and it’s members need to be surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ, that is what you are saying to Jesus when you are being baptised. We must remember that Baptism signifies a DEATH to SELF and a COMMITMENT to living a completely different kind of life from that moment on: It’s what real repentance involves, a turning away from all that we know to be wrong and using our whole being to live from now on for Jesus Christ.

Here’s what you are saying to Jesus in Baptism:

“Dear Lord Jesus, I know that you were baptised into DEATH for my sin and that You rose from the DEAD, that You are now living forever in Heaven, so Lord, from now on I want to give all of myself to You and I will live completely for You and not for my own sinful desires. I want You to live in me from now on by Your Holy Spirit, and I know that, with Your help, I can live a life of freedom from slavery to sin.”

My dear friends, every Christian who’s repented and trusted the Lord Jesus Christ would want to pray such a prayer of dedication. Do you? Why not stop everything you are doing right now, go back and read this prayer again, then pray with your own words a similar prayer of COMMITMENT or RE-COMMITMENT to Jesus Christ. Do it now!

Baptism then is DYING to SELF and LIVING for Jesus Christ.

When we get baptised, we’ve already Believed in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection. We’ve REPENTED, had a change of mind regarding sin and living for ourselves and want to live for and with Jesus Christ.

It’s an outward sign and symbol or an inward reality. Baptism cannot save you, but it shows to the world that you’ve already been saved by Jesus Christ. It’s telling everyone that you are committed to living your life from that moment on for Jesus Christ. When you go under the water you are dying to the old way of living. When you come up out of the water, you are showing you are committed to Jesus way of living from that moment on.

Baptism is a wonderful witness:

When you get baptised you are declaring to the world: “Jesus is MY LORD. I am Jesus’ servant. I’m a child of God. I’m going to be living for Him from now on”

How do we live for Jesus?

Take UP Your CROSS and FOLLOW JESUS.

Matthew 16:24-26 24  Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
25  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.
26  What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?

A Christian is not completely without sin, it’s a daily choice to either live for Jesus or live for ourselves. Jesus pictured this when He said, “Take up your cross daily” i.e. die to your own passions and pleasures daily, and surrender your life to God every single day. You won’t be able to do that without His help. You must remain in the vine, apart from Jesus you can’t do it my friends. To stay connected you’ll need daily nourishment (Spiritual food for your soul) by reading and meditating upon God’s diet of daily bread, God’s Word. You’ll be praying and talking with Jesus every day. You’ll be asking the Holy Spirit to come and fill you afresh each day. You’ll be asking the LORD to guide you and show you how He wants you to live and work for Him each and every day. You’ll desire to speak for Jesus with others and lead others to faith and trust in your Saviour and Lord.

Baptism is just the beginning of the NEW LIFE of FREEDOM from the slavery to sin, but we must trust Jesus daily to keep us free from sin’s ability to dominate our lives again. I’ve known Christians who’ve become so powerful for Jesus and they’ll admit to areas of weakness. It’s healthy to be open and honest with a few trusted brothers and sisters in the family. Meet regularly to confess your weaknesses and the trials and temptations you are undergoing. Get support and strength from fellowship with the Lord and with each other.

I hope this makes the Lord’s Command to His followers, the Disciples and first Apostles to Go, preach the Gospel and make disciples, then to baptise those who come to faith and trust and believe in Jesus Christ.

Have an immense and powerful day with Jesus my friends.

Don.