Hello everyone! I hope your week has been blessed.
The reason the Lord has laid this week’s topic of baptism upon my heart is I’ve been seeing a good many evangelistic preachers who have an alter call for those who want to surrender their lives to Yeshua/Jesus but nothing is discussed about baptism.
So, for this week in the word I thought we’d take a quick trip down memory lane to a time when I was first confronted about this issue.
It’s the mid nighties, and I had recently repented of my sin and surrendered my life to the Messiah. Fortunately for me, there was a campus minister at Georgia State University who discipled me and got me properly rooted in God’s word. I was aware of a group on campus that was very dogmatic about baptism and it wasn’t long before one of their members wanted to have a sit-down bible study about baptism.
We met at the food court in the student center, found an empty booth, sat down and opened our bibles. The next thing I know one of his friends joins us. Then another, then another, and before long there I was at a table with this young man and ten of his church going friends.
We proceeded to discuss the importance of baptism. However, they were not interested in simply discussing baptism, they were more interested in telling me I needed to be baptized into “their” church.
Nothing should send up more red flags then when anyone says you must do things the way “their” church does them or you’re not saved. That is not biblical and borders cultist in my opinion.
That argument was quickly dispelled; however, they began to proclaim that baptism was absolutely necessary for salvation.
We went back and forth on the scriptures and finally I asked a question. Sure, it was a hypothetical, but I was very surprised at the answer.
I asked, “suppose someone repented and gave their hearts to Jesus while you were witnessing to them and on their way home they were killed in a car accident. Do you think they would go to hell?”
Believe it or not, the young man looked me square in the eye and said, “Yes.”
At that point I closed my bible and told him, “brother, I hope you become enlighten and see the error in your doctrine,” and I left the table.
So, as you can surmise I don’t believe baptism is necessary for salvation, however it is a very important and necessary part of a disciple’s life and one that should be given more time in teaching then it currently receives in some churches.
If we are disciples of the Messiah and we are living our lives by His teaching and example, we read that before Yeshua/Jesus began His ministry He was baptized.
In Matthew 3:15 we read: “Jesus replied, ‘Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then John consented.”
Messiah commands us in Mark 16:15-16; “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
And in Matthew 28:18-20 Yeshua/Jesus tells us: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:5-6; “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
And finally we read the emphasis the Apostle Peter placed on baptism in 1 Peter 3:18-22: “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.”
In the life of a believer, baptism is a necessary step. It is something that should not be taken lightly as it is the outward symbolizing that we are dying to ourselves, we are burying our old self and we are allowing the Holy Spirit of God to be the one who lives through us to the glory of the Lord Yeshua.
I recently heard a message in which the minister shared a testimony of when he had visited a mission’s school he founded in India. The school graduate’s students each year and they wait to finish graduation till he can come over and assist in baptizing the students. It just so happens that the Indian pastor that assists him asks each student before baptizing them, “are you willing to die for Jesus?”
Can you imagine if that was a question that was asked of a new believer here in the United States? How many would commit themselves to the Lord?
The Indian pastor told the minister that, “if the person hesitated or said no, he would not baptize them.”
WOW!! Now that is a radical faith.
However, a time is coming when believers will be faced with death or denial of Yeshua. And I’m not just talking about around the world, because it’s already happening there, but I’m talking here in America.
There is a remnant of those of us who will not bow our knees to Baal or any of the gods of this age. The Lord of hosts is stirring the hearts of many who are passionate about Him. Allow Him to work in your hearts and continue to stay in His word as He desires to share more wisdom and peace with each of you His children. Rid yourselves of anything that causes you to stumble. We are to be His pure bride. His grace is more than sufficient to assist in all areas of our lives.
Now, if you are someone who has recently committed your life to the Messiah, and you have not been baptized, it’s time to be baptized. It’s time to tell the world that you are dead to your self and it’s no longer you who are living but God is living through you.
It’s time as the Messiah teaches, “to fulfill all righteousness.” And when you’re baptized, just before you’re submerged under water tell Yeshua, “Lord, I’m willing to die for you. So, You can live through me.”
I hope you were blessed this week. Thank you for tuning in to this week in the word.
The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn His toward you and give you His shalom.