Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Baptism, the three days!
Do we truly understand the importance of baptism? After all, the bible lists five different times that we should be baptized by water for the remission of sin. Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:4; Acts 22:16 and 1 Peter 3:21 There are two things about baptism that I believe we should all be aware of.
One, baptism took the place of ritual cleansing. If we study the old testament law we find that there are many rules for what we must do to enter the presence of God. If someone touched a dead body, or someone with a disease, etc they became unclean. They were constantly washing themselves in order to become pure again. Baptism was just that. It made them ritually pure! However, it wasn't something they needed to do over and over! Because they were being reborn! We were coming under a new covenant, one in which our spirits were no longer made impure by what we touched or what we ate!
Baptism also was a shadow of things to come, a shadow that we now have seen in the light. Baptism was instructed to be in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit! Before the death of Christ they still used three dips in the water. Why? For each time we go under, we are spending a day in the tomb with Jesus (symbolically). Three days we are dead, but on the fourth(when we raise from the grave) we are made alive! We come out of the water not a carnal man, but a spirit! A spirit alive in Jesus Christ!
Now baptism is an outward show of an inward change. This we know. The act of baptism does not actually change you, however, the process by which one reaches baptism and goes through it.. this is where the change is! The change is in our heart! We must be baptized not only by water, but by spirit! Much like circumcision is of the heart, so is baptism! (Now I firmly believe that every believer should be baptized, this is not a teaching against that! However, it is a teaching that a person cannot simply be baptized and believe they will go to Heaven... they MUST put their faith in Jesus Christ!)