Wednesday, March 18, 2009



Baptism means to be completely immersed or submerged in an element, such as water. If you are a Christian you should be baptized in water. By being baptized in water you are demonstrating several spiritual attributes related to your life in Christ. When I did a study on baptism I found several words that help explain Baptism:


Baptism is an act of obedience to God’s Word. Jesus commanded his disciples to baptize. Both the baptizer and the "baptizee" demonstrate obedience when a Baptism takes place!
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. Matthew 28:19-20

Water Baptism is the “initiation rite” into the New Covenant. basically a covenant is a binding agreement. Circumcision represented a covenant between God and Abraham’s descendants in the Old Testament. Baptism represents a covenant between God and whoever comes to God through Jesus Christ. In Baptism you are saying that your sinful nature, has been "cut away" from you and that you now belong to Christ.
In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ,  12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. Colossians 2:11-12

Water Baptism shows that you have repented (turned away from your sins, and turned toward God), your sins have been washed away, and you have been made clean in God’s eyes.
And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name. Acts 22:16

Saturation - Baptism into Christ
Water Baptism shows that when you became a Christian you were Baptized (immersed, submerged) into the body of Christ, or placed into Christ. You have clothed yourself with Christ. You are joined with Him. He is in you and all around you - That's a safe place to be!
For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free — and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 1Corinthians 12:13
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
Galatians 3:26-27

Water Baptism shows That your old life has been crucified, and buried with Christ. Out with the old!
Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 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. Romans 6:3-4

Water Baptism shows that you have been resurrected with Christ as a new person, with a new life.   In with the new!
...having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. Colossians 2:12
(Also, Romans 6:3-8)

Water Baptism shows that you are both requesting and pledging a good conscience
Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the pledge of a good conscience toward God) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 1Peter 3:21

This is a great little word that’s translated as “pledge” in the NIV. A pledge means a promise. When you’re baptized, you are saying and demonstrating, “I promise to keep a good conscience.” But listen to the various ways this phrase has been translated into English:

Baptism demonstrates the answer of a good conscience toward God

Baptism demonstrates an appeal to God for a good conscience

Baptism is a response to God from a clean conscience

Baptism demonstrates turning to God with a clear conscience

Baptism is a request to God for a clear conscience

How can Baptism be both a promise to God of a good conscience and a request to God for a good conscience?!? But it’s also a response to God from a good conscience - What?!?

“Lord, I promise to have a good conscience” “Lord, help me keep a good conscience” “Lord, I’m doing this because I already have a good conscience!”

How can this one word mean all of these things? Maybe this phrase will help:

“So help me God!”

People think of “so help me God,” almost the same way they think of “I swear!” “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?” I asked my wife what she thinks of when she hears the phrase, “So help me God?” She said, “swearing in court.” So it’s an oath, or a promise.

But “so help me God” is literally a request for God to help. “HELP ME GOD!” You can’t request any more clearly than that! “I promise to tell the truth, only in so far as God will help me tell the truth!”

“I promise to tell the truth."
"But God help me tell the truth."

In the same way, this word here means that through baptism you are saying, I promise to keep a good conscience, but I can only do that if you help me, God.  I promise to keep a good conscience, but I’m also asking for you to give me the ability to keep the promise of a good conscience!  And the only reason I’m here being baptized is because you’ve already given me a good conscience!”  It all works together.

To sum it all up, being baptised in water represents being baptized in Christ. Being baptized in Christ is to be submerged, surrounded and saturated with the Lord Jesus Christ. So go ahead, take the plunge!

Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me. Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.        
-From a prayer of Saint Patrick

[Photo By hoyasmeg on Flickr's Creative Commons]

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