Water baptism

The letters of the New Testament say a lot about baptism. Here, we look at how baptism is a vital act of obedience as Christ’s disciples.

We have already looked at full immersion water baptism in the Gospels and Acts. To recap briefly, we have seen that God has made atonement for every single sin committed by every single person (1 John 1:7), but not everyone is going to be with Him. Although Jesus’ blood was shed for all, the forgiveness of sin and the washing away of sin is appropriated by faith obeying His commands i.e. repentance, believe and baptism. Faith is acting in obedience to God’s word, to God’s commands. Full immersion baptism is God’s command to us to wash away our sins once repentance and believing has taken place.

This last part will look at Scriptures in the Epistles or letters of the New Testament.

Romans 6:3-14 elaborates at length on the meaning of full immersion water baptism. To make it easier to understood I list the 10 points as revealed by the book of Romans:

– We were baptised INTO Christ Jesus – 6:3a (it is not symbolic)

– We were baptised INTO His death – 6:3b (it is not symbolic)

– We are buried WITH Christ through baptism into death IN ORDER THAT

– As Christ was raised so we too may have a new life – 6:4a

– United WITH Christ in His death – 6:5a

– United WITH Christ in His resurrection – 6:5b

– Our old self was crucified WITH Christ -6:6a SO THAT

– The body of sin might be done away with, so that we should no longer be slaves to sin – 6:6b

– If we died WITH Christ – 6:8a

– We will also live WITH Him – 6:8b

Spiritually it is important as water baptism is the appropriation of what Jesus has done, it washes away our sins (Acts 22:16), unites us in His death, burial and resurrection, and we are raised freed from the mastery of sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Our allegiance is to Christ Jesus not a tradition or denomination. Jesus is our pure and sincere devotion. We are to be conformed to His image with the fullness of Christ within.

Colossians 2:11, 12: “Having been buried with Him in baptism, you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead”. Just as circumcision was the cutting off the physical flesh to denote separation to God, so water baptism is the cutting off spiritually of the flesh nature. The spiritual circumcision is done by Christ following obedience to His command for full baptism. Through our faith in the power of God we are raised with Christ.

“For all who were baptised (through water baptism) into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:27). This is a spiritual reality. Buried with Christ and raised with Christ, we are now clothed with Christ.

1 Peter 3:20, 21 states that as Noah and the eight were saved through water, so water baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you! Water baptism is not an option, is not symbolism but a vital necessary part of being a disciple of Christ. It is an act of obedience to the command of Jesus.

Post published in: Faith

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