BAPTISM | What about it?

“Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.” – Hebrews 6:1-2 KJV
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One big indication of lack of growth is remaining stagnant. Even in spiritual things, it is expected that we are progressive, moving from one point to another. No matter how great the plan of a house is and how much was invested in the foundations of the house, if it remains only at the foundation stage it would seem like a wasted effort. The foundation is important but it is a sign of immaturity when we can’t get past that stage. We’ve got to advance from preaching morality to teaching the life we now live in Christ. But watch it, you grow from the foundation, you can’t grow without the foundation because that is the root.
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It is important we know the fundamentals and then we can proceed. The Bible says in Matthew 28:19AMPC “Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” I would need to point out something here before we continue to the subject. Jesus never said “names” but “name”. He wasn’t saying we ought to baptize reciting “in the name of the Father, the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” He said we should baptize into a name! That same name is the Father’s, the Son’s and the Holy Spirit’s name and we might want to wonder what that name is… It is Jesus. Jesus said “I and my Father are one. If you have seen me you’ve seen the father.” (John 10:30, John 14:90) and He also referred to Himself as the truth but also referred to the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of truth which means the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus. Now you can see, Jesus is the Father and the Holy Spirit, it was in flesh that He was manifesting as the Son but the present manifestation of Jesus is as the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the name of the father, son and the Holy Spirit. It means baptizing the nation into Jesus! The name of Jesus sums up all the activities of God!
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A lot of folks might always want to sound deep and try figuring something else into what Jesus commanded but it’s very simple. He asked that disciples of all nations be made as they are baptized into the name of Jesus. Note that John never baptized anyone into the name of Jesus and when we look at Hebrews 6:2 we also see the word “baptisms” meaning that there are several kind of baptisms. John the baptists originated the kind of baptism we practice today however before John the Baptist there has been several washings done with water. The kind of baptism practices by John was a picture of what Jesus came to do with our lives! John said concerning Jesus “I am supposed to be baptized by you” meaning John was just there awaiting for the perfect baptizer! John baptized people into a hope of escape from the indignation and wrath of God but baptism into the name of God is an outward sign of what has already taken place. John’s baptism brought hope for what was to happen, it was an announcement of what Jesus would do but baptism into the name of Jesus is a sign of what has already happened.
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In Mark 16:16 we see something very important. Jesus said “he that believes and is baptized shall be saved but he that doesn’t believe shall not be saved.” He didn’t say “…and is not baptized shall not be saved.” This means inasmuch as people may not go to hell for not just baptizing it is important that everyone who believes is baptized. It is disobedience to know about this truth and not get baptized. The baptism Jesus talked about here means to be immersed in water. Water baptism is an outward sign that shows you are done with the world forever! When you got born again you were baptized by the Holy Spirit and the physical baptism reflects what happened in the Spirit. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not a different experience from the point of Salvation. You don’t get born again today and get baptized in the Holy Spirit the next day or the next month after series of foundation classes. No, the moment you got born again, you were baptized in the Holy Spirit. We come into the Holy Spirit and then the Holy Spirit takes authority as He is allowed, He makes us a dwelling place.
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Water baptism as a Christian isn’t just ordinary, it is an expression of faith and very important. Baptism and how it is done is very important and it matters a lot. Romans 6:4 says if we are baptized into Jesus we are baptized into His death. This means by baptism we are identifying with the death of Jesus which if we don’t identify with His death, His resurrection won’t make any meaning. Colossians 2:12 also talked about this, that we are buried with Jesus and resurrected with Him. Baptism must proceed our belief as a confirmation of our faith! When we are immersed in the water it is a practice of faith, acknowledging our burial with Christ and same happens when we are raised up reflecting that we have been raised with Jesus.
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In the Old Testament, the Israelites were a type of believers, the shadow of the believers in Christ whom Peter described as the Chosen race and Egypt was a type of the world. At some point Israel was afraid the Egyptians would catch up with them but when they passed through the sea which was Baptism into Moses (1 Corinthians 10:2) meaning they were separated entirely from Egypt with a hope that Egypt can never ever catch up on them. And in the same way Baptism reflects that we have been separated from the world and the world can’t catch up with us anymore.
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The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17AMPC “Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!” You see that? Baptism is a reflection and faith proclamation of what happened in the above verse. Baptism indicates we have been ingrafted in Christ. Old things are passed away, the conditions and fatalities of the world can’t be heaped upon us anymore.
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I think I’ll need to make this clear again. To be baptized by the Holy Spirit means to be born again! It is not to receive the Holy Spirit into us. You don’t get born again and wait to be baptized by the Holy Spirit some years later. Being born again is to be baptized into the Holy Spirit which is the Spirit of Christ. When we are born again we are in the Holy Spirit but when we receive (acknowledge) the Holy Spirit, He begins His ministry in us and in other words to acknowledge the Holy Spirit in us and to be baptized in the Holy Spirit is different. We receive the Holy Spirit in us so that we can live the life and walk in the newness of life. Baptism is the reflection of us being in God and the infilling by the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit taking over our being, directing us to live as Christ lives. We must not forget that on many occasions we are always continually filled by the Holy Spirit.
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Act 8:38 show a clear example of how baptism is to be done! It was not sprinkled, they both went inside the water and Philip dipped him into the water and raised him up. We don’t need to simplify the word of God or try playing logic to justify our carnal reasonings. If Jesus asked us to do something a way, we should follow that way! Baptism doesn’t mean to be sprinkled water upon, it means to be immersed into the water! Today we use the word “infant baptism, sprinkling baptism, water baptism, immersion baptism” to reflect certain schools of thought but the word translated baptism from what Jesus said means “to be immersed in water”. In other words, Jesus commanded that believers be immersed in the water and raise out as a reflection of what He has done in that believer. We need not simplify it, make it easier and sprinkle water because it makes less meaning. This is never an attack on anyone or any denomination, it is not to say that a believer sprinkled upon is less and inferior to that believer who did immersion. I was sprinkled upon as an infant, I was confirmed in Church but I was also filled by the Holy Spirit in one of the youth meetings in the Church years later, I was manifesting the gift of the Holy Spirit and I was teaching believers who were baptized by immersion and sprinkling alike! However, when I came to understand what baptism means, I had to seek to be baptized by immersion so that all that is needful be done. I baptized as a youth by immersion in obedience to God. I remember that morning after I was baptized in a Christ Embassy Church, I felt joyful and refreshed! That expression of faith did something in me. Mum wasn’t pleased because she felt it meant I have been taking further away from the denomination that has always been our family Church but I said to her “Mum, you did what was right. You wanted me to belong to Jesus as a baby and I appreciate you for that. I have further expressed that faith, that I belong to Jesus alone. It doesn’t matter where I attend Church… I go where the Lord leads me.”
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The baptism into Christ which is the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the first kind of baptism in Christianity and the water baptism is the testimony of what happened, a testimony of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus in which we are participants. The Bible says “For by [means of the personal agency of] one [Holy] Spirit we were all, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, baptized [and by baptism united together] into one body, and all made to drink of one [Holy] Spirit.” – 1 Corinthians 12:13 AMPC. We are baptized into the name of Jesus, we become a part and parcel of Christ but it doesn’t end there, we are also made to drink of one Holy Spirit! Glory to God.
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I believe you have learnt more on the subject of baptism. Now, the Holy Spirit will be directing you into doing something, don’t hesitate… Do it!
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#GracefulGeorge

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