Water Baptism

Many scripture references are underlined because they are clickable links to read the scriptures. 

 

For those who are looking to be water baptized: Have you believed the truth that Jesus is the only way to Heaven? That He is Lord? That He is the Son of God? That He is the only one who can save you? Have you purposed to follow Him as your master, turning away from sin, including other religions and spiritual teachings? Do you believe that Jesus died for your sins and rose again? If your answer is yes to all of these, have you put your trust in Jesus to save you? If you never have, confess from your heart unto God that you believe Jesus is Lord who died for your sins and rose again, asking Him to save you and He will come into your heart. If you have done this, you are qualified to be water baptized. I highly recommend talking with a God-loving, God-fearing, Biblically trained minister who firmly believes the previous statements so he or she can help you move forward in your walk with the true God.

 

This document is an in-depth article concerning the topic of water baptism for those interested in searching out the topic. If you are new to the topic of water baptism, I highly recommend reading a document written by O.C. Arnes (Dr. Dan Sherstad's grandfather, who planted over 70 churches in South Africa) as a great resource covering the heart of water baptism, to be equally appreciated by new and well-matured believers. That document can be read by clicking here.

 

There are various baptisms referenced in the Bible. In being saved, we are baptized in, immersed in, Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit (1 Cor 12:13). Water baptism is a commandment, and as with anything the Lord is the author of, it carries with it great benefit, even beyond what the conscious mind can fully attain to. There are benefits that may not be clear scripturally, but this document especially focuses on what can be more clearly pointed out through scriptures. The baptism of John was different than the water baptism followers of Christ are called to. There is also the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire that is subsequent to salvation and available to every follower of Jesus Christ.

 

The word “baptism” is English for “baptisma”, meaning “immersion” or “submersion”. 

 

This document especially focuses on the water baptism commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ for those turn to Him in truth and follow Him as Lord.

 

Jesus wants all of us. 

That is how we position ourselves to more fully receive Him! If we haven’t purposed to give Him our life, He loves us, but He is not yet our Lord. If He’s not our Lord, we haven’t yet received Him as Savior. The Greek word for “Lord” actually translates as “Master.” This should help bring clarity to Luke 6:46:

And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

 

Luke 14:25-27:

And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

 

Coming to the Lord Jesus is to fully come to Him. We are fully immersed. 

 

Matthew 7:21-23:

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

 

When people live a lifestyle of sin, versus following Jesus as Lord, it shows that they don’t know God (see also: 1 John 1:6, Mt 7:15-20, 2 Jn 1:9).

 

Someone who receives Jesus as Lord becomes a redeemed child of God; not just made by God, but literally His child. Those who are in Him, follow Him. They are being transformed to have a life that looks more and more like Jesus, who fully loved and therefore also obeyed the Father (see also John 14:15, 21, 1 John 5:1-3)

 

Jesus always did and spoke as the Father revealed (ref: John 5:19, 12:49). He taught us to pray Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done (ref: Luke 11:2). He was obedient, even unto death on the cross (ref: Philippians 2:8).

 

To carry our crosses infers to follow God. Jesus did it for the joy set before Him, which includes redeeming you and I unto Him (ref: Heb 12:2).

 

Coming to Christ is a full immersion, otherwise we haven’t Biblically “come” to Him. God became flesh that we may know Him. He is God. He has the way of life. He is the good shepherd (ref: John 10). 

 

John 6:37 (Jesus speaking):

all that the Father doth give to me will come unto me; and him who is coming unto me, I may in no wise cast without,

 

Often people have considered coming to Christ as acknowledging Him, while continuing to serve darkness. Coming to Christ however infers staying, not merely half-heartedly waving hello. When we come to Him, He works in us. We don’t clean ourselves up then come. We come, and He does a work in us. The fruit of someone’s life shows if they have come to Jesus. We are all in a renewal process, but there will be an increase of good fruit.

 

When we come to the Lord, that is, being intentional to give Him all of us, believing and confessing the truth that Jesus is Lord, who died for our sins and rose again (ref: Rom 10:9), we are born again, and are to be baptized.

 

Mark 16:15-16:

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

 

Remember, Jesus told the former criminal also on a cross - who was not baptized - that he would see him in paradise (ref: Luke 23:40-43). Had he continued on in this life, he would no doubt had been baptized.

 

Matthew 28:19:

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

 

Acts 2:38:

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

 

Other translations say “because of the remission of sins”. Our sins are removed through faith in Jesus Christ. Baptism is an important response of faith.

 

Acts 8:12:

But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

 

They believed the testimony and teaching of Jesus Christ, and were baptized.

 

Later in the book of Acts chapter 8, we read of a man from Ethiopa coming to the salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Along with Acts 8:12, this excerpt also shows us about the requirement of baptism. This man did not have to have a long teaching to understand the doctrine of water baptism in order to be baptized, but he did need to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. It was immediate. He didn’t take days, weeks, or years to graduate to baptism. As you read on in the book of Acts, you will see in most cases they were baptized right away after believing from their heart (that is, saving faith, not just mentally being aware that Jesus is Lord. Even the demons are aware that Jesus is Lord). It is of course of great benefit, as with all of God’s Word, to learn about baptism. The doctrine of baptisms is actually included in the list of principle doctrines in Hebrews 6:1-2, and thereby should be amongst the foundational teachings a believer receives to build upon.

Back to the reference we read in Acts 8: Philip is directed by the Holy Spirit to minister to the man from Ethiopia who is reading from the book of Isaiah (chapter 53). Verses 34 to 40:

And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.

 

Notice that the eunuch refers to Jesus as the Christ (or in other words, the chosen/anointed/promised one/messiah from the scriptures). It wasn’t a mindless phrase that was learned in culture as if it was just a part of His name. Today, many unbelievers sing Christmas songs, calling Jesus the Christ, but not with saving faith. To acknowledge Jesus as the Christ was to acknowledge as he read in Isaiah 53, that this is the promised one who would bear our iniquities and justify us (ref: Isa 53:11).

 

The eunuch was was making a response of faith.

Peter wrote by the Spirit (1 Peter 3:21) clarity on how baptism is a response of faith:

The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

This is why we do not baptize babies. A baby cannot make a conscious choice to turn from sin to following Jesus. We can read in Isaiah 7:15-16 that there’s an age where babies don’t even yet know to refuse evil and choose good.

 

Soon in this document, there will be clarity referenced from the Holy Bible showing how water baptism is not required in order to be born-again.

 

Also, notice from Acts 8 that they came up out of the water. This affirms full immersion in the water as a part of being water baptized.

 

Lastly, notice the phrase “with all your heart.” In Romans 10:9 we also read that saving faith relates to believing from the heart. If you consider other scriptures related to salvation, this points to a personal conviction about who Jesus is, and a response that shows it was faith in Him. Such actions are the fruit of Jesus being someone’s Lord. It is saving faith, versus just mentally being aware that Jesus is Lord. For example, James 2:17-26. Verse 17: Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

 

Water baptism is not a requirement for salvation.

A saved person gets baptized.

 

When we come to Jesus, turning to His Lordship, believing He is the Son of God who died on the cross for our sins and rose again, confessing from our heart even to our mouths (and with our lives) that Jesus is Lord, we are forgiven from all sin (which separated us from God) and made a new creation (ref: 2 Cor 5:17), born again of His Spirit (ref: John 3:6, 4:24, 1 John 5:1). This faith is what lines us up to receive His free gift of salvation. Salvation is by His grace, not our works (ref: 2 Tim 1:9). Our actions are evidence that have received His grace.

 

Before Jesus was glorified (ref: John 7:39, 17:1), the Holy Spirit would come upon a limited number of people (even the high priest who didn’t believe in Jesus), but would also leave (ref: John 11:49-51, Psalm 51:11). After Jesus died, rose again, and ascended, the Holy Spirit could be given to all who receive God’s free gift of salvation. In Christ, since Jesus is our Lord, the Holy Spirit is inside of us (ref: Rom 8:11). We are literally in Christ. We can now grieve or even quench the Holy Spirit, but He is forbearing, guiding us into all truth, and with us always (ref: Eph 4:30, 1 Th 5:19, Jn 16:13, Jn 14:18, Mt 28:20). We are as a new wineskin that can hold the new wine. After being a new creation, not only is He in us, but we are able and called to be constantly filled with the Holy Spirit, not wine (ref: Eph 5:18). We can now be baptized in the Holy Spirit. This is part of a fulfillment of the prophesy of Joel 2:28-29 (see also: Acts 2:1-28). The reason I am writing concerning this topic is because it was necessary for us to be born-again, a new creation born of His Spirit, before we could be a vessel that could be able to be continually filled with His Spirit. We read of people being filled with the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts before even being water baptized. If water baptism was necessary for being saved, they certainly could not be baptized in the Holy Spirit (see Acts 5:32 to clarify the difference between the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit coming upon someone, such as mentioned before with the high priest that did not believe on the Lord Jesus). In Acts 10, we read of Peter preaching to Gentiles. The following verse is at the end of the message he preached, Acts 10:43-48

To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days. (See also Acts 11:16-18)

This not only shows to us that someone does not need to be water baptized to be born-again, but also that Acts 2:38 is not a sequential order of how to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and that the baptism of the Holy Spirit can happen as soon as someone is saved. In Acts 8, we also read of how they were baptized in water, but not yet baptized in the Holy Spirit, pointing to the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a separate occasion than being saved (ref: Acts 8:14-17). This reference from Acts 11 also shows us that salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ, not even in repeating a formality of a “salvation prayer”. Based on Romans 10:9-10, I prefer to call it a confession unto salvation, which can be a great resource for knowing a pivotal moment of coming to the Lord Jesus Christ. I have similarly seen this, where a young man came up to make a public response of faith and confession unto salvation, but since he had believed from his heart, he had already experienced being born-again, and before the pastor could pray with him, he was receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. 

 

Our salvation is not in another person dunking us in water, nor in the phrase they speak over us. God counts faith in the report of His Son as righteousness.

Romans 10:9-10, 13

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation….For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

 

There is often a concern due to the scriptures at Mt 28:19 saying “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”, and Acts 2:38 saying in “the name of Jesus Christ”. 

 

Matthew 28:19:

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

 

Acts 2:38:

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

 

Again, our salvation is not in who dunks, how we get water on us, or in a phrase a man or woman speaks over us. One of the parts of both of these scriptures often misunderstood is the phrase “in the name of”. We should not think like pagans, in that we are deceived to think the power is in the phonetical phrase. People often think like this when attempting to operate in the authority we have over darkness, thinking they need to say the phrase “in the name of Jesus” with more gusto until it seems to work. Pagans recite incantations, specific phrases, in attempt to release a power in what we call the physical. Even with the holy gift of praying in tongues, the power released is not in the syllables and consonants. If the power were in the phrase, demons would not be able to be cast out when we say Jee-suhs, since that’s not how His phonetical name was pronounced. I’m provoking thought on purpose with the topic of authority. When Peter through the might of the Holy Spirit raised up the man who was lame, he said: 

Acts 3:16

And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.

“Name” relates to identity. Consider David and Goliath (ref: 1 Sam 17:45). When we come in His name, doing something led of Him, it relates to Who He Is and authority given through Christ. He is the head to the Church. When we ask of the Father in His name, we are not spell-casting with a magic phrase. We are in Christ, thereby we are coming through Christ. We ask according to the truth of Who Christ Is. 

 

 This means that as long as it is evident that someone is baptized as it relates to Biblical faith in Jesus Christ, whether the person baptizing another said “in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit”, or “in the name of Jesus”, that person was baptized according to the directive and fulfillment of both scriptures often of concern (Mt 28:19 and Acts 2:38).

For the sake of people’s conscience (especially since someone may try to have someone new in the faith worry about their salvation in case someone didn’t say it right according to their understanding), I personally think it is wise to say, with faith, both phrases during a water baptism. Peter even used the phrase in the recent reference of Acts 3. Verse 6:

Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

Through our language, we can publicly clarify Who it is we are talking about. Peter was sure to clarify that it was through Jesus Christ, not of himself.

 

Concerning who baptizes someone: 1 Cor 1:12-18

Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

 

The apostle Paul is pointing out that it is what Jesus did that saves us.

 

Briefly noted: The baptism of John is different.

It is necessary to repent to receive Jesus for Who He Is. If we lie to ourselves that sin is okay, and claim to follow Jesus, we are deceived. In Matthew 3:6 we read that people were actually confessing their sins during John’s baptism. John was sent ahead to help prepare the way for people to receive Jesus. It was ordained to first be presented to Israel (ref: Acts 13:24). In Acts 19:3-6 we read:

And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

If John’s baptism were the same baptism, then they wouldn’t need to be baptized again.

John said, as we read in Matthew 3:11

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

Jesus said, as we read in Acts 1:5

For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Peter recalls this moment (Acts 11) when speaking of how the Holy Spirit came upon the Gentiles as he preached to them, and they spoke in tongues (ref: Acts 10:46, 11:15).

 

Why was Jesus baptized? Here are some thoughts.

Matthew 3:14-15

But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

A great point I learned through DSOM (WNMD for the AG) was that we see Jesus’s public ministry start after baptism. That is the moment where the Holy Spirit came upon Him without measure, and the Father declares audibly for others “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” (Mt 17:5b) When we come to Christ, we are also filled with the Spirit and called to serve Him, following the Father’s will, carrying our cross.

Pastor John Piper writes online in response to Mt 3:14-15:

“The fact that participating in a baptism of repentance even though he had no sins to repent of is part of that shows that the righteousness he wanted to fulfill was the righteousness required not of himself, but of every sinful man.”

 

Water Baptism relates to what has happened spiritually.

Jesus, the Word from the beginning for whom and through whom all things were made, became flesh. He was conceived by the Spirit, born through a woman who had the fallen nature that mankind carries with it (ref: Rom 5:15). He had the same human capacity to sin, but with the blood of God carrying great power as a sacrifice. He was tempted, yet never sinned (ref: Heb 4:15). The power of what He accomplished in death on the cross, raising to life, and ascending alive unto the Father relates to us now being dead to sin, and alive unto God.

 

When reading Acts 22:16 in consideration to 1 Peter 3:21, we see that the water is symbolic of the cleansing from sin and the answer of a good conscience. Ananias to Saul (Paul): And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

 

In 1 Cor 12:13 we read of being baptized into one body. We have been immersed in Him. We are IN HIM. 

 

Col 2:10-14

And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

 

You were once dead in trespasses and sins (ref: Eph 2:1, 1 Cor 5:14), but are now alive, risen with Christ.

 

Colossians 3:1-3

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Galatians 2:19-20

For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 

 

Romans 6 goes much more into this, with the language of baptism. 

Jesus took on the sin nature by way of being born in the flesh through a woman. The body of sin was crucified on the cross. In Romans 6:2 we read that we are “dead to sin”. I believe it is beneficial to the reader to read the following scripture straight from the Bible:

Rom 6:3

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Rom 6:4

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Rom 6:5

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

Rom 6:6

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Rom 6:7

For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Rom 6:8

Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

Rom 6:9

Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

Rom 6:10

For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

Rom 6:11

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Rom 6:12

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

Rom 6:13

Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

Rom 6:14

For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Rom 6:15

What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

Rom 6:16

Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Rom 6:17

But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

Rom 6:18

Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

Rom 6:19

I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

Rom 6:20

For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

Rom 6:21

What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.

Rom 6:22

But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

Rom 6:23

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

More may be added later on this topic.

Other Points:

There are some additional points that are not as clear through scripture, but certainly relevant. There are also some points may still have historical and/or experiential value for consideration.

 

A very common teaching related to water baptism is that it is an opportunity for a public declaration of faith. Biblically, we see John’s baptism more clearly as a public example of baptism, but not in people declaring faith in Jesus, but rather in John pointing to the promised Christ as people confessed their sins. It is of course an opportunity to openly confess our faith, and openly confessing our faith is a crucial part of the Christian life. If someone is born-again, it is in them to testify to the truth that Jesus is Lord. We even confess unto salvation (ref: Rom 10:9-10).

 

Also, it is literally within God’s redeemed children to do His will, and water baptism is God’s command to the redeemed (ref: Phl 2:13). Having a moment to openly confess one’s faith also emboldens them to move forward in their new life, and have a great effect on their conscience. God knows best how to teach us. Modern research even points to action being implemented to a teaching as significantly more successful than just hearing, or even seeing.

 

Historically, there were also other rituals of immersion in water that related to a change in someone's life. Such a “baptism” was often a declaration of entering a new role (or life). Historically in the Church, baptisms have often been known to be public. If one were ashamed to be publicly baptized, testifying to giving their life to Jesus, it would understandably lead one to question if they have truly given their life to Jesus.

 

Symbolically speaking on this topic of baptism relating to a change of life/role/community: 

 

If you are familiar with the book of Deuteronomy, you are aware of how a person who was considered defiled would need to be washed (amongst other requirements such as a sacrifice) before being amongst the community of covenant people (the descendants of Abraham, and those who joined). This aspect of symbolism from the Old Testament could be considered when reading Hebrews 10:22:

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

The above scripture about water is also often understood to represent the Word. 

John 15:3: Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

 

The words that Jesus speaks are Spirit and life (ref: John 6:63). He is the Word. The redeemed are literally born again of God.

1 Peter 1:23

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

 

Symbolically, we also see water representing life:

 

We see a new world emerge from the cleansing of the flood. God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh is come before me” (ref: Gen 6:13). God purged the earth of evil, which is now called the “old world” (ref: 2 Peter 2:5), immediately followed by a new covenant (a promise to never again destroy the earth by a flood (ref: Gen 9:11). 

 

Even in the story of creation:

Genesis 1:2b: And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

 

Briefly stated further on Water and the Word being related to Life: 

  • Creation was made as the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, and God spoke “Let there be Light”. Jesus is the light of the world and the light of all men (ref: Jn 1:4)

  • Further related, water is entirely integrated with creation. That which is considered in the general scientific community as “life” or “living” is noted to need water to survive. Note: Water is not just in liquid form. Jesus said He had meat/food the disciples knew not of, doing the will of the Father (ref: Jn 4:32-34). He lived on every Word that proceeded out of the mouth of God (ref: Mt 4:4).

  • The Spirit, The Blood, and The Water all relate to life (ref: Lev 17:11, 1 John 5:8). God breathed life into man. The life is in the blood. Human bodies are considered to be over 50% water.

  • The River of Life proceeding from the Throne (ref: Rev 22)

  • Rivers of living water proceeding from the belly/inner being of man, the Holy Spirit. (ref: John 7:38-39); also related to prophecy, which is a general word related to walking in the Spirit (root word for prophecy inferring to bubble up as from a spring). God called Himself the Fountain of Living Waters (ref: Jer 2:13, 17:13).

 

The move of the Spirit:

 

If you have ever talk to those who sincerely follows Jesus about their water baptism, you will likely hear stories about how it was a pivotal moment of change in their life. Some testify of feeling the presence of God in a powerful way. There is always a blessing in doing God’s will. Every directive of God bears good fruit when we respond in faith, in action.

 

Genesis 1:2b: And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

 

Perhaps this speaks to more that goes on.

 

Briefly mentioned earlier, Jesus’s public Messianic ministry began after baptism (though John’s baptism). There was a mighty blessing (even the Holy Spirit coming upon Him without measure), the declaration of the Father publicly affirming His calling, and being led of the Spirit to the wilderness. He left the wilderness in the power of the Spirit and His public ministry as the Messiah began.

 

We are baptized into His baptism:

What was Christ's baptism and how does that relate to us?

In Luke 12:50 we read can clearly read that baptism is not a word used only for water baptism or even the baptism of the Holy Spirit and of fire. Jesus speaking:

But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!

We have a clear scriptural reference to compare this with, that by way of the wording of "cup" points to this not be limited to the topic of water baptism, but relevant to the heart of what water baptism is about. See also Luke 22:42.

Matthew 2:21-23

And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

 

The Word goes on in that same scripture reference to say the greatest is the servant/minister to all.

We are immersed IN Christ... one faith, one Lord, one baptism. When we take communion, we are directed to drink the whole cup (ref: Mt 26:27). Being baptized with the same baptism relates to following the example of Jesus, the first born among many brethren. We are baptized into the same baptism, drinking the same cup, into the death and resurrection life of Christ. We are conforming to His death (that is, carrying our crosses, giving ourselves as living sacrifices through the will of God in agape love). This ability comes through Him working in us. The apostle Paul said he died daily (ref: 1 Cor 15:31) and was being made conformable to His death (ref: Phl 3:10) that he may know Him and the power of His resurrection. We find our lives when we lose them (***Please read: Mt 10:39, 16:25). The extent which we surrender (again, by His grace) is directly related to knowing the power of His resurrection, Christ in us.

Being baptized into Christ includes that we have been made one Spirit with Him (ref: 1 Cor 12:13, Eph 4:4). "The two shall become one." (ref: Eph 5:31-32)

© 2020 by  GLORY HOUSE