Why Water Baptism?
There are 2 major aspects to being a Born Again Christian. One is Believing in the Lord Jesus as your Savior and the second is being Water Baptized. Look at John 3:3,5 These scriptures reinforce this truth.
- Being Born Again WE SEE the Kingdom of God.
- Being Water Baptized WE ENTER the Kingdom of God.
A baby born of Jewish parents was Jewish but to enter the (Old) Covenant he had to be circumcised. He became a member of the family of the faith by being born into it but he entered the Covenant through Circumcision. In Galatians 3:26 Paul shows us that WE BECOME members of the family of God through faith in Jesus and that WE ENTER the New Covenant by Water Baptism, the circumcision of the heart. Also, in Galatians 2.20 we see it is by faith we are crucified with Christ … But we don’t remain on the Cross.
Through Water Baptism these things take place:
- Galatians 2:20 We are “Crucified with Christ”.
- Romans 6:3-6 We are “Buried with Jesus”.
- Acts 22-16 Our sins are “Washed Away”.
- Colossians 2:10-13 Our “Hearts are Circumcised”.
- Galatians 3:27 We put off the old man and “Put on Christ”, the new man.
- Romans 6:4 We are “Raised up with Jesus” and “Walk in the newness” of Resurrection life!
(We will look at each of these 6 things in particular in a moment)
WHY SHOULD WE BE WATER BAPTIZED?
Jesus said we should in Matthew 28:19 He said; “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, BAPTIZING them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”
How do we get Baptized?
The same way that Jesus did, by being IMMERSED in Water. Matthew 3:16 “As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water.” At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.
Look at Acts 8:35-38; “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 both went down into the water; both Philip and the eunuch; and he Baptized him.”
Note; What we also have to keep in mind here is that there are those who cannot enter into water to be Baptized and so we must be willing to accommodate them. Why? Because the ‘letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life”.
IS WATER BAPTISM IMPORTANT?
Through Water Baptism we “identify”, or “become one” with Jesus in His Death, Burial and Resurrection. This means we “Legally” ENTER the New Covenant with God.
- We are Crucified with Christ
Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: And the life 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 6:3 “Don’t you understand that each of us that was baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?”
These two Scriptures mean that we identify fully with Jesus’ death on the cross and understand that He died for the sins of the whole world.
- We are Buried with Him
Romans 6:4 “Therefore we are buried with Him by Baptism into death”
In this verse Paul says that when we are baptized in water it is as if we were buried (not underground but in the tomb) with Jesus
- Our sins are Washed Away
Acts 22:16 “And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be Baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”
This is vital to understand that Water Baptism cleanses us from our sins spiritually washing them away. Here is an example to help you understand this: If a young child goes out to play and gets all dirty when they want to come into the house their mother may say: “You were not supposed to get all dirty!” If the child “repents”; truly says that they are sorry they are forgiven BUT they need to wash the dirt away.
- Our hearts are circumcised
Colossians 2:10-11 “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:”
So, Water Baptism is a real spiritual action where God, our Father, circumcises our heart. Moses spoke of this when he said that the people really needed to circumcise their hearts and not their foreskins”.
- Put Off the Old and Put On the New
Galatians 3:27 “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
This is likened to putting on a garment… We “put off the Old Man (nature) and put on the New Man (Christ)
- We are Raised Up with Jesus
Colossians 2:12,13 “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 he hath he brought us to life together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses”
This means that, again, there is an “operation” going on here. Water Baptism is not just symbolic. God really does something special to our heart!
Entering Into the New Covenant
The Book of the Law shows us in Genesis 17:9-14 “…every man child among you shall be circumcised. … and My Covenant shall be In Your Flesh for an Everlasting Covenant”
Deuteronomy 30:6 “And the Lord thy God will Circumcise Thine Heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.”
A Jewish baby was circumcised on the eighth day in order TO ENTER the Abrahamic Covenant. Paul tells us in Galatians 3:26 that we are the Children of God by faith in Jesus. Just as the Jews entered the Old Covenant by Circumcision of the flesh, we enter the – New Covenant by circumcision of the heart, which is accomplished by Water Baptism.
- There was a cutting away of the flesh. This signified the putting off of the Old Man; our sinful nature.
- The child was named at circumcision. We take the “Christian” and, as Paul taught, we “Put on Christ” meaning our New Nature.
Is There a Baptismal Formula?
Matthew 28:19-20 “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.”
Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, In The Name Of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Some argue that we should be baptized the way Jesus said it. Some say that we should be Baptized the way Peter said. Peter actually did baptize the way Jesus said to because Father is not a name, Son is not a name and Holy Spirit is not a name. Jesus is a Name. When we baptize in the name of Jesus we Baptize in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Name “Jesus” is the only true name we have for God. All the other “names” are actually “Titles” And so whether one is Baptized “In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit’ or Baptized “In the Name of Jesus” is irrelevant. The Believer is baptized as an act of faith and to formalize any act of faith is wrong.
If you have not been Water Baptized then do as Annais said to Paul; “why tarriest thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”