Monday, August 28, 2006

Christian Baptism

We can all learn a little more about baptism. Baptism is the culmination of our obedience to the gospel. Baptism without faith is useless (Heb. 11:6), without repentance is futile (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38), and without love is empty (Mt. 22:37-40). It does little good to baptize anyone who doesn’t understand what he is doing or why he is doing it. Baptism is a willful, knowledgeable act of faith and obedience toward God.
Christian baptism takes place by the authority of Jesus Christ. Jesus has all authority and has authorized His followers to preach and to baptize (Mt. 28:18-20). When we are baptized, we act in the name of Jesus Christ, i.e., by His authority. Whatever we do in word or deed, Christians are to do everything in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38; Col. 3:17).
We are baptized into the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit (Mt. 28:19). In Christian baptism one comes into the possession, protection, and blessing of God (Rom. 6:4; 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:27).
We are united with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. We are crucified with Christ in baptism (Rom. 6:4-7) so that our body of sin may be done away with. We are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life. Baptism is the time of transformation from death to life, from sin to salvation, from slavery to sin to slavery to righteousness (Rom. 6:16-18).
Baptism is passive on the part of man and active on the part of God (Col. 2:12-13). Baptism is an act of faith in the working of God. In baptism, God works on us to cleanse us from sin (Acts 22:16), to cause us to be born again (Tit. 3:3-7), to add us to His church (Acts 2:41, 47), and to raise us up to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4).
Baptism is the time the blood of Christ looses us from sin (Rev. 1:5; Eph. 1:7). There is no forgiveness without the blood of Christ (Heb. 9:22). Since we are baptized into the death of Christ (Rom. 6:3), baptism (unlike anything else) unites us with Him in His sacrifice on the cross.
The New Testament records show that people did not put off their baptism until a later date (Acts 2:41; 8:12; 8:34-39; 16:33). They were baptized immediately because they knew their salvation depended upon obedience.
What is hindering you from baptism? What are you waiting for? Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins (Acts 22:16).


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