"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..." Matthew 28:19 (see also Acts 2:38-41).To be "baptized" means to be "totally immersed". When a person believes in Jesus as Saviour and Lord, they are to be baptized or immersed in water. Why would Jesus command that his believers do such a strange thing?
"For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin..." Romans 6:6.
"...We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death..." Romans 6:4.
"...in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection" Romans 6:4-5.
"And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus" Ephesians 2:6 (see also Col.3:1).
"The death [Christ] died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus" Romans 6:10-11.
"For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves" Colossians 1:13.Every man and woman born into the world is born into the dominion of darkness - as slaves of Satan's power. There is no way out of this spiritual kingdom except by death, and there is no way into the Kingdom of God except by birth. On the Cross and in His resurrection, Jesus became both our death and our new birth. This is what we declare in baptism!
"For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive" 1 Corinthians 15:22 (see also Romans 5:12).In God's sight, the world has only two kinds of people - those who are "in Adam" and those who are "in Christ."
"So it is written: 'The first man Adam became a living being'; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven" 1 Cor.15:45,47 (see Rom.5:12-19).In baptism we are declaring that we are no longer part of Adam's fallen race but are a part of the New Creation in Christ.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17 (see also Eph. 2:10).Two Old Testament stories illustrate what baptism means to us:
"For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea" 1 Corinthians 10:1-2 (see verse 11).For the people of Israel, the Red Sea was a barrier between the old and the new. When they passed through, they left the armies of Pharaoh drowned in the sea. But although they came out of Egypt, God had great difficulty getting Egypt out of them (read Exodus 16:3;17:3; Numbers 11:4-5; 14:2-4). Baptism for us not only testifies to our personal "exodus" from the world; it also marks the taking of the world out from us!
"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" Galatians 6:14.
"...God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you..." 1 Peter 3:20-21 (read also verses 21-22).The Flood was God's judgment against a race of men who were beyond help. In the same way, baptism marks the cutting off of the old creation and the start of the new creation life in Christ!
"...having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead" Colossians 2:11-12.
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Unless otherwise stated, all scriptures quoted in these studies are from the New International Version of the Bible, & copy; New York International Bible Society, used by permission. Other versions referred to are: KJV (King James Version), NKJB (New King James Bible), TLB (The Living Bible), Amp (The Amplified Bible) and The Message. All versions used by permission.
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