Fruit of the Spirit

For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth...Eph 5:9

Summer 2007                                                            Volume 8,  Issue 3

Why Baptism? [Continued]

Why Baptism? (continued from page 8)

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death 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 like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection” (Romans 6:1-5).

When a person is dead, we put the body deep into the ground and cover it over with dirt. In Jesus’ case, His body was put into a tomb and a large stone was rolled over the entrance. In either situation, the body is covered over, it is left “under” the earth, it is “buried.”

Baptism is intended for the Christian to be a reenactment of Jesus’ own death, burial, and resurrection. A person commits himself to Christ, desiring to “die” to sin, and so is baptized, or “buried.” That person then comes up out of the water, is “resurrected,” to a new life.

Paul indicates that our participation in the resurrection is dependent on whether or not we shared in Jesus’ death through baptism.

In baptism, then, it is possible for a believer to share in the atoning death, the burial, and the triumphant resurrection of Jesus.

Why Baptism?

It is interesting to note how many times Luke made reference to baptism as he wrote Acts. Two passages stand out for our present discussion.

According to Acts 2, Peter was preaching to the assembled crowd on the Day of Pentecost following Jesus’ ascension. When the Jews who were listening realized that they had truly crucified the Son of God, they cried out, “What shall we do?” Peter’s answer helps us in answering our question, “Why Baptism?” He said: “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” (Acts 2:38).

Peter’s teaching informs us that baptism, when accompanied by repentance, brings about two things in the life of the believer. One is the forgiveness of sins; the other is receipt of the Holy Spirit as a gift. The first, forgiveness of sins, can otherwise be expressed with the word “salvation.” The other, the gift of the Holy Spirit, supports the first because it is God’s presence coming to live in the one who has been saved.

Later in Luke’s record we read about the time of Paul’s conversion to Christ. Ananias came to Saul (as Paul was then known) in Damascus. He restored Saul’s sight, told him that God had a mission for him, and then he said: “And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on His name:" (Acts 22:16). Why did Saul need to be baptized? So that his sins could be washed away! So that he could be saved!

Why baptism? Consider finally this passage from Galatians: “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:26, 27). Paul makes it clear to us that, without baptism, it is impossible to become a Christian. In baptism, when it is accompanied by faith, a person is clothed with Christ, and he becomes a child of God.

We spoke earlier about baptism being the process which allows us to share in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. When coupled with an abiding faith that Jesus is indeed the Son of God, and with a desire to allow Jesus to be Lord, this “sharing” becomes a life-changing “participation.” The person who submits to baptism, to immersion in water, comes up from the water a new person, one who has been saved by the blood of Jesus, a Christian!

By Bobby Wheat

Page 1 - Elusive Victory | Page 2 - What Do I Say/Do In Time Of Loss?
Page 3 - Prison Report: Hope | Page 4 - Old Testament Studies: The Tower...
Page 5 - The Awesome Responsibility of... | Page 6 - Cutting Okra and Killing Wasps
Page 7 - Christian Evidences | Page 8 - Why Baptism?
Page 9 - Why Baptism? [Continued] | Page 10 - Continuations
Page 11 - The Weakness of Islam | Page 12 - Advertisements

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