I believe there’s more to water baptism than a simple “outward sign of an inward work”.
Obedience goes deeper than “just because He said so”.
It seems there’s a degree of power we may not be utilizing, because we haven’t totally understood the wisdom of God and water baptism.
Jesus told His followers to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19 – 28:20 NASB)
“…teaching them to observe all…” observance means to obey (obey all I’ve commanded you) which would include water baptism.
Each time you and I make a decision to obey God, whether we feel like it or not, God’s grace is poured into our lives to help us in our obedience.
It’s what He was really referring to in Malachi chapter three. “Prove Me… by obeying Me”.
It’s not an easy thing to control the desires of the flesh. And yet we’re instructed to “reckon ourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God” (Roman 6:11).
Water baptism is an act of obedience AND identification which God uses to give us an edge, so to speak.
“Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4 NASB)
There are many folks around the world who believe in water baptism. But sometimes, they miss out on the power of God for a lack of true, biblical understanding of what is taking place.
“My people are destroyed because of a lack of knowledge…” (Hosea 4:6).
“In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working (operation) of God, who raised Him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:11 – 2:12 NKJV)
Could it be many of us have had, or are having, trouble with the flesh as a result?
Jesus, just prior to going into the wilderness for those 40 days, met His cousin John at the river and asked him to baptize Him.
At first John balked, but soon acquiesced and baptized the Son of God.
As he did, “the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16,17 ESV)
How would you like to face temptation with so much assurance in Whose you are, and what God is doing in you?
Water baptism is a picture of how God works in us. Buried, risen, new life and new power.
Water baptism, a type of circumcision; a cutting away of the old flesh, the old way of living, and making a covenant with a new Lord and Master.
THE Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Though we are to walk by faith and not by sight, we have a mental picture of our flesh being cut away, and the new creation resurrected in its place.
“The old man is dead; long live the new creation!”
Obeying the gospel requires repentance, a declaration from the heart, announcing to Heaven and Hell we have a new Lord and Master, AND our declaration to all those around us that we’re dead to sin, and alive to God!
And though we may not hear God’s audible voice, “This is My beloved son, in whom I’m well pleased”, our spirit is quickened with the same spirit of faith.
How much control did the world, the flesh, or the devil have on Jesus? None. He was able to go about “healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him (Acts 10:38)”.
And how much power could anyone, the devil included, have over someone who is no longer able to be reached through their senses?
“Impossible”, you say?
Really? Look at Hebrews 5:13,14.
Just how easy would it be to tempt a dead man?
Something happens within the spirit of the child of God who obeys the gospel, and all He has commanded, and gets baptized in water; the believer’s baptism.
Sure, we can choose to ignore anything and everything God does in our life.
I know I have.
But it doesn’t negate the operation of God.
Paul told Timothy to “stir up the gift that is in you by the laying on of my hands…”. He also told the Romans, “reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin.”
No, water baptism does not save us. However, obedience, as a result of faith, does.
Consider this: everything God does in our life has its roots in the spirit realm, though there are things we need to do in the natural to receive it.
Water baptism is an example.
Don’t miss out on what God is doing in your spirit. Don’t just get wet, dry off, and let the devil tell you, “Well, that was a big deal about nothing!”
Reach out, hear your Father say, “This is my beloved child…”. Reckon yourself to be dead to sin, everything paid in full!
Are you a follower of Jesus? Followers of Christ obey their Master.
What will you do?
What are your thoughts?