The church often struggles under the cancers of traditionalism, legalism, denominationalism, and faddisms. For example, there was a time when certain denominations worked with the state to make laws, “declaring that anyone who accepted adult baptism after being baptized as an infant would be subject to the death penalty.” (The Foundation Series for Youth, Believer’s Baptism; Publish by Brethren in Christ, Writer Owen Alderfer) The secret to overcoming the cancers that afflict the church is to have the spiritual heart that reflects a life that says, “It is not what I want, but what God wants for me.” When a person’s heart is in tune with God’s heart, that person will not focus on what he or she wants in the baptism celebration ceremony, but their focus will be on what pleases God.
I propose to you that the Lord is not bound to the doctrine of men, but longs for Christians to have Holy Spirit illumination of God’s Word regarding water baptism.
Jesus gave clear instructions to His church: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 18-20)
Water baptism was administered by John the Baptist. (Matthew 3:5-12; John 3:23; Acts 13:24) Water baptism was sanctioned by Christ’s submission to it. (Matthew 3:13-17; Luke 3:21-22) Jesus adopted baptism into His ministry. (John 3:22; 4:1) Water baptism is the appointed ordinance of the true Christian church. (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16) Water baptism is to be administered in the names of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19)
Just what does the Word of God say about Water Baptism? What is the purpose of this declaration? What is your responsibility? Over the next several Biblical teachings, I will present these truths:
- Sacrament of water baptism is a very important step in the Christian’s life
- Modes of this Christian celebration
- You are expected to live the life
- Baptized opens the spiritual heart to more of God’s will