Friday, June 10, 2005

Believe and Be Baptized


Buried under the water

When we hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, we encounter a person that can be life changing. As we read the Gospels you are faced with a life that is so different than anything we see in this world. Jesus said Jn: 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Some may react and say “How Dare He make such a claim” He was either crazy, a liar or He was just telling the Truth. Many different religions will try to point you in the direction of “Truth”; but Jesus said “I am the Truth” The truth now goes from some scattered bunch of ideas to a Person, a person that is GOD incarnate. Not only did he make this claim, but He then backed it up by rising from the dead. Peter said 2Pt:1:16: “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” What Peter is saying here is that they didn’t make this story up. He saw and heard the Master with his own eyes and ears. He was convinced enough to be willing to die for it, and he did. He was crucified upside down in Rome. I believe God required him to be martyred for us today. So we would see that he was convinced himself and it was indeed life changing and required his life here on Earth. I make this point as evidence of his faith. All of our faith is built on evidence. Let me make this analogy. When we go to sit in a chair we are willing to trust it because the evidence is such that you believe it will hold you. You look at it, and it seems strong, you may have seen others sit in it, and therefore based on the evidence you are willing to trust that it will hold you so you take a step of faith and sit in it. Then you have the knowledge that the step of faith you took was valid. We can only know God by faith. St. Augustine said “man seeks to have knowledge without faith, but without faith he will have neither knowledge nor faith.” Faith comes first, and then if the faith is real the knowledge and fruit will come as a result of that faith. Faith also grows. We must be faithful in that which is least in order to receive more. Lk: 16:10: “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.”
As we walk daily we have opportunities to trust him, and grow in faith.
Are you saying “ok ok what does this have to do with being baptized?” Well if you noticed the title of this post it is Believe and be Baptized so I wanted to touch on faith first because baptism is an act of faith.
The word Baptize comes from the Greek word “baptizo”. It means to wash and immerse/submerge. We are a three part being, Body Soul, and Spirit. So in a way there are three baptisms. When we come to Christ and encounter HIM, and I want to emphasize HIM, (not just some doctrine) something happens. We see a wisdom and a love that is far greater than what we have seen or known. I spoke of knowing God through His creation in another post, but there is obviously so much more revealed about Him in the written Word. When we truly meet the Lord, and we recognize the truth, something happens inside. Your heart and/or soul is moved. Then a decision is made because you have then also seen yourself. Hopefully that decision is to recognize that you want Him to be the Lord of your Life, not to be your own lord. You give yourself to Him who loved you and died for you. 1Cor:6:20 “ye are not your own for ye are bought with a price” and God breathes His spirit in you and you are “born again”. In a sense this is the baptism of the soul. I say Baptism because in a sense you are submerging your soul to submit to Him. Let me explain. The soul is the seat of the Will, Heart/Emotions and Mind/Intellect. Do you see the oneness and threeness again? I said we are a three part being and in each part there is the threeness again. We see this pattern in the Tabernacle of the congregation that the children of Israel carried through the wilderness. It is a type of the Body of Christ. There was the “Outer Court” it was significant of the Body which has three parts; Flesh, Blood, and Bone. These correspond to the three aspects of the outer court. The Gate/fence, Brazen Alter, and Bronze Laver (these can be a whole additional lesson). Then was the “Holy Place” It contained the “Table of Showbread” = The Will, which is displayed continually before God. It is submitted to God “Not my will but thine be done” also in the holy place was the “Golden Lamp stand” = The mind/intellect submitted to God “the mind of Christ the Wisdom of God” and last in the holy place was the “Alter of Incense” = The Heart/Emotions It was the sweet smelling savor that came up before the Throne of God in the Holiest of All. The Incense represented the worship, praise and prayers of the saints. Yes you guessed it the “Holiest of All” is representative of the Spirit. And we enter into the spirit through praise and worship “Hallowed be thy name” In the Holiest of All sat the “Ark of the Covenant” where God rested. Inside the Ark where three objects which represent the three aspects of the spirit. There was Moses tablets of stone = Faith, a bowl of Manna = Hope and Aarons rod that budded = Love
Salvation begins with the baptism of the soul; a calling upon God, a humbling yourself before Him, and submerging of your soul.
Water Baptism is the baptism of the body. It is a physical identification with the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Rom: 6: 3: “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4: Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5: For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7: For he that is dead is freed from sin.”; This is the outward expression of a profession of faith. The old man is dead with Him on the Cross, and then we are buried under the water and come up in the likeness of His resurrection. 1Pt:3:21: “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:” Peter is here telling us that baptism is a helpful part of our salvation. Sometimes people don’t exactly know when they were “Saved” or “Born again” (if you will excuse those religious right expressions, but they stole them from us and they are real.) It isn’t always because you said “The sinner’s prayer”. Sometimes it happens seemingly over a period of time, or you just always knew it in your heart. But then at some point you profess your faith Rom: 10:10: “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Then when you are baptized you know you have a time in space where you cut off the flesh by faith and identified with the Cross. Remember Jesus Himself was baptized. Mt: 3:14: “But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?” Mk: 16:16: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” This verse sees baptism as part of being saved, the natural extension of faith; but notice it is the unbelieving that causes the damnation, not the failure to be baptized. It is meant to be a blessing and a joyful experience, not something that you should feel required to do, but something you desire to do. In the book of Acts it shows the believers where baptized. Acts: 8:12: “But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” When people come to me and say “you mean I have to be baptized?” I say “no, you get to be baptized”. May I recommend the sea or a lake or a river? It doesn’t say anywhere in the scripture that it must be done by an “ordained minister” any believer will do, for you are doing it unto the Lord.
Acts: 2:38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. This brings us to the third baptism, the “Baptism of the Spirit” Acts: 1:5: For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. I will do another post on the Baptism of the spirit. This is a whole other subject, but it is God empowering His Church.
Mt: 3:11: I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Amen Lord Jesus.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Where are all the comments?

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, PeterZ

Peace said...

Living on borrowed time today finally got a minute to sit down and take this all in... very nice post, thank you for taking out the time to share your thoughts, much appreciated.

Peace

Living Positive said...

Great post, peter!

Thanks for covering this subject. I have had a lot of questions about this and I've had some interesting discussions with friends about the symbolism of baptism - knowing that it is symbolic - and the real baptism is of the spirit.

I agree with the symbolism of death and resurrection.

I have a few questions:
John was baptising before Christ started His ministry. Why was he doing this? Was it because it was his mandate from God - he was Jesus' cousin and according to scripture his birth was fortold by angels as well.

I've been asked about what I think is the "right" way to be baptized. I was raised Catholic, so I got "sprinkled." I know others believe that full emersion is the way to do it?

I am curious to hear your readers' thoughts on this.

Finally, the fact that we can not know God without faith is a very powerful thing.

I am one of those that spent most of my adult life avoiding Christianity because of exclusion.

I however, never (well, almost never) deserted the tennets of love and justice seeking.

I would be interested, again, to hear your thoughts and the experieces of your readers in regards to their journeys.

Peace said...

Hi LP, good questions and I along with you am anxious to know others thoughts. Speaking for myself I can only describe it as I don't remember a time when I was not baptized in the sense that I knew and accepted Jesus for as long as I can remember. However, it wasn't until I was 11 that I fully realized the name Jesus and who he was, but even then I still did not know how I knew him or that he was behind the same unconscious recognition of right and wrong, love and hate, truth and lie etc... And to this day I feel I am still being baptized through learning and recognizing truths. Yes, pretty much saying this could go on forever. *L*

Being baptized in the spirit of Jesus Christ really is a gradual experience, and one I constantly thirst for.

I have yet to be baptized in the literal sense of being in actual water. (Lake, river, "sprinkled" what have you.) Absolutely believe that one can in deed feel a powerful surge of energy mental and physical by the spiritual ecstasy that would be aroused by the physical submersion... but only if it correlates with the recognition of Jesus in the way I described above at age 11 at the same time... had I at that moment happened to have been being physically submerged there is no doubt it would have added to the experience an actual tangible element... like the physical rush one gets from anything physically exhilarating only to the power of infinity because of the presence of Christ. In short, I don't think it is a requirement of God to be literally dipped in water, but it could still be a very real spiritual experience.

God bless,
Peace

Peter Zarcone said...

In the Old Testament circumcision was a foreshadow of Baptism. It was a type of the cutting away of the flesh. An outward sign of belonging to God. It would seem that John the Baptist, had been called to baptize people to repentance to prepare the way of the Lord. He was prophesied to come as "the voice of one crying in the wilderness". Afterward Baptism became significant of identification with His burial and resurrection. Leaving the Body of this death in the grave( by faith) and coming up a new man in the likeness of the resurrection. I would encourage all to be baptized. It is what the scripture says.

Peace said...

While I am respectful and believe you believe what you are saying, Peter, I have to have faith that my wonderful mother who only just passed away this week was welcomed into the the afterlife with much joy from the other side. She was awake and fully aware surrounded by a very faithful family. Moments before her last breath she opened her eyes wide and was focusing on something, my sister asked her if she was seeing Grandma (her mother) mom said, "yes, family, and Mary". She was speaking of Mary the mother of Jesus as we have no family by the name of Mary that have passed. Our family are not Catholic and have never had a fixation on Mary in the way that a lot of Catholics do, not saying we don't recognizer her very significant life, but the point is, it wasn't an end of life mind playing tricks on a person, Mary was there to welcome her and if you knew my mother you would not be a bit surprised. :)

Mother was not baptized in literal water either (by another person), if my mother did not go to heaven, then I want to go wherever it is she did go so I can be with her again. We have all been very faithful having a profound relationship with the Lord for many years, can't help but think that since he was with us always in whatever we did wherever we were simply standing in the rain watching the lighting and hearing the thunder and thinking of our Lord would suffice.

All four of us her children were with her at her bedside, we love her so much, we love each other so much, she was the most wonderful person and touched the lives of so many she will be greatly missed, and greatly blessed for her bringing so many into the light of our wonderful Lord Jesus. My trying to cope with the prospect of her passing was one of the reasons I ended up here at your blog Peter, I told her of you and that your understanding of scripture reminded me of her in ways... very few people have been blessed with the gift of being able to articulate the scriptures in a true and meaningful way.

I am thoroughly convinced that she is with our Lord Jesus.

Peace

Peter Zarcone said...

My Dear Peace, I am so sorry to hear about your mother. I lost my mother 1 1/2 yrs ago. It sounds like your mother was greatly blessed and was a blessing. No one could ask for a better transition form this life to be with the Lord.
No I am not saying that you are not saved if you are not baptized, I said it is a part of our salvation. I believe it helps empower us in this life to become more identified with Christ. We are saved by grace through faith, with Gods spirit. It sounds like your Mom showed many fruits of belonging to God. We are called to walk in what we know, and the light God has given us. It sounds like your mom fulfilled what God had called her to do. I would say that who she thought was Mary may have been an Angel to escort her. We that are left are the ones that hurt, she is beholding the wonders of the King. I have tried to say in my post that God has more in His plan of salvation than just going to heaven, it would be to ultimately to be like Christ, and walk in what he walked in. Jn:14:12: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." Jesus was not only revealing what God was like, but what He intends man to be like. All that he did, He did not as God but as Man. Here at the end of this age, we will walk in what no men before us have walked in. Heb:11:40: "God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect."
May the Love and Peace of the Lord comfort you and your family in your time of this loss.

Anonymous said...

PeterZ that is quite a claim you make, it would be most helpful if you could expound on that further. Those walking in the way are truely few and far between. There are many sheep safe under the cloak of grace, but as far as active growing saints, you are few and far between. At least in this country. How drastic do you think things are going to get? Are we talking about comic book ramifications here? Biblical prophecy is nothing if not visually descriptive, but the things it describes are well outsides the borders of physical normality. How are we to come to believe we can do them? Will God simply unleash the floodgates of blessing and empowerment upon the faithful to restore the general balance of life, no matter where we may be in our respective quests seeking nearness with the Christ?
Or is it more an effect of the example that Bush sets, by being a mouthy unevolved fuckhead. We strive to be the antithesis of that example, and because he's the antichrist, what we are striving to be is Christ-like. It's reverse psychology in action. Those of us who think a little bit like him, are finding themselves drawn closer to his epicenter. While those of us who find everything they represent completely reprehensible are staring hyppocracy in the face, and by virtue of disgust, removing deep seated hyppocracies in our own lives.
The sheep are separating from the goats. the lines are being drawn.

another one

Anonymous said...

The head that was wounded, could that have been the defeat of GH Bush by Clenton. And the miraculous healing, could that have been the election of the son, George W. Bush, to the post of president?

Adriana said...

Hi, nice blog. I am from Brazil. Please visit my page in English:

http://geocities.yahoo.com.br/ashrevelations/themysterybabylon.html

I agree with you about freemasonry and the occult.

This page in English I made for Americans to be careful with masonry and their government. But few would like to hear.

If you are not American, the royalties of Europe are all masons too.

In Jesus,

Adriana.

P.S.: I also believe war is from Satan.

Blog World said...

How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it. Marcus Aurelius-Posters.