My New Life In Christ - Water Baptism

My New Life in Christ My New Life in Christ

Water Baptism

 

One of the first things you might consider doing in your Christian life is being baptized.  By definition this means being submerged in water and brought back up again.

Baptism is not necessary to be saved or born again, but it does have benefits in your Christian walk and is a great act of obedience.  Jesus himself was baptized and He said it should be done to "fulfill all righteousness" (Matthew 3:15).  Jesus came to John, who was baptizing people in the River Jordan.  The baptism was specifically for repentance from sin (Matthew 3:6, 11).  Baptism symbolizes death and resurrection.  When you go under the water it is a picture of being buried.  When you come back out, it is a picture of new life.

 

... buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through

faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

 (Colossians 2:12)

 

Since Jesus was sinless, it seemed to John that He didn't need to be baptized. Jesus had nothing to repent of.  And John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?"  But Jesus answered and said to him, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”  (Matthew 3:14-15)

 

Purpose and Righteousness

The word "righteousness," dikaiosune in the New Testament Greek, means "the state of being as one ought to be.”  In other words, you are righteous when you become what you are supposed to be.  For Jesus to be righteous, He had to do what He came to earth to do, which was to save mankind by His death and His resurrection.  To “fulfill all righteousness,” He had to pursue that destiny. 

 

What Jesus did when He was baptized was to declare the purpose of His ministry on earth.  He was here to die and to rise from the grave as a living sacrifice for the sin of mankind.  This was the beginning of His ministry, and He was giving a kind of mission statement to start it out right.  From that point on He never deviated from that point and never deviated from his purpose.  He allowed nothing to distract Him from the goal of redeeming mankind.

 

There were many opportunities for Him to change His course.  Even His own disciples tried to convince Him to avoid the cross.  Peter was especially vocal.  From that time, Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!"  But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan!  You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.  (Matthew 16:21-23)

 

It was not that Jesus thought Peter was Satan, or that he was demon possessed.  The word "satan" is not always used as a name.  It simply means "adversary."  The devil is called Satan because he is "The Adversary."  What Jesus was saying to Peter was that as long as he stood in the way of Jesus fulfilling His calling then Peter and He were adversaries, no matter how close their friendship had been.

 

Your Mission Statement

When you are baptized, you are doing much the same thing that Jesus did.  You are declaring in front of witnesses that you have chosen a new path -  death to your old life and resurrection into a new life.  By making this commitment you are determining to never let anything distract you from that path, not your old friends, not the temptations of the past, not even those members of your family who don't understand the decision you have made.  You will be all that God created you to be and thus fulfill all righteousness in your life.  Water baptism is your mission statement for the rest of your life.

Read 835 times Last modified on Thursday, 24 January 2019 11:09
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