Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Life Shape Prayer & Discipleship Module One Block Eleven – Water Baptism


Matthew 3
13  Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.
14  And John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?"
15  But Jesus answered and said to him, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed Him.
16  When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.
17  And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
Matthew 4
1  Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Water Baptism is an outward sign of an inward conviction that when followed by faith releases great power and witness.

Baptism is immersion, as though a pearl were dropped into a barrel of oil and finding its place fully engulfed in and completely surrounded by that oil, the pearl is said to be baptized in oil. There are several baptisms spoken of in the Word of God including baptism in water. Jesus went down into and came up from the water – a picture of immersion.

From the second day of creation to the flood in Noah’s day; from the crossing of the Red Sea to the crossing of the Jordan; from the Rock which brought forth water in the wilderness to Naaman the Leper who was cleansed by dipping seven times in the Jordan River; from John the Baptist to Phillip the Evangelist to Paul the Apostle, the Ethiopian Eunuch and Cornelius the Centurion … all were baptized in water by the will of God.

Baptism opens the heavens to the believer in new and wonderful ways. It did for the earth, Noah, Israel, Naaman and Jesus and it will for you.

Water Baptism is a covenant act of identification. Jesus was not water baptized so He could become the Son of God but rather He was water baptized because He was the Son of God and desired to publicly identify Himself with Jehovah, the God of Israel. It was at this point of water baptism that God chose to identify Christ to His followers and to the whole world by the confirmation of the Spirit and the Word.

Water Baptism does not save or secure by the washing away of the filth of the flesh, but rather water baptism cleanses our conscious towards God. Water Baptism is not a legal act but rather a spiritual act.

Water Baptism recognizes the death of the old and symbolizes its burial and resurrection. It is in water baptism that a new day dawns for the believer. Jesus was at the Jordan, the crossover for God’s people.

Just as it did for the Children of Israel at the Red Sea, Water Baptism quiets the haunting enemies of our past. What is freedom and deliverance for the Believer becomes a watery grave to the pursuing armies of Pharaoh. We are no more the Children of God afterwards than before.

Key Scripture: Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

… “for” the remission of sins …
·       for – Greek – eis = because of (indicates an action in the past)
·       same as: Jesse James “Wanted ‘for’ Robbery” – not wanted to rob but wanted because he did rob – an action of the past.

Important Points:
1.   Water Baptism is Immersion.
2.   Water Baptism is an act of obedience which follows salvation.
3.   Water Baptism is Identification with Christ.
4.   Water Baptism cleanses our conscious toward God.
5.   Water Baptism is the burial of our old man and the resurrection of the new.
6.   Water Baptism quiets the haunting enemies of our past.

Baptism is an immersion. A picture of baptism is as though a pearl were dropped into a barrel of oil and once it finds its place in the very middle of the oil it can then be said that the pearl is baptized. As believers we are to be baptized in Christ, to be baptized in water following Christ, to be baptized in his love and in the Holy Spirit of God.
Water baptism is our identification with Christ. Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River. He was not baptized so that he could become the Son of God rather he was baptized in part so that he would be recognized as the Son of God. Thus the voice of God from Heaven confirming, “This is My Son.”
Water baptism is observed by choice in the life of a believer who decides to follow Christ, identifying solely with Him as Lord, and desiring to close a door on the haunting enemies of the past. Water baptism is likened to a grave into which we place our old man and rise from those waters to walk in the newness of life.
God accepted the faith-filled crossing of the Red Sea by the children of Israel as a water baptism of deliverance. Those same waters trapped their enemies and drowned them so that they were seen no more forever. Water baptism grants the believer the answer of a good conscious toward God.
Repent, and be baptized because your sins have been forgiven and in addition to this command may you also be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Support Scriptures:
·       1 Corinthians 10:1-2
·       Mark 1:9-11
·       Luke 3:21
·       Acts 8:36-39
·       1 Peter 3:22
·       2 Kings 5:14