Monday, 19 May 2008

Four Baptisms: Part Three

We have been looking at the teachings of baptisms in the Bible. We have noted that there are four baptisms mentioned in the Bible and not all of them are applicable to us today. We saw how John’s baptism was only for a limited time, it was replaced by the baptism of Christ (see Acts 19:3-5). We also looked at the Baptism of Fire and recognised that this was only talked about in the context of the final judgment. This baptism can affect us, but only a fool would want it.

Last time we looked at the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. We saw that this had been prophesied – John had spoken about it and Jesus had promised it. We read in Acts Chapter 2 how the disciples were baptized (see Acts 2:1-4). In that account we noticed four things happened at that time. There was a violent rushing wind, tongues as of fire, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and they spoke in other tongues. That was the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. We discussed how some claim this baptism today, but fail to have the marks that the Bible gives it.

The Baptism of Christ
Now we are going to look into the Baptism of Christ. Jesus taught us that this baptism was essential. He said in Mark 16:16, “He who has believed and has been baptized will be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.” Obviously we have to believe in Christ, Heb 11:6 says, “and without faith it is impossible to please him…”. However faith only is not sufficient. We also have to be baptized!

The reason why it is essential that we are baptized into Christ is made clear for us by the words of Peter in Acts 2:38, were we read, “And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’”. We are baptised for the forgiveness of sins! This is the reason that Saul of Tarsus, later to become known as the apostle Paul, was told, “And now why do you delay? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name” Acts 22:16.

We are baptised into Christ after having believed, having repented of our sins and confessed the name of Jesus Christ. It isn’t baptism alone that saves us, but it is at this point that we receive salvation. Notice what we read in Roman 6:3-4, “
Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised form the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”
The baptism of John was given for a specific purpose and time, and that has gone. Likewise the baptism of the Holy Spirit was for God’s specific purpose, that purpose and that time has also gone. The baptism of the Fire is still to come – on the day of judgment, and the lost will face that. The baptism of Christ is the one that affects us to day. If we want to be saved, if we do not want to go through the baptism of fire we must be baptized into Christ. It is at this time we receive the sweet gift of salvation in Jesus’ name.

If you have not yet been baptized, you need to be. If you require further information, or if we could help you with your baptism, pleased don’t hesitate to contact us. This really is a matter of life and death, eternal life and death

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