Water Baptism E06
The water that divides
Baptized in Water Episode 06
What baptism did you experience?
When Paul, the apostle, was travelling through the country provinces he eventually came to Ephesus.
He found several believers, acknowledged Christians, he asked them about their experience in the Lord.
In this case it was about their experience in receiving the Holy Ghost.
One Should Not Speak about
Religion and Politics on the grounds that such subjects soon separate friends
This was the credo that I was raised under but it really isn’t a good idea
Especially concerning Christianity
Enquiry and Testimony
These two principles are found at the very start of the disciples being sent out
It is true that a question-and-answer technique can be used to establish dominance and authority but if you love somebody you will tell the truth.
Telling the truth sometimes includes the idea of asking and answering questions
And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.
Christianity Is all about
‘Speaking an Answer’
The very basis of being a Christian is to openly and publicly confess that Christ Jesus is your Lord.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
We should want to tell others
Concerning our confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
We should always ask
We are to give an answer
We all have an answer for the faith that we have
1 Peter 3:15
1 Peter 3:15
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
Let’s look at this Ephesus account
This is where Paul the apostle comes across certain brethren at Ephesus
Let us read together: Acts 19:1-10
Acts 19:1-10 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. 4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. 7 And all the men were about twelve. 8 And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. 9 But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus. 10 And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
So Paul spoke to these brethren
He asked them about their experience
They replied “they didn’t know anything about any Holy Ghost, he then asks “what baptism did you experience?
And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.
What did they reply?
“The baptism of John.”
There is a fundamental difference between the baptism of John and Jesus.
Knowing the difference is the power of life.
They are both biblical
What baptism did you experience?
Let me ask you that today.
Some will have had a biblical experience and some will have experienced the mere traditions of men
A few examples of these experiences
Of baptism in water or its supposed equivalent
Water baptism by being fully immersed into water
Some will say, I was baptised by infant baptism by sprinkling and the confession of someone else
I was baptised by full immersion but I didn’t know that I was born-again or that my sins were completely forgiven
I was baptised in the name of the Father & the Son & the Holy Ghost
I was baptised into the name of the Lord Jesus Christ
I was baptised in the body of Christ when I was saved – I don’t need any water.
The answer that they gave to Paul
Was the baptism of John
Let us read together: Matthew 3:1-2 & Matthew 3:6-5
Matthew 3:1-2 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Matthew 3:5-6 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, 6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
Different New Testament Water Baptisms
John came baptising people for repentance.
That is being sorry for doing what we know is wrong – what our conscience tells us is wrong.
The term repentance means “regret for a past action” and involves confessing your sins, a willingness to turn from those actions and turn to God & serve him.
Let us read together: Acts 13:24 & Mark 1:4
Acts 13:24 When John had first preached before his coming the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.
Mark 1:4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
This would sum up the desires
of all true Christians.
They are sorry for the wrong things that they know that they have done and want to turn from them and serve God.
Surely this is very noble and right – shouldn’t we all want John’s baptism in this case?
Why do we need the baptism of Jesus rather then the baptism of John?
So What Is the Difference?
The baptism of John is very good but it does not go far enough.
Even though we want to serve God and are sorry for our sins, we are still drawn into sinning, we lack the power thereof.
Our intention is good
We make a promise to serve God but find we fail the promise that we make.
We are sorry for what we do, we confess our sins but we find ourselves caught in repeating the wrong that we do.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
The baptism of Jesus
The baptism that Jesus gives, and is symbolic of, an answer that yes we are sorry BUT we add to that Faith in Jesus to live in us so that we have the power to serve God rather than just the desire to serve him.
This is why the power of Jesus’ water baptism is taught in parts of the bible like Romans 6.
What makes Jesus’ water baptism
so different to John’s water baptism?
Is it the actual formula?
Baptised in the name of John or baptised in the name of Jesus.
Not really, because in the New Testament forms & ceremonies do not work on their own.
After the immense sense of form & ceremony that is in the Old Testament it is difficult for us to accept that in the New Testament form & ceremony does not mean anything within itself.
Water baptism in Jesus’ name
Includes the revelation of the power of the resurrection as well as the desire to be forgiven for a life of sin.
It is not only about being forgiven but it is about having a new life in the power of the resurrection.
So when Paul asks
“in what name were you baptised?”
or “What baptism did you experience” he is not just asking about which formula or ceremony was used to baptised you BUT rather which revelation of understanding are you now living in.
It is a very important question
“Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?”
The receiving of the Holy Ghost is associated with the resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ and his sitting down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Paul was asking them about
If they had received the Holy Spirit since they believed
In this case he was asking them about “speaking in tongues” and the Holy Spirit.
What I’m saying is
that the formula of baptism used does not, in itself, give the experience that it stands for.
Teaching, revelation and faith must come with the actual baptism experienced.
In other words you experience a mode of baptism which opens the doorway to experience what the revelation that mode of baptism stands for.
What does the mode of
Jesus’ baptism stand for:
A completely changed life.
A completely new way of living life.
Life from a completely new source.
An experience of life that is completely different in every way.
John’s baptism spoke
of the desire for forgiveness
and the effort to make that change , all be it with the help of God.
Jesus’ baptism speaks of a life that is changed and the rest that comes from knowing that you are changed by God at the very roots of your life and experiences.
So it is possible to have
experienced the ceremony of the baptism of Jesus and yet be experiencing the life that comes from the ceremony of the baptism of John.
How do you know which baptism you are experiencing?
You know by the quality of life that you are currently enjoying.
The baptism of Jesus opens the doorway for you to enjoy a simple life of walking with the Lord in obedience to him.
The purpose and the power of your life comes directly from him. It’s about the reality of being born again of the spirit of God.
It is more important that the heart be washed of sin then the hands be washed before eating
Let us read together: Mark 7:2-9
Mark 7:2-9 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. 3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. 4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. 5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? 6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
It’s not just an act of washing
The exterior as in getting baptised so that your body is simply covered with water and washed.
It is of vastly more import. In the Old Testament one had to wash to remove uncleanness including the priests.
And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them with water.
It is not just fulfilling some type
of outward ordinance but it demonstrates a willingness to obey because without obedience there is no internal cleaning or cleansing.
And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
To Fulfil All Righteousness
This is not achieved by simply going through the motions of getting your body immersed in water in the name of Jesus. It involves the complete and utter cleansing of the heart!
The heart can only be cleansed by God, and the washing of the water of the word God will not inhabit an unclean vessel.
Obedience to water baptism
Implies an agreement that we need to be totally clean and prepared to walk in a clean life.
It’s about the intention to walk in holiness and love before the Lord all the days of our life.
It’s tied to the meaning of the cross
We follow the Lord Jesus
through the waters of baptism once
That we may constantly be cleansed as needed through repentance and faith to forgiveness for our sins if we go on to commit them.
We remember the table of the Lord weekly
That we may never forget that he died for our sins once and for all, never to be sacrificed again so that we may enjoy the feast to be remembered in the land to be possessed.
The understanding of this is the doorway of hope.
We are baptised in water once but we are washed with the water of the word daily
He offered himself as a sacrifice once but we remember his sacrifice weekly
No Washing – No Fellowship
No Fellowship Means No Life
It is terrible to be unclean
It’s not the water alone that saves us but the putting away of the filth of the flesh
God is clean but evil spirits are unclean spirits
We are to walk in righteousness not filthiness
The Answer of a Good Conscience
Not the putting away of the filth of the flash but the answer of a good conscience towards God
This is by the resurrection of Jesus Christ that the like figure even baptism doth also now save us!
Let us read together: 1 Peter 3:18-22
1 Peter 3:18-22 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 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: 22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
The Answer of a Good Conscience
It is not the putting away of the filth of the flesh but the answer of a good conscience.
It is tied up in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
He is in heaven on the right-hand of God and all heaven is subject unto him.
Will you be subject unto him?
That is the question!
“LOOK! Here is water abundantly available –
What are you waiting for?
Why shouldn’t you be baptised in water?”