Leap of Faith: Daily Lessons About Jesus Christ
Chapter: True Baptism (Pages 49-50)
But the Scripture has shut up all men under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:22-28 (nasb)
True baptism is not a display of immersion under water, sprinkling, or pouring out of water, but true baptism occurs when one is baptized through Scripture.
The baptism of Christ is one that we need to think about on a very deep level. The use of the word baptizo in Jewish usage first appears in the Mosaic laws of purification where it undeniably means a mere “washing” or “cleansing.”
John the Baptist pursued the tradition of immersion as a ritual act of initiation and purification. John used the act of baptism as a critical change in the condition of the soul, manifested in a remission of sins through repentance. John’s baptism was only transitory—his baptism of repentance was but preparatory to a baptism of identification. The true meaning is understood only in the light of redemptive death and resurrection of Christ. Christ referred to his death in the words, “I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished” (Luke 12:50, kjv).
Note: This baptism that Jesus underwent was also attributed to his suffering for the world…This is also connected with his crucifixion or death…and this is the perfect demonstration of his resurrection of “bursting into life.”
“And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest these things? or who is he (God the Father) that gave thee this authority? And he answered and said unto them, I will ask you one thing; and answer me: The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?”
“This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me…”
Note: Jesus often spoke of himself in the 3rd person…There are “about” 78 times in the Bible where Jesus actually refers to himself as the Son of Man…
Also, when we think of references to time in God’s realm, God gives us some very important direction and discernment…
“And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own Power. But ye shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.”
Paul attributed baptism as its spiritual significance to the quality of entry into the righteousness of Christ through an identification with Christ Himself. It is regarded as the means of the death and resurrection of Christ. True baptism is, therefore, the incorporation of the believer into Christ’s righteousness and an infusion of that righteousness into the believer.
The words of Christ in Luke 12:49-51 (nasb): “I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division.”
When we read about the true baptism that Christ Himself had undergone, it was a baptism that allowed him to discover his identity. He was able to discover His true identity, which was concealed for a specific amount of time according to the Father. Christ was sent as a man in order to know man. The second man, following His baptism, was His true identity in His perfect heavenly state. This is whom everyone awaited according to the prophecy foretold long ago. How genius is God? How awesome is His work? We cannot begin to imagine the depth of God. He knew us all before we came into the world, and His prophecy is perfected in fulfillment. There is no need to attempt to convince anyone otherwise, for His words ordained through Scripture are perfect.
Baptism and the Book of Revelation is the key to understanding how we enter the kingdom of God and the New Jerusalem…
“And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth (Unclean), neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of Life.”
Helpful Tool: Alone time with God is where we gain our true understanding…and experience moments that are meant only for us…to hear God’s voice and feel His Holy Presence (Spirit).