“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians Ch. 2 v 20).
There are usually three types of baptisms taught in the full gospel Christian church. They are baptism into the body of Christ (Gal. Ch 3 v 27), water baptism (Matt. Ch. 3) and baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts Ch.2 vv 1-4); the latter two occurring in any order.
The first type of baptism mentioned, baptism into the body of Christ, occurs the second a person confesses Jesus Christ as their only Lord and Saviour, thus becoming a born-again believer (Acts Ch. 2 v 38.)
The second type, water baptism, is the outward demonstration of separation from the world by being completely submerged under water. I must make mention here that no special preparation is required for water baptism. By that I mean, no special colour clothing or hairstyle or removal of nail polish or jewellery or any other requests that may be made by the baptizer or any other member of your home church for that matter. There isn’t any scripture that supports the need to present oneself a particular way for water baptism.
The third type of baptism is referred to as being filled with the Holy Spirit. Speaking in tongues signifies the infilling. However, not every believer speaks in tongues.
Furthermore, Romans Ch. 6 vv 1-4 reveals another type of baptism; that is, “baptism into death;” of which the contents of this blog will be centered.
It is most important to mention that each baptism described above requires unwavering faith on the part of the believer.
In order to understand the condition of man when born into the world, let us take a look at the following:
Romans chapter 5 vv 12 &19-21 states, 12“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—
19For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
20…But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,
21so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The old man or the old sin nature, as it were, was polluted with and guilty of all sin, Whether one was a thief, a compulsive liar, slanderous, a murderer, sexually immoral, an idol worshipper, deceitful manipulator, an ingrate, a selfish miser, disrespectful to just about everybody you met, unkind, lazy, greedy or whatever; the fact is we were all guilty of sin collectively when we were born. I dare say, even when we were conceived.
Sin and its penalty, sure death, are an inheritance from Adam.
Fortunately, for us, Almighty God, “so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” John Ch. 3 v 16.
Echoing Paul’s statement to the believers in Rome, I ask, “1What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death…” Rom. Ch. 6.
As stated above in verse three, “…as many of us were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death.” In other words, confessing Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour also inducts us into his death. A twofold spiritual experience.
As we all know, a dead body is completely cut off from the natural world. The same process takes place when we confess Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour, except it is a spiritual operation. We are cut off from the natural world spiritually. Our physical bodies are still in the world but spiritually, we are not of the world. To gain a better understanding of this one has to accept that the world is at enmity with the renewed spirit of a child of God. It is written in John Ch. 15 v 18, “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” We all know that a dead body also goes through stages of decomposition/decay. It is a rotting corpse.
Verse four goes on to state that “we were buried with Him through baptism into death.” A burial consists of digging a very deep hole and covering up the body placed inside the hole, never to be seen again.
The gory descriptions above are necessary to create a mental image of the old man, our old sin nature that was crucified with Christ, baptized into His death and buried, never to be seen or heard from again as expressed in verse six, (“knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.) Verse seven goes on to declare, “For he who has died has been freed from sin.”
Why is it then that we tend to metaphorically exhume and revive that which died and was buried anytime we are faced with adverse situations or what the bible refers to as “the cares of this world?”
Being freed from sin means we are no longer under the bondage of sin; we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Yet, whenever we revert to the old ways of the old man, to justify our (worldly) behaviour, we use excuses such as, “this is the way I am” or “that person got me really angry” or “I just couldn’t help myself.” The old man/the old you were that way and could not help his/her self. The old man/the old you were unrestrained and a slave to sin.
What shall we do then? Shall we continue to revive the old man; that rotten corpse? I should hope not. Paul’s call for us “to be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” is the antidote for us to completely sever ties with the old dead and buried man. The precursor to realizing the resurrection life our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ procured for us by His sacrifice.
This mental transformation can only come about when our will is yielded to the Holy Spirit, who was sent to dwell in us, exhort, edify, comfort and guide us (1 Cor. Ch. 14 v 3.) In times of trials, we are called to “…be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God” James Ch. 1 vv 19-20. The end result of our obedience is always in pleasing Almighty God. We are called to represent Him here on earth in a manner that is fitting for us to be called His children. For the world will see Him through us. Also, as Paul advised the believers in Galatia, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” Gal. Ch. 5 v 16.
May Almighty God continue to bless you all.
All Scripture taken from New King James Version.
By Gail Reid