Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

The Baptism of John

“John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.”

Mark 1:4

The baptism is a crucial point in the life of a Christian, especially amongst Baptists. In Mark 16:16, we read: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.'' We also remind ourselves that Jesus, prior to His ascension, said we must make all people disciples and baptize them. But, thereafter we read very little about the baptism itself.

In Acts 8:36, we find the story about the Ethiopian eunuch, who met Philip on his way. The baptism is written about here in a short and sweet manner. “And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?...And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.”

On the other hand, the works of John and his baptism prior to Jesus' ministry is written in much more detail. He “preached the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins”. Even Jesus Himself came to be baptized by John. This baptism is linked to ancient rituals of purification. When someone sinned, he had to be cleansed physically, to once again be pure before God. In most cases additional offerings, necessary for atonement and thanksgiving, were sacrificed to God.

We find such a case in Matthew 27:24 “When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.” Here, we find a parallel to Psalm 26:6, which reads: “I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O Lord.”

Such manner was the baptism of John. It cleansed people outwardly, to provide them with inner purity.

However, Jesus calls us to a new baptism. The last words by Jesus, which we find in Matthew are: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” And Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans 6:3: “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?”

We also baptize today in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost into the death of Jesus Christ, which is more than a ritual cleansing, it means that we give up our entire old life. Jesus paid the offering for this cleansing on the cross of Golgotha. Through His death we are not only eternally free from all our sins, we also leave behind the kingdom of the world and enter into the Kingdom of God's heavenly realm, into His eternal Lordship.

Through baptism, our old carnal man dies and we are a new creation in Jesus Christ. We become, once again, as God created us, man in His image. The power which the old serpent had over us, is a thing of the past, and we are pure again, as God wanted for us and created us.

Other than by John, our baptism is something unique which never has to be repeated, as Paul tells us in Romans 8:38-39 “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

And so, I wish you a blessed day in the love of God!

(Translated by Linda Gates)


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