Last Sunday, the Gateway Hill Country Church reached a new milestone - the first baptism! Two men publicly declared their belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The church was there to witness ...
This got me into looking up "baptism" and learning more about it.
It is said that "baptism" comes from the Greek word "baptizo" which meant to dunk, dip, plunge, submerge or immerse. It seems that there are many discussions about the following topics:
- manner or method of baptism
- recipients of baptism
- meaning and effects of baptism
Despite all these discussions, I think it all boils down to the Great Commission, where Jesus told his disciples to
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."
What does "baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" mean? Literally, it means being "dunked, dipped, plunged, submerged or immersed" in the name of the triune God. Why would someone consciously chose to be dipped into water?
Now that is an interesting question ... see the precedent phrase " make disciples". You must be a disciple then when you get baptized. So what is a disciple?
A "disciple" is defined by Mr Webster to be "one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another: as
- one of the twelve in the inner circle of Christ's followers according to the Gospel accounts (Thomas, Matthew, Simon Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, etc.)
- a convinced adherent of a school or individual (e.g. Theophrastus was a disciple of Aristotle, Simmias was adisciple of Socrates, etc)
Simplistically, then, you must be a follower of God in order to be baptized in His name. You must surrender your life to God, allow Him to take over your life, become immersed or submerged in His will.
To be truly baptized then means that:
- you know and acknowledge the Jesus is your Savior and Lord
- you publicly declare this to everyone by being dunked, dipped, plunged, submerged or immersed in water.
When you get baptized, the priest or the pastor or anyone else could be pronouncing that you are now baptized. However, it is actually you, yourself by your actions, who is announcing that you are now baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
There is no magic that happens because you have been baptized. It is a symbolic act of those who believe in Christ that they are dead in their sins and needing burial (submersion) and becoming a new man (emergence). It is an outward expression of an inward work. It is a demonstration of obedience to the Great Commission.
Learn more about baptism and see if it is your turn to make your conscious declaration! Don't tarry!
Meanwhile, see me and my dear friends "model" Immersion, Submersion and Emergence.
Back in North America
6 years ago