STEP ONE - REPENT of your Sins Against God
In STEP ONE we've done some EXTREMELY SERIOUS work towards ENSURING that we are Born of God - via the First Step, which is CONFESSION and REPENTANCE,which you can read in this Message (click) "Here Lies the Major Problem, and Solution, for Most of Us."
STEP TWO - BELIEVE IN the Lord Jesus
In STEP TWO we saw that BELIEVING IN the Lord Jesus involves A TOTAL LIFE COMMITMENT to Him! He IS Lord!! Nothing less than allowing Him to be Lord over ALL of our life will do for us - in order to have CERTAINTY of being Born again!!
STEP THREE - B
Now on to STEP THREE which happens to be another B! And we go back to Peter, after Pentecost, preaching for the first time about Jesus to people from many Countries: ACTS 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission [pardon and forgiveness] of sins..." We MUST repent, Peter says... AND BE BAPTISED: baptised in THE NAME OF JESUS, the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). This is being baptised INTO Jesus, becoming JOINED WITH HIM in some quite astonishing ways that we'll look at!! Please consider the following important things concerning water Baptism:
• Baptism is THE NEXT STEP for someone who has: (a) REPENTED and (b) is a BELIEVER in Jesus
• There is no unbaptised Christian Believer in the New Testament!
• We're called to make DISCIPLES and BAPTISE them - Jesus said: MATTHEW 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
• Baptism is always accompanied by WITNESSES (not done in private)
• Baptism has meanings like drench, dunk, deluge, soak, saturate, plunge.
• In our baptism as a Believer in the Son of the Living God we are SHOWING FORTH to the world, that we truly DO BELIEVE IN Him!!
What's incredibly sad is that after conversion we usually WAIT for time to pass, to see if they are REALLY CONVERTED!! Goodness!! This is because of a poor New Birth that almost all experience - which this Series has been to try and REMEDY! The Scripture Pattern is quite clear as to HOW to get a person SERIOUSLY into the Kingdom: 1) They've FULLY repented - which WILL take more than 1 minute; may take more than 1 day, or even more than 1 week! HAS to be done properly. Full repentanceof all sin against GOD will lead to 2) Full BELIEF in Jesus as LORD, and to a TOTAL LIFE COMMITMENT TO HIM! That is, to a COMMITMENT FOR all of your LIFE, OF all of your LIFE!!! We are dealing with the God of all, and so there can be NO half measures here!!!
Now via your water BAPTISM in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, according to His Word, let's look very CAREFULLY at what you are actually DOING? First of all please REALISE that what you're doing is NOT SYMBOLIC as is usually incorrectly stated, but rather involves REAL ACTIONS and TRANSACTIONS!! Here are the plumb ASTONISHING things that God states occur at your Baptism: COLOSSIANS 2:12 You were buried with Him [Jesus] in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
To spell this out: in Baptism you are in TRUTH and REALITY identified with the ACTUAL DEATH, BURIAL and RESURRECTION OF JESUS!!! To me that's an absolute MIND-BLOWER!! So: (a) FIRST, in the act of Baptism you were BURIED WITH JESUS: through FAITH in HIM, in and by His grace, to die to SIN and PUT OFF the old man of sin!! (b) SECOND, you ROSE WITH HIM from the dead, now to live to RIGHTEOUSNESS, and to put on THE NEW MAN!!
So in water Baptism by your FAITH and BELIEF IN your new LORD and MASTER:
YOU'VE DIED, BEEN BURIED, AND RISEN FROM THE DEAD...
... to a NEW LIFE, a life of RIGHTEOUSNESS - because you've died to sin and put off the old man of sin, which is now dead and gone!!! NOTE: as you live and grow in your new Christian walk, you will need to CONTINUE to die to sin and put off the old man of sin i.e., you will need to be continually REMINDING yourself that they ARE dead and gone!!!
Here's an excellent quote from the great Matthew Henry where he gets right to the CORE of the importance of water Baptism for the true Believer in the Lord Jesus (I just love where he says 'be God to us'!):
"... baptism is the seal of the covenant and an obligation to our dying to sin; and that we are raised with Christ, as it is a seal and obligation to our living to righteousness, or newness of life. God in baptism engages [gives a binding undertakng] to be God to us, and we become engaged [pledge ourselves] to be his people, and by his grace to die to sin and to live to righteousness, to put off the old man and put on the new."
Continued in Part 8, "It's Time to Move Towards Our Final Step 4"...
- BM, with his Love