Water baptism is more than just an outward show of an inward act of repentance. The Greek word baptizo translated baptized means to dip, soak, immerse into a liquid so that what is dipped takes on the qualities of what it has been dipped in. Water Baptism is symbolic of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus/Yeshua. Therefore, you should be immersed completely, not just have water poured or sprinkled on your forehead. Being baptized into the Name of Jesus/Yeshua means our hearts are changed and we take on the qualities of the Messiah.
Romans 6 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. 19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Water Baptism is an act of faith. The Greek translation in Romans 6 says that we are co-buried and co-raised from the dead with Jesus. When we enter the waters we die to our selfish desires and our old nature! Our slavery to the old sin nature is nailed to the cross and made powerless by His blood. As we are raised from the water our heart is changed and we rise to walk in new life just as Jesus rose from the dead. We become members of God’s kingdom through the covenants and promises that God made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Most believers feel remarkably “clean” and refreshed when they come out of the waters.
Through water baptism (with the help of the Holy Spirit) we can conquer our sinful desires! However, it is our choice. The roots of our sinful nature have been cut off; it is up to us with the help of Jesus/Yeshua, to live righteously. Those that go on sinning are doing it by choice. I am not saying that we are perfect; we will still sin. But, if we are repentant, we can conquer sin. We aren’t supposed to live a sinful life deliberately, thinking that God will just forgive us and we can continue sinning. Only Yeshua’s grace and us relying on Him can help us conquer sin. If we are tempted we can always ask Him for a way out, and He will give it to us every time.
Acts 19 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied. 4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.
In verse 3 Paul is checking their foundation of baptism. John’s Baptism was a baptism of repentance. Most churches do this kind of baptism. As I said at the beginning of this blog, they think Water Baptism is an outward sign of an inward work (repentance). Please notice that Paul was talking to believers but their form of Water Baptism was not “up to date”! They needed to be baptized into Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection as was discussed in Romans 6. There is one more key to understanding Water Baptism.
Colossians 2: 9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
Deuteronomy 30:6 says, The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.
To be baptized into Jesus means that God has taken away your stony heart and replaced it with one that is pliable. A Circumcised heart is receptive to the working of the Holy Spirit and God can write His law on it.
If you are having a problem with sin, based on your water baptism foundation, you might need to be water baptized again. If your water baptism was done as a show of your being a believer and your intent was not to have a deeper relationship with God, then you will probably have a problem with sin. If so, you should consider getting re-baptized for the circumcision of heart.
God wants to lay a firm spiritual foundation in each of our lives (Hebrews 6). Without it, he has nothing on which to build a mature believer! God’s foundation starts with repentance, faith in God through Jesus’ atoning blood, water baptism and the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Read the scripture for the full foundation. If this foundation is not laid properly, a person can have problems receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and may need to be re-baptized in this circumstance.
Next blog will be about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.