Baptism… A death, a burial and a resurrection! Then “a new life!”

Water BaptismBaptism – pretty significant in most church bodies!  The church fellowship I’m a part of practices “baptism by immersion” and only for “believers” (so it’s called “believer baptism”).  Baptism really points beyond itself to a wonderful reality: For us to experience Spiritual victory, in some real way (by faith) the death of Jesus on the cross must become our death to self and sin, His burial must become our burial to our past life, and (Praise the Lord!) His resurrection becomes our resurrection to walk (live) in “newness of life!”

When I baptized my friend, “Big Bill Cypher,” in the Crow Wing River in Minnesota here is what he said in his testimony.  Bill looked up on the bank of the boat landing where a bunch of his old drinking buddies were watching and said, “The pastor just told us baptism is like a burial service!  The old Bill used to go out and drink and carouse with you fellas.  In a few minutes the pastor is going to put the old Bill down in the waters of this river – He’s going to bury Him!  In fact, I can almost see, the sin of my past, washing away down that river!  Then Pastor is going to bring Bill Cypher up out of the water; and when he does, by the grace of God you’re going to see a new Bill Cypher!”  I can remember it like it was yesterday!  It’s the way baptism’s ought to be in my opinion!

Most Bible scholars believe Apostle Paul had “baptism” in mind when he wrote Colossians 3:1-11.  Here is what it says:  (Give it a read.  You’ll be glad you did!)

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.  FOR YOU HAVE DIED, AND YOUR LIFE IS HIDDEN WITH CHRIST IN GOD!  When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.  Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  On account of these the wrath of God is coming.  In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.  But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.  Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.  Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all!”

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