Posts tagged ‘John the Baptist’

Water Baptism: A Further Mark of Obedience to the Lord!

Many Christians today believe that they DON’T need to be baptized at all. However, according to the bible, there are over 7+ passages which explicitly state that full-water-immersion baptism is COMMENDED, immediately upon first believing in Jesus Christ! Yeah, you heard me right: FULL WATER-IMMERSION BAPTISM, not some “minor sprinkling” upon the forehead!

And though there were/are times/cases where a person is NOT able to get water baptized (the thief on the cross, people who are paralyzed/have no limbs, people who are lying gravely ill in a hospital bed, Syrian Christians who were beheaded before they had a chance to get baptized, etc.), those whom ARE able to get water baptized SHOULD, as it’s a further step of “obedience” to the Lord Jesus!

Let us examine the following bible passages down below:

Mark 16:16 “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned”

Luke 3: 21-22 “Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased”

Mark 1: 9-11 “And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”

Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost”

Mark 1: 4-5 “John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins”

Acts 8: 35-38 “Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 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 Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 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”

Romans 6:3-6 “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin”

Galatians 3: 27 “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ”

1 Peter 3: 21 “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ”

1 Corinthians 12: 13 “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit”

Acts 16: 31-33 “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway”

John 1: 29-33 “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost”

Matthew 3: 13-17 “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”

Luke 3:16 “John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire”

During my Near-Death experience when I was around 2 years of age, Jesus himself made me dunk myself under the water and “get baptized in the spirit of truth”. Therefore, I know in my heart and soul that full-water-immersion baptism is REQUIRED! Jesus AND his disciples did it, as did his followers! The thief on the cross is the ONLY exception that I can think of, since the thief had NO WAY of having a full water immersion baptism. But everyone else that can do a full water immersion baptism is REQUIRED to, upon VERY FIRST believing in Jesus Christ! The disciples and Jesus’s followers got baptized IMMEDIATELY upon believing, WITHOUT DELAY! So should we………….

“A man who knows that he is saved by believing in Christ does not, when he is baptized, lift his baptism into a saving ordinance. In fact, he is the very best protester against that mistake, because he holds that he has no right to be baptized until he is saved.”  ~ Charles Spurgeon

“Baptism separates the tire kickers from the car buyers.”  ~ Max Lucado

“We may never be martyrs but we can die to self, to sin, to the world, to our plans and ambitions. That is the significance of baptism; we died with Christ and rose to new life”  ~ Vance Haver

“Baptism is faith in action.”  ~ Watchman Nee

“God’s people should be baptized because God commanded it, not because some church requires it.”  ~ John R. Rice

But all in all, water baptism represents the “ceremonial washing away of sins” and the “old life” and being baptized into the “new life”. It’s also the means by how Jesus Christ gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit/the spirit of truth. It’s how Jesus Christ gave ME the spirit of truth (during my NDE). So I can only speak from the bible and my own experience with water baptism. 

But let me specify, though. Baptism is NOT required for “Salvation”, alone. Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ ALONE is HIMSELF the way to Salvation/Forgiveness of Sins. For Salvation comes by Grace through FAITH + Obedience. So essentially, water baptism is one step closer in our submissive obedience to HIM and him, alone! 

12 Most Important Aspects of the Christian Faith:

The 12 MOST IMPORTANT aspects of the Christian faith are as follows:

1). TO PRAISE THE LORD & Learning to Overcome Times We’re Feeling UNGRATEFUL/ANGRY Towards The Lord so THAT we become GRATEFUL to The Lord for all that he’s done in our lives!

2). TO TRUST IN THE LORD & Learning to Overcome Times When We’re Feeling DISTRUST towards The Lord or distrust for the fact that he’ll do the things he SAYS in the bible or otherwise tells us he will do!

3). TO FAITHFULLY SERVE THE LORD & Learning to Overcome Times When “We Just Don’t Feel Like Serving the Lord” (for whatever reason……”I’ve got too much schoolwork to do”, “it’s football season”, “work’s been hectic lately”, etc.)!

4). TO BELIEVE *IN* THE LORD & Learning to Overcome A LACK OF FAITH *IN* The Lord! (This one is HUGE! For imagine what would’ve happened to the ancient Israelites if Moses had a COMPLETE lack of faith in the Lord or what would’ve happened if Abraham hadn’t had enough faith in the Lord and had actually GONE through with sacrificing Isaac (the chosen seed) in the Old Testament! Those 2 examples illustrate how just ONE person’s lack of faith can *potentially* have devastating results!)

5). TO READ (AND MEDITATE ON) THE BIBLE **OFTEN** & Learning to Overcome the Times “We Just Don’t Feel Like Reading the Bible”! (Again, this one’s also huge! For if you don’t even READ the bible and know what’s in there, front to back – Old Testament to New Testament, Satan and his minions and all the “false teachers” out there can VERY EASILY deceive you since you won’t have the spiritual discernment to know what’s in the bible and what isn’t! So be careful, folks!)

6). TO STUDY THE BIBLE & Not Just “Know” the Bible! (For Anyone Can Quote Scripture or “Know” Scripture but yet, not EVERYONE is able to take the bible and actually APPLY IT TO THEIR VERY LIVES!)

7). TO PRAY & Learning to Overcome The Times in Our Lives When We Feel Like “I Don’t NEED to Pray to God About Anything In My Life Right Now, For I Already HAVE Everything I Need!” (That spiritual attitude of ours that we get from time to time is DEADLY! For it leads to ALL Sin and UNGRATEFULNESS! Satan is EVER-SO-HAPPY when we STOP PRAYING, because it draws us AWAY from Jesus Christ & makes Satan HAPPY WITH GLEE, whenever this happens in our lives! So don’t let Satan win! PRAY CONTINUALLY IN YOUR LIVES!)

8). TO GET BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST! (Again, this one’s IMPORTANT: for it’s meant to represent the ceremonial washing away of sins and meant to be a “public declaration” of one’s faith and being “set apart” from the unbelieving/unbaptized world. Now: if someone dies before being baptized, but believed with all their heart, souls and mind in Jesus Christ, will THAT person be saved? I would say yes. But for all the people who HAVE a chance to get baptized — (FULL WATER IMMERSION, NOT “SPRINKLING” SINCE “SPRINKLING” IS UN-BIBLICAL, FOLKS!) — you should get baptized since it’s commanded 7+ times in the bible!

9). TO SPREAD/SHARE THE GOSPEL WITH ALL PEOPLES AND ALL NATIONS ***AND*** TO HELP THOSE IN NEED & Learning To Overcome The Times “We Just Don’t Feel Like Sharing the Gospel With Others”! (Remember all the “lost sheep” out there and remember all the “lost souls” out there who haven’t yet come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, yet. THEY should be your focus. And if they won’t “listen to you”, drop the conversation, move on to another person who might be open to hearing the gospel and then later come back and continually/daily pray for that person. Our God is an awesome God and he answers all diligent prayers of the saints! (that is, to say, you and me). Everyone has a conversion story. What’s YOURS? Share it with the world and don’t wait! (Time is of the essence).

10). TO SPIRITUALLY ENDURE UNTIL HE [JESUS CHRIST] COMES AGAIN ON THE EARTH! (And this is important since, though it’s tempting, we can’t just give up at the first sign of trouble or persecution. For imagine if we were all on a large battlefield and Satan and his demon spirits and ALL non-believers and FALSE TEACHERS were on ONE end of the battlefield and WE were on the OTHER end of the battle field. Okay, now imagine that Satan has given orders for them all to charge at us FULL SPEED AHEAD!

Now imagine that Jesus Christ is standing in the “center” of us, no fear, not moving, not even yet speaking. SOME people on our side are going to become DEATHLY AFRAID (even with Jesus standing right there, in the midst of us) and are going to either run and break ranks or sit down on the ground with their hands up saying “we surrender! we surrender! please don’t hurt us!”while in the meantime, Satan is laughing hysterically with GLEE *AS* he and his demons take the “I surrender” people as “CAPTIVES/PRISONERS OF SPIRITUAL WAR” while Jesus Christ is mourning the loss of them and praying in his great heavenly name for them to come back!)

And SOME folks are just gonna be neutral, not really proclaiming to “fight” for EITHER side (they’re being what’s called “spiritually lukewarm”) and it’s THESE folks that Jesus Christ will be MOST ANGRY at, since they won’t clearly pick either side to “fight” on!

Yet, OTHERS of us on our side of the battle field are going to look over at Jesus, wait for his command and then COUNTER CHARGE with all the faith that they possibly have and can muster. And yes, it being a spiritual battle, they’re likely gonna suffer a wound here, a wound there and might even get knocked down a time or two. Or three. But it’s how they come back AFTER their “wounds” and HOW FAST they come back after their “wounds” that determine if they successfully “stay on course” or not, as the spiritual battle rages on! 

11). To LEARN BY EXAMPLE from the Prophets of Old in the Old Testament and by the Disciples/Jesus Christ/etc. in The New Testament! (Many of us can LEARN from the prophets of the Old Testament and from Jesus Christ & his disciples in the New Testament. The Prophets of Old in the Old Testament had both their strengths AND their weaknesses, which we today can DEFINITELY learn from! Just like we can also learn from the strengths & weaknesses of Jesus’ disciples in the New Testament, as well! Oftentimes we forget that the Old Testament prophets and even Jesus’s own disciples were normal human beings, just like us, with thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and occasionally, YES, sin in their life! And how they each individually DEALT with those sins or had their sins DEALT WITH by the Lord can serve as a powerful reminder and teaching tool to us ALL!)

12). To REPENT OF ALL SIN(S) ***AND*** TO FORGIVE THOSE WHO HAVE HURT US!

Further explained:

1). We should always be praising God/Jesus Christ for all that he’s done (not only for the creation of the world and the universe and the heavens but also for what he’s done for the ancient Israelites during the Old Testament and also what Jesus Christ has done for the peoples of the New Testament, as well as what he’s done for us (and/or other people) in our own lives!)

2). We can’t just PRAY for the Lord to do something, we must TRUST that he (in his own due divine time) will do it! We must TRUST that he knows what’s best for us in our lives and trust and wait on HIS timing and not our OWN timing! For it stands to reason: if he created the Earth & the heavens, he TRULY knows what’s best for us and when, does he not? 😉

3). We must SERVE (& love) the Lord with all our heart, all our mind, and all our strength! We can’t just READ his words in the bible, we must also OBEY them! For Jesus Christ said in John 14:15 “ If ye love me, keep my commandments“. And by serving others (such as, helping out those who are less fortunate than us, for example), we are in effect, serving God!

4). We must BELIEVE that Jesus Christ died for our sins on the cross and that God the Heavenly Father resurrected him on the 3rd day, as it was written and that 40 days later, he ascended back up to heaven to be on the right hand side of God the Heavenly Father (as was witnessed by several of eyewitnesses in the New Testament).

5). We must not just KNOW the bible but we must READ the bible, in order to have TRUE SPIRITUAL GROWTH. For if you don’t know the bible or what’s in there, you’ll be susceptible to just about ANY false teaching there is, out there!

6). We must not just READ the bible, we must also STUDY the bible, IN GREAT DETAIL! (Even the good Lord himself ENCOURAGED us to study the scriptures in John 5:39 “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” and in 2 Timothy 3:16 “ All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”.

7). We must constantly PRAY for the things we need in life (ESPECIALLY for the forgiveness of our sins)!

8). There are 7+ bible passages which state that baptism is NECESSARY for the “ceremonial” washing away of sins! [1 Peter 3:21, Galatians 3:27, 1 Corinthians 12:13, Romans 6:3-6, Acts 16: 31-33, Acts 8:35-38, Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, Mark 1:4-5, Mark 28:19-20, etc.) **Note: Mark 3:13-17 and Mark 1:9-11, and John 1:29-33 all show how we are to have a FULL IMMERSION BAPTISM (in a river, bathtub, or swimming pool, etc), NOT A SPRINKLING!!!!!!)

9). Matthew 28:19 states: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”. In other words, Jesus Christ says we are to SPREAD and SHARE the gospel amongst ALL people and ALL nations! **We’re ALSO supposed to help others that are in need!** During the Great White Throne Judgement, Jesus Christ will judge each and every one of us (not only by our faith) but also by HOW WELL we abided in the bible and helped others in need! So if you see a homeless person somewhere, don’t ignore them!  

10). Matthew 24:13 states: But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved”. In other words, Jesus Christ warned us in the bible that we would have/experience persecution in this world, reminding us that he himself suffered it, first. However, he promises that he will reward the overcomers! So we must spiritually endure and occupy ourselves until he comes to the Earth again!

Remember that everything of this Earth and on this Earth is ONLY TEMPORARY and that someday soon, the Lord God will create a NEW HEAVENS AND A NEW EARTH! Also please remember that as soon as the CURRENT heavens and Earth pass away, the ONLY thing that will matter is your spiritual relationship (or lack of one) with the Lord Jesus Christ! And your spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ or lack of one, or lack of a GOOD one, will determine where you are placed to go, FOR ALL ETERNITY!

And the return of Jesus Christ to the Earth for his saints is IMMINENT! So I pray: if you’re not 100% ready with Jesus Christ today, then please get ready. Time is of the essence! We never know when we’re going to die and/or when Jesus Christ is gonna return for his true “church” (the saints). So we need to constantly pray that we will be ready!

11). It’s funny how modern day Christians tend to look at King David and Samuel and Jesus’s disciples with this sensationalized view, and hold them up on a pedestal, totally forgetting the fact that they all had sins and “faults”, just like you and I. Therefore, actually READING the bible and reading the FULL STORY on each disciple and each Old Testament prophet sort’ve helps put things in true perspective. Not ONE of them was perfect, save for Jesus Christ himself, who was born without sin. Then again, Jesus Christ is more than just a mere “prophet” of God, he’s the Alpha & Omega, the first and the last! The name above all other names! The only begotten Son of God! The True Vine! The Way, The Truth & the Life! The Everlasting God!

12). We must REPENT of our sins in order to have a new life in Jesus Christ! Because without repentance, there’s NO Salvation! For repentance is NECESSARY for Salvation! We must also forgive others who’ve hurt us! For Jesus said in the bible that if WE don’t forgive others that have hurt us or someone close to us, that WE ourselves won’t be forgiven since Jesus can’t let ANY sin into his heavenly kingdom! Holding a grudge against someone = Hate and Hate = Murder in our hearts, according to Jesus Christ Almighty! 

I pray that all souls that read this will either come to know Jesus Christ today or GET 100% ready with Jesus Christ today, if they already know him. In Jesus’s name, Amen.