The Value Of Water Baptism
My heart rejoices when I see new believers being baptised, for this was a momentous time in my life when I was water-baptised so many years ago. You see, I had been steeped in my denomination's doctrine: some of the teachings I had received were not truth according to the Word of God, and I was greatly hindered as a new believer. But, when I went down into the water of baptism I came up free of those false teachings. I could see clearly what the Word was saying. I felt like many strings had been clipped from me and I was free!
A famous Bible teacher who has since gone, taught us through 1 Corinthians 10:1-2: "You should understand, my brothers, that our ancestors were all under the pillar of cloud, and all of them passed through the Red Sea, and so they all received baptism into the fellowship of Moses in Cloud and Sea." These were symbols, types and pictures of what we have in the New Testament. · Egypt was a type of the world, slavery, bondage. · God's Passover was a type of salvation, through the blood of the lamb. · Then they escaped the bondage of Pharaoh (a type of evil). · When they passed through the Red Sea (a type of water baptism) evil's control and slavery in Egypt, (the world) was cut off. · The old life was cut off and a new life began. They never returned to Egypt again. Some longed to return to Egypt and because of their ungrateful, unbelieving attitude (Numbers 13 & 14), they wandered and did not enjoy the Promised Land (a type of the good life that Jesus spoke of). · You know the Old Testament Promised Land is not a type of heaven, it is a type of abundant life that Jesus promised in John 10:10. Joshua and Caleb entered the Promised Land because they believed God. Moses did not enter, but saw it from afar (Deut. 34:4) because he was angry and struck the rock twice. This was a spiritual symbol of Christ, according to 1 Cor.10:4. · We know that Moses is gone: we see him in the New Testament on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus (Luke 9:28-36; Matt.17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8). · The cloud is a type of the Holy Spirit which stayed with them, leading them day and night, even as they wandered in the wilderness (Exodus 40:36-38; John 14:15-16). Here is what we learn : God saves you by grace, through the blood of the Lamb, and gives you eternal life, but you can miss the abundant life here on earth by unbelief, by following worldly thinking and by not knowing the Word of the Kingdom of God on this earth. According to Ephesians 1:2-9, you have been given every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. If you don't understand what is yours by studying God's Word, you may not experience those blessings in this life. Therefore you may miss out on much of the abundant life here on earth. However, there are things of the world, doctrines, habits and ways of thinking which are just cut off in the waters of baptism. It was true with me, and I am so grateful to this day for this freedom. Water baptism is not just a form it has great power.
The Lord Jesus gave us the great commission: "Full authority has been committed to me. Go forth therefore and make all nations my disciples; baptise men everywhere in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all that I have commanded you. And be assured, I am with you always, to the end of time" (Matthew 28:18-20).
Remember: Water baptism does not save you from eternal condemnation, Jesus does. Salvation/the new birth comes first (Acts 8:34- 38), then comes water baptism where the old you that dies with Christ is buried under the water. Water baptism is a burial service for the "old man" as it says in Romans 6:6. "We know that the man we once were has been crucified with Christ, for the destruction of the sinful self, so that we may no longer be the slaves of sin..." "Yield your bodies to Him as implements for doing right; for sin shall no longer be your master, because you are no longer under law, but under the grace of God."
Our old life was buried with Him in baptism and we are raised to newness of life abundant life eternal life.
The Turbo Ecclesia, including Bro. Emmanuel Milimo (left) and Elder Sister Beatrice Naliaka (right) with friends and grand-children after the opening of the parcel containing the New European Version Bibles.
Bro. Emmanuel Milimo( Turbo, Kenya).