A Christian is one who models their life after JESUS Christ. So whatever JESUS did they also should do. Well, what did JESUS do? In three gospels the very first thing that JESUS did as an act of His own free will was to be baptized in water (fully immersed).
Matthew 3:13-17 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Mark 1:4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Mark 1:9-11 It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Luke 3:21-22 When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
JESUS needed to be baptized in water in order to fulfill all righteousness or the requirements of God so He was baptized (fully immersed) in water by John the Baptist. Now if JESUS and the first century church believed that water baptism was so important, why are there some who treat it like it’s no big deal? I know there are some who talk about it, but they really don’t do it all that much, DO THEY? They talk like obedience to the New Testament is important, but not right now. You know, when it’s more convenient. Yes, they are Bible believing Christian ministers as long as it doesn’t require a whole lot of effort.
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,”
Mark 16:15-16 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”
Acts 8:12-13 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.
Acts 8:35-38 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
It’s kind of funny but most Christian ministers will tell you that water baptism is important, and that you should be baptized and they will do it RIGHT AFTER THEY EXPLAIN TO YOU WHAT THEIR PARTICULAR CHURCH OR DENOMINATION TEACHES ON IT. Funny, JESUS, His 12 apostles, His additional 70 disciples never needed a class to explain it to them. They never had to set up an appointment or wait until a particular point on the calendar to be baptized in water. In the book of Acts, everybody, EVERYBODY was baptized in water in the name of JESUS. EVERYBODY. No classes or appointments needed. Apparently our current Christian leadership knows more than they did. If we want to have New Testament results, such as signs, wonders and miracles, we’re going to have to do things the New Testament way. If we don’t do things the New Testament way, WE ARE NOT going to see New Testament results. Here’s a radical idea, in our meetings just as soon as someone makes a commitment to follow JESUS, let’s immediately baptize them in water in the name of JESUS. What would happen if we started doing that? Well, according to the book of Acts 2:41, “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day ABOUT THREE THOUSAND SOULS were added to them.” How’s that for a successful meeting?
If you are reading this there is something vitally important that you should be aware of. The greatest and last move of God on planet Earth is not going to come through our Christian leaders. They have had their chance. Most of them are going to be bypassed. This greatest and last move of God is going to come through YOU! It really doesn’t matter if you’re Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Charismatic, or whatever name you call yourself, YOU are the one that He’s going to use to bring people YOU don’t even know yet to JESUS.
And YOU are authorized to baptize anybody, anywhere, at any time who has made a statement declaring, “I believe God raised JESUS from the dead, and from this moment on, I’m giving my life to JESUS and making Him my Lord” (which means boss). If you are reading these words, just listen to what your heart is saying. If you love JESUS, you have been ordained a minister (servant) of the Gospel or good news.
Here is what we are not saying. WE ARE NOT SAYING THAT IF YOU ARE NOT BAPTIZED IN WATER IN THE NAME OF JESUS YOU ARE NOT GOING TO HEAVEN. We are not saying that at all. Just to be clear, WE ARE NOT SAYING THAT IF YOU ARE NOT BAPTIZED IN WATER IN THE NAME OF JESUS YOU ARE NOT GOING TO HEAVEN.
Now there are people, mainly the ones who don’t want to follow the New Testament, who will make mention of John 4:1-2. In verse 2 of this passage we read these words, “though JESUS Himself did not baptize, but His disciples”. In other words, JESUS did not baptize people in water, only His disciples did. So the reasoning goes, “If it was that important, why didn’t JESUS baptize others Himself?” This is not a good verse to try to justify their laziness in not following the New Testament pattern.
You’ll notice it says His “disciples” DID baptize people. If words mean anything this means His “disciples” should be baptizing people in water. So apparently, Christian leadership is filled with non-disciples. You know the ones that don’t do what they are told to do. They say He’s their Lord and yet they don’t do what He tells them to do. You will find them mentioned in Matthew 7:21-22 and Luke 6:46. This verse is not good to use to justify their inaction.
So it would seem according to the New Testament pattern here’s what makes a New Testament Christian. We are to make the decision to believe that God raised JESUS from the dead, make the decision to turn all our life over to Him so He has final authority in our lives, call upon His name, be baptized in water in His name, and then to be filled with the Holy Spirit so that we can demonstrate that JESUS is alive, not just through words, but prove it with power. If all we have is intelligent arguments, and no power, then all we have is “Religion”. And sadly, that is what Christianity has been reduced to, words with no power.
Acts 1:5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
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 of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 10:46b-48 …..Then Peter answered, “Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.
Acts 9:18 Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.
Acts 10:48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then they asked him to stay a few days.
Acts 16:14-15 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” So she persuaded us.
Acts 19:4-5 Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
YOU, the reader, have been authorized by Almighty God to go out and DO what the New Testament says to do. Your ordination documents are 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,” and Mark 16:15-16, “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is BAPTIZED will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”.
With Love, Cincinnati Christian
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