The baptism of Christ, our identification with Christ.
Is water baptism for us today to practice?
The baptism of Christ:
We know very well that the Lord Jesus Christ was baptized with water by John the Baptist, we can read this in Matthew 3:13-15. Later on we will explain this! First we want to see and read what John the Baptist exactly preached to the people in the country near the river of Jordan and what he did there! Open your Bible and read with me Matthew 3:1-2:”In those days came John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, and saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” and in verse 5 we read: “Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region round about Jordan and were baptized of him in Jordan confessing their sins” In Luke 3 verse 3 we can read: “And he, John, came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins” Then the Lord Jesus came from Galilee to Jordan unto John , to be baptized of him Matthew 3:13. This is very strange, isn’t it? Jesus Christ was not a sinner; He was without sin and asks John to be baptized in the river Jordan for the remission of sins? Read with me in verse 14 of Matthew 3: But John forbad Him, saying, I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me? What is the answer of our Lord? He said: And Jesus answering said unto him (John), suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered Him. Why was Christ baptized with water, He was no sinner!!!! No He was no sinner and through this water baptism He identified Himself with sinners! He had a purpose with this. This baptism was a shadow which was to come! Later in Luke 12:50 we read: “But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it is accomplished! God through His Word is telling us about the second baptism! It was far after the Lord was baptized with water in the river Jordan. He was speaking about the coming baptism in fear, the death on the cross!!! Also in Marc 10:38-40 He spoke again about His death on the cross! This is the same baptism of Romans 6:3, 4!!!! “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?”
First we are going to 2 Corinthians 5:21: “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin: that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” You know He was the Sin bearer, He took all the sins of the world upon Himself in the cross and died for the sins of the whole world!!!! He died for you and me! The reason? That we became righteousness before God in Christ Jesus! That we became right before Him!!! That we became sons and daughters and have a relationship with God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ!
Let’s go back to the answer our Lord Jesus Christ gave to John in Matthew 3: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Now we know exactly what is the meaning of this verse for us today. The purpose that He was baptized with water was that He later could die for our sins on the cross because the baptism of water in the river Jordan was that He was identified with sinners!
Let’s read Romans 6:3, 4: Gods Word here isn’t speaking about water baptism or a symbolic baptism into water. A lot of people in the Christian world based their water baptism on these verses because they see it as symbolic. If we take this Word literal we cannot find the word water in it!! No, here is spoken about the true baptism in His death. The baptism we can also find in Colossians 2:11-12 “In Whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands , in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God,Who hath raised Him from the dead.” You see it is not the work of men, but the work of God, the operation of God!! Without our hands!!! Another question for you do you know the verse: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me”. Galatians 2:20. The word with here in this verse is very important. It says that we were with Christ on the cross!!! This is reality!!! This is the power of the cross!!! We died with Him on the cross (our old man), were buried with Him in the grave (our old man) and we are raised with Him from the death!!! We are now new men in Christ!!!! Now you understand why the apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians 1:17 “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” And in verse 18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness: but unto us which are saved it is the power of God!!! Paul preached the glory of the cross in the gospel of the grace of God. Read Acts 20:24, Romans 16:25, Ephesians 3:1-7 and Galatians 1:11, 12.
Now we come to the question: is water baptism for today and do we have to practice it? Do we have to be baptized with water in this dispensation of grace (Ephesians 3:1-7)? Paul baptized also people with water! For sure this is. He circumcised also some people I Corinthians 1:14-17. Paul is God thankful that he baptized not more people than the people he mentioned here in these verses. Try to understand it: If the apostle Paul was sent the same as the 12 apostles to educate and baptize all the people (Matthew 28:19) how could he written that he thanks God that he baptize some people? Paul couldn’t write such a declaration if he was sent by God like the 12 apostles were: sent to baptize and to educate people. Paul was not sent to baptize but to preach the gospel! Which gospel? The gospel of the grace of God Acts 20:24, Ephesians 3:1-7, Romans 16:25, 26 for the obedience of faith!!!The question comes again: do we have to be baptized today and do we practice it? NO, we do not have to practice it and to be baptized because our old man is crucified, buried with Him and we stood up with Him from the dead Romans 6:3-6. And the apostle Paul didn’t give us instructions to baptize! He was not sent to baptize and neither do we as members of the body of Christ. We have the apostle Paul as our example to follow as he followed Christ 1 Corinthians 11:1 and 1 Corinthians 4:16, I Timothy 1:15-16. The ministry of the apostle Paul differs from that of the 12 apostles.
If we do the ritual water baptism today as many Christians do, it is to take away the glory of the finished work of Christ! A question why do people practice the water baptism? Most of the people do it in ignorance. They don’t know, don't understand and haven’t heard about the finished work on the cross. So my dear brothers and sisters if you don’t know the truth about the finished work on Golgotha come to that knowledge and believe the one baptism of Ephesians 4:5, Romans 6:3,4, Colossians 2:11-14, Galatians 2:20, 3:27!!!!!