Ever had anyone offered to give you a bath? Probably not, but it just might be worth doing. Let’s find out together.
To start today, we are going to need to learn how to pickle. Around 200 B.C. there was a Greek physician named Nicander. One of the many things he wrote was a recipe for how to make pickles. In one step he calls for the chef to dip (bapto) the vegetable into boiling water. Afterward, he is to submerge (baptizo) into a vinegar solution. Both of these words mean to dip or immerse (see Mark 7:4) but the latter causes a permanent change to of the cucumber into a pickle.
Power in the Word
But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit
Titus 3:4-5 NASB
Most people have a deep misunderstanding of Baptism. They believe it to be something that they do. Consequentially, many good Christians believe Baptism to be nothing more than a public affirmation of faith. Respectfully, this is an inncorrect and wholly unscriptural understanding of Baptism.
who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through thewater. Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
1 Peter 3:20-21 NASB (emphasis added)
He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.
Mark 16:16 NASB (emphasis added)
The water, our understanding or faith, or the manner in which we are baptized don’t mean anything. If it were our work, then Baptism would truly be nothing more than a religious sponge bath. But it is God’s work. What is important is God’s Word combined with the water. It is His promise, His power, His work that saves us in Baptism.
When a person wishes to adopt a child they must go through many hoops to become the legal guardian of that child. But do any of those things make them the parent of that child? Do they become the parent because they signed the papers or took the right training course? No, they become the parent through their choice to take upon themselves the role of a parent.
This is the true importance of Baptism. God promises that whenever someone has both faith and Baptism, He has adopted them to be His child making Him their Father. Thus God must fulfill all the roles of a good Father to us. Never abandoning us, no matter what bad choices we continue to make. He is ours, not by our work. We do not have to properly believe this or that to be baptized correctly. We do not have to understand the great mysteries or difficult texts of scripture. We have only to rest in His eternal promise:
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
John 10:27-30 NASB
So, we are just like the pickles above. When the pickle is ‘baptized’ in the solution its nature is forever changed into that of a pickle. It is the same with a person. When baptized, our nature is forever changed into an adopted son or daughter of God. What we were not before, we will now forever be.
So rest secure in your Baptism. Never doubt His promise or His Word. For it will always accomplish what it sets out to do.
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:11 NASB
Today we talked a little bit about what Baptism is. Next time we will look into what blessings we can have from such a beautiful gift. For now, I would love to hear your thoughts on Baptism. Let’s get a discussion going on this either in the comments below or feel free to send me a private message through my Contact Page.
Until then, “be a sinner and sin boldly, but let your trust in Christ be stronger”. God love you and keep you. Amen.