Baptism In Water
[original text in italics]
We were made righteous [state of approval and acceptance] by God when we repented, believed, and agreed that Jesus was Lord of our life. At that moment our spirits were re-created [born again, A.K.A. the new birth] and therefore saved. It is only those who do not repent who are not saved:
MARK 16:16 …whoever does not believe [distrusts, is unwilling to believe, is unpersuaded] will be condemned.
Therefore, water baptism does not get someone into eternity. However, water baptism is a continuation of walking out our salvation here on earth, as is baptism in the Holy Spirit, communion, prayer, abiding in God, and every mandate given by Christ Jesus. Note what Jesus said and commanded us to do:
JOHN 3:3-7 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
MATTHEW 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 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, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end [completion] of the age [the present age, one of a series of ages].
To overcome the cravings of the flesh we must walk in the revelation of water baptism. We must have faith that Christ has cut off [circumcised] the body of sin [sinful flesh, sinful nature, old self, old man] and that we have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life. This baptism identifies us with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Water baptism It is not only our response to a covenant relationship with God, but it also empowers us to truly overcome sin.
1 PETER 3:20-22 In the ark a few people, only eight souls, were saved through water. And this water symbolizes the baptism that now saves [continually saves; keeps safe; rescues from the penalty and power of sin; fully saved in spirit, soul, and body] you also - not the removal of dirt from the body, but the pledge [demand] off a clear [good] conscience toward God - through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to Him.
COLOSSIANS 2:9-15 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity [Godhead] dwells in bodily form. And you have been made complete in Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. In Him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of your sinful nature, with the circumcision performed by Christ and not by human hands. And having been buried with Him in baptism, you were raised with Him through your faith in the power of God, who raised Him from the dead. When you were dead in your trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our trespasses, having canceled the debt ascribed to us in the decrees that stood against us. He took it away, nailing it to the cross! And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
Baptism in water is interwoven with the new birth because both show that we are baptized in the Lord Jesus Christ and in covenant with God. Being born-again is a spiritual circumcision that marks us in the supernatural realm as different from other people. It confirms that we do not serve any other god. It attests that we now walk in the covenant and have cut off all things in your lives that would hinder us from walking in the covenant promises of our God.
ROMANS 6:3-4 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
By faith, we settle it that we are dead to sin. That is the power of the revelation of the new birth and baptism in water. The devil wants to deceive us into thinking that cravings are normal because, after all, we are only human. That is not true. We are new creations who are free from sin and therefore free of shame, guilt, torment, etc.
ROMANS 6:6-12 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider [reckon, settle the fact, reconcile within yourself, reason, used as an accounting term] yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.
Jesus was crucified on the cross, buried, and resurrected so that we could walk totally free from sin. As a part of our participation in the new covenant, we are commanded by God to be circumcised in our flesh through water baptism for the sinful nature to be cut away, along with its defilement and any demonic spirits attached to it. Then, we can more easily be transformed by the renewing of our mind and walk into the fullness of being an heir of God and of all his promises.
Deception is the only real ability the devil has against us. He tries to tell us water baptism is not necessary and that is just a symbol. Yet, water baptism releases our faith to know that we are dead to sin and that our identity is truly in Christ. This is why, in the book of Acts, we always see repentance followed by water baptism, at which point people are sent out to minister.
ACTS 2:37-38 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
ACTS 8:12-13 But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip.
ACTS 8:35-39 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.
ACTS 19:1-6 And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying.
ACTS 22:12-16 “And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, well spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, came to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that very hour I received my sight and saw him. And he said, ‘The God of our fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One and to hear the voice of his mouth; for you will be a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard. And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’
Once baptized, we must keep coming back to the revelation of baptism in water and declare and remind the demonic kingdom what we have been through and who we are in Christ. We are established and identified in Him. We are truly free!