What is Baptism?
Baptism is an initiation into the fraternity or brotherhood kingdom of Jesus Christ. Baptism is an exercise that formally qualifies one to be in union and oneness with Jesus Christ signifying purification, holiness and acknowledging Jesus Christ as the Holy and begotten Son of God.
By such union, any baptized Christian receives the privilege to enjoy what Jesus Christ enjoys; live the ways Jesus Christ lives and have direct access to the Father. This means, whatsoever Jesus Christ is Lord over he/she automatically becomes lord over and whatsoever cannot harm or afflict Jesus Christ certainly cannot harm or afflict him/her. Baptism makes one inseparable from Christ – 1 Cor. 12:13.
Baptism makes one pure and Holy just as Jesus Christ is pure and Holy. There is no difference between a baptized Christian and Jesus Christ. This is the reason Baptism should not be conducted for children and adult who had not been taught about Baptism wherein they accept to be willingly baptized. Baptism represents death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which makes it possible for you after baptism to live a supernatural life from the physical life. 1 Peter 1:15-23.
IMPORTANCE OF BAPTISM
Baptism is important because it makes one’s lips confession and mere acceptance to the redemptive work of Jesus Christ as Lord and savior a confirmed reality. Through baptism, one has chosen to be a follower of Jesus Christ thereby agreeing to do and live everything Jesus Christ commanded forsaking every fleshly desire. Rom. 13:14.
Baptism is optional, one can be a Christian and decide not to be baptized. However, it is necessary and compulsory for anyone who has genuinely resolved to be a Christian. It opens the door of divinity over you for oneness, communication, relationship, interaction and supernatural experience with heavens and Jesus Christ.
Moreso, Baptism should not be undertaken just because one feels like or sees others being baptized; it must be what one has understudy and therefore is convinced with everything contained therein before it is advisable to take part in baptism.
Baptism metamorphoses a baptized Christian into a realm of life where he/she become exposed to an extraordinary life, which super-impose and over-write his/her physical life. That is, the spiritual things would only matter to him/her no matter what effect it might seem to have on your flesh or physical life. Luke 22:40-44.
John 3:16 – God brought His Son to us that whosoever believe in Him will have eternal life. Baptism is the medium through which this scripture is fulfilled; you identify and associate with Jesus Christ through baptism.
CONDUCT OF BAPTISM
Baptism is a process where a Christian agreed to be baptized after studying and learning everything about the subject, baptism, convinced with all the tenets contained therein. It is an act of being submerged into the water; that is, completely deep into and brought out of water – 16:15-16.
There is something unique and significant to note in the coming out of water; one does not come out of the water the same he/she was deep into the water. This symbolizes Jesus Christ death, burial, and resurrection. Jesus Christ never resurrected the same way He was buried. Matt. 3:13-17.
A baptized Christian who was deep into the water and came out the same person: one of these two will be involved viz;
- he/she did not understand the teaching and learning of baptism even though he/she may have been taught or
- he/she did not believed in the Lordship of Jesus Christ therefore not willing to submit completely to Him.
This is because Baptism is Spiritual and cannot be rewarded by the physical. The spirit judges the heart, therein accepts and rewards ONLY those who observe baptism with the genuineness of hearts. This means it is not possible for one not to be super-human after he/she believed and wherefrom baptized. When your repentance is accepted in the spirit realm, the spirit takes over your life after baptism showing that you had a heart of genuine repentance. Matt. 3:13-17.
WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED
Baptism should be conducted for ALL Christians irrespective of background. Anyone that preaches or has in any manner signify to believe in Christ, without the baptism, he/she will merely be working and will not have the strength of the spirit to press on when he/she approaches certain mountains. NOTE: SOME mountains are subject to FLESH BUT ALL mountains are subject to the spirit.
Through baptism, you wear Jesus Christ as cloth. Rom. 13:14. By dying, buried and resurrected together with Him; no room for sin any longer as the whole of you is circumcised not by the hand of Him who bodily dwells God- head Col. 2:9-15.
BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
This discussion will not see completion without a talk on the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the experience after the water baptism (immersion). One would not necessarily have to study another thing to experience the manifestation of the baptism of the Holy Spirit rather; it is the reward received after one has believed in the Lordship of Jesus Christ and with openness of heart taken part in the baptism signifying his/her participation in the death, burial and resurrection with/in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is therefore received as a fulfillment to the promise. I mean; it is not true that after one has been baptized, he/she starts waiting and marking time for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The baptism of the Holy Spirit can be said to be personally administered by Jesus Christ as evidence proving one to has genuinely accepted and fully submitted to His Lordship. Matt. 3:11; John 1:33-34.
Peter referring to the prophecy given by Prophet Joel – All flesh must receive the Holy Spirit Acts 2:17. This promise specifically seems to have insinuated that baptism is meant for the Jews only. Not at all; it is for all that believes in the Lordship of Jesus of Christ no matter the colour, ethnicity,
race, language. For instance, Cornelius, a Gentile as at the time the Jews only were believed to have belonged to God and
the promises, he received the Holy Spirit to break that assumption. Acts 10:44-48.
It is useless, to seek baptism without first accepting, believing, and submitting to the lordship of Jesus Christ. The essence of the baptism is that you would formally be welcome into the brotherhood of believers where Jesus Christ is the Father and head; who in turn give a bath of the Holy Spirit confirming your acceptance and completion of your initiation rites. By this, you become Jesus Christ who committed no sin nor knew any sin. Baptism is a medium where we partake in Jesus Christ suffering, death, burial, and resurrection thereby cleansing him/her of all his/her sins and unrighteousness (known and unknown) with a replacement of the gift of righteousness. Rom. 6:3-14; 20-23.
As you go to observe the practical baptism, be expectant, desirous, convent earnestly for unionism into this fraternity for an empowerment and a life with Jesus and seek hereafter all things that are above with Christ for your life is now hid in Christ from this moment as you come out of the water (resurrect). Col. 3:1-3.
God bless you.
Pst. & Pst. Austy .U. Odigie