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SEVEN BAPTISMS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
by Dr. Fred Wittman
THE SIGNIFICATION OF BAPTISM
“in Whom[Christ Jesus The Lord] also you& were circumcised by means of 0circumcision not made with human hands, in the stripping off from the body with reference to the sins of the flesh by means of the circumcision by The Christ when buried together with Him in the baptism, in which also you& were raised up together with |Him|, through the faith by the effectual working of The God, Who raised Him up out of the dead ones. And yourselves, while being dead ones in your& gross stupid errors[failing to stand upright when should] and the uncircumcision of the flesh of yours&, He made absolutely alive in association with Him and graciously pardoned to you& all your& gross stupid errors[failing to stand upright when should]” (Col. 2:11-13 APT).
INTRODUCTION: Signification is the meaning that a term conveys or is intended to convey by use of signs or symbols. Baptism is the means by which a white funeral is conducted. A white funeral is a spiritual funeral as a result of an adult committing trust to The Lord Jesus Christ which effects a complete change of outlook, attitude, and style of life, that reflects one being full of peace, joy (true and lasting happiness), and love. Baptism conveys three vital facts: Obedience to The Christ, Observance of The Truth, and Operation of The God.
I. OBEDIENCE TO THE CHRIST (Mt. 28:18-20).
The Lord Jesus Christ commanded baptism to be performed by baptized disciples upon the adults who are being discipled and have come to the place where they are dead to self ,Sin, and the world.
“And when /Jesus approached[the face of], He spoke to them, saying, All authority is given to Me in Heaven and upon Earth. Therefore journey& and consecutively disciple[train by intimate process] |people of| all the nations, then baptize them in the name of The Father and of The Son and of The Holy Spirit and repeatedly teach them publicly to keep all~ things watchfully secure as many as I commanded you&! And lo! I Myself am being continually with[in midst of] you& all the days until the consummation of the age. Amen! (Mt. 28:18-20 APT).
Therefore baptism is obedience to the command given to disciples just before He ascended into Heaven.
II. OBSERVANCE OF THE TRUTH
Baptism in The New Testament relates and corresponds to circumcision of The Old Testament (Col. 2:11-13; Rom. 4:11). Above Paul noted in his Epistle to the Colossians a corresponding relation between circumcision by human hands, required of those who embraced The Old Covenant, and circumcision made without human hands by the operation (effectual working) of The God in the baptism required under The New Covenant (Col. 2:11-13). Therefore disciples’ baptism in The New Testament corresponds to circumcision of The Old Testament. In his Epistle to the Romans Paul indicated that circumcision is a sign and a seal (Rom. 4:11,12).
“And he received 0sign of circumcision, 0seal[Gen. 17:11,12] of the righteousness of the faith[committed trust], |namely| the one in uncircumcision in order that he be 0father of all the ones committing trust in a state of uncircumcision in order that the righteousness be reckoned also to them and 0father of circumcision to the ones not out of the circumcision only, but[on the contrary] also to the ones walking[marching] orderly in file in the footprints of the faith[committed trust] in the uncircumcision of our /father Abraham” (Rom. 4:11,12 APT).
Baptism is a sign, a seal, and a symbol.
A. Sign -- a sign, mark, token or indication; that by which a person or a thing is distinguished from others and is known.
1. Baptism is an outward sign of an inward action. Not the washing away of sins, but an 0answer of a good conscience in regard to The God (1 Pet. 3:20,21).
“. . . to ones, once resisting persuasion when once for ever the longsuffering of The God patiently waited in the [Gen. 6:3,5]days of Nōeh, [Gen. 6:13,14]while 0ark was being completely made ready, in which few, that[this] is, eight souls were brought safely through water; by which also baptism as a figure[antitype] now saves us, not the laying down away of 0filth of 0flesh, but on the contrary, a question of a beneficially good conscience in regard to 0God through 0resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 3:20,21 APT).
2. Baptism indicates the participant has experienced: forgiveness of sins (Col. 2:11-14), see theme text above), freedom from bondage to Sin (Rom. 6:16-18,22), peace and justification by committed trust to The Christ (Rom. 5:1), and a white funeral (Rom. 6:4);
3. Baptism indicates past action: Repentance, Redemption, Relationship to The God (as sons) and to The Christ (as members of His body), is resurrected with The Christ).
B. Seal -- a distinctive mark of identification and security. In Scripture there are four reasons for using a seal.
1. A mark, to seal for security (Mt. 27:65,66);
On Sabbath morning when the chief priests and Pharisees appealed to Pilate to secure the tomb of Jesus in order to keep His body from being stolen by His disciples, they were told to make the tomb as certain as they perceived necessary with their own Temple guards. They not only set their guard, they sealed the stone door of the tomb.
“Then /Pilate was repeatedly expressing to them, You& have a custody[guard of the Temple composed of soldiers]. Slip away! Make |it| as certain as you& perceive! Then they journeyed and made the burial place certain by sealing the stone along with the custody[guard of the Temple composed of soldiers]” (Mt. 27:65,66 APT).
Baptism is not only a mark of identification of belonging to The Lord Jesus Christ, but The Holy Spirit seals the disciple to keep him or her from being snatched out of His hand (Jn. 10: 27-30 cf. Eph. 1:13).
“The sheep& /belonging to Me are continually hearing My /call. And I Myself continually know[from experience] them and they continually follow Me. And I Myself continually give eternal absolute life to them and they shall positively not perish for ever. And not anyone shall snatch them out of My /hand. My /Father, Who has given |them| to Me, is continuously greater than all and not one+ is able to snatch |them| out of My /Father’s /hand. Myself and The Father are continuously being One~ (Jn. 10:27-30 APT).
“In Whom[Christ] also yourselves, after hearing The Word of The Truth |namely| the gospel of the Salvation for you&, in Whom also, after committing trust, you& were sealed by The Holy /Spirit of The Promise” (Eph. 1:13 APT).
Not only are we securely held in the hand of The Lord Jesus Christ Who is firmly held in the hand of The Father, but we are sealed by The Holy Spirit as well.
2. To set a mark upon by the impress of a seal or a stamp in order to prove, confirm, authenticate, or attest a thing or place it beyond doubt (2 Cor. 1:22);
“Who[God] also sealed us for Himself and also gave the earnest[down payment guarantee] of The Spirit in the hearts of ours” (2 Cor. 1:22 APT).
3. To indicate ownership and security (Eph. 1:13; 4:30);
“In Whom[Christ] also yourselves, after hearing The Word of The Truth |namely| the gospel of the Salvation for you&, in Whom also, after committing trust, you& were sealed by The Holy /Spirit of The Promise, . . . And stop grieving The Holy /Spirit of The God by means of Whom you& became sealed unto 0Day of 0Redemption!” (Eph. 1:13; 4:30 APT).
4. To ratify a covenant or treaty (Gen. 17:7-11; Neh. 9:38)-- Baptism ratifies the acceptance of The New Covenant on the part of the disciple in the same way that Abraham and his offspring ratified their acceptance of The Old Covenant.
“This is My covenant, which ye shall keep, between Me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt Me and you. . . . He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken My covenant. (Genesis 17:10-14).
“And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it” (Neh. 9:38).
C. Symbol -- that which represents something else, especially a material object used to represent something invisible. There are three inward actions which are represented and demonstrated by baptism.
1. Death and burial (Rom. 6:3,4; Col. 2:12);
“Or are you& ignorant that we, as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into the death of His? Therefore we are buried together with Him through the baptism into the death in order that even as Christ was raised up out of 0dead ones by reason of the glory[exaltation with majestic radiant splendor] of The Father, so also we ourselves should walk in newness[in nature or quality, unused] of absolute life” (Rom. 6:3,4 APT).
“ when buried together with Him in the baptism, in which also you& were raised up together with |Him|, through the faith by the effectual working of The God, Who raised Him up out of the dead ones” (Col. 2:12 APT).
2. Planting (Rom. 6:5);
“For if (and it is true) we have become ones planted together in the similitude of the death of His, undoubtedly we shall be also |in the similitude| of His resurrection” (Rom. 6:5 APT).
3. Resurrection and new life (Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12-13).
“Therefore we are buried together with Him through the baptism into the death in order that even as Christ was raised up out of 0dead ones by reason of the glory[exaltation with majestic radiant splendor] of The Father, so also we ourselves should walk in newness[in nature or quality, unused] of absolute life” (Rom. 6:4 APT).
“And yourselves, while being dead ones in your& gross stupid errors[failing to stand upright when should] and the uncircumcision of the flesh of yours&, He made absolutely alive in association with Him and graciously pardoned to you& all your& gross stupid errors[failing to stand upright when should]” (Col. 2:13 APT).
III. OPERATION OF THE GOD (Col. 2:12)
Circumcision of the Heart is the effectual working of The God in which three things are accomplished.
1. He Makes the heart new,
2. He Cuts away the sins of the flesh,
3. He Quickens or gives new life.
Conclusion: The signification of Baptism involves these three vital facts. It is a white funeral! It indicates a spiritual change has taken place. If you have not come to this place in your life, we encourage you to initiate it today. Don't delay! Recognize, experience, and reflect upon the joy, the blessing, and the peace that results from yielding and presenting your body as a living sacrifice. Such action is demonstrated by baptism. Decide to follow the example of all the true disciples of The Lord Jesus Christ. Join them on their journey to Heaven to meet their (our) Blessed Savior and Lord! Don’t Delay! Begin yielding your body to The Lord Jesus Christ now!
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