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The view stresses the symbolic nature of baptism by emphasizing that baptism does not cause an inward change or alter a person’s relationship to God in any way. Baptism is a sign, or an outward indication, of the inner change that has already occurred in the believer’s life. It serves as a public identification of the person with Jesus Christ, and thus also as a public testimony of the change that has occurred. It is an act of initiation. It is baptism into the name of Jesus.
According to the symbolic view, baptism is not so much an initiation into the Christian life as into the Christian church. A distinction is drawn between the invisible or universal church, which consist of all believers in Christ, and the visible or local church, a gathering of believers in a specific place.
This position explains that the church practices baptism and the believers submits to it because Jesus commanded that this be done and He gave us the example by being baptized Himself. Thus, baptism is an act of obedience, commitment, and proclamation, symbolizing the believer’s identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. A key text is Romans 6:3-4: “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore, were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in the newness of life”.
Does Did Jesus come by water? Yes, He did. He came by His baptism. The water symbolized the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist at the Jordon River.
Many people do not believe that Jesus came by water, blood and spirit. Jesus is truly the King of Kings and the God of all gods. But God said that anyone who should believes that Jesus is the King of Kings and the only true God and the true Savior would be born of Him. Those who love God, love Jesus and those who truly believe in God, believe in the same way. People cannot overcome the world unless they are born again. Thus, the Apostle John told us that only true Christians could overcome the world. The reason why the faithful born again believer can overcome the world is that they have faith in the water, the blood and the Spirit. The power to overcome the world cannot spring from a person’s will, endeavor or passion (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).
The love referred to here means that Jesus came by water, blood and Spirit. In the Bible, the word “love” always refers to “the love of the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:10). Actually, God’s love was manifested through His Holy begotten Son (1 John 4:9).
Fellow Christians, the One who overcame Satan and the world was Jesus Christ. How did Jesus Christ overcome the world? Through the redemption of the water, the blood and the Spirit. In the Bible, “water” refers to “the baptism of Jesus” (1 Peter 3:2). Jesus came to this world in the flesh. He came to save the sinners of the world; He was baptized to take away the sins of all sinners and died on the Cross to atone for those sins.
Since Jesus was baptized to take away all of the world’s sins and died to expiate them. Jesus was baptized in the Jordon River by John the Baptist. The representative of all human being, All the sins of the world were passed onto to Jesus Christ, the representative of all human beings. Jesus gave His life on the Cross for the wages of sin. He overcame the power of Satan with His death, burial and resurrection. Jesus paid the wages of all sins with His death.
The Apostle John said that redemption is not just of the water but both water and blood. Therefore, as Jesus had taken away all sins and remitted our sins forever, all sinners would be saved from their sin by believing on the Jesus Christ as the scriptures say.
However, Peter and all of the disciples testified to the true gospel of the baptism of Jesus. We should believe in the words written in the Bible and have faith in the salvation of the Spirit, of the baptism of Jesus and His precious blood. If we ignore the baptism of Jesus and only testify to the fact that Jesus died for our sins on the Cross, our salvation is not complete. We should clearly explain the baptism of Jesus. He came into this world by water, blood and Spirit. The redemption of the water and the Spirit spring from the faith in the baptism of Jesus Christ. His blood on the Cross and the belief that Jesus is God, our Savior should stimulate faith in the baptism of Jesus Christ.
NEW LIFE THROUGH BAPTISM
We will explore a the most enticing doctrine: the resurrection – both of Jesus Christ and those who experience the new birth. This subject is both controversial and enigmatic. Will dead men really live again? But it is the very heart of the Christian message.
Christians are at the forefront of this controversy. No other segment of society holds the views we do in this important matter. Paul the apostle was straightforward in his the subject of the Resurrection. He set forth his own firm belief that Jesus is in fact raised from the dead and alive today. “But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen raised; and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching in vain. Yea and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he rose up Christ: whom he rose not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable”.
Our eternal hope and our ultimate motivation for living for God today rest in the fact of the Resurrection. Many facts separate Jesus Christ from every other human being who ever lived, but with regard to our subject today one fact is preeminent. Jesus has complete control over His own death and resurrection. Jesus Himself explained, “Therefore doth my Father love me because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me but I lay it down of myself. I have power to take it up again” (John10:17-18).
Ordinary men have no power over death. The famous magician Houdini was fascinated with the subject of communication with the dead and wanted to prove that it was possible. He diligently planned an experiment in which he hoped to communicate with his wife after her death. After he died, however, nothing at all of the planned experiment was realized, to the great disappointment of his loving wife. Houdini had no power after death. His failure is a simple reminder of the human limitations surrounding the fact of death. None of us had power over our own birth, and we ultimately have very little power over our death.
Jesus, on the other hand, was the only person to resurrect Himself after three days in the grave. Subsequently, through Jesus Christ ordinary men and women are given the opportunity to affect their destinies beyond the grave. Scripture supports the notion of life after death. “It is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). If death of the body meant annihilation, then there could be no judgment afterward. Solomon taught that the body of a man returns to the dust from which it came, and the spirit of man returns to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7). John saw the souls of the righteous dead under the altar in heaven, praying for the day of God’s vengeance on their persecutors (Revelation 6:9). They were given white robes and told to wait for the rest of their brethrens who were yet to come. Moreover, Paul taught that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (II Corinthians 5:8).
Eternal benefits are associated with living for God. Psalm 58:11 declares that “there is a reward for the righteous”. Conversely, “there shall be no reward to the evil man” (Proverbs 24:20).
Daniel spoke of two very different kinds of resurrections: “Some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:3).
Job expected to see God after he died. “And though after my skins worms destroy this body yet in my flesh I see God” (Job 19:26). This clearly suggests that Job expected to his dead body to revive and appear before the presence of God.
Jesus was the first one to give hard evidence to God’s ability to raise a mortal to immortality. Even though there had been several instances in both the Old Testament and the New Testament of the dead being raised, none of them has been raised to immortal glory as He was.
It is difficult to verbalize the extreme finality of death to the human body. The heart stops pumping blood, so the blood stops flowing. The lungs cease to inhale oxygen. The brain stops thinking as its electricity goes off. The eyes no longer see. The ears hear nothing. The nerves no longer transmit and receive signals. All feeling disappears. Muscles and joints stiffen. Every organ shuts down. Blood thickens and dries. Body temperature chills. Then the body begins to decompose.
Jesus was dead. It does not matter what the skeptics think. The historical evidence of Jesus’ death is firmly established by numerous proofs.
1.) The authors of the four Gospels were either present to see His death or were personally acquainted with eyewitnesses.
2.) The multitude that observed His crucifixion.
3.) The Roman soldiers who handles His corpse.
4.) The women who prepared His body for burial.
5.) Joseph of Arimethea who buried Him.
6.) The Roman and local authorities who authorized the watch over the tomb.
Jesus’ burial is almost significant as His death inasmuch as it corroborates His death and resurrection. It was prophetically significant: “And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was there any deceit in his month” (Isaiah 53:9).
David had prophesied of the Messiah: “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption” (Psalm 16:10). Peter linked David’s prophecy to Jesus in Acts 2:30-32: Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; he seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
It is impossible to comprehend the miracle of resurrection. Even though the body may have been decomposed, buried, lost at sea, or otherwise destroyed, we are not prevented from believing that God will raise it up. Ezekiel 37 depicts a valley of dry bones hearing the word of the Lord. Sinews of flesh and the breath of life came to them. If we truly believe that God created the heavens and the earth, then we should have no problems believing that God is able to call back into existence every atom and every molecule that once comprised the old body raising it up, transforming it and glorifying it.
Lazarus had lain dead in the tomb for four days and stank. But at the command of Jesus, who declared to Martha “I am the resurrection” (John 11:25), Lazarus’s decomposition was instantly reversed. His blood turned moist and his heart began to pump it through his veins. His lungs inhaled and exhaled again. His brain lit up. His eyes opened, his ears heard the voice of Jesus, and his legs and arms lifted him up and carried him out of the tomb. And so it shall be for every person who obeys the gospel of Jesus Christ. They shall “have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Jesus’ own resurrection outshone all the previous miracles He had done. Never before or since has man precipitated his own resurrection from beyond the grave. With no other man’s assistance or participation, Jesus walked back into the material world. We have a biblical record.
Many believers fail to grasp the full significance of water baptism in Jesus name (Acts 2:38) as the water birth that Jesus described to Nicodemus. “Except a man be born of the water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh: and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:5-6). Romans 6:4-5 states “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in the newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection”.
The new birth takes place both through water baptism and through our receiving the Holy Ghost. Many Christians really accept the notion that receiving the Holy Ghost is the point at which a person is born of the Spirit. Fewer, however, recognize the significance of water baptism in the new birth. Some have compared the new birth to the process when a baby is born. In the natural birth, the water envelopes around the fetus bursts, and the body emerges from the womb. Secondly, the new born gasps for its first lungful of air.
Likewise, the new birth of water and Spirit begins with faith in Jesus Christ, repentance and obedience in the act of water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ; it is only complete when the person receives the Holy Ghost. He receives God’s breath of new life and begins to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gives him utterance. Both aspects of the new birth experience are essential for salvation.
When a person is baptized in Jesus’ name his or her sins are remitted and he is prepared to receive a spiritual transformation to new life in Christ.
Our salvation is in Christ alone. There is nothing that we can do to affect our own redemption; only when we place our confidence completely in His gospel can we experience the ultimate victory He has arranged for us. We are saved by the gospel – the message of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yet it is interesting how the gospel perpetuates itself. The good news of Jesus Christ – the gospel – is preached afresh every time a believer repents of his sins, is baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and receives the gift of the Holy Ghost. In other words, he hears the gospel preached and responds in faith; then, when he receives the practical work of the gospel in his own life through obedience to the salvation plan, he experiences the gospel in a practical way and his experiencing of it retells the truth of it all over again – the death (repentance), burial (water baptism in Jesus’ name), and the Resurrection (Holy Ghost baptism). And the story of salvation continues.
Everything we know about God, His Word and His Incarnation in the name Christ Jesus would be pointless if there were no resurrection from the dead. Even the apostle Paul admitted he would be miserable without the hope of the resurrection. Jesus taught that life does not consist in the abundance of the things that a man possesses (Luke 12:15). He taught against laying up treasures on earth. Rather, we should set our affections on things above. We are to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteous. To the unbelieving world, our values seem to be misplaced. Paul declared that much of the hardship he faced was due to the fact that bhe believed in the Resurrection. As he stood before Ananias the high priest and an angry mob, he realized that it was because of “the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question” (Acts 23:6).
May God grant us the same desire Paul expressed: “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead” (Philippians 3: 10-11).