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Saving Your Soul: Getting Baptized

Updated: Feb 3

April 24, 2022- During the early first century A.D. lived a man dressed in clothes made of camel’s hair and a leather belt wrapped around his waist. He would eat locusts and wild honey. In the wilderness of Judea, onlookers would observe this man and witness him in the water of the Jordan River, and soon people from Jerusalem and all of Judea were coming to him. People would be in the water with him waiting their turns. So, what was it that this man and these people were doing? The onlookers noticed that this man would have people stand by his side in the Jordan, and they would bend backwards with his hand guiding them, and the people would be submerged in the water for a quick second. Enough to get their hair and heads wet. Why was he doing this?

These onlookers were the Pharisees and the Sadducees, religious figures of the time and are still around in modern times. They were not coming to participate but to observe, and this man knew their motives. The man said to them:

Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Matthew 3:7-10

This man is named John the Baptist and he told the Pharisees exactly what he was doing:

I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the and burning up the chaff barn with unquenchable fire.

Matthew 3:11 and 12

Why Christians Get Baptized

If you are accepting Jesus Christ, you are accepting that you are sinner, that you will repent from your sins, and that you believe that Jesus Christ is your savior. In the Holy Bible, we only see baptism happen in the New Testament starting with John the Baptist. He baptized people “with water unto repentance” (Matthew 3:11). There is nothing in the Holy Bible explaining how or why John the Baptist began doing this, but there is information in the Gospel of Luke when an angel of the Lord appears to John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah, before he was born.

The angel said that “He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.” (Luke 1:14) However, the angel also told Zechariah that John the Baptist could not drink fermented drinks (wine and alcohol), and that he “will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.” (Luke 1:15). The angel also tells Zechariah that John the Baptist would return the Israelites to God. This means that the people were living in sin, were no longer following God’s law and lost their love for Him.

Acknowledging these verses, I believe that John the Baptist started baptizing people because the Holy Spirit led him to do so. This would allow people to repent for their sins. Before this, people would have to sacrifice an animal, and this would be performed by the high priests. This would happen annually.

However, the baptism is not just for the acknowledgment of your sins, but also gives us direct communication to God, through His Son, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Before Jesus Christ lived, was crucified, and was resurrected, communication to God was performed only by high priests. High priests came from a specific lineage through Aaron, the older brother of Moses. Through an anointing given to Aaron by Moses, and a covenant from God (Numbers 25:12), Aaron and his sons were consecrated to priesthood. Aaron’s tribe, the Levites were given the responsibility to make offerings to God, including the sin offering.

Jesus Was Baptized Too

Even Jesus Christ went to John the Baptist for His baptism. However, John the Baptist “tried to prevent Him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by You, and You are coming to me?’” (Matthew 3:13).

Yet, Jesus responded to John the Baptist, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” (Matthew 3: 15).

Considering these words, John the Baptist then baptized Jesus Christ. The Holy Bible says that when Jesus prayed and was baptized, “the heavens opened up to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Him.” (Matthew 3:16-17).

However, I am not convinced that John the Baptist’s attempt at preventing Jesus from being baptized came from him, but from Satan. Yes, John the Baptist spoke the words, but did the words really come from him? The Holy Bible tells us to test spirits (1 John 4:1), for not all spirts are of God. Before being baptized, and after you are baptized, you will be tested.

Being Tested

In fact, the next story in the Gospel of Matthew, is how Jesus Christ was led into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan (Matthew 4:1). Now, you cannot be led into the wilderness unless you are already near or at the wilderness. For 40 days and 40 nights, Jesus fasted, and was hungry. Satan tells Jesus to turn a rock into bread so that He may eat. Jesus Christ is the Son of God; therefore, He knew what Satan was doing, and He told Satan, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” (Matthew 4:4, and Deuteronomy 8:3).

The passage that Jesus cites to Satan, is important to note, because it ties into the messaging here. Deuteronomy 8 is spoken by God through Moses about God’s laws and His ways. This occurs during the time that the Israelites were led into the wilderness for 40 years. Moses tells the Israelites that God allowed this “to humble you and test you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.” (Deuteronomy 8:2).

Therefore, leading up to your baptism, and after your baptism, God will allow you to be tested. This humbles you so that you will know, “that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 8:3). Hallelujah! When you are tested, remember these words. Also remember the words in 1 John 4:1 and test the spirits. Amen!

Canal, River, small boats
Photo Credit: Wix Media

Satan Continues to Tempt Jesus

According to the Gospel of Matthew 4, Satan tempts Jesus two more times, and Jesus rebukes him through scripture. Satan brings Jesus to the pinnacle of the city and tells Him to throw Himself down for the Holy Bible says, “He shall give His angels charge over you” and “In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” (Matthew 4:5-6. Psalm 91:11, and Deuteronomy 6:16)

However, Jesus rebukes Satan again with this scripture, “It is written again ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ” (Matthew 4:7, and Deuteronomy 6:16).

The last attempt from Satan was at the top of the mountain, where he showed Jesus Christ the kingdoms of the world. Satan tells Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” (Matthew 4:19).

Jesus responds, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.” (Matthew 4: 10 and Deuteronomy 6:13).

Then the devil left Jesus, and the angels came to Him to minister to Him (Matthew 4:11).

After Jesus’s Baptism

From the wilderness, Jesus began His ministry in Galilee. According to the Gospel of Luke, Jesus was about 30 years old when this happened (Luke 3:23). The Gospel of Matthew tells us that Jesus started in Capernaum by the sea, and that “From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17).

As God led Jesus to minister, God will have a plan for you to serve Him in some manner. For some, this is ministry, others this is preaching. You have a spiritual gift from God, and with time God will allow you to know what this is. For me, it came a bit after I was baptized, but God gave me dreams indicating that He has a plan for my life. The dreams preceded my baptism, and they did not indicate what His plan was, just that I had to trust in Him and His plans for my life.

Getting Baptized

Be aware beloved, for not all churches correctly preach the Gospel and Jesus. Therefore, pray and ask God for guidance as to where to go. If the church does not preach about repentance of sin which was the lesson of John the Baptist, and the first lesson of Jesus in His ministry, the church will not get Jesus right. And if the church does not get Jesus Christ right who is the foundation of our faith, stay far from it. Churches need to be filled with the Holy Spirit which you will feel the presence of the Lord in the right church.

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