Can you tell me what you teach about the
relationship of our baptism to the baptism, death and resurrection
of Jesus Christ?
First of all, we should pay attention
to the "doctrines of baptisms" as written in Hebrews 6:2.
According to the Bible, there are three different baptisms; the
baptism of John the Baptist for repentance, the baptism of Jesus
by John the Baptist, and our baptism. The baptism that we receive
is a confession of our faith in believing the baptism of Jesus.
That is to say, we are baptized in order to confess that we believe
Jesus was baptized to take away all our sins and also died on the
Cross to atone them. Now you can understand Matthew 3:15 where it
says, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us
to fulfill all righteousness." "Thus" here means
that Jesus Himself bore all the sins of the world by being baptized
by John the Baptist, the representative of all mankind.
It was a profound plan of God to save
us from the inevitable trap of sin. Jehovah laid on Him the iniquity
of us all (Isaiah 53:6) and has granted us His righteousness. "Righteousness"
here means "dikaiosune" in Greek, which also signifies
"fairness and justice." It tells us that Jesus bore the
iniquity of all mankind in the most fair and just way by being baptized
in the way of the laying on of hands.
We've been saved by our strong faith
in the baptism, the death on the Cross, and the resurrection of
Jesus. The spiritual circumcision (Romans 2:29), which cut off all
our sins from our heart, has washed away the sins in our heart.
Therefore, the apostle Peter said to people, "Repent, and let
every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the
remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit"
(Acts 2:38) on the Day of the Pentecost.
All sinners should obtain the forgiveness
of sins in their hearts by believing in the name of Jesus. What's
the meaning of His name? "He will save His people from their
sins" (Matthew 1:21). The name Jesus means the Savior who saves
His people from their sins. How did He save us from all our sins?
Jesus has saved us from all our sins through His baptism and the
death on the Cross.
When the apostles of Jesus Christ preached
the gospel, they ensured a clear understanding of the baptism of
Jesus and the Cross was taught, then baptized those who believed
in them. Accordingly, we're baptized to confess outwardly that we
believe in the baptism and the death of Jesus deep in our minds.
When we're baptized, we confess "Thank you, Lord. You bore
all my sins by baptism and died for me and rose again to save me.
I believe it." We are baptized by ministers in water as a symbol
of our faith in Jesus' baptism and His death on the Cross, just
like the way He was baptized by John Baptist. Thus, the saints in
the early church were baptized as a proof for their belief, after
they gave heed to the gospel and had redemption, the forgiveness
Baptismal ceremony is not necessarily
mandatory, and our water baptism has nothing to do with salvation
while it is very important. We could only be saved through believing
the gospel of the water and the blood. The Bible tells that we're
baptized into Jesus Christ (Romans 6:3, Galatians 3:27). Then, how
could we be baptized into Him? It is possible only when we believe
in His baptism since the flesh, old man, could be united with Jesus
and crucified with Him by His baptism. Consequently, for Jesus bore
all our sins by His baptism, His death was the judgment for our
iniquities. Therefore, we also died on the Cross with Him and our
flesh, the one that sins, died to sin and we have been saved from
all our iniquities.
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Those who are united with Jesus through
His baptism and death can also be united with His Resurrection.
His Resurrection is not only our resurrection from the death to
sin, but also the one that lets us be born again as a child of God,
impersonated pure and sinless in front of God. If we hadn't laid
on Him our sins by distrusting His baptism, the Death and Resurrection
might have been meaningless, having nothing to do with our salvation.
Those who have laid all his/her sins on Him with faith should be
unified with His Death on the Cross, and the baptism followed by
the being bestowed with salvation and reborn as a righteous person.
However, those who haven't laid his/her sins on Him by believing
in His baptism have no relationship with His Death and Resurrection
The baptism of the believers is trust
worthy just as we find a husband and wife a legal couple through
a wedding ceremony. The baptism of the saints is an outward proclamation
of such inward belief. When we proclaim our belief in His baptism
and the Cross in front of God, saints, and the world our belief
becomes more immutable. Having misunderstood the true meaning of
the baptism that Jesus has received by John Baptist, we should not
believe that we could be saved even though we do not believe in
His baptism and its significance. It's simply a cunning trick of
the devil. We receive remission of sins and then are welcomed to
heaven by truly believing in the baptism of Jesus by heart instead
of believing in our own baptism.