House Church Talk - Baptising with water
bwood4d at hotmail.com
Wed Feb 4 14:22:40 EST 2004
You wrote:"Remember that baptizo means 'immerse' and doesn't necessarily
mean in a substance you can feel with your hands and see with your eyes. You
can be immersed in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which would
mean (in the context and time it was written) that you would live your life
fully as those names commanded."
Dear sister, you are right that "baptizo" means "to immerse" or "place in".
And you are also right that, when a person is baptized in the Holy Spirit,
they are not placed into a physical medium which can be seen and felt. But
baptizing people in the Spirit is the Lord Jesus' job, not ours. The
responsibility that lies upon men is baptizing disciples in water. "In the
name of the Father....etc" does not describe the medium of the baptism but
rather the authority! Neither you nor I could place or immerse another
person in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit! But we could
immerse a believer in water and do so in the authority of the Father, the
Son and the Spirit.
You wrote further:"John CLEARLY says that Jesus baptizes with fire and the
Holy Spirit. I doubt any of us will enter an oven, but fire has a special
meaning: think of the chicken with bird fly being burned, and incinerators
at hospitals which burn all things used in surgery: THEY ELIMINATE ALL DIRTY
THINGS! Fire is the only thing that can leave you completely cleann, water
is often dirty itself. And the Holy Spirit comes to us through Christ, as
the Comforter while we do not have Jesus Himself here... yet."
The purpose of baptizing of believers in water is never said to be for
cleansing, purification or washing! (See I Peter 3:21) The purpose of
baptising a believer is for the believer (who for the first time in their
life has a good conscience) to acknowledge that fact to God. It is the
acknowledgment that, in the death of Christ, they died; in the burial of
Christ, they were buried; and in the resurrection of Christ, they were
raised to walk in newness of life.
When John said that the Lord Jesus would baptize people in the Holy Ghost
and in fire, he was speaking of two groups of people! All those who believe
in the Lord Jesus are baptized in the Holy Spirit. But all those who do not
believe have the wrath of God abiding upon them. They will be baptized in
fire when they are cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev.20:14,15)
But baptizing disciples/believers in water, is one of the very last things
commanded by the Lord Jesus just prior to His ascension (Matt.28:18-20; Mark
16:15,16). It was a practice which was begun by the Lord Jesus' own
disciples. During His earthly ministry more people were baptized as
disciples of Christ than were baptized by John!(John 4:1,2) This practice
continued by the Lord Jesus' own command from the Day of Pentecost right
down to the present day. This practice will continue by His command until
the end of this age when he rerturns to the earth. It was practiced by the
apostles with over 3000 Jewish converts on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2.
It was practiced by Philip in the desert with the Ethiopian eunuch Acts 8,
it was commanded of Saul by Ananias as recorded in Acts 22, it was commanded
of the house of Cornelius by Peter in Acts 10, it was submitted to by Lyddia
and the Philippian jailor and their households in Acts 16 at the hands of
Paul and Silas, it was submitted to by 12 former disciples of John in the
presence of Paul in Acts 19, it was practiced by Paul and the Corinthian
believers (I Cor.1) and it has continued to be obeyed and practiced by many
saints down through the centuries to this very day. It was practiced by
Peter among the Jews. It was practiced by both Peter and Paul among the
Gentiles and it was commanded by the Lord Jesus to be carried out among all
nations! The Lord Jesus' command to baptize disciples can certainly be
disobeyed, but it has never been and never will be rescinded or cancelled
until He comes!
I hope these scriptures might give a different perspective to that which you
have been taught.
Your brother in Christ,
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