The Apostles’ Doctrine–Baptisms (Plural)–Immersed into Christ’s Death

The early apostles’ taught their third doctrine–the “doctrine of baptisms” with an “s.”  For there are several baptisms in the Christian walk–not just the one with water.

The first baptism mentioned was John the Baptist’s “baptism unto repentance.”  He encouraged the people to repent of their sins, be baptized in water, thus pointing them to the Lamb of God, who would soon become the Sacrifice for all men’s sins.  “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I…he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire” (Mt. 3:11).  Here we have three baptisms in one verse.

The baptism in water is symbolic of the death and burial of our old sinful heart (see post on this at http://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2008/04/17/baptismempty-ritual-or-symbol-of-death-of-self/ ).  Paul taught that it was symbolic of being immersed into Christ’s death.  “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?” (Romans 6: 3).

Just How Are We Immersed into Christ’s Death?

     Just before Christ died, this perfectly sinless man took upon Himself the sins of the whole world, past, present, and future.  Sin was transferred onto this sin offering, and He died with all our sins upon Him.  Consequently, when He died, my old self died; your old self died with all of its sins.  When He died that day, our old selfish sinful egos died.

When He was literally buried in the tomb, our old lives were buried.  Gone.  Over with.  And when He rose from the dead, we rose from the deadness of our sinful existence, into a brand new wonderful life, energized with God’s Spirit now within (for more on this, see “Introduction” of my book The Unveiling of the Sons of God  found here: http://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/ebook-the-unveiling-of-the-sons-of-god/ ).  All this has already been done for us by God.  We have to only believe it when we read it in Romans 6: 3-7 :

“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.  If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.  For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.  Because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.”

We are now free from sin–if we really believe it.  Free!  We are no longer slaves to the pulls, urges, and demands of that old spiritual nature that held us in bondage to do sinful acts!  Why?  Because we believe what God believes about us. I’m talking about revolutionary freedom here!  We were dead to sin, but now we live unto God by faith in the Spirit that He has given us.

Water baptism is just the symbol of this immersion into Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.  Believing and walking in this truth is the reality.  But God has promised his sons and daughters more and greater baptisms–the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the baptism of fire, which takes us into the very presence of God’s transformative power–a transformation that will carry us to eventually sit with Him on His throne.

But first, before that glorious day, we need to be like the early disciples of the Master, who “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine,” the first of which being “repentance from dead works,” explained through the “doctrine of baptisms.”  Being baptized into His death is how to repent from sins that bring forth death (Acts 2: 42; Heb. 6: 1-2).

{Being baptized into Christ’s death is just the first step.  Read how this leads us to the “hidden wisdom” of God.  For a deeper look into these mysteries, read this: http://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/the-hidden-wisdom-and-the-power-of-god/ }

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

2 Comments

Filed under apostles' doctrine, baptism, belief, cross, crucified with Christ, death of self, faith, old self, repentance

2 responses to “The Apostles’ Doctrine–Baptisms (Plural)–Immersed into Christ’s Death

  1. Jennifer

    Hello Wayne,

    Glad He caused me to see your website! Plenty for us to correspond over. You wrote in another post that He shares with us different things, I want to share with you something concerning baptisms and hope you will be open to discussing. After years of the walk, study, prayer and wondering about baptism something was brought to my attention. John said I baptize you with water (people out there saying this wasn’t literal water), but One will come that will baptize you with fire. I had meditated over this and referred to other baptism Scriptures for awhile. Scripture tells us the former baptism is symbolic, a type/shadow of the reality. It points to the real baptism of fire from the Holy Spirit. The Israelites were getting baptized per obedience and a foreshadowing of what was to come through the Messiah. Just like a literal animal sacrificial lamb was the type/shadow for the Messiah, so was the former baptism for baptism by fire.

    Scripture talks about not just by “water”….that was because different Judeans had prepared for Him per instructions. So just because they had been baptized per John’s method they still would have to, through the Father calling them out, go through the real baptism by fire. That was the type/shadow of long ago just like the sacrificial lamb was the type/shadow but no longer applies. Animal sacrifices couldn’t take away sins anymore than the former baptism. We do not live in those times when that was a requirement, up until His death/resurrection/ascension. He was baptized by John, that was because He was being obedient and that’s when His ministry started. He was symbolically showing what was to come. His death/resurrection hadn’t happened yet and baptism by fire (imparting to us faith) was yet a thing to come.

    We don’t need to get any former baptism to have salvation, it was a shadow/type just like we no longer do animal sacrifices nor do men need to get physically circumcised, etc. Baptism by fire, circumcision of the heart. It seems because water is mentioned by Him that it’s a necessity, but it’s talking about being born of a woman from the womb and how we have to be born again spiritually. Physical circumcision for example as you know was symbolic for the future spiritual nation/heart circumcision. That’s why John said what He said, I baptize with “water”…BUT…..

    Some people say that water baptism shows to others your devotion, but that’s adding to His Word. “circumcision was a ceremony where one person performed a religious rite on another person. Likewise, baptism is also a ceremony where one person performs a religious rite on another person. But, we are saved by faith alone and anything else we do, including ceremonies, will not help.” It represented the reality of the inward washing of Christ’s blood upon the soul.

    This is nice article for reference that I found: http://carm.org/is-baptism-necessary-salvation Please respond as I love to hear from others seeking and learning.

    Bless you for your website and articles!! I hope everything I wrote is clear.

    In His Name as I’m growing and being humbled,

    Jennifer

    P.S. I hope this isn’t considered teaching men!

    • Jennifer, thank you so much for sharing this with us. I agree with what you have shared. Baptism in water is a symbol of the death, burial, and resurrection that true Christians experience as they go through a spiritual death, burial, and resurrection of their old Adamic nature. Those last ten words are unfortunately not understood by most who get baptized in the churches, and the preachers need to take responsibility for this lack of knowledge of the people. Thanks again for sharing. kwh

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