BY REV. DAVID NIX - FORMER PASTOR, ANCHOR CHURCH IN SPIRIT LAKE
We hear now of earthquakes in diverse places, of fires, of tempests, of disasters by sea and land, of pestilence, of famine.
What weight do these signs have upon you? This is only the beginning of what shall be. The description of the day of God is given through John by the Revelator. The cry of the terror-stricken myriads has fallen upon the ear of John: "The great day of His wrath has come; and who shall be able to stand?"
The apostle himself was awed and overwhelmed. We hear a lot of these things so I will save you from hearing it again.
What I would like to talk about is Baptism and the meaning behind it.
We are sinners by birth and nature. We from ourselves could not change our hearts by our actions. Christ sacrificed himself for the whole world. He had redeemed us because God created us with a free will he will not force us to receive this free gift of salvation.
The Greek root-word baptizein (baptivzw) means to plunge, immerse, sink; hence to wash; to be immersed, overwhelmed.
We bury the "old life" and we rise to walk in a "new life." Baptism is the outward symbol of the commitment you made in your heart, a commitment that has to be followed through and lived out on a daily basis.
When we are Baptized, we show that we are identifying with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. It means we have died and buried the old life of sin and, as we rise out of the water, we rise into a new life with Christ. First, we are lowered into the water like the dead are lowered into the ground. This is to indicate we have died and we buried our old life with Christ. Baptism is a funeral of our old life. When we are lifted out of the water, we are resurrected into a new life with Christ, and we begin a new life in Christ.
In this worldly life, we begin with life and end in death. In our spiritual life, we begin in death and end with eternal life.
In a total surrender of the heart, repentance comes by way of the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised gifts of the Holy Spirit and the gifts are special gifts that is used to build up God's kingdom. In this life, we are to die. The only question is how? We can die to ourselves and become alive again in Jesus or we can die in our sin.
1 Peter 3:21 Whereof the baptism that now is, answering that figure, (which is not a putting away of the filth of the flesh, but a confident demanding with a good conscience maketh to God) saveth us also by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified, in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.