Water baptism is a cleansing ritual instituted by Jesus for His bride. This bride is composed of every disciple willing to come to Jesus and follow Him. Being baptized under the authority of Christ is part of the birthing process required before entering the coming Kingdom of God in the age to come. The purpose of Christ’s first arrival cannot be completed in a person’s life without them undergoing the cleansing rite and thus preventing them from entering the coming kingdom of God.
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.John 3:5
I have found it very difficult to explain water baptism to someone without beginning from a fundamental point. The reason for this is that baptism is not a stand-alone act but rather is connected to a greater picture. In order to see the whole baptism narrative, you must know the different aspects of the gospel starting with the definition of the gospel. This short blog post will attempt to walk us through the reason for water baptism in light of the gospel. I have written other blog posts concerning different aspects of baptism, so please go check out the baptism page.
The Promise of The Gospel
When God created the earth, He made all things good. He established His reign on Earth and He created man. God and Man had communion as a father has a relationship with a son. Not only was Man a son to God, he was given dominion to rule the Earth with God. What a perfect establishment there was at the beginning. At this time, God ruled in His wisdom and Man was obedient to God’s ways. That was until an enemy of God came with his craftiness to plant a thought into the mind of Man.
“Has God really said…?”, the Serpent whispered into Eve’s mind. “You know you can be just like God to know good and evil..’’
It was Man’s desire to know more that caused him to let go of the authority he shared with God. Man turned. He went to His own ways and disregarded the words of God as the way of Life. This selfish act caused a separation between Man and God, which in turn broke the relationship between them. Man immediately felt shame and guilt when they turned from the one who gave them life. They hid and were broken inside but God had compassion toward them.
God had made a promise that could not be broken. The promise was that Man would die if he ate from the tree of knowledge. Because God is a just and righteous God, He had to allow this to happen. However, He made a new promise. A promise of restoration and reconciliation. This good news of a restored relationship and body brought a hope to Man. This gospel of the restoration is and has always been the good news of mankind. From the moment that Man heard of the coming hope, they longed to see the day when God would send the promised one to restore all things.
The Beginning Of The Gospel
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.Mark 1:1
From Adam down to John the Baptist, the Jewish people were looking for this promised restorer to come and fulfill all the prophetic utterances from the prophets. When Jesus hit the scene, it is recorded that what He performed was the “beginning of the gospel.” The acts of Jesus, from the moment He started His ministry to the day He ascended, is the beginning of the gospel. The fulness of the gospel is not complete until mankind is restored back to a full relationship with the Father and has received a new body that will never perish (eternal life). So if we are waiting for the completion of the gospel, what is it Jesus came to do? He came to begin the restoration. And the first act of restoration was to call a people out for Himself.
The King will come to finalize the restoration and when He does, He will have for Himself a called-out people that are pure from the deception of the god of this age. However, because of the turning our forefathers did at the beginning, there is a natural bondage on all humanity. It is a bondage of sin. This bondage does not allow us to please God and it is called our flesh. Jesus will come to establish the Kingdom of God and no flesh will enter this Kingdom. No unrighteousness will enter this Kingdom.
We became bastard children when mankind turned from the Father and now we are in need of a new birth. We must be born again to enter the household of God. Unless one is born from above, they will not enter nor see the Kingdom. So for this reason, Jesus came to begin the process of restoration beginning with the heart of man. To turn the hearts of the children back to the Father’s heart and then purify them with water for a rebirth. Look at this:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.Ephesians 5:25-27
Baptism For The Wedding
Baptism was inaugurated in preparation for a wedding to come. When the bridegroom comes to receive His bride, He will find a chaste virgin who has kept herself clean and pure. He will not come for a harlot who is compromised with the god of this age but one who has turned from all things carnal. This purification of regeneration begins with a washing with water as mentioned in Ephesians 5 and continues with a renewed mind.
Water baptism has everything to do with the arrival of Christ. The benefits we receive in this age through baptism are a foretaste of the powers of the age to come. Baptism is a work of God for His bride, not a work of man to the public. When I say that, I am referring to the argument that water baptism is a declaration of the person to the world that they love Jesus. In reality, water baptism is Jesus showing you that He loves you and wants to purify you from all the filth of the present age that has you bound. He will not allow any unrighteousness to enter the coming Kingdom so in order to enter, you must be cleansed.
Be born again