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|Shalom Scripture Studies, Inc.||A Hebrew-Christian Bible Fellowship|
|February, 2001 (5761)||Vol. 27 No. 2|
THERE IS A RIGHT WAY
It seems to me, that in life there are two distinct ways of accomplishing our tasks... the right way and the wrong way. This is even true when we read the Word of God; there is a right way of understanding it, and a wrong way of applying His Word to our life. Someone has said "there are two sides to every coin", and that is absolutely correct, but what they haven't said is that each side has a definite reason for being. Actually, one side is the right and the other is left, and the twain shall never meet.
In defining Scriptural Baptism, we first need to remove any doubt or seed of confusion as to what Baptism is not. Baptism is not the agency or means of Salvation. By this we mean that Baptism has never saved anyone nor ever will it. Our Saving Grace only comes by receiving and believing The Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, then and only then are we ready as a candidate for Baptism.
Secondly, Baptism is not offered in Scriptures as an option as to whether it is by sprinkling or immersion. At all times Baptism must be observed by immersion and not by dipping or sprinkling.
Thirdly, Baptism is not for all. There must first be a profession of faith on the part of an individual that he or she has trusted completely in the atoning death, burial and resurrection of the Messiah (Christ); There must also be a definite commitment to our LORD as the redeemer of our soul, i.e. you must receive Y'shua (Jesus) as LORD. In The Gospel according to John we read in Chapter One and verse 12 the following, "But as many as received Him, to them gave He the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name:", did you notice that Baptism is nowhere in sight in this Scripture, and the reason is, that Baptism does not save anyone. We are saved by 'receiving' and 'believing' on His Name, that is, Y'shua (Jesus). Now you are ready for Baptism by immersion.
WHEN HE (JESUS) WAS BAPTIZED
Before we go any further, let me share with you a portion of Scripture from Matthew 3:16, "And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water:". Please allow me to remind you that Baptism (Mikvah) was not foreign to Jewish people in the days of Jesus. One never reads in the New Testament anyone asking either John or Jesus "What is Baptism?"
Actually, Baptism was a part of the Jewish people and their religious practices long before it took center stage (in The New Testament) in the days of our Lord Y'shua (Jesus). Today, in the land of Israel, archaeologists have discovered Baptismal pools that predate the era of Christianity, telling us very clearly that Baptism by immersion was known and accepted before the days of Y'shua (Jesus). When John began Baptizing in the Jordan River, he was continuing a practice long established in Israel.
WHAT WAS NEW?
What was new in regards to immersion was the emphasis that John the Baptist placed when he preached "the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins" (Mark 1:4). Now, before anyone gets the wrong idea, please let me quote from Hebrews 9:22, "Without shedding of blood is no remission". By this we understand that remission (salvation) comes only by and through blood sacrifice and never through Baptism.
INTO ... AND OUT OF THE WATER
I guess the best and most beautiful Scripture on Baptism by immersion comes to us from Acts 8:36-38, specifically where we read that "They went down both into the water, both Phillip and the eunuch; and he baptized him". Also, our Lord Y'shua (Jesus) we are told, "when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water:" (Matthew 3:16). Did you notice the words "into the water", and, "out of the water"? These are precious words and full of meaning in relationship to Baptism by immersion. Nowhere in Scriptures, either The Old Testament or The New Testament do you find any text or verse giving any validity to Baptism other than by immersion; nor do you find any place in Holy Writ authorizing infant Baptism; in fact, all Scriptures point toward Baptism being of both Jewish and Gentile ADULTS, never, ever, infants or any one without first having knowledge of God's saving Grace through our beloved Messiah Y'shua.
Please remember that what's right is right, and what's wrong is wrong. For example, if you have been sprinkled, or as an infant been baptized, then according to The Word of God, your sprinkling, and or infant Baptism is no more than a religious ritual accomplishing only man's desire and not God's will; furthermore, it gives an individual a false sense of hope. On the other hand, if you desire Baptism by immersion, then you are one hundred percent correct according to The Word of God.
YOU CANNOT HAVE IT BOTH WAYS
In the issue of Baptism you cannot have it both ways; you cannot say that immersion is the Scriptural mode of Baptism, and still hold on to the doctrine of infant sprinkling. Allow me a moment to ask you a simple question. Since Y'shua (Jesus) came into your heart to live by invitation, have you been Scripturally Baptized by immersion? If your answer is no, then you need to be Baptized by immersion.
SPRINKLED AS AN INFANT
Also, if your parents submitted you to the ritual of sprinkling as an infant but have now Scripturally and knowledgeably accepted Y'shua (Jesus) as your Saviour, you also need to be Baptized by immersion.
In conclusion, our Shalom Scripture Studies ministry and mission is always available for you, by way of consultation and/or searching of the Scriptures that you might know and understand the Lord God's will for your life. We look forward to being a blessing in your life as you Scripturally respond to Baptism by immersion. Shalom.
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