The Meaning of Baptism
Baptism is generally defined as “purifying or cleansing one spiritually, especially by a purging experience or ordeal through the immersion of water.” Many Israelites in modern society have taken the understanding of baptism by literal means and continue to practice John the Baptist’s symbolic dipping of water. However, it is also true that many have not considered the true meaning behind it.
"Ecclesiasticus 6:32 “My son, if thou wilt, thou shalt be taught: and if thou wilt apply thy mind, thou shalt be prudent."
“Psalms 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word."
The beginning of cleansing our ways and being truly baptized with the Most High and Christ is by repenting, acknowledging your sins before the Father and applying the commandments of the Lord.
“Isaiah 1:16 Wash you, make you clean: put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil".
“Jeremiah 2:22 For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord God. ”
In our repentance with the Most High and Christ and being truly baptized, we are to put away the evil of our doings. For instance the whoremongering , idolatry, stealing, murdering, hatred and the innumerable evil we have done against the LORD. Though many Israelites practice the symbolic baptism of dipping in water repeatedly, without the significant spiritual change in keeping the laws of the Lord it is of no avail.
“Matthew 3:5-6 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan. And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. ”
The believers in Christ were baptized physically by John the Baptist within the Jordan River, but confessed their iniquities before the Lord and repented.
“Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you indeed with the Holy Ghost, and with fire”.
“John 4:1-2 When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples.)”
The scriptures let us know that John had begun the ministry to pave the way for Christ to increase. John the Baptist is well known for teaching repentance to Israel and baptizing believers symbolically with the dipping them in water. However, John spoke about the Christ baptizing with the Holy Ghost and with fire. Christ brought the understanding of being baptized (meaning cleansed) to another level for Israel, as he did not practice water submersion but rather taught the proper understanding of the scriptures.
“1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.”
“1 Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection Of Jesus Christ.”
“Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.”
"Jeremiah 2: 22 For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord God”.
As you can see sin is not erased by the cleansing of the flesh. But sin has to truly be cleansed by repentance in the keeping of the laws. So Called Blacks and Hispanics have to set their minds in keeping the laws of the Bible to demonstrate true change. Christ and the disciples did not practice the symbolic water baptism that John the Baptist first introduced, but rather focused on the spiritual change of being renewed to keeping the commandments. The true understanding is that Israel no longer has to be physically dipped in water to be saved, but to apply the commandments of the Lord through the faith of Christ to attain salvation.
“Acts 3:19 Repent, ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.”
“Psalm 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”
“John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.”
True baptism should show a spiritual change of conversion to God’s laws within a repented Israelite by the teachings that Christ presented. Simply being submersed in water does not change an adulterer for example, but the laws of the Lord will. Moreover, if Israel does not take heed to repenting by true baptism, John the Baptist also spoke about Christ also bringing baptism with fire.
“Ezekiel 18:30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord god. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.”
“Isaiah 4:4 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.”
“Thessalonians 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ”.
The scriptures teach us of a judgment that will come for those that do not take heed to the teachings of Christ and refuse to become truly baptized and repent from their sins by keeping the commandments of the Lord.
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