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The Great Commission-Part II

The Great Commission-Part II
Baptism by Water

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen." Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)

In Part I of this devotional series we learned that the Great Commission was the instruction by Jesus Christ to each of His disciples to reproduce themselves as He said:

1.    Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations
2.    Baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
3.    Teaching them to observe all things that we have been taught

In today's devotional we want to look at number 2 on this list, which is Baptism.  The baptism that is being referred to in this scripture is that of water baptism.

Q:    What do we have to do to be baptized?

As Philip evangelized the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts chapter 8, the eunuch asked "What hinders me from being baptized?"  In other words, "What do I need to do before I can be baptized?" Philip's answer to this question is very important because it sets a precedent for Christian doctrine:
Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."  So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. (Acts 8:37-38 NKJV)
Here we see that personal belief and faith in Jesus Christ is a pre-requisite for baptism.  I often tell people that knowing Jesus doesn't take a theology class or a degree in Biblical studies, it is about having a relationship with Him and being willing to come under His Lordship; allowing Him to govern your life by following His Word.  

When one believes in Jesus, he is saying, "I believe in my heart that Jesus died for my sins, and that He rose again on the third day and is alive."  You are going on record by that simple confession with your mouth verbally, and that belief in your heart internally, that Jesus paid for your sins through His death on the Cross, was resurrected from the grave, and is now your Lord and Savior.

We should also notice in the Great Commission, that Jesus didn't say, "baptize them in the 'Names' of the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost." He said, Name.  This is another scripture that points to the Trinity of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  Jesus is God!

Q:    What is Baptism?

Let's take a look at the word baptism (pronounced BAP-tizm):
A transliteration of the Greek word Baptisma, meaning an immersion (baptizo means "baptize" or "immerse"). Every known instance of the use of baptisma found in first century literature either demands or permits the word to be understood as "immerse."

It is not unequivocally provable that the word ever allowed for anything less than immersion in the period in which the New Testament was penned. Nevertheless, many churches either pour or sprinkle water over those desiring to be baptized, and call that pouring or sprinkling by the term "baptism."

The reason that total immersion into water is used is because it is a symbol of the person dying to their old self and nature as they're being buried in baptism with Christ, and then be raised up (resurrected) to walk in newness of life (See Rom 6:3-5).

Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection... Romans 6:3-5 (NKJV)

In Part III of this devotional series called "The Great Commission," we'll continue to look at Gods commandment of water baptism, as we look at the reasons why we should be baptized, as well as some misconceptions about baptism.

Hey Christian, I want to encourage you today to think about being baptized if you haven't yet been baptized.  Making that outward profession of faith is liberating to our spiritual walk, and it allows God to pour out His blessings and gifts into our lives allowing us to live out our faith to the greatest degree possible.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn about baptism from the scriptures above?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Have you been baptized?  Have you made a public profession of your faith in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior?

APPLICATION: If you haven't been baptized, then I would greatly encourage you to have it done.  If you have been baptized, make sure that your life is lining up with your profession of faith (See John 15).

Father, thank You for allowing me to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  I fully identify that You are Lord and God.  I identify that I want to walk with and have a relationship with You.  I praise You in Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000