Let’s Talk About Baptism
A few years ago I met a beautiful couple that I once treated as patients. Like many of my patients, we shared a connection and times filled with laughs, encouraging words, and great conversation.
This particular patient of mine was a Christian. She and her husband were delighted to find out that I was one too. They asked me if I was, I answered yes, and their smiles expanded.
One day her husband asked if I was baptized. “Sure,” I replied. He followed up with “Which baptism?” I replied with “Well it was in water.”
The look on his face showed that I didn’t fully answer his question and I reciprocated with a lost look of “Watchu meaaaaaaannnn??!?”
He then went on to ask which baptism? Was it John’s? At this point I just lost all Biblical knowledge. I’m like who’s John? Jon B.? The singer? They don’t know? Lol. [Okay, so I didn’t verbalize this, but that’s how confused I was] Clearly, I just didn’t know.
I couldn’t have been alone in not knowing that; at the time (as a Christian) I didn’t even know the following:
1. That there were two different types of baptisms
2. That people were actually still choosing to do one over the other (as he did)
3. Oh right! It actually says it in the Bible.
[Like some people, I was just getting most of my knowledge from my usual seat on Sundays listening to someone else teach and not actually just reading the Bible myself.
The pastor can only cover so much y’all]
So being my usual curious self I went STRAIGHT for my Bible! I ain’t grab no shoes or nothing Jesus, I ran!!!! Me stay ignorant????
So! There are two baptisms: One is John’s and one is Jesus’ (random fact: they were cousins)
So let me give you a little background about John. Let’s look at John’s Baptism. John’s Baptism is what we call a Baptism of Repentance. He was the guy walking around in the wilderness eating honey and locust…(the fruit NOT the animal), telling people to start repenting their ways because Jesus was coming soon.
In the Old Testament, Isaiah the prophet (Isa 40:3) said there was “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.”
Okay so he was prophesying about John.
A lot of Jewish people at the time thought that John was Elijah (another prophet in the Old Testament because…well, they kind of looked alike. It said that he [Elijah] also wore camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist.
2nd Kings 1:8 says in reference to Elijah “He had a garment of hair and a leather belt around his waist.”
They had been waiting for Elijah to come back forever. When Jesus came, they even then thought He was Elijah at one point. (In fact, they are still waiting on Elijah, but I digress.)
Okay so back to John’s Baptism. His is a baptism of repentance and it is a baptism in water, to be baptized means to be dipped. The symbolism is that your old self is dipped, cleansed, the old self is left behind and your new self emerges. It’s a demonstration of your new life and a public declaration.
Repentance means to change. It’s a step above being sorry. When you repent your actions back up that sorry. You know how we expect that of our spouses, friends, and loved ones? We always say, “Don’t just say you’re sorry, show it.” Well yea, that’s not a foreign concept and God expects that of us too. Sometimes we expect certain things from people and when God is like “Okay great, you do it too, but for me,” we’re like “How?” lol.
I’ve read this scripture many times and then it hit me that the word repent actually came before the word believe. In my mind it was always “I’m going to believe this or that and so then I will change.” No, the scripture actually calls says, Repent first THEN Believe.
I finally got understanding of this one day and I like to compare it to a relationship with a best friend. When you have a friend like that, you’ve made the decision that this person is your bestie. Think about whoever your best friend is right now. When they call you to tell you something, you ‘ve taken the automatic stance that you are going to believe what comes out of their mouth on the basis that you’ve decided they are your friend.
You don’t say “prove every little thing you say to me first, before I believe you.” If your friend calls and says “I started this new gym program yesterday, it’s really amazing. I think you’d like it.” You believe that. You just say “okay.” That’s your friend and it is what it is.
That’s kind of how it is once you’ve been baptized and declared that Jesus is the homey. You’ve repented or decided that He is who you want to live for. After that, whatever He says…you’re rocking with it. It’s not a “prove it to me first then I’ll believe you. “It’s I KNOW you’re friend, I know you love me and have my best interest at heart. You said this? Alright, I’m rocking with it.”
In a nutshell, John’s Baptism is changing your heart, your old ways, and deciding to rock with Jesus from here on out!
Now one thing that’s controversial is baptism of children and whether or not they should be. Ya’ll know I like to go strictly by scripture; mainly because I’ve decided that there are too many people just saying “it’s in the Bible” but it’s just their opinion. If you say something to me, I better find it in the scripture. I’m very careful about what I say is in the Bible meaning there is scripture to back it up versus my opinion of scripture.
There is no scripture backing up baptism of babies, which leads me to believe that this it is just church doctrine, practices made up my people. The scripture itself as we’ve seen says “Repent and believe”. Babies can’t repent. They can’t come to you and say “I want to change my life and live for Christ, etc.” So that alone shows you that it’s not scriptural. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. It’s not a BAD thing, but there is just no scripture backing that up, if you’re trying ti live by the Word. The child STILL has to grow up and decide to actually repent on their own, then be baptized.
Now dedicating a child on the other hand, IS scriptural. An example is in 1st Samuel 1:28 when Hannah, Samuel’s mom, dedicates him to God.
Alright now let’s talk about Jesus’ Baptism.
Alright now let’s talk about Jesus’ Baptism.
Full baptism is done in the triune aka the holy trinity. This is done in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit/Ghost. (When you are a being baptized, pay attention to what the Pastor is saying. Hopefully He says all three of them. Lol.)
Jesus’ Baptism takes it a step farther than one of repentance. This is when the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within you everyday and you have the SAME POWER of the God’s Spirit working inside of you. Let that marinate for a second.
The difference between a Spirit filled Christian and a non Spirit filled Christian is power. Power to easily overcome, power to supernaturally excel, power to do and experience supernatural things. None of these things happen by your human abilities, but by the power of the God’s Spirit working in you.
You’ll STILL experience life and the hardships of this world because you’re living in the devils territory; this is his world. The difference is that you are living in his world but you can over him. In the wise and eloquent of my 4- yr old cousin and kids everywhere “You’re not the boss of me!” is what you are able to say to the devil on a daily basis AND ACT on that.
So who baptizes you with the Holy Spirit and that fire? That power? Jesus does. Not a pastor. The pastor (if he’s a true man of God) is used as a vessel for Jesus to do it, but it’s not coming from the physical hand of pastor.
A lot of people misunderstand this so they are super reluctant. They are too busy side eyeing and fail to realize that side eye or not at the end of the day it’s not even about the pastor. Let that marinate as well. It’s about Jesus. He knows your heart, he knows your desires. Lean on Him and trust Him to do His part. I can on only explain it so much, but I can say that having a relationship with the Holy Spirit is an awesome experience; and it’s freeeee. You don’t have to be any special type of person. Remember, God is a respecter of no persons.