Why do it? What is all the hype about?
Without water, this rite of passage cannot occur. So, what is so special about water? As you have probably heard, approximately 70% of the earth is full of water. The same goes for the human body. Much is true of watermelon and other foods including the ones with water added as an ingredient. Water is necessary for life.
Water hydrates, sustains, and cleanses. All of this, however, is related to the physical realm. In the metaphysical realm, our soul needs cleansing, sustaining, and hydrating.
When Jesus Christ instituted baptism as an ordinance for those that take following Him seriously, the ritual had already taken place for centuries. It was a symbol of cleansing from an old life. It also meant an inauguration of a new path. Thus, Christ asked to be baptized not to cleanse His soul but to initiate a new beginning…the birth of His Kingdom come.
To baptize simply means to immerse or dip into water. Mark 1:10 reveals that Christ came up out of the water in the Jordan River at His baptism. Christ demonstrated for us the first step He desires for us take when we go public with our faith journey with Him. This action is a pantomime of what occurs within our soul. It does not actually cleanse us [like it did not cleanse Christ who needed no soul change] but it reveals the inner change that He has made in our minds and lives.
In the Hebrew culture, they would act out rituals. It was not good enough to just speak about a topic. They must dramatize it. The Passover meal is the same way. Setting up stone pillars as an altar to pass by and remember a great thing the Lord did for Israel is also an example. Christ acted out the inauguration of His ministry and asked us to do the same when we begin to join Him in that ministry.
So, baptism is a sacred thing but is exciting. Monks in robes swinging incense do not have to follow behind us chanting as we enter the waters. Yet, we take the matter seriously because Christ did. If it was important enough for Him to do it, then it is something to contemplate in our own lives. When we place our trust and faith in Christ to redeem our soul from being separated from God, we often ask for the forgiveness in a private prayer or in our minds. But, we display that decision publicly through the immersion into and out of a substance that is cleansing, hydrating, and sustaining.
One more deep nugget of thought. In ancient Israel, when a king was anointed with oil at his inauguration, it symbolized the Holy Spirit coming upon them to influence their administration. All four gospels record that when Christ was baptized the Holy Spirit literally came upon Him and remained upon Him during His administration. Thus, when an individual chooses to follow Christ because they are cognitively able to do so, the Holy Spirit comes within them. Baptism symbolizes that reality.
At COR, we believe in baptism just as Christ did. Meaning, in the same way, and manner, and for the same reasons Christ did. Have you been baptized after choosing to follow Christ? Would you like to learn more? We would love to have a casual conversion about a significant subject. Contact us anytime!