Back to Basics
Sometimes as Christians we tend to forget that there are folks out there who have not yet put on Christ. They have not yet been buried with him in baptism – raised to walk in newness of life to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Apparently somewhere down the road, we have forgotten to teach that basic part of our faith.
So, let me just take us a few steps back. On the day of Pentecost after Jesus had risen from the dead and the people heard Peter and the other apostles in their own languages, they asked what they needed to do in order to be saved (Acts 2:36-40) they were told “Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” The people immediately were buried (that is completely immersed under the water- like being buried in the ground) with Christ in baptism. They didn’t wait a week, a month or even the next day. Even Jesus was baptized to show obedience (Luke 3:21-22) These were faithful Jews, who understood their faith, who practiced it faithfully. However, once they understood that the old law or testament had been nailed to the cross and that a new testament was in effect, they took the measures they needed to make their life take that path.
Romans 6:1-4 tells us this “What can we say then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”
I don’t know about anyone else, but that scripture alone made me want to be in Christ. To know that I had the opportunity to die to sin, be raised pure and sinless and to receive the Holy Spirit so that I might more fully understand the word is priceless. No, I did not understand everything I needed to know overnight. And every day I am still learning. But I am learning through a clear vision when I need those lessons. The understanding is there, the ability to absorb, to be able to explain it to others is there. Sin no longer has its power over us. We are covered in God’s grace and mercy. That is not to say that we do not fall from grace – it simply means that God is always there to receive us back with his hand out to help us up. But in order to be there we must first become his child; Jesus’s co-heir and we do that by dying to sin through burial in baptism and symbolically rising from that sinful death to a new life.
Understanding that in order to receive the blessings and the Holy Spirit and the newness of life, to be raised from the Spiritual dead, we must teach baptism, we must go back to the basics. WE must understand that we are obligated to teach this as well as live it.