Friday, September 6, 2019
Thursday, September 5, 2019
The first is John the Baptist's baptism of repentance. John, the Apostles, and our Lord preached the Gospel of the Kingdom. What was the Gospel of the Kingdom? It was not the Death, Burial, and Resurrection that you and I preach today at all because none of that had happened yet. It was simply repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. This is what John taught in Mathew 3:2, Jesus taught in Matthew 4:17, and what the Apostles taught according to Matthew 10:7. It was the outward evidence of that repentance and remission of sins had taken place. It was ONLY for Israel. Was it required? Yes, it was. No baptism, no Kingdom of Heaven. So, yes, it required works of righteousness (Matthew 3:15).
The second is the baptism of believers. Paul said Romans 6:2-4, God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Obviously, Paul was not talking about the same baptism that John the Baptist was speaking of in that the one he was referring to mentions the death and resurrection of Christ.
The other unique difference between the two is that the first was required, but the second is just an act of identification. That is also why Paul rebaptized the followers on John in Acts 19:3-5. They had accepted the teaching of the Kingdom of Heaven, but they had also come to accept the Gospel of Grace that Paul was preaching. Again, identification. Not salvific. This is why we should reject the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. Those who hold this view are simply not properly distinguishing between the two.
Also, another point needs to be made here. Water baptism has nothing to do with the baptism of the Spirit that is mentioned in Ephesians 4:4-6 where it says, There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Those who believe it does are referred to as Cambellites. However, they are wrong. It is referring to a Spirit baptism that takes place at the time of faith in Christ and the only baptism required to be a child of God.
I've come to believe that the Lord sometimes does not show us things because He knows that we are not ready for them. Sometimes, too much information is just as detrimental as not enough. After all, we are all in a growing process and some of us are further along in that process than others, but that’s okay. The important thing is that we are all searching and trying to understand what God has for us daily.
The Bible says that we grow from faith to faith and glory to glory. To me, that means that we grow a little bit at a time. It does not happen overnight. The Lord knows that I wish it did, but it doesn't. God knows when and how to reveal things to us as He knows that we are ready to receive them. That's why we much live lives of faith!