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. Romans 6:4
Today in the modern world of religion, baptism is considered in most cases just another religious ritual, some believing it saves them, to others it is joining the church, while many others don't understand the biblical reason one must be baptized. First of all we must look at the scriptural basis in the New Testament for baptism and who initiated its use in regards to salvation and the Lordship of Christ.
Jesus Christ is our example to follow in the process of one being born again and then to be buried with Him through baptism. The death, burial and resurrection of our Lord is a type for us that signifies our death with Him on the cross for our sins, our burial into a watery grave and our subsequent resurrection as new creations in Christ! The Lord Jesus died on the cross a human being, he was buried a human being, but He was resurrected as a New Man, a spiritual being, transformed by Holy Spirit's power and raised immortal to sit at the right hand of the Most High God.
We also as human beings are born again by faith in His redemptive act of grace that saves us by the confession and repentance of our sins and iniquities and by being washed supernaturally by His blood that He shed for us. By being born again as new creations we as spiritual men are then buried with Him through baptism, meaning that our old nature and fleshly deeds are dead and buried and then we are resurrected as spiritual beings, no longer bound to sin and set free from its dominion over us.
For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Romans 6:5-7
A BAPTISM OF REPENTANCE
John the baptist went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Luke 3:3
John the baptist was not your typical church going, pew sitter, but a fiery preacher of righteousness that would scare the daylights out of most modern day professing Christians. Living in the wilderness eating locusts and wild honey he was preaching repentance from sin and baptizing those who would repent!
Multitudes were coming out to be baptized by him, something our modern day Pastors would dream of, but John was different, unlike our professional CEO, trained ring leaders, he cried out and said: "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? "Therefore bring forth fruits worthy of repentance!" Are you kidding me! How in the world do you expect to fill up the church by offending these poor dears coming to be baptized by calling them a brood of snakes?
Remember the words of Jesus, "The truth will set you free!" and the truth was: repent and die to your sinful, fleshly nature by being baptized into My death. The problem was, most who were coming, like today just wanted another religious ritual to appease their guilt or to make them feel good about their spiritual well being and weren't serious about repentance and being set free from their sins.
"And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." Luke 3:9
WHAT SHALL WE DO?
John answered and said to them, "He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and him who has food, let him do likewise." Luke 3:11
John's message of repentance brought them under conviction and the people cried out asking what they should do and he told them to repent, not just confess as many think repentance is today, but to actually stop sinning and turn away from their sin!
True repentance is not preached much anymore and usually is not mentioned when people are baptized today, making it another religious act of futility. Pastors are afraid that such a message will run off the "Big tithers" and the nice clean, middle-class white folks they so desire to fill their cathedrals of complacency! John the baptist was unconcerned with what people thought of him and would be thrown out of any self respecting modern day assembly, deemed a lunatic or a crazy street person dressed in camel hair.
If we don't get back to the message of true repentance and throw out all of this institutionalized religious nonsense of preaching peace and safety to a brood of spoiled church goers wanting to have their ears tickled and their guilt appeased, we will never, ever see the glory return to God's assembly of born again, blood washed, baptized saints of the Most High God!
"I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. "His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire." Luke 3:16,17
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin