Faith Is, Chapter Nineteen

 

The great Apostle Paul said in Rom. 8:1-9

 

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the SpiritFor the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 


For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you."

 

What about you? Does the Spirit of God live in you? Are you in Christ Jesus? How did you get into Christ? Paul said in Gal. 3:26-29,

 

"For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.    For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.    There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.    And if you be Christís, then are you Abrahamís seed, and heirs according to the promise."

 

How did I get into Christ Jesus and how did I become a child of God? I became a child of God by confessing that I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that God raised Him from the dead. Paul said in Rom. 10:8-11,

 

"The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed."

 

You might say, "Ok!, But what about baptism? Paul said, "As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." Well, the question, then, must be when and how were we baptized into Christ. Is this the purpose of water baptism? Let's let Paul tell us what he meant by this. He said in 1 Cor. 12:13,

 

"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit."

 

Paul said that it is by the Spirit of God that all men are baptized into one body and it doesn't matter if we are Jews or Gentiles. I don't know about you but I was taught that according to Peter in Acts 2:38 that it is by being baptized in water that we are saved. He said,

 

"Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." 

 

He also said in 1 Peter 3:18-22,

 

"For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:   By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;   Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

  The like figure whereunto even baptism does also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:   Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him."

  

So what is the point Peter is making in this verse? Noah and his family were saved by being in the ark that God had him to prepare which rode on the water and was deluged by the water that was falling on them. He said that water baptism is a like figure which also does save us. How does it save us. Because it is the answer of a good conscience toward God. In other words it is an outward expression of what has occurred within us when we accept the word of God and acknowledge that we believe it.

 

Paul also said in Eph. 4:4-6,

 

"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you 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." 

 

He also said in Rom. 6:2-14,

 

"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 


Don't you know 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. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. 

 

Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death has no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he lives, he lives unto God. Likewise also reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Therefore do not let not sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace.

 

It is hard for the carnal mind to understand what is being said here. Jesus said in John 6:24,

 

"No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." 

 

How, then, does the Father draw men unto Jesus? Paul said in 10:8-16,

 

"The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed.


For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 

 
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." 

 

 

Let me see if I can boil all of this down into a few short sentences. No man can come to Christ unless the Spirit of the Lord draws him and just how does the Spirit do this? By the preaching of His word. When the word of God is preached by those who are called of the Lord then those who hear the word of God and open their hearts to accept it, the power of the Holy Spirit overshadows them much like He did Mary, the mother of Jesus and He baptizes them into the body of Christ as they declare with their mouth that they believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that Jesus was raised from the dead.

 

The gospel that Paul taught said that there is one body, one Spirit and one baptism. The body is the spiritual body of Christ! Paul said in 1 Cor. 12:12-14,

 

"For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit." 

 

There is only one Spirit and one baptism. Paul said in Eph. 4:4-6,

 

"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you 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." 

 

This one baptism is the baptism that is done by the Holy Spirit because it is the Holy Spirit that baptizes us into the body of Christ. Since we are spirit because our Father is Spirit, all of this is done in the spiritual realm. Jesus said in John 6:63,

 

"It is the spirit that quickeneth; (gives life) the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."

 

And in John 3:6,

 

"That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."

 

 

Paul said in 1 Cor. 1:17,

 

"For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect."

 

You may say to me, "Then why did the early church baptize in water?" Because it is symbolic to what has happened in the spiritual realm. Water baptism is a likeness of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When we repent of our life of sin, in likeness, our old man dies and then we are buried in water which is the likeness of being buried in the earth and then we are raised from the water which is the likeness of being resurrected even as Jesus was resurrected. This is all symbolic of what has happened in the spiritual realm.

 

Jesus went through this in the physical realm for us. In the eyes of God our Father we were in the one man Jesus when he hung there on the cross and was buried and was resurrected and he gave us this symbolic form of being buried in water and resurrected from water as an outward expression of what has occurred within us.

Water baptism is the like figure whereunto even baptism does also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:   Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him. (1 Peter 3:21-22)

 

Peter says here that Jesus has gone into heaven and Paul said in Eph. 2:5,

 

"Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)   And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:"

 

This is another example of a likeness or a symbolism of what is and has taken place in the eyes of God.

 

Water baptism is a like figure even as the communion that we partake of is a like figure of our partaking of the body of Christ and drinking His blood. The question then is, "Do we have to be baptized in water?" Let me ask you another question, "Do we have to partake of communion?" The answer to both of these questions is a great big, "YES!" Why? Because it is a commandment of our Lord Jesus Christ. He said in John 14:15,

 

"If you love me, keep my commandments." 

 

Jesus said in Matt. 28:18-19,

 

"All authority is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age."

 

We are baptized in water and we partake of communion because we are faithful to observe everything that Jesus has commanded us to observe. You don't have to understand all of the implications of a commandment to be obedient to it.