If we consider Acts 8:36-38 As they went on the way, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Behold, here is water. What is keeping me from being baptised?” “Philip said, `If you believe with all your heart, you may.' He answered, `I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.'” He commanded the chariot to stand still, and they both went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptised him.
Baptism was important enough for the Lord to send Philip to baptise the eunuch from Ethiopia. The one thing that stood out is the desire of the eunuch to understand the Word of God and then the desire to be baptised, two elements that need to be in place even before baptism can be addressed or understood. Then if that is the desire, the person must believe with all his heart that Jesus is the Son of the living God.
Based on the mentioned example, in order to understand baptism, we need to consider the meaning of the word “baptise”. In both Greek and Hebrew, the meaning is to be immersed. Meaning to be totally encompassed by something, or to be totally submerged into any form of liquid. The eunuch desired to be baptised as an expression of what he believed and wanted to demonstrate his belief as an act of faith, proclaiming the following :
1. He desired to be consumed by the fullness of God, that is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 28:19-20. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
2. He desired to be clothed with Christ Jesus, as to witness that he no longer live, but the life he lived is in Jesus Christ.
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
3. He desired to be buried in death with Jesus Christ and to rise into a new recreated life (born again) in Christ Jesus, empowered by the same power that rose Christ from the dead. Ephesians 2:10
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.” John 3:5
4. He desired to be cleansed through the water of the Word of Jesus Christ, the Word that became flesh. Ephesians 5:25
And this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience towards God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 3:21
5. He desired to receive God's mercy (love) as he willingly submitted to God's Word in the knowledge that the Lord's baptism is of Spirit and fire, a consuming fire that will devour everything that is not of Him within us, that is why repentance is needed before baptism, as Peter said repent and be baptised.
He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
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