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  • Writer's pictureCalvin Mitchell

The Narrow Way (Part 13): BAPTISM

Updated: Jan 4

[Word Count: 993]

Death

Physical death is the one experience we all share and have in common regardless of our origin, gender or culture. While none of us can avoid death, we can all determine our attitude towards death and how we face it.

Instinctively we all know death is painful, undesirable and bad, although we have earned death (Romans 6:23) and despite our constant exposure to the brainwashing our governments put us through to incite us to risk our lives and fight their wars. Don't let the spiritists fool you: there is no reincarnation; we only have one shot at this life and then we must give account to GOD for how we lived (Hebrews 9:27,28).

The question of what happens after we die has now become irrelevant due to the historical demonstration of this glorious revelation: the dead can and will be physically resurrected!!! To what historical proof am I pointing, you say? THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST FROM THE DEAD, of course!

Do you now understand WHY the physical death of Christ is so contested by our Islamic neighbors? If Christ didn't die physically then He didn't resurrect physically and the Christian hope of true life after death is vain and Satan's hold over us through the fear of death continues (Hebrews 2:14,15).

Yet Christ did, in fact, physically rise from the dead and by His Blood took the sting of sin out of death for us!

No other religion or philosophy offers a conscious return to life in this universe with your original identity; they either offer reincarnation or an eternal bodiless journey through the spiritual realm.

Baptism

I began our discussion on Christian Baptism with death so that you could better appreciate what wonderful hope it provides you:

“Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His Death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the Glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His. We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe [verb 'we faithe'] that we will also live with Him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” ‭‭-- the Apostle Paul, Romans‬ ‭6‬:‭3‬-‭11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Here is where Faith carries you over the threshold to an entirely new level of existence or doubt becomes a barrier between your identity as a sinner and your identity as a saint. If your faith falters, take heart: you're not alone. Crossing the boundary between what you see when you look in the mirror and what GOD sees when He gazes at you through the Filter of Christ's Perfect Character requires a reckless leap of faith not much different from jumping off a high cliff and expecting to fly.

Here's a hint: if you're stuck in doubt, it's because YOU'RE FOCUSED ON THE WRONG PERSON. If you're looking inward at yourself the only conclusion you can come to is "impossible." But if you turn your attention to Jesus and His Unconditional Love for you, your confidence in His Word (in this case Romans Chapter Six) will grow and meet the challenge of your past with the glory of your future in Christ.

It's up to you; spending more time in the Presence of Jesus and less time in front of the TV or online will make the Promises of the Bible easier to believe and act on. Your life will either become more exciting or more boring. Christ's Voice will become clearer or fainter. Making you perfect is GOD's job and He is incredibly efficient IF you place yourself at His Disposal.

Baptism is your first public statement to the world that you are identifying with the Jesus described in the Bible and have decided to submit to His Lordship; public statements must become a lifestyle, which is easy provided you stay at the Lord's Side. People become far less intimidating when Jesus is with you.

CONFESSION

There's a good chance that, before you were baptized, you made a confession of faith in Christ's Identity and His Sacrifice on your behalf. That confession may have come in the form of a prayer or statement in front of a group of believers. Aligning your mouth with the Gospel (the Word of Life) is necessary for your growth in the Grace of GOD that saves you from the Wrath to come.

PROFESSION

A mature Christian NEVER allows himself/herself to speak ANYTHING that contradicts the Bible. Under the Guidance of the Holy Spirit of Christ the ideas and principles of Holy Scripture become verbal instruments of wisdom, healing, comfort and conviction to those around him/her.

It is only on exceedingly rare occasions--virtually never--that the mature Christian rebukes, chastises or corrects in a spirit of discipline and authority.

Your words have power...power to destroy Satan's operations or destroy the last hope of a desperate human soul.

“For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.” ‭‭-- James‬ ‭3‬:‭2‬ ‭ESV‬‬

In Part Fourteen we will begin our exploration of the universe of discipleship.


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