What Is Baptism All About?
"For sin shall not have dominion over you..." Romans 6:14 Romans was always my least favorite book in the New Testament because try as I might, I just could not understand it. But as time went on I didn't realize that it was being made alive to me, until suddenly realizing that I DO understand it now. Why? Because I've seen it worked out in my life. I've seen the demonstration of it. And it's astounding. I think the reason for the lack of the ability to understand it is actually quite simple. Most of us when we start out with the Lord, realize that there is no way on earth that we can overcome the weaknesses (sin) inherent in our individual makeup. Most of us try to overcome, but soon realize it's impossible. We might play games with ourselves, seeking to make a gain here or there, but whoever is honest with himself will know that he/she just can't do it. But that's where the Lord meets us. vs 3: "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus WERE BAPTIZED INTO HIS DEATH?" There is a great truth in being united with Christ in his death. We go down into the waters of baptism which represents the grave, but it doesn't end there, that's only the beginning. vs 4: "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." I remember thinking back in those days, "if the power of sin (death) is so great that one cannot overcome it, then the power of resurrection must be even greater." vs 5: "For if we have been united together in the likeness of his death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of his resurrection…" But I hardly dared to believe it because it seemed like asking the impossible. And of course ...it WAS. It's a supernatural thing, something not possible in the natural. It wasn't until long after, when I began to notice the changes inside, I was absolutely astounded because the POWER of what used to rule me simply was no longer there. I remember going over and over and over it in my mind trying to figure out how on earth that happened, then came to realize that I was seeing the absolute truth of the Word of God being demonstrated to me right before my eyes in my own soul. Does that mean that one who has experienced such a thing is sinless? No, only when we leave this earth will we experience the total deliverance, when "we shall all be changed." Only then will we "put on incorruption..." (1 Corinthians 15:53). But until then, the power of the resurrection is worked out in us even now, if we walk in total surrender to the Lord and allow him to have his way in our lives. We still have the CHOICE to do so or not. We still will hear the lies of Satan who seeks to destroy our walk with the Lord. And we still will be kept humble as we realize the areas that have not yet been changed. It takes time, a lot of time. But once that submission to the death represented in baptism has taken place, the POWER of the resurrection begins working - almost imperceptibly for a long while because one is born again as a babe - until one suddenly begins to realize the changes that have taken place and is brought to his knees in utter and heartfelt thanksgiving; for that which was impossible to him was made possible through the power of the resurrection of Christ at work in him. This is not religion. Religion will NEVER be able to do this. Religion CANNOT produce this. The Scripture specifically says that the religion of "the last days" will be powerless. Men will be religious, but their religion will be useless: "Having a form of godliness, but denying the POWER thereof; from such turn away." 2 Timothy 3:5 Friends, if your religion has not changed you on the inside, then your religion is powerless and the Scripture says "from such turn away!" This is not speaking of behavior, most religious people control their behavior outwardly to some extent. This is speaking of the inherent sin nature that rules you. Only if you are born again will you see that sin nature dying with Christ, and the power of his resurrection raising you to new life. More: Born Again -What Does That Mean?