Water baptism as the ONLY way (following Exodus 14:15)

waterdoop

Humans are naturally inclined to postpone important decisions again and again. As a rule, people have a complete aversion to decisions that radically change his/her life. Many responded with “Leave me alone”, when the Gospel was first proclaimed to them. As Israel spoke to God in Egypt: “…Leave us alone, let us serve the Egyptians?” (Exodus 14:12a) [1]
But God, in His grace, always puts a man in the circumstance of having to choose. With Israel He went so far that they could no longer abide in Egypt:
“And they said to them, May the LORD look upon thee, and may he judge, because thou hast made us a stench to Pharaoh and to his servants, by putting a sword into their hands to kill us.” (Exodus 5:21)
Many of us will be able to bear witness to the same wondrous involvement of God in our lives. Yet many have not yet lost their doubts (= indecision) after they have been converted. There are only a few in whom one detects daring and firm will to come to full surrender. There are many “slow of heart.” God knows this, and therefore allows His children to often get into great trouble and anguish.
He did the same with Israel. After redeeming them, He sent Pharaoh upon them with an “army of sorrows”:

  • “And I will harden the heart of Pharaoh, that he may pursue them. Then I will be honored at the expense of Pharaoh and at the expense of all his army, so that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD. And so they did.” (Exodus 14:4)
  • “For the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites. But the Israelites had been led by an uplifted hand.” (Exodus 14:8)
  • “When Pharaoh drew near, the Israelites lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians went after them. Then the Israelites became very afraid and cried out to the LORD.” (Exodus 14:10)

 

God’s way

Worries come when we refuse to walk in the lofty way of Christ. How remarkable is God’s response when Israel cries out in great anguish to Him, when they have no way out, “Why do you cry? Carry on!”

  • “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry to me? Speak to the Israelites and tell them to go forth.” (Exodus 14:15)

In the first place, we learn here that spiritual laziness – manifesting itself in indecision – leads to a standstill in the life of faith (petrified faith is not faith). But the most remarkable thing is that God points us to His Way here. There was no other way than through the sea – but that was no human way, verily!

 

Baptism as preaching

“Pull on!” said God. By this He meant – no other conclusion is possible – “go into the sea” or, in New Testament terms, “be baptized!”:

  • “And Peter said unto them, Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” [2] (Acts 2:38)

Every born again will have fear and worry in his/her life, as long as he/she does not go the way of baptism. After the rebirth and expulsion from the wicked world comes the confrontation with the “death powers”. The water, the sea, is the representation of those powers. Only the Scriptural water baptism (by immersion – AK) saves from death:

  • “Its antitype, baptism, now also saves us. But not as a removal of the filth from the body, but as a request to God of a good conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 3:21)

(NOTE: I am not speaking of the “fake water baptism” of the feigned or unregenerate).
Therefore this still unreasonable and annoying Divine institution speaks of God’s high way [3] of redemption. That is the preaching in the sacrament of baptism.
Moreover, water baptism is God’s provision for the indecisive man to make him come to true surrender. But… after his/her baptism by immersion one must walk in “newness of life”:

  • “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 might walk in new life.” (Romans 6:4)

If one does not, the threat from the powers of death returns. Baptism, however, continues to point people to God’s way and insist – if one does not stop his/her ears at least – to follow it.
“What are you calling?” says God. Do not cry, but obey God!
To the unbaptized but born again soul may be added, and be baptized, Scripturally, by immersion, and in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is no other way to victory [4] than the way of obedience [5] and surrender.

H. Siliakus
Slightly edited by A. Klein

PDF (also for smartphone)

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[1]  All Bible texts are quoted by me in the New King James Version (abbreviated: KJV), unless otherwise noted. (note AK)

[2]  See our study “The natural man and the Holy Spirit (in Dutch) and/or The Giver and His Gifts (in Dutch) from CJH Theys. (note AK)

[3]   “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways (the so-called “highway”), and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa. 55:8-9). (note AK)

[4] See our study The victors: over (the power of) sin and satan in the end times by E. van den  Worm. (note AK) 

[5]  See our study OBEDIENCE is still always the key(in Dutch) from Rev. JW Shenton. (note AK)

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About De Eindtijdbode

Een 'roepende in de woestijn' die 'de bazuin blaast' om velen (via GRATIS Bijbelstudies) te tonen "de dingen die - volgens Gods plan - spoedig geschieden zullen". Volgens Openbaring 1 vers 1, 10 en 19.
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