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Thread: The Baptism of a Sage - by Randy Arendell

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    Thumbs up The Baptism of a Sage - by Randy Arendell

    My oldest daughter – Dakota - believes in Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death. She also understands why His death was needed for her to be forgiven of her sins, and she has accepted Him as her Savior based on an understanding that He died and rose from the dead. I know she believes these things, because as her mother and I would teach her and ask if she believed what we said, she honestly told us early on that she did not know if she believed or not. Though we really wanted to hear her say, “Yes,” we very much appreciated her honesty. For that reason, when she finally told us that she did, indeed, believe, we knew it was not a flippant decision and that it was genuine.

    Some churches teach that water baptism would be required for her to be saved. Others, like our church, believe that it is not required but that it is a step of obedience that should follow one’s decision to trust in Christ. So Dakota has occasionally been witness to the baptismal services that we hold at the church. And a number of her friends or peers have been among those who have made that so-called “public profession of faith” by getting baptized. As a result, she wanted to get baptized, too.

    The first time she brought it up, she readily admitted that the reason was because she had seen her friends do the same. My response would be that that was an inappropriate reason, after which I attempted to explain the biblical purpose of baptism. After having the same type of exchange a couple of more times, she started to figure out that she would not get anywhere by using that reason. So the new reason became, “I believe in Jesus and that’s the right thing to do.” Which soon morphed into, “Baptism is a way for me to let others know I believe.”

    I do not believe that baptism is a requirement for salvation. I also do not believe that water baptism is even a required step of obedience for a member of the Body of Christ. In fact, the Bible shows it as being a component of the Mosaic Law i …a requirement for the priesthood, specificallyii. A priest would be washed – baptized - as part of his consecration process. Because God told Israel that they would be a kingdom of priests (Ex. 19:5-6), then as the time approached for God to pour out His judgment on the nation during “Jacob’s Trial” (Jer. 30:7), or the Great Tribulation – a period of purging where the wicked would be cut off from the nation and after which the righteous would enter into the prophesied kingdom – then God sent Jesus in Person to seek the lost sheep of the house of Israel, to command repentance from them in conjunction with the keeping of the Mosaic Law, and to prepare them for those end days. But before Jesus began His ministry, John the Baptist came preaching, “Repent for the kingdom is at hand” (Matt. 3:2). And he water baptized those who believed him, calling it a “baptism with water unto repentance” (Matt. 3:11). So individual Israelites were being baptized in accordance with the law of the priesthood so that they could be consecrated into that national priesthood.

    In accordance with that same law, Peter commanded repentence and baptism following Pentecost as he and the other Eleven continued to prepare Israel for the kingdom. This was required of them, considering what Jesus had recently commissioned them with in the well-known “Great Commission” passage of Matthew 28:19-20.

    There is much more to talk about on the subjectiii, but picture a six-year old telling her Daddy that she wants to be baptized, followed by him launching into a study of the Mosaic Law with her, detailing the various requirements set forth in it. Needless to say, it was fruitless for both of us. In fact, she literally begged me to stop the last time I attempted to explain the subject to her in the car on the way to Tae Kwon Do class. She was frustrated. And to be truthful, I was, too. Why couldn’t a six-year old understand the finer points of the law of the consecration of priests?

    Then it dawned on me. Dakota is very visual; she learns best when the education is hands on and fun. So when we got home and settled in, I called her to me and said, “Let’s talk about baptism some more.” “Awww, Daaaaad. Not again.” But I convinced her to hear me out. And what happened next was one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced. After that night, Dakota Sage never asked me to be baptized again.

    On a piece of paper, I drew the following:


    ...to represent Jesus. Crude, I know, but it would prove to be effective.

    I then asked Dakota to tell me some things she knew about Jesus and to write those things down next to His picture. She started with a few, and we worked together to come up with the following:



    Putting that piece of paper to the side for a few moments, I then asked her: “Did you know that in the Bible, there are a lot of different kinds of baptism?”

    “What do you mean?”

    “Well, I’ve told you that priests had to be baptized in water. So there’s one. Other people would be washed or baptized as a ritual cleansing if they touched something dead, for instance iv. Even though we’re not under the law, the next time you touch a dead goat I’m going to baptize you, too...just so you’ll know.” Can’t be too serious and risk losing her again. “Anyway, baptism is just a word that means immersed in something...completely surrounded by something, or something like that. So it doesn’t have to be water. Paul talks about the Israelites being baptized into Moses v. How can someone be baptized into a person, instead of water? Do you slice him open and crawl inside?”

    With a puzzled look, “I don’t know.”

    “What Paul meant by that was that they were surrounded – completely immersed – into the Law which was delivered by Moses. Everywhere they went and everything they did, they were constantly reminded about the Law and its requirements. So they were immersed – baptized – into Moses whose main function was chief administrator of the Law. They were to completely take on that which Moses delivered to them. Does that make sense?”

    “Yessir.”

    We were doing good. “Paul also talks about a baptism into Christ. Based on what I just said about Moses, what do you think it means to be baptized into Christ?”

    “I’m not sure what you mean.”

    “The answer is right here on this piece off paper. But first, let me read something to you. ‘There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were 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 (Eph. 4:4-6).’ How many baptisms does Paul say there are?”

    “He said ‘one’.”

    “How many baptisms have we talked about that there are in the Bible?”

    “Three or four.”

    “So if Paul says there is only one, then all of those different kinds of baptisms can’t be what he’s talking about. So which one is he talking about?”

    “I don’t know.” So I read:

    “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” Rom. 6:3

    “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Gal. 3:27

    “...buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” Col. 2:12

    “Now, which ‘one baptism’ is Paul talking about?”

    “Baptism into Christ.”

    “You nailed it. Now let’s look at the picture.” And I drew the following:



    “What’s that look like?”

    “Kinda like water.”

    “Right. And here’s you going into the water.”



    “When you come back out of the water, what’s your body like?”

    “You’re wet.”

    “Why?” “

    Because water is wet.”

    “Beautiful! So if you get wet when you go under water because water is wet, what happens when you get baptized into Christ?” And I wrote her name inside the picture of Jesus’ body, giving us the following:



    Still a little puzzled but starting to see where I was heading, she honestly said, “I’m still not totally sure what you mean.”

    “If you get wet when you get baptized in water because water is wet, then when you are baptized into Jesus, something happens to you because of what He is. Look at the picture and tell me what you become?”

    Silence, a quizzical look as she stared at the picture...then the light flared to life. Her face lit up and she said, “Am I those same things He is?”

    Glory Hallelujah! She was on to something. “You got it. Just like you get wet when you are baptized in water - because water is wet - you also take on those things that Jesus is when you get baptized into Him. So that means it’s as if you were crucified, too. Not that you were actually killed. But when you believed in Him and entered into His Body, the old sinful part of you died. What else?”

    “Resurrected?”

    “Yep. Because He rose from the dead, you were also ‘raised’, so to speak, to a new life after your old one died. And it means you’ll get to rise to heaven one day, like He did, and live with Him forever. What else?”

    “I’m a Son of God, too!” No more questions. Now just excited answers. “You got it. The Bible says you were adopted as God’s child vi. Don’t stop now!”

    “I’m PERFECT!”

    “How cool is that!!? Because He is perfect, then that means you are, too. It doesn’t mean you do everything perfectly and never sin. But His perfection hides your imperfection. So God looks at you and sees His perfect Son. He treats you as if you’re perfect, meaning that you can live with Him forever in a place where only perfect people are allowed. You couldn’t be perfect on your own, so He did it for you.

    “So here’s a big question. Would you rather be wet...or perfect?”

    “Definitely PERFECT! Guess what Dad?!!!” Now shes’ taking over the conversation. I’m pumped up. “So I’m in here...,” pointing with her marker.



    “...but there are a lot of others out here.



    “So I need to tell them about Jesus so they can come in with me.



    ...and be perfect, too!!!”

    We continued to doodle and have lots of fun that night. She got it and was totally excited to have gotten it. Occasionally I’ll ask her what it means to be baptized into Christ. Her reply..

    “I’m PERFECT, just like Him!!”

    God requires perfection from His people. And only by being perfect can we live eternally with Him in heaven. But it is impossible for us to have never sinned, not even once, in our lives. We can try hard, but it will never happen. But by believing in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection and by placing our trust in Him as the One Who can save us from eternal separation from God, then we enter into His Body and take on His perfection. Dakota Sage clearly knows that she, as a person, is not actually perfect here on earth. So her declaration that, “I’m perfect” is by no means an arrogant one. Rather, it is an acknowledgement from a very wise young girl that she HAS BEEN MADE perfect by the blood of her Savior. God takes joy in her and approves of her because she has taken on the attributes of His holy, blameless, crucified and resurrected, perfect Son Jesus Christ.


    footnotes....
    i ...and we in the Body of Christ are not under the Law (Rom. 6:14)
    ii Ex. 29:4; 40:12; Lev. 8:5-6; 16:3-4; Num. 8:5-7; Heb. 9:9-10; et al
    iii For a detailed explanation of the basis for my belief on baptism, please pick up a copy of my book – Modern Church: Where Tradition Trumps Truth – at www.truthtrumpstradition.com.
    iv Lev. 17:15-16, e.g. v I Cor. 10:2
    vi Eph. 1:5



    Story by Randy Arendell
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    This is what it truly means to be a parent.

    Post of the year.

    Thanks for sharing this with us Randy.

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    An awesome story, and great lesson, from Chickenman.

    Heb 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
    "It is easier to contend with evil at the first than at the last." - Leonardo da Vinci

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    Quote Originally Posted by elohiym View Post
    An awesome story, and great lesson, from Chickenman.

    Heb 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

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    Great


    .....O LORD my God, in You I put my trust. Psalm 7:1
    .....To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
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    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. ~ Leo Buscaglia

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    Thanks folks. I appreciate that. It was a deep and fun moment with my kid.

    Randy
    Funny how threads morph.


    For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." ~ Paul


    "You should never wave to someone you don't know. What if he doesn't have a hand? Then he'll just think you're being cocky!" ~Mitch Hedberg

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    Good job man, very cool.
    Marge: "Aren't you going to give him the last rites?"
    Rev. Lovejoy: "That's Catholic, Marge - you might as well ask me to do a voodoo dance."



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    Wow, that's awesome!

    Thanks, LH, for calling my attention to this (though you did so unintentionally. )

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    Sozo,
    I bet you have some great teaching moments with your kids.
    Funny how threads morph.


    For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." ~ Paul


    "You should never wave to someone you don't know. What if he doesn't have a hand? Then he'll just think you're being cocky!" ~Mitch Hedberg

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    Quote Originally Posted by chickenman View Post
    Sozo,
    I bet you have some great teaching moments with your kids.
    Yep, they teach me something every day.

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    What was Jesus baptized in?

    "Into" is not the same thing as "in" - we are baptized into Christ when we are baptized in water - like Jesus was.

    "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," Matt 28:19 is a commandment for the disciples to baptize others - but there is no way to do that if what He means is to bring them into fellowship with Christ. Even preaching the Gospel can't do that, otherwise everyone would be baptized and therefore a disciple (since your reading of this would have to be that baptizing is the same thing as making disciples). By that sense of the word, only Christ could baptize anyone, but He commanded us to baptize. It can mean only one thing - follow Christ's example in water baptism as an act of obedience as a Christian.

    Yes, it is only symbolic, but so is communion - do you also teach your daughter to not partake in communion? No, it has no power to save, but neither does bearing the fruits of the spirit - do you discourage her allowing them to grow on her?

    Baptism is an act of obedience and was apparently very important to Jesus, otherwise He wouldn't have told them specifically to baptize His followers.
    Futility: "More than at any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and hopelessness; the other, to total extinction. Let us pray that we will have the wisdom to choose correctly. I speak, by the way, not with any sense of futility, but with a panicky conviction of the absolute meaninglessness of existence."
    - Woody Allen

    Hope:
    Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
    Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthyŚmeditate on these things.
    Philippians 4:6-8

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    Quote Originally Posted by nicholsmom View Post
    What was Jesus baptized in?

    "Into" is not the same thing as "in" - we are baptized into Christ when we are baptized in water - like Jesus was.
    You are baptized into his life, death, and resurection. He kept the law for you. If you keep one part of it, you are required to keep it all.

    "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," Matt 28:19 is a commandment for the disciples to baptize others
    Kingdom gospel for Israel. Learn to rightly divide.
    Jesus saves completely. http://www.climatedepot.com/ http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/

    Titus 1

    For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped

    Ephesians 5

    11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick M View Post
    You are baptized into his life, death, and resurection. He kept the law for you. If you keep one part of it, you are required to keep it all.
    Yep, we are baptized into Christ's life, death and resurrection when we are baptized in water.

    Not that I think that you will rethink your theology based on anything I might bring to your attention, but consider the following. Christ fulfilled the law for us in every way in making atonement for us on the cross of Calvary. That was all we needed for fulfillment of the law. The baptism of priests (as well as the other baptisms mentioned by chickenman) was done to cleanse them ritually from their sins, but Jesus had no sin. So why was He baptized if not so that we would follow Him? We are called to follow Him - even to the cross. He said that if any wish to follow Him, then he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow. Yes, Jesus made the sacrifice that we could not make, but that clearly didn't mean that we needn't sacrifice, otherwise what did Jesus mean by denying ourselves and taking up our crosses? So the sacrifice of Jesus was all sufficient to provide atonement, but didn't negate our obligation to make our own sacrifices - just that they aren't sacrifices under the law (animals and such). Likewise, the baptism of Christ did not negate our obligation to be baptized, as an act of obedience to Christ.

    Kingdom gospel for Israel. Learn to rightly divide.
    Jesus Himself is my leader, not Paul. And you incorrectly read Paul to negate the commands of Christ. Matt 5:17-19 is directly repeated by Paul in Rom 6:19. Also see Rom 2:13, and then later to clarify Rom 3:31, Rom 6:15.

    More to the point: Romans 7:7 - which makes clear that obedience to the law is not sinful, otherwise it would be a sin to follow the command to honor your parents, etc.
    Futility: "More than at any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and hopelessness; the other, to total extinction. Let us pray that we will have the wisdom to choose correctly. I speak, by the way, not with any sense of futility, but with a panicky conviction of the absolute meaninglessness of existence."
    - Woody Allen

    Hope:
    Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
    Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthyŚmeditate on these things.
    Philippians 4:6-8

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    a-atheist chickenman's Avatar
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    Hi, nicholsmom. I hope you and that sweet little girl are doing well. When you get a chance, go to YouTube and search for "Miley can sing and dance". There are three videos that I posted last night. My 22-yr old sister-in-law (who has Downs Syndrome) is singing with a band and dancing. Quite a memory.

    Anyway...
    "Into" is not the same thing as "in" - we are baptized into Christ when we are baptized in water - like Jesus was.
    Can you demonstrate this from scripture? Where do the scriptures state that baptism into water results in one being baptized into Christ?

    Quote Originally Posted by nicholsmom View Post
    Yep, we are baptized into Christ's life, death and resurrection when we are baptized in water.
    Again, can you demonstrate this from the scriptures?

    So why was He baptized if not so that we would follow Him?
    He actually said why He was baptized.
    But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. Matt. 3:14-15
    So do you instruct others to be water baptized because they must do it in order to fulfill all righteousness?

    By Jesus saying that, He proved that He was doing it because it was part of the righteous requirement of the law. He had to do it to fulfill all righteousness.

    Furthermore, those who participated in and bore witness to John's baptisms knew that it pertained to the law of purification.

    Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying. John 3:25


    Of all things, a dispute arose about purification (apparently, who had the right to administer the ceremony)...while they were witnessing John's water baptisms. They knew the significance of the event.


    There's only one baptism that has any relevance to the Body of Christ. That's the baptism BY the Spirit INTO Christ. If we are to follow water baptism as commanded by Jesus and the Twelve, then we MUST take the scriptures literally and teach that doing so is required show of faith in order for one to receive remission of sins and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit...and, of course, in order for one to be saved.

    My 2 cents. Take care.
    Randy
    Funny how threads morph.


    For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." ~ Paul


    "You should never wave to someone you don't know. What if he doesn't have a hand? Then he'll just think you're being cocky!" ~Mitch Hedberg

    __.._

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