Baptism With or Without Water
13. Baptism is with or without physical water in burial (Rom. 6.4) and resurrection (v.5) to come out of the world into a living hope of newness (1 Pet. 1.3) with Christ.
Water represents His non-atoning death. At the time of baptism, there is not
only a spiritual meaning involved; for is it not also an outward act of
baptizing with real water? This outward act helps to bring out the inward
spiritual meaning (and refreshing others by washing their feet from defilement
with the world-see John 13.1-17; 1 Tim. 5.10). How will you express the reality
that you are dead? By being baptized. We Christians have a death that delivers
us out of Adam, as well a 'birth' that brings us to Christ. In between this
death and birth is a floating bridge which is burial that is expressed through
baptism. This enables us to cross from the side of Adam to the side of Christ.
For baptism connects Adam to us on the one end and Christ to us on the other. It
says farewell to Adam and breaks off all connection with him. It also brings us
into Christ and a new beginning with Him. Though all the waters of the world
will not be able to wash away a single one of my sins, yet the water of baptism
testifies that 'by death I come out of Adam, but through burial I am able to
enter into Christ. I am now in Christ, therefore my sins are cleansed and I am
Do you believe baptism is, after having died on the cross, with or without water in burial (Rom. 6.4) and resurrection (v.5) to come out of the world into a living hope of newness (1 Pet. 1.3) with Christ? Is it for service to come out of the world by asking a member of the body of Christ to bury you which lets Christians know you are a member of the same body ("by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body" 1 Cor. 12.13) and baptized by God (see 1 Cor. 1.30)? "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned" (Mark 16.15-16). Salvation is coming out of the water (world) itself, not the effect of having done so; perdition is staying in. You were not the only one who went down in the water; your world went down with you. Does the water represent Christ, since "baptized into Christ" (Rom. 6.3a) is into water; as well as death, since we are "baptized into his death" (6.3b)? Is baptism a testimony before angels and men that your sins were washed away and forgiven by God? Was your baptism the appeal, testimony, "the answer of a good conscience toward God" (1 Pet. 3.21), taking a public stand God has placed in you in Christ? Since you have died and don't want the old life anymore so you let it be buried through baptism.
Do not live as though you need to repeat the "teaching of baptisms, not laying again a foundation of repentance" of water, Spirit, and judgment by fire (Heb. 6.1-2, Matt. 3.11). The fire of the gospel should not be suppressed (Luke 12.49) for which Jesus had a "baptism to be baptized with" (v.50) by His death on the cross and was buried. But let the fire spread. Upon experiencing the baptism of the Holy Spirit did your intuition become acutely sensitive to discover in your spirit a spiritual world open up before you (of things and beings) so that not only can you touch the supernatural power of God but are able to contact God's Third Person as well? (As the Apostles were taught of the Scriptures by the Lord after Calvary; but they were made conscious of the real existence of a spiritual realm following the Spirit-baptism at Pentecost, the starting point of spiritual warfare with the enemy-an engagement of spirit with spirit. Going into the water I simply act the whole thing out, affirming publicly that the "judgment of the world" became real to me from the day when the "lifted up" Son of Man drew me to himself.)
Once a believer has contacted the Person of God via the baptism in the Holy Spirit, he then has his own spirit released. He now senses the reality of the things and beings in the spiritual domain. With such knowledge (and let us call to mind that the knowledge of a spiritual man does not accrue to him all at once; some of it may, and usually does, come through many trials), he encounters Satan. Only those who are spiritual perceive the reality of the spiritual foe and hence engage in battle (Eph. 6.12). Such warfare is not fought with arms of the flesh (2 Cor. 10.4). Because the conflict is spiritual so must the weapons. It is a struggle between the spirit of man and that of the enemy—an engagement of spirit with spirit.
Baptism and Circumcision
Baptism belongs to the new covenant (not the old covenant) and is only upon confession of faith in Christ. "And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing" (Acts 8.36-39). Circumcision was under the old covenant and without faith. Neither baptism nor circumcision saves souls. Circumcision does not effect forgiveness of sins, regeneration (salvation) or eternal life. It couldn't even be a symbol thereof since it was only for males 20 years of age and older. It was for all male descedants of Abraham. Even Ishmael, a rank unbeliever, was circumcised, as were millions of Jews who never had the faith of Abrham but rebelled against God and are going to be resurrected for hell.
If, as Calvin taught, circumcision effects "forgiveness of sins, and eternal life...i.e., regeneration," how could Jews who were circumcised be lost, and why did Paul cry out to God "for Israel...that they might be saved" (Rom. 10.1)? Why was he so concerned for the salvation of circumcised Jews that he said, "I would wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: who are Israelites" (Rom. 9.3-4; see Jer. 44.4-6)? Clearly, circumcision did not provide "forgiveness of sins and eternal life." Nor does baptism! Calvin's erroneous teaching concerning salvation of infants by baptism born into Roman Catholic or Calvinist families and his insistence everyone must be regenerated before believing in Christ only shows John Calvin was never saved and will be resurrected for hell. God's condemnation of millions of Jews, in spite of their having been circumcised, refutes Calvin's unbiblical statements about circumsion. For the record, John Cavlin admits he has no recollection of being being born-again in a real authentic choice for Christ. It was always just assumed. Anabaptists are catabaptist with regard to infant baptism (paedobaptism) so they rebaptize because of false baptism in childhood. This proper baptism is the "believer's baptism" or credobaptism upon a genuine choice for Christ, for which many Christians have been martyred by the Roman Catholics and Calvinists.