Many people were taught to have Christ incorporated into their lives. To have Christ to come alongside them, to help them, bless them, protect them and to be available when they need Him. That is not the truth of the Gospel or the reason Christ came. Christ came to restore us back to who we were created to be, sons and daughters who reflect the image and glory of God, which is displayed in the life of Christ. Jesus came and showed us how we are to live this life and to be our example so thatwe can live transformed and be a living reflection of the Image of God on the earth. Christ crucified is our example of transformation. Christ’s life, His death, burial and resurrection, is our life goal. The Bible says we are to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This baptism is a type or a symbol of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ that should be taking place in every true Christian’s life.
Matthew 28:19 – 20 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, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. NKJV
Many people lack an understanding of the symbolic meaning of Baptism. Some are taught that baptism is the thing to do to become a member of a church or to become part of the social aspect having allrights and privileges as other members. However, this is not thecomplete comprehension of baptism. Many people have gone into the water dry and came up wet and that was all they know about the transformation of baptism. True baptism is a proclamation of a death, our death to self, and it represents the burial of our old self, and the resurrection of a new life in Christ.
When our body goes under water it represents us going into a watery grave, which signifies the death and burial of the old life as we knew it. When we are brought up from the water, this symbolizes we are raised into the resurrection of a new life in Christ. This is significant, because a dead man no longer has an agenda. A dead man is no longer offended. A dead man no longer concerns himself with the desires and yearnings of this world. This is seen in the life of a mature Christian who see themselves dead to selfishness and self–indulgences of this fallen world system but alive to the spiritual and eternal things of God.
In true baptism, Christians are to be so identified with the death of Christ that they realize they no longer have a life to live for themselves.They believe Jesus died for them and if He died for them then they, also died in Him and are dead to their own selfish concerns. We as Christians are to now live for the concerns of Christ and His purpose for our lives and to reflect the glory of God in the earth. Our lives are no longer our own, we have been bought with a price, with the precious Blood of Jesus Christ. Baptism represents the death of the old person and the resurrection of a new person who is now born again into the family and household of God, our Father. Just as when a seed is buried in the ground, it dies and no longer lives in its original form. It is transformed into roots and then sprouts into another form that will bring into existence new fruit or a new form of life.
When people refuse to die to self, it is because they are still, so in love with themselves. Their focus is still on how they can fulfill their own desires and wants. People who are self-focused and are living for immediate gratification of self, most times they will end up living their lives alone and in misery. At times some people may even want to incorporate Christ into what they are doing, rather than dying to their old ways and allowing God to transform them into the image of Christ.People who continue to love this fallen world system and the life theylive in it, will fail to see God’s purpose and they lack an eternal perspective of life.
At times some people may recognize the hurt and problems they bring on themselves and others around them because of their greed and their love of this fallen world system, more than the life and truth of God. Some may even come to hate the destruction that is brought into their lives without Christ and seek God. This life span that God has given usto live on the earth, will determine our eternal destiny. We all have an eternal spirit, the question is, where will we spend this eternity? God has given each person, a will and a life, to demonstrate the choices they make for eternity. It is when we come to truly know the love God has for us and understand His desire is to restore us back into His image, for His glory, that we will be able to choose to die to self. Then the life of Jesus Christ be our example and we will be able to love others as Christ has loved us.
John 12: Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. NKJV
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. NKJV
Baptism signifies the beginning of a new life in Christ. The old things are passed away and we are a new creation, born again into a new life, new family and a new kingdom. We have transferred our citizenship from this old fallen world system back into the kingdom of God. Wewill appear as strangers and foreigners to those living in this fallen world but we are to become ambassador for our new country, the kingdom of God. Those who are of the world will try and incorporate Jesus into their lives for His benefits and blessings. However, True believers in Christ will be transformed to live a different life a different way. When we submit our will to obey God, we can be certain that God will complete the good work He has begun in us. It is not our work it is our submission and faith in His word.
Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus ChristNKJV