We were blessed to witness a number of baptisms at the Feast of Tabernacles this year. The manner and format in which they were carried out was extremely uplifting and scriptural. The outpouring of love as new members were added to the family of Yahweh was immense with the crowd breaking into songs of joy. While it is a joyous occasion, it is also a sobering one. When one of us publicly accepts Jesus as our savior and is immersed, we put ourselves directly into the cross hairs of the Adversary. Satan wants to be worshiped so when we publicly accept God and His Son, we are rejecting Satan outright. Satan, in his immature, hateful, and covetous way, will then attempt to do anything to drag the new child of God away from God.
Most of Christianity teaches that baptism is the end of a journey of learning. Some denominations require years (yes years) of study and classes before converts are allowed to join. Further complicating the matter, those converts are baptized into specific churches, most often after having to sign a document that they agree with all the doctrine of that church. Do we see this practice in the New Testament? No. Not even close, actually. In Acts 8:27-39, we see the Spirit guide Philip to convert an Ethiopian Eunuch after a brief meeting and twice in Acts we see thousands baptized after hearing one message. What are they told to do before Baptism?
Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:37-38
And to whom does this apply?
“For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” Acts 2:39
These three verses are so easy to do. All someone needs to do is to believe Yeshua is the Messiah, repent of their sins, and then they can be Baptized into the family of God.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:3-9
Baptism represents a re-birth. We come up out of the water a new person, this time by choice. Baptism is the turning point in a person’s life where we have publicly decided that, no matter the consequences, we will follow Yahweh and His Son all the rest of our lives. It is a starting point in our relationship with the Most High. As Peter wrote above, we are reborn to a living hope of obtaining an imperishable inheritance. When a child is born, he or she comes out of the water he or she was formed in. That newborn looks to his or her parents for complete sustenance. He or she begins to grow and can then hold the bottle themselves, then feed themselves, and on to maturity. This is exactly the path for a new believer with one exception. While we learn and grow in our faith, we never stop depending on our Father for complete sustenance.
To close this post I would like to ask prayers for the recently Baptized. I would like to ask Yahweh to protect them as they are now born again infants. Pray that they be filled with the Holy Spirit to guide them into all truth. In the name of the Messiah, Yeshua. Amen