Pastor Utibe Abasi:
There are two very important commands that Jesus gave to the Church, both of them having very powerful spiritual significance. One is water baptism and the other, the taking of the Holy communion.
Today, I want to talk about the former – water baptism. In Mathew 28:18-20, Jesus said:
“…all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father, and of the son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, i am with you always, even unto the end of the world…”
Hallelujah! The word ‘baptism’ itself came from the Greek word, ‘Baptizo’. It means to immerse – completely dip into something. Water baptism therefore means an immersion – not sprinkling or washing – but an immersion in water, and I will show you the spiritual significance of this in a moment.
In Romans 6:3-5; the Word reveals what actually transpired in the spirit when Jesus died, was buried and was raised from the dead. Take a look:
“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.”
Hallelujah! What is this telling you? That when Jesus died, you (the old man) died with Him; when He was buried, you were buried with Him; and when He was raised from the dead, you (not the same old man) were raised with Him with a brand new life. Shout hallelujah! This is the reason Jesus asked us to be baptized in water. Water baptism is a symbol of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.
When you are dipped into the water, you identify with His death and burial, and when you are brought up out of the water, you identify with His resurrection. Water baptism in itself isn’t a requirement for salvation, for we are saved by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:8. However Jesus asked us to do it because it symbolizes all that I have talked about so far and is a public demonstration and testimony of your faith and commitment to Him. Hallelujah!