I’m fine with people that testify that baptism is important in the Christian disicpleship, although I myself don’t find it an obligation. I find it intresting that the writer of this gospel (John 4:1-3) thought it necissary to mention that it was the disciple nd not Jesus doing th baptising. If I were a requirement obligated by God then wouldn’t Jesus be the one doing the dipping? Theology and methodology aside, what exactly is baptism? The word means to immerse, or to saturate. Those that hold to the idea of immersion as the only way to baptise do have a point, since that is what the word means. But what about the saturate part? To be saturated completly with the Spirit is the essence of what baptism represents. To leave what was before and beng filled completly with something as to change the form. I like to think of it as the little foam animals that used to come in the capsules. You put them in water and they grow several times larger than the original size. That is what life is like before and after being immersed and saturated by the Spirit of God. Yes just like the animal in the capsule has the potential of being enjoyed as a dinosaur or giraffe but it first must be immersed. Without being saturated the potential is never fully seen or explored. This gets me to thinking about my own life, have I allowed the Spirit to saturate me completly or am I trying to hang onto the shell that keeps me from being exposed? And what would my potiental life be if I were to fully immerse my life in the Spirit? Probably a more intrestin question would be what would our churches and meeting look and act like if we were fully saturated in the grace of God.
Then I wonder what is holding me back? I can say that what holds me back isn’t God. I get trust issues at times. I like to see things fully before I act. Which is really hard with God. He doesn’t always show us everything and that’s actually good, He only shows enough to get us going. If He would have said to me, “go to Ukraine teaching English and sharing the Gospel, then come home and enter into the ministry.” I would have gone running the other direction. But he saturated my desire to see Ukraine wth an opertunity that made sense to me (He met me where I was) then he added more Spirit in other areas till I realised that I should pursue something I my life beyond crop genetics. Till I was immersed and saturated enough to become a pastor. I’m sure He isn’t done yet and there are more areas of my life that are still in need of the saturation of His Spirit, but I can say that I am the one holding myself back.
Jesus didn’t baptise his disciples did. Sure he didn’t oppose the use of this symbolic practice, but only because it pointed to a greater reality. God saturates and immerses, we respond to what He is doing. The disipline of baptism is an institution ad requirement men imposed to help us understand that God is washing us clean and making us new. Beyond that it is just a ceremony where a pasto or priests gets to play with water at your expense.
The last line cracked me up! Very good points.