HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
Most Christians are familiar with the idea of Baptism. Some Christians sprinkle the heads of infants when they are born.
The Biblical model of Baptism is a choice that someone who is of full age and understanding makes when they are fully immersed in water as they make a decision to follow Christ as their Lord and Savior. This baptism can be done by any Christian to another. It is a part of the Great Commission, and we are to do it in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.
This is the Baptism that is understood by most Bible believing Christians.
John the Baptist introduced us to this basic obedience when He baptized Jesus. As we go into the water it is a sign of dying to our old life of sin and our old ways. Coming out of the water is a symbol of rising out of the grave and living our new life in Christ. The old has gone. The new has come.
There are two types of Baptisms mentioned in the Bible.
There is baptism in water, and Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
In Pentecostal circles we understand both to a point. The Second one, the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, we understand as a filling with Power that results in Speaking in other tongues and seeing signs and wonders following our ministry for Jesus.
It is so much more than that.
There are two words in the Greek that give us the words Baptism, and both have entirely different meanings.
The first is the word-
Bapto – which means to wash or dip, it is a quick in and out. This is the idea behind being baptized in water. It is a baptism unto repentance. It makes us clean and free from sin.
Romans 6:4 - Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Baptizo – means to be submerged for a significant amount of time until what has been submerged becomes something entirely different than it was.
A very, very long time ago, a Greek poet and physician named Nicander, wrote a recipe for making pickles. This Greek writer used both words that can be understood as baptism, and in the context, we are able to see the two different meanings. Nicander said that in making pickles, one must bapto the vegetable (dip it) into boiling water, and then baptizo the vegetable (baptize it) in a vinegar solution.
We all know that dipping a cucumber in water doesn’t do much to change it; that action will rinse off some of the outside dirt and give you a pretty clean cucumber to munch on, but it won’t change the cucumber into a something else. Baptizing a cucumber, however, produces permanent change to the vegetable. Out of these two words, baptizo is the word we find in the Bible, and it’s the one that’s meaningful for us.
Submerging a cucumber in vinegar (baptizing a cucumber) results in a permanent change in the vegetable. It no longer looks the same, tastes the same, or smells the same as a cucumber. In fact, it’s identified by an entirely different name. It’s now a pickle! And pickles are used for entirely different meals than cucumbers.
A Disciple is - A fully devoted, committed, obedient follower of Jesus Christ.
Today we have many people who identify themselves as a Christian, but not as a disciple.
I believe the reason for this is that if they have been baptized, they have only been baptized into the baptism of repentance. This is good, but they have not been fully immersed in the Holy Spirit. They have not been pickled.
The two baptisms are necessary for every believer and follower of Christ.
The first Baptism is what makes us clean. It is the second baptism. The Baptizo – That truly changes us. It is a baptism of transformation. When a cucumber is placed in the pickling brine it is still just a cucumber in a pickling solution. Over time as the cucumber is fully immersed in the brine the cucumber changes because it soon becomes saturated with the pickling solution, and what was once on the outside is now fully on the inside, and everything about the cucumber is changed.
It no longer looks like a cucumber, tastes like a cucumber or smells like a cucumber. It is an entirely new thing - it is a pickle.
It is one thing for us to be IN the Spirit. It is a totally different thing when we allow the Holy Spirit INSIDE of us - so much so that we are totally transformed.
The reason so many Christians look and sound more like the world instead of more like Jesus is they are content to get the Holy Spirit on them, but they have yet to let the Holy Spirit to so saturate their life that they are something completely new.
Do you consider yourself a disciple or do you just identify with Christianity? This is an important question in our day and a vital distinction to make. We live in a time where people believe that they can self-identify with whatever they want. Just because you identify as something doesn’t make it so. All sorts of people have used false identities for ages for all sorts of reasons.
Jesus called us to make disciples. We are to call people to repentance, but also to a life of change. We are to make pickles and the Holy Spirit is the solution.
Know that you are loved. – Pastor Marvin & Dawn