Baptism

People in our church who are reading the Bible almost every day of the year and are getting through the entire Bible in a year often ask me about the book of Leviticus when they are reading in it. I respond and say four things; first, all the detailed descriptions of bulls, goats, sheep, and turtle doves getting offered up as bloody burnt offerings shows the extent that God will go to, to take care of our sin. Second, reading Leviticus makes me so thankful that I was born on this side of the cross so now all I had to do to be forgiven was to believe the gospel and commit to following Jesus as Lord. Third, there were many of the Israelites who even with such detailed instructions on how to have their sins taken care of failed to follow the instructions and were excluded from God’s family, so even though salvation is much simpler today than in the book of Leviticus, many miss the whole message of the gospel and settle for a mental assent to a historical fact as the gospel, and someday they will find themselves excluded from God’s eternal family and it will be too late to do anything about it. Fourth, God loves ceremonies, or spiritual ordinances, that explain or picture spiritual truth, the book of Leviticus is full of them. In the New Testament, there are only two of them, baptism and communion, physical ceremonies that explain or picture spiritual truth. Recognizing as we read the book of Leviticus how important ordinances are to God we ought to take Baptism very seriously. Because we are eternally saved by grace through faith in the gospel apart from any works of righteousness many see baptism as an option that they can ignore. Read Romans 6:3-7 through slowly three or four times and then write down two or three observations. Better yet, read through the end of chapter six and write down four or five observations. Always be a seeker of God’s truth and don’t allow past paradigms to blind us to new truth in God’s plan.

Romans 6:3-7
Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.

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