Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Morning Cup of Tea: Baptism

 Good morning! I think it's going to be another beautiful day. The sun is shining, people are already busily driving down my street, and my dear son has been awake for who knows how long this morning. He woke me up this morning. I heard someone knocking and my sleep filled brain decided that it was hubby coming home from work and couldnt get in, or one of the neighbors needing something. It was neither; hubby is at work this morning, not coming home yet. It was my dear son, knocking on the bathroom wall.  He got me up and moving so that is what counts. 
  Today we are in the third chapter of John. Jesus had been invited to the home of Nicodemus, a Pharisee. Apparently Nicodemus didn't want anyone else to know he was wanting to learn from Jesus because he was there at night. Jesus taught him that he needed to be reborn (v3) in order to enter the Kingdom of God. Nicodemus either did not understand or thought it highly amusing that a man could be reborn. Jesus explained to him that we must be born of water and the Spirit. Baptism. Jesus continued teaching him, and taught that he himself would soon die in order that those who believe might be saved. John 3:16, one of the most widely known verses in the bible, says For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
  Stop and think about that a minute.  God loved the world --this means the people of Jesus' earthly time, those before him, and us, you and me. He loved us enough to send his only Son down to earth to teach, do miracles so that others might believe, and eventually, to die. He was sent to take our place. MY place. I have a son. If someone came to me and said Dottie, your son is in a place where if he dies he could save so many people. If he doesn't die, everyone's going to die. I would have a very hard time sacrificing my son's life for others, especially those who wouldn't understand that sacrifice, much less appreciate what he'd done. This was a tremendous thing that Jesus did, dying on the cross for our sins. And all we have to do is believe, right?
But what did Jesus tell Nicodemus? You need to be baptized. Now look at  verse 22 of this chapter. After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.
23. And John also was baptizing in Enon, near Salim,because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.
  If you read a little further,to John 4:2, John tells us that Jesus himself didn't baptize, but the disciples did. Is that a contradiction with verse 22? No. The baptisms were done on behalf of Jesus, so then it can be said that Jesus baptized. We are not saved through the person immersing us into the water, but through Jesus. To learn more about that, please read here and here .  
  I'll talk more on this chapter tomorrow. In the meantime, feel free to leave comments or questions, or discuss. I don't always answer, but I try to.  Have a great day. 

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