Although this verse is speaking of baptism by John the Baptist, the spiritual lesson here and in believer’s baptism in the name of Jesus Christ are the same. We acknowledge in water baptism our willingness to accept God’s purpose for our lives. God has a purpose -a plan – for each one of us. But if we will not obey His command to “Be baptized” we reject His purpose for us, and God’s purposes are best!
8. BAPTISM AND SEPARATION FROM THE OLD LIFE:
“I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea” (1 Corinthians 10:1, 2).
The only other Old Testament incident given to us as a picture of water baptism is the baptism of the Israelites in the Red Sea. Actually, while the level of the water was well above their heads, and the water was ”a wall to them on their right hand and on their left, . . . the people of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea” (Exodus 14:29).
They had been saved from the judgement of God through the blood of the lamb on their doors. They were set free from bondage and slavery to the Egyptians. But their “baptism into Moses” meant full and final separation from Egypt, Pharaoh King of Egypt, and the Egyptians. Pharaoh and the Egyptian chariots and horsemen were thrown into the sea, and destroyed under the waters which God brought upon them (Exodus 15:19,21).
In the same way, believers who have followed their Lord through the waters of baptism, and even those intending to be baptized, should live lives of complete separation from bad habits, and the vain ways of the world.
9. BAPTISM FULFILLS ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS:
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John to be baptized by him. John would have prevented Him, saying ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him ‘Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he consented. And . . . Jesus was baptized” (Matthew 3:13-16).
If the sinless, spotless Son of God, the Lord Jesus, had to be baptized to fulfill all righteousness, then who are we to say we do not need to be baptized in water as He was? Believers show in their baptism they are willing to fulfill all righteousness like their Lord.
10. BAPTISM AND REJOICING:
“And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught up Philip; and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:38, 39).
”He was baptized at once, with all his family . . . and he rejoiced with all his household that he had believed in God” (Acts 16:33, 34).