When we look at baptism, we think, and most of us would say in conversation, I have (or have not) been baptized. It is, more or less, an event that either has or has not taken place in an individual’s life.
If you have been baptized, chances are you haven’t mentioned your baptism all year long; perhaps longer than a year. Unless you have needed to baptize someone or discuss baptism with them, you haven’t said anything about your baptism. In fact, you may not have mentioned it for a very long time. We have been taught, and have assumed, that baptism is an event in our lives that we just accomplish. Do it. Get it done. Have it done to you.
Baptism should also be known to us as “The Circumcised Heart.”
Baptism has become irrelevant to the people and fallen far from the truth of God’s Kingdom. The New Testament Book of Colossians tells us that we are no longer circumcised by the hand of man, in the flesh, but rather the hand of God circumcises our heart through baptism.
“…in whom also you were circumcised with a circumcision not made by hands, in the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, being buried with Him in baptism, in whom also you were raised through the faith of the working of God, raising Him from among the dead.” (Colossians 2:11 & 12 LITV)
In other words, that which circumcision was (and represented) in the Old Testament, baptism has become in the New Testament. When the mark of the flesh in circumcision is upon you in the Old Testament, it is forever on you.
Now “in Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female.” The Lord saw it necessary to change some things. Baptism is given to us for a mark upon our hearts forever. It is not merely for an event in our life. All that circumcision gave to the covenant lovers of God (Elohim) in the Old Testament, baptism gives us all the more to us in the New Testament life. Christ has died for us and has been raised from the dead! Still, most of us don’t think about or even mention our baptism.
Baptism is the victorious battle agent that we should use.
Let’s go back in time and hear a portion of the famous story of David and Goliath. David, the brave heart! David, the giant slayer! Take your place in the long lineage of the covenant shepherd King David. You may call your giant sickness. Call it disease. Call it poverty. How does David face the terrible circumstance of the giant? He says, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17:26)
Okay, if circumcision is replaced with baptism, then what would we say in the face of our “giant?” How about something like: “Who is this un-baptized circumstance that it should taunt the child of the living God?”
Think for a moment about this; when we face our enemy, how often do we ever say anything about our baptism or who we are? We rarely make any separation of who we are in Him in any way. If we would do as David did and declare our covenant in the face of our enemy, then we would most probably have the same results and see the giants fall!
Suppose we look at that same era; the time of the giant slayers – the Philistine destroyers – the conquerors! Let us also consider Jonathan and his armorbearer. There is only one set of armor between the two of them, and there are only two sets of armor in all the army of Israel. King Saul has one, and Saul’s son, Jonathan, the other. Jonathan is away from the rest of the Israeli army, and he is alone with only his armorbearer. There is a whole garrison of the Philistines over on the other side of a chasm. He gets a Holy inspiration, and he says to his armorbearer; “Let us go unto the garrison of these uncircumcised, for perhaps the Lord will be with us.” (1 Samuel 14:6)
I have read the writings of some Bible scholars who have said that there may have been nearly a million Philistines against Israel at that time. No one knows how large this garrison was, but it could have been as much as a-million-to-one-odds against Jonathan and his armorbearer. We at least, know that they were against a multitude. We also know of the miracle that the Lord made manifest in their midst!
A multitude of mean, nasty and desperate Philistine warriors are just on the other side of that jagged canyon. But wait. Jonathan seems to have had a deepened thought. We can almost see His shoulders raising and a look of victory upon his face. He quickly glances to his armorbearer and announces, “Let’s go to the garrison of these un-baptized, for perhaps the Lord will be with us!”
Jonathan decided who he was. He remembered what his lineage was. He wasn’t just the kid of the king of a small insignificant group of people. His people were the children of the living God, and it was the living God Who said so. A stand must be taken! A declaration must be made! A plumb line must be drawn! “We are the Lord’s! They are not! We must win no matter what the odds!
We are the Lord’s!”
Jonathan and his armorbearer went to that garrison and declared who they were by announcing who those Philistines were NOT! The Lord was with Jonathan and his armorbearer!
“Let us go to the uncircumcised for perhaps the Lord will be with us!” The Lord was with them. The Lord is with “the circumcised!” That means that the Lord is with “the baptized!” He is not with “the uncircumcised.” He is not with “the un-baptized.”
What can we say then? When we pray in battle with the forces of evil, we need to have this victory in mind. Whether on our own behalf, we depress that we are baptized into Christ Jesus, or, on behalf of another believer, we announce that they are baptized and have that meaningful covenant with Christ.
Remember who you are.
We must remember. Remember who we are. Remember who the enemy is not. Remember our great covenant with the greatest of Kings! Baptism! That’s it! It is finished! He is risen! He has conquered death, and we have been not only crucified with Him, but we have been raised with Him in His power and victory!
David declared it! Jonathan announced it! It is time we started doing the same! The works of fear and doubt are enemies of the cross. Sickness, disease, and poverty are giants of a strange land that should be unknown to the child of God. The true and living God has given us power over the circumstances of life and the diabolical acts of an evil generation.
Let a new look come upon your face, and new thoughts come into your mind. “I am of the baptized! That settles it! I am the Lord’s, and He is with me!”
Let us annunciate our baptism. Let us have power over circumstances in life because of baptism. God’s people who are baptized are marked in their flesh with an indelible mark that does not have to submit to circumstances placed upon them by evil forces. David and the armies of Israel did not submit to Goliath. Why should we? Jonathan and his armorbearer did not submit to the garrison of those uncircumcised Philistines. Why should we?
All of this is the power in our Baptism!
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Thanks Wayne, I forgot how important baptism is. For the early church it was a line of demarcation, a Rubicon. Flip open the book of Acts and every time the Spirit fell and people believed, water baptism came next. Acts 2 and Acts 10 peter calls for the new believers to be baptized.
The first thing the Ethiopian eunuch said when he believed was “look here is water…”. The next step everyone knew back then !
Your excellent article sure got the wheels rolling.
Thanks, Carl! Love and blessing to you!
Thank you for writing this.. I’m printing this and giving this to my 17 year old grand daughter. I finally quit talking to her about this, but this sums up what she could possibly relate to..