We have been looking at the good process that takes place in a seeker's mind, heart, and life as God works to move them along toward saving faith in Christ. This process we are talking about has to do with the preliminary impact of the gospel on the one who is seeking God. This preliminary impact of the Gospel reaches its culmination at the moment the seeker genuinely embraces Christ in saving faith. We have been looking at the story of Philip and the Ethiopian man and it would seem that the preliminary process of the Gospel's impact has culminated in saving faith for this man.
Earlier we saw that the Ethiopian man said to Philip, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” Philip said to him, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Philip wanted to make sure that the Ethiopian man's response to Christ has come to the point of genuine saving faith. This brings us to today's passage where we see what happens next.
So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. Acts 8:38 (NKJV)
By saying that he wants to be baptized, the Ethiopian man is professing to have embraced Christ with mind, heart, and life and evidently Philip is satisfied that he is ready to be baptized. When a person is baptized in water they are proclaiming they have come to saving faith in Christ. This means they have embraced the claims of who Christ is and his redemptive provision (mind). It means they have embraced the person of Christ and he has entered into their inner being to dwell with them in intimate fellowship (heart). And finally, it means they have embraced the new way of living that Christ will bring about for them (life). We are focusing on "life" today and we turn to a passage from Romans to help us with this.
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. Romans 6:4
When we embrace Christ in saving faith we are immersed into his death, burial, and resurrection. To be baptized is to be immersed. Our Romans passage is talking about a spiritual baptism or immersion. So, saving faith is spiritual baptism. It is truly an amazing spiritual reality that we have been spiritually raised with Christ to a brand new "life." Water baptism is a picture of spiritual baptism or saving faith. This means that when we come up out of the waters of baptism we are proclaiming that we have embraced Christ fully and that we are committed to a lifetime of walking with him in newness of "life."
You were all baptized into Christ, and so you were all clothed with Christ. This shows that you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:27 (ICB)
Give yourself to the Lord; trust in him, and he will help you; he will make your righteousness shine like the noonday sun. Psalm 37:5-6 (GNT)
Lord, thank you for your plan of redemption. What an amazing thing it is to be forgiven and cleansed, to be indwelled with the intimacy of your presence, and to be walking with you in a brand new way of life. I bow before you, Lord, in worship, surrender, and love. Amen!
Posted on Fri, September 4, 2015
by Alan Porter