Raised To Life

Raised To Life

Raised To Life

3C

Matthew 28:18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  (NLT)

 

Where there is a dream, it unites a team, and where there is a team united, conquest can take place.  The importance of this can hardly be over-emphasized.  The Bible is very clear on the absolute significance God ascribes to teamwork.  Whenever a team comes together the potential of what can be achieved increases exponentially.  Conquering through teamwork is not something exclusive to the Kingdom.  Wherever there is a unified team, regardless of the extent to which their dream or goal is godly, there can be conquest.

 

Bearing this in mind it becomes of paramount importance to ensure that the dreams we dream line up with the dreams God dreams.  Human dreams can never compare with the plans and purpose God has in mind for us.  Considering the Word of God His heart and His ultimate dream filters through from Genesis to Revelation – that all should be saved and that none should perish (Matthew 18:14; John 3:16).  Jesus makes this dream very clear in the great commission (Matthew 28:19) when He gives His final instruction to the disciples just before He ascends to heaven:  “…go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”.  

 

Although we mostly understand and emphasize the significance of salvation and to a certain degree discipleship, we easily lose track of the importance Jesus ascribed to following in His footsteps when it comes to being baptized.  Jesus fulfilled the requirement of God when He went to John the Baptist to be baptized (Matthew 3:15).  Not only did He Himself meet the requirement, He also instructed His disciples to teach their followers to be baptized.  Baptism is extremely important to God.  If for no other reason, we should be baptized because we are true followers of Christ – He got baptized and we do exactly as He did.  

 

Baptism is so essential because it signifies becoming one with Christ not only in death, but also in resurrection to life (Romans 6:3-4).  Just like Jesus died in human form and was resurrected to live forever, we die to our flesh and to ourselves when we give our lives to Him.  In baptism we are raised to a new, victorious life in Christ where it is no longer us that live, but Christ in us.  In this we are set free from all debt, bondage and vulnerability to the devil’s attack.  When we are one with Christ in death, the very same power that rose Him from the dead, also works in us to establish new life in and through us.  It is the same power that enables us to conquer and to move out from under the devil’s authority.  We do not get baptized in order to become part of a family, to get a name or even to obtain access to heaven.  

 

Baptism signifies becoming part of a specific leader.  In 1 Corinthians 10:2 Paul teaches that the Israelites were baptized into Moses as their leader when they walked under the cloud and passed through the Red Sea.  Likewise we are to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, so becoming followers of the Lord.  Baptism is a public declaration of the fact that we are wholly and completely united with the Lord and dead to our old life.  In exactly the same way the Red Sea closed behind the Israelites and so permanently separated them from their old life of slavery in Egypt, baptism indicates a new beginning, free from the hold of sin and slavery. 

 

Being baptized, just like being liberated from the enemy’s dominion and intimidation, is not a suggested optional.  It is part of the great commission, it is a substantial part of the dream and therefore a requirement of God that should be met in order to step into the fullness of what He has for us.  

 

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