Next Sunday is Resurrection Day [commonly called “Easter”] Sunday –the special Day we observe to celebrate Jesus’ triumph over sin and death. Though every day is Resurrection Day for every Christian, and every Sunday is a day when we remember Jesus’ death and resurrection, this year the day of the week actually coincides with the original Passover week as observed by the Jews. Next Sunday will be the actual calendar day when Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus offered His body as a sacrifice and to be the First Fruits of the resurrection.
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ really is the most significant event in all of history. In fact, all of history points to that event. And the power of the resurrection lives in every Christian. Because Jesus rose from the dead, we can be victorious over this world. We need not fear death or sickness or hardship or any other difficulty because Jesus has empowered us to overcome this world. And the resurrection of Jesus Christ is personally united to our life through Christian immersion baptism. Please forgive the redundancy, but I use those three words because of all of the confusion surrounding what the Word actually teaches concerning our salvation. When we submit ourselves to immersion in water, we are actually offering up our old lives to God so that the power of Christ’s death is united to us and overcomes our sinfulness. Likewise, the power of Christ’s resurrection is united to us when we rise from the water after being “buried” with Him. And we are sealed into Christ with the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Presence of Christ –the Presence of God Himself. It is at that moment that we become eternal beings. Our spirits within us are revitalized and set free from the condemnation of sin. Our bodies, however, still await the fulfillment of God’s promise of eternal life. And the gift of God’s Spirit is God’s passionate pledge to us that He will resurrect our bodies at the “last harvest” when Christ returns.
Through the years, I’ve met many people who have been willing to ask Jesus to be their Savior but have refused to accept immersion. Some come from a so-called “faith only” tradition which teaches that baptism by immersion is not necessary. Others were christened as infants and when they realized that they needed to believe the Message of Jesus personally and receive immersion (as Christ actually commanded us to do), they refused out of a sense of loyalty to tradition or family. And the reasons to avoid immersion baptism abound. Please remember, Jesus is the One who teaches us. Jesus is the One who commands us –because He wants us to live forever with Him. If Jesus is the true Authority of the Church, then shouldn’t we listen to Him? But listening to Jesus requires change. And maybe that’s the real issue with most of us. Change can be scary. There is an ominous “dividing line” that lies before us and we know that if we cross that line… then things will never be the same. For some, the price seems too high. Probably because people don’t believe, don’t understand or are in denial that Jesus will return to judge everyone who ever lived. But the price will be too high for those who don’t obey Jesus. He is the only One who can save us. And if He’s the only One with the cure, we had better not settle for a Band-Aid.
If the “dividing line” scares you, please consider that Jesus promised to be with you always. And remember that Jesus created the Church so that we could help one another through this journey. And the only way that you can be united to Jesus’ Church is by following His instructions. And while ignorance won’t save a single one of us, the Truth sets us free. And that is what Jesus is really offering us: Freedom. Please consider getting immersed next Sunday if you have never done this and you want Jesus to be Your Savior forever. If you would like to do this, please call the office any time this week and I’ll be happy to answer any –ANY of your questions concerning this subject. Why is this important? Most importantly, so that you will not stand condemned for failing to obey the Gospel of Jesus. And also because true unity with Christ also means true unity with one another; we can serve you better if we are more accountable to one another. We desire a greater unity –the kind of unity that only Jesus can provide. Please pray about this and consider Jesus’ Words concerning immersion that you might be forever His.
Love in Jesus,