The Master’s Plan, Baptism | What You’ve Been Searching For

The Master’s Plan, Baptism | What You’ve Been Searching For March 8, 2021

We’re talking discipleship and the master’s plan. What part does baptism have in it? Well, you might think I have a lot of well-developed ideas on that, but you’d be wrong. I’m just learning myself. This is What You’ve Been Searching For. I’m Joel Fieri. Stay tuned. Let’s talk about it.

As we mentioned, we’re talking discipleship, and for that, we’re looking at the master’s plan, Jesus’s plan as He articulated in the great commission. Now, last week, we talked about one aspect of that great commission, which was teaching our disciples to obey everything Jesus commanded. Obedience is the key to living the Christian life. It’s the key to loving Jesus and it’s even the key to loving each other. And if you didn’t catch that conversation, we’ll put the link below. This week, I wanted to take the second aspect we pointed out last week, and that is baptism. What role does baptism play in discipleship? Jesus mentions it. He says, “Go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” And then he goes on to tell us to teach them to obey everything he commanded.

But I’ve got to tell you, with all my experience in my younger days in discipleship, all the training I received, I was encouraged to be baptized. I was baptized in obedience, but I never learned, and it was never emphasized what role baptism itself has to play in discipleship. But it’s right there in the great commission. Jesus said it. He made it very prominent, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. So, I, in preparing this podcast, I had to do some research and to look up what some people thought, and it’s very interesting. In baptism, no matter what you think of it, sprinkling or immersion, however you practice it or whatever you believe, it’s an identification with Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection. Going under the water or being under the water, His death, coming out, His resurrection, and that we are cleansed by Jesus’s death, and we have new life as part of His resurrection. And that is a public statement.

So, for discipleship, when we disciple people and baptize them, we’re telling them this is your first public proclamation of your faith. This is your outward expression of what it is inwardly that you are committing to, that you are becoming a disciple of this Jesus you are following. This is what His mission on earth was, and this is why I’m following Him. This is why I’m His disciple. So, that sets the disciple on a course of following Jesus. But with that also comes the baptism of the Holy Spirit. And that’s another conversation we can have whether you’re baptized at conversion or whether it’s a second blessing, but I’m not going to get into that now. But either way, the baptism of the Spirit, the Bible makes it very clear to us that that is what gives us the power to follow Jesus, the power to walk with Him and obey His commands.

But it’s interesting, with that, you would think that is all we need. We’ve identified. We put our faith and we’ve made our outward expression of what our faith is. The death, burial, resurrection, and cleansing power of Jesus’s death and His blood, and then we have the power to walk with Him, that should be enough for us. But it’s not. As we talked about last week, Jesus designed discipleship to be done with other Christians. Last week, we talked about what Paul said to Timothy. 2 Timothy 2:2, “Timothy, the things you’ve seen in me, entrust a faithful man, and they’ll be able to teach others also.” So, there’s this always this idea that discipleship and Christianity is not made to be solely between us and God, us and Jesus. It’s not just identifying with His death, burial, and resurrection, and His cleansing power and the power He gives us to lead the Christian life. We still need our brothers and sisters. We still need to be discipled by an older, wiser Christian, and we still need to reproduce ourselves in younger, less experienced Christians.

That’s the master’s plan. And I’m just learning how baptism fits into that. Quite honestly, I’d never thought of it before, but I’m glad I did. I’m glad I looked at it closely and I’m glad that God gave me eyes to see that this is an integral part of the discipleship process. And many of us neglect that. We just think, “Oh, baptism, it’s just a little ceremony.” But it’s not. It’s our public profession of what we are becoming disciples of and who we are becoming disciples of, and why He’s significant, and why what He did is significant.

So, I hope that helps. I hope that opens up a good conversation. Again, I would love to continue the conversation and learn more myself. So, those are my thoughts on baptism. And again, I’m learning. I hope you’re learning too. Let’s keep the conversation going. Next week, I’m going to continue the series and wrap it up with, as you might’ve guessed, the third aspect of the great commission which is to make disciples of all nations. What part does the concept of all nations have to do with discipleship? So, stay tuned for that. Again, if you enjoyed this podcast, go to our website, for more good content like this. And as always, look us up on Apple, Spotify, all those other podcasts platforms. Look for us on YouTube, and Rumble, and Parler, and any of these other platforms we can get on that are coming up. Most of all, join the conversation and join us next week.

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