B A P T I S M
The following scriptures show that baptism is involved in the matter of becoming a disciple of Yahshua the Messiah (commonly called "Jesus Christ"), and in obtaining salvation, and the remission of sins (i.e. the "sending away", or "dismissal." of sins, as the word translated "remission" means).
1. Matthew 28:18-20 "And Yahshua came and spake unto them, saying, ‘All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.
The word translated "teach", in "teach all nations", actually means "make a learner", or "a disciple of". Thus we see that to become a learner or disciple of Yahshua the Messiah we are to be baptized. Later we will see that the name He was referring to as the "name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" is, in fact, His own name - the name of Him to whom all power was now given. (Note that He did say "name of", not "names of".) So the first point is that you become a disciple of the Messiah by baptism in His name (as will be further shown).
2. Mark 16:15,16 "And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be damned."
Here we see that salvation is tied not only to believing the gospel, but also to responding to it by being baptized when you do believe. Baptism, as we will see later on, is actually the way Yahweh has given as the initial evidence of faith in the gospel. When you hear the gospel, or good news, that the Son of’ Yahweh died for our sins, was buried, and rose again, if you believe it, and are baptized you "shall be saved."
The gospel, or the good news, is that Yahweh’s Son died for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day having been seen alive by many witnesses (many of whom suffered the loss of everything, even life itself, to tell what they saw of a resurrected Savior). This passage in Mark gives the promise of the Savior that when this good news is preached the person who believes it and responds by being baptized will then "be saved". So baptism is clearly very closely connected with becoming saved according to this passage of scripture.
3. I Pet. 3:21 "The like figure whereunto baptism does even now save us (not the putting away of the dirt of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towardYahweh,) by the resurrection of Yahshua the Messiah.
In this passage the apostle Peter is comparing baptism to the water of Noah's day by saying that baptism, as the like figure to that water, "even now saves us". Baptism saves us by giving us a good conscience before Yahweh, and does so by the resurrection of Yahshua the Messiah from the dead.
4. Hebrews 10:22 "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water."
In this passage we find out that we can have full assurance of faith when our hearts are sprinkled from an evil conscience (by the blood of the Lamb being applied to our hearts by faith, of course). That this is done in baptism is seen by the fact that it then says, "and our bodies washed with pure water." This is a definite reference to baptism. Like the passage in I Peter that we just read it shows that baptism saves, not by some mystical effect, but by giving us a clear conscience toward Yahweh. It is in baptism, in other words, that our consciences are "sprinkled" with the blood of the Lamb of Yahweh who takes away the sin of the world. Yahshua's blood cleanses our hearts from our evil works or sins, when we believe the gospel and, therefore, respond by being immersed in His name "for the remission of sins."
5. Galatians 3:26 "For you are all the children of Yahweh by faith in the Messiah Yahshua. For as many of you as have been baptized into the Messiah have put on the Messiah."
Baptism is that expression of faith, or act of faith, which officially makes us children of the Almighty. We are baptized into Him and, thereby, put Him on.
6. Romans 6:3-5 "Know you not, that so many of us as were baptized into Yahshua the Messiah were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as the Messiah was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection."
We see here that we are put into the Messiah by baptism. We are made partakers of His death, which was as our substitute for sin ("for the wages of sin is death"), by baptism into His death. "We shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection", we are told, "if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death", that is, if we are "buried with Him by baptism."
7. Acts 2:38 "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Yahshua the Messiah for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
To "repent" means to "change your mind", in this case, from choosing to live for sin and self-gratification to choosing to live for Yahweh and His will. Both repentance and faith are to be expressed by baptism. Baptism, according to this passage, and others, is for the remission (or "sending away") of sins.
As seen here, Peter understood that the " name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" is actually the name of the Messiah, for he said to be baptized, "in the name of Yahshua the Messiah". (The Father is Yahweh as He dwells in the heavens and manifests Himself, from His infinity, in a form seen by angels, but invisible to human eyes. The Son is Yahweh as He made Himself known unto men, and became our Savior. The Holy Spirit is Yahweh as He comes in invisible Spirit presence to live inside of us. There is only one Almighty One, Yahweh, but He manifests Himself in three manifestations or modes of existence at the same time.)
The name whereby Yahweh has become known as our Savior is Yahshua, which name means "Yah-Savior", or "Yahweh our Savior". It is only as He became flesh as Immanuel (meaning "God with us", or "El with us") that He could save us. Acts 10:43, speaking of Yahshua, tells us, "To Him give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believes in Him shall receive remission of sins." Acts 8:16 says, "they were baptized in the name of Yahshua the Messiah". In Acts 22:16, Paul was told, "And now why do you wait? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Master." In Acts 19:4,5 when the Ephesians heard that they should believe on the Messiah Yahshua, it says, "When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Master, Yahshua." So it is very clear that the Savior’s name is the name to use in baptism.
The prophet Joel had said in Joel 2:32 that in the last days "...whosoever shall call on the name of Yahweh shall be saved." Then Peter, speaking of Yahshua (whose name, as already pointed out, means "Yahweh our Savior") said this: "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved." Thus, since the Holy Spirit said by the prophet Joel (whose words Peter also quoted in Acts 2:21) that men are in these last days to be saved by calling on the name of Yahweh, and since there is salvation only in the name of the one who died for our sins, Yahweh’s Son Yahshua, then the name of the Son must be the name of Yahweh (as Yahweh became our Savior in and through Him). Thus He is "Yahweh-Savior", which is what "Yah'shua" means. Therefore, we call upon His name for salvation by being immersed in His name for the remission of sins.
When we are baptized "in the name of Yahshua ['Yahweh our Savior'] for the remission of sins", we become identified with Him in His death as He died in our place. We are, thereby, declaring that since He died in our place we died with, or in, Him. We died to sin, to self, and to this present evil world which, since the fall of man, has been part of Satan’s kingdom of darkness. By baptism in the Savior’s name we become joined to Him in His death, by being joined to His name, and, thereby, separated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light - the kingdom of Yahweh's dear Son. Yes indeed, baptism is thus the official transference (of our citizenship) out of the kingdom of darkness (that we all are in before our sins are remitted) into the kingdom of Light (the kingdom of Yahweh). The prerequisites for such a transfer of citizenship are to hear and believe the gospel, and to repent (that is decide to turn to Yahweh by faith in His Son). Both of these, faith and repentance, are presupposed when one takes the step of being baptized in the name of Yahshua the Messiah for the remission of sins.
Just as physical circumcision was the sign of being a member of Yahweh’s chosen people (the children of Israel) under the Old Covenant, so circumcision of the heart is required to be a member of Yahweh’s chosen people (called "the Israel of Yahweh" in Gal. 6:16) under the New Covenant. In Colossians chapter 2 the apostle Paul speaks of Yahshua and says in verses 9 & 10, "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Deity bodily, and you are complete in Him who is the head of all principality and power."
Next He says "In whom you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Messiah" (verse 11). Then, in the next verses (12 & 13) he explains where and how this circumcision (of the "putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh") takes place. He goes on by saying, "Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also you are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of Yahweh, who has raised Him from the dead. And you, having been dead in yours sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has he now made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses."
So, we see that baptism (which means immersion, or burial) is the way Yahweh gives in His word for us to accept the death of our Savior on Calvary as being the substitute for our own punishment for sins. In it our sins are legally remitted or sent away. When we really believe the good news that He died for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day, we can accept Him as our Savior by being immersed in His name for the remission of sins. Our faith in Him must be such that by this act of immersion in His name we give our selves to Him completely as those who died in His death and rose with Him into newness of life by His resurrection power.
Then, the rest of our life is an ongoing process of learning how to walk in the life of the risen, living Savior who by the enabling of His indwelling Holy Spirit leads us on to become like Him through His word, the Bible, and the pastoral leadership that He puts into our lives. Walking in this light of the gospel wherein we see Yahweh's hatred of sin, but love for the sinner and the power of the new life of Yahweh in the Messiah Yahshua is the way of eternal life. The wonderful thing is that if we have given ourselves to Him, by being buried with Him in baptism, and are honestly seeking to learn how to live for Him and to grow in the grace and knowledge He gives, we are accepted by Yahweh. That kind of life is called "walking in the light". While we are so walking the blood of Yahshua the Messiah, His Son, keeps on washing us from our sins so that we have the assurance of everlasting life. (I John 1:7)
So it should be clear that baptism in the name of the Savior for the remission of sins is Yahweh’s plan for His people. It is required of them, and, therefore, should not be delayed any longer than absolutely necessary. Once we learn of the correct form of His name (as it contains the Father’s name, as He is restoring it to the knowledge of His people today) then we are responsible for that additional light as well. It should rejoice our hearts to be baptized in the name of Yahweh as He became our Savior, even the name of Yahshua the Messiah.
Prepared by R. W. Young