In order for us to be reconciled to GOD, the differences between us and GOD have to be removed. YAHWEH is already perfect, so we are the ones who need to change. In fact, we need an infusion of His essence so that we can even begin to understand Him. The carnal man by nature is against GOD and the ways of GOD are foolishness to him. So, even though Christ granted us the opportunity for reconciliation by removing all of the ordinances which disqualified us through offering His sinless blood for atonement, there is still this problem of alienation that has to be dealt with. The next step in this process is ours to make and it will place us in a position to receive the Spirit of Christ unto transformation. We have to join Christ in the death of the flesh. The old person must be put to death to make room for the new. The Apostle Paul puts it this way,
“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Galatians 3:26-27) and (Romans 6:3-4)
Water baptism, in the name of Christ, has been called the liquid grave, because it is where sinners are buried through repentance to be reborn into the likeness of GOD. Coming out of the baptismal water symbolizes new birth by the washing of regeneration. You arise carrying your cross in remembrance of putting the old man to death. When you surrender your life, the Spirit of Christ empowers you with His resurrection life. This is why mature Christians consider it vain tradition to baptize children and infants since they have no idea of a decision being made to turn from a life of sin and carnal living to surrender their lives to live after the spirit in obedience unto GOD. Truth be told, the baptisms of many adults carried out today in churches are more about being baptized into church organizations than into the resurrected life of Christ. I say this because many churches are looking to conform parishioners into their particular culture rather than allowing the Spirit of GOD to transform them into His likeness. Most churches have a culture which conforms to the charisma of one church leader, and I am not referring to Christ. It is often a man serving as a pastor or bishop. The perfecting of the church into the likeness of GOD is accomplished by apostles and prophets and evangelists and pastors and teachers all working together through the power of the Spirit.
This perfecting of the church facilitates the work of reconciliation. As we become more like Christ, we experience deeper unity with GOD the Father and the Holy Spirit. This is the joy that was set before Christ as He gave His life on the cross, even the reconciliation of the family of GOD through the restoration of the lost children. The death and resurrection of Christ should be celebrated by an ever more forsaking of the old life for the new life, and by preaching the gospel of transformation that occurs through the quickening of the spirit, by holding on to the hope of glory in bearing our cross faithfully, by exercising the power and authority over evil and sin we have inherited through the life of Christ, and by fulfilling the Father’s joy in seeking Him diligently. We don’t need to wait for a holiday to celebrate the new life given in Christ. GOD has given us the perfect occasion to celebrate life with Him, and it is rightfully called “The Present.” Seek the life of Christ now in the present because there is an allotted time for every purpose under Heaven.
Sometimes through His mercy and goodness He gives us a perfect gift. This teaching is evidence of that.
Glory be to God for your faithfulness!
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Thank you for those encouraging words.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)