If we had lost a needle somewhere outside, we would probably be looking for it in the area where we had lost it. However, it sounds absolutely absurd to try to find it inside the house simply because it is brighter inside. I find some absurd people like that in today’s churches. While they’re easily involved in the midst of endless biblical controversies about the water baptism of believers, they never ask themselves this important question, “Why was Jesus baptized by John the Baptist?” Due to such a tendency, there happens to be a lot of denominations and sects in today’s Christian community.
In order to put an end to these incessant controversies, we should get ourselves out of the chaotic village and get back to the place where we lost our needle. If we sincerely want to find the truth, we should get rid of the stereotype for we cannot find it in a village of religion. Why did the Apostles put so much emphasis on the baptism of Jesus Christ? The secret truth of the gospel of the water and the Spirit that they received from Jesus was preached throughout the whole world.
Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). The Bible tells us that Jesus came by water and blood in order to save us from all our sins (1 John 5:6). The meaning of blood is His death on the Cross. Then, what do you mean by ‘water’? Why did John the Baptist baptize Jesus? Why did He proclaim, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15) just before His baptism?
I sincerely hope you understand and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, especially in the baptism of Jesus. Here are some brief explanations on the gospel of the water and the Spirit that He gave to His disciples. The Apostles put the greatest emphasis on the baptism of Jesus when they preached the gospel. The Apostle Paul said, “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
What does it mean, “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures”? It means that His death atoned for all our sins according to the God-given method in the Old Testament. He died for us according to the revelation and covenant in the Old Testament. Hebrews 10:1 states, “For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come.” Let us look at the typical sacrifice in Leviticus 1:3-5. A sinner should satisfy three conditions of the burnt offering for the atonement of his sins.
1) He brought an offering without blemish (Leviticus 1:3).
2) He had to put his hands on the head of the offering (Leviticus 1:4). Here, we should make clear of the law of God: Laying hands on the head of the offering was God’s law to pass his sins onto it.
3) He had to kill it to atone for his sin (Leviticus 1:5).
On the Day of Atonement, Aaron laid both his hands on the head of a live goat, confessed over it all the iniquities and transgressions of the children of Israel, concerning all their sins, and put them on the head of the goat (Leviticus 16:21). At that time, Aaron was the representative of Israel. He alone put his hands on the head of the goat, but all the yearly sins of the people of Israel (about 2-3 millions) were passed onto it. The sacrifice of the Old Testament is a shadow of the good things to come. Jesus offered Himself by the will of God in order to sanctify us according to the Scriptures.
First of all, Jesus came in the flesh of a man to be the Lamb of God without blemish. He is the only begotten Son of God and “the express image of His person” (Hebrews 1:3). Thus, He is fitting as the sin offering for all of mankind.
Second, John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan. Baptism is given in the form of “laying on of hands,” and John the Baptist is a descendant of Aaron and the representative of all mankind. When John put his hands on the head of Jesus Christ, all the sins of the world were passed onto Him according to the law God had established. Jesus said to John, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness,” and he baptized Him. All our sins had finally passed on Him. The very next day, John exclaimed, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
Third, Jesus died on the Cross for the remission of all our sins, saying, “It is finished!” (John 19:30) He rose again from the dead in order to make us righteous in front of God. Remember that a sin offering was offered for the forgiveness of sins. A sinner had to put his hand on its head before he killed it. If he forgot one single step, in other words, if he omitted putting his hand on the head of the offering, he could not be redeemed due to his having practiced lawlessness. If a Christian doesn’t have any idea what His baptism means, such a person must have had sins in his/her heart and cannot be saved simply by his/her own faith.
Most Christians know only half of His righteous act. The Apostle John makes clear the gospel in his first Epistle: “This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth” (1 John 5:6). There are a lot of passages in the Bible that support how essential His baptism is to complete His righteous act for our salvation. All Christians should return to the gospel of water and the Spirit.