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BAPTISM

INTRODUCTION

Baptism (Gk baptisma) consists of the process of immersion, submersion and emergence. (It is from the Greek baptizo which is “to dip”)

FORMS OF BAPTISM

There are three major baptisms for the believer:

BAPTISM INTO THE BODY OF CHRIST

  • WATER BAPTISM
  • BAPTISM WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT

 

BAPTISM INTO THE BODY OF CHRIST

This occurs at conversion when we are born again. Every believer partakes of this baptism or he is not a believer. We can get to heaven without the other baptisms but this is a must for us to be part of the body of Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:12–14, Ephesians 4:4–5)

This baptism is effected by the Holy Ghost the moment one surrenders to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:9, 1 Corinthians 12:13)

 

WATER BAPTISM

This is the believer’s baptism. It is a public demonstration of what has already occurred in the spirit. It is a physical act expressing a spiritual truth (Mark 16:16, Matthew 28:19, Acts 8:36–38). Through water baptism, we announce that we share with Christ in the fact of His death, burial and resurrection. (Romans 6:4)

  • The question of full immersion; only a full immersion can properly symbolise burial. (Colossians 2:12)
  • Why water baptism?
    • Jesus commanded it. (Matthew 28:19)
    • It is a pledge of a good conscience toward God. (1 Peter 3:21)
    • Jesus Himself was baptised. (Matthew 3:13–17)
    • It symbolises our washing or cleansing from sin. (Acts 22:16)
    • It expresses our identification with Jesus. (Romans 6:1–11)
  • Water baptism is a multi-confession to:
    • Heaven, of our faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. (1 Corinthians 15:3–4)
    • The church, that we are part of it.
    • The world, that we are finished with it.
    • The devil, that we are finished with him and have changed over to God’s side.

 

BAPTISM WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT

According to Acts 1:8, 2:33, this baptism is an experience subsequent to salvation, by which the Lord equips us with the supernatural power to be His witness on earth through the works of righteousness.

 

(i)       The necessity of the baptism with the Holy Spirit:

  • Jesus commanded it. (Luke 24:49)
  • It brings new power and boldness to witness. (Acts 1:8, 2:14, 31-33)
  • It is necessary for a lifestyle that glorifies God. (John 16:14)
  • It makes Jesus to be more real to us. (John 15:26, 16:13–15, Acts 9:29)
  • It increases our effectiveness in prayers. (Romans 8:26–27, 1 Corinthians 14:14–15)

(ii)      It is the believer’s heritage to be baptised in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues: this is received by faith, without the need to struggle, tarry or beg. The Holy Spirit is a free gift of the Lord. Luke 11:13

(iii)     Instances of baptism with the Holy Spirit in the Bible:

–           The first 120 believers                  Acts 2:4

–           Cornelius and his household        Acts10:46

–           Paul, the apostle                              Acts 9:17-18

–           The Ephesian twelve                      Acts 19:6-7

–           The Samaritans                               Acts 8:17–24

–           Jesus Christ                                      Luke 4:18–19, Acts 10:38

 

 

SANCTIFICATION

Sanctification means a separation or a setting apart unto God. It is most times used interchangeably with the word “holiness” because they mean basically the same thing. Actually, the same Greek word “hagiasmos” is translated as sanctification as well as holiness.

EXPLANATION

Sanctification is both   :

(a) a state of being, as well as

(b) a way of living

It is common knowledge that people, because of differences in religious background, stress one aspect above the other or sometimes leave out the other completely. But there is no way one can be stressed without the other, for the former makes the latter a necessary result and the latter is not possible without the former.

Sanctification, a state of being:

This speaks of the relationship one enters into with God by reason of one’s faith in Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:30, 2 Thessalonians 2:13, Acts 26:18, 1 Corinthians 6:11)

It is not an attainment. It is a special position one enters through faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 10:10,29; Hebrews 13:12). It is by reason of this understanding (that all believers are sanctified in Christ) that they are commonly designated as “saints” i.e. “sanctified ones” or “holy ones”. (1 Corinthians 1:2, Colossians 3:12, Hebrews 3:1)

 Sanctification, a way of living:

When God set believers apart from the world and from sin, it is for the purpose of living for Him and to walk in holiness (Psalm 4:3, 1 Thessalonians 4:7). Sanctification in this sense is God’s will and something every believer must earnestly pursue and possess (Hebrews 12:14, 1 John 3:3). Sanctification in this sense is not automatic. It is in grace, progressively attained as we learn to live in obedience to the Word of God (John 17:17,19, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8, Acts 20:32, Romans 8:13).

 

It must be mentioned here that we, the believers, have been specially called of God into a life of holiness. His desire is that we live for Him alone. So we are enjoined to yield our bodies to Him for service. (2 Corinthians 6:14–18, Romans 12:1–2, 1 Thessalonians 4:4)

 

If there is anything in our lives that dishonours God, as it is brought to our attention, it is in keeping with our pursuit for the sanctified life that we immediately turn away from it. Our whole desire is to honour Him, not only in major areas of life but also in such “small” areas as our physical comportment and dressing. (2 Timothy 2:21)

 

The subject of sanctification should in no way be misunderstood for the practice of segregation, which some have unfortunately substituted for it. (2 Corinthians 6:17–18, John 17:14–19)

 

GOD’S MEANS OF SANCTIFICATION

  • The Word of God (John 17, Psalm 119:9,11)
  • The Holy Spirit (Romans 15:16, 2 Thessalonians 2:13, 1 Peter 1:2)
  • The blood of Jesus (Hebrews 13:12) 

QUESTIONS

 

  • What process does baptism consist of?
  • According to Ephesians 4:4–5, how many baptisms do we have?
  • What is water baptism? Is sprinkling of water enough for water baptism?
  • As a believer, what do you share with Christ in water baptism? Romans 6:4
  • According to Acts 1:8, what do you receive after the Holy Spirit comes on you?
  • Give four necessities of the Holy Spirit?
  • The Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, do you beg, tarry or struggle for it?
  • Is sanctification ‘a state of being’ or ‘a way of living?
  • In what sense is sanctification God’s will and expectation for a believer?
  • What are the three means of sanctification?

 

THE TRINITY

According to Deuteronomy 6:4, there is only one God. This understanding is fundamental to the Christian faith. God is one indivisible Creator, and the doctrine of Trinity does not teach contrary; neither does it teach, like some pagan religion, the existence of three Gods. However, a careful study of the scripture shows the Godhead manifests in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. (Colossians 2:9; 2 Corinthians 3:17; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 1 Peter 1:1–2)

 

BIBLE FOUNDATIONS FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY

  1. The language used at the creation of man in Genesis 1:26 is all in plural. The word “God” as used in the passage is the Hebrew “Elohim” (plural of “elowahh” – the Deity, God), which according to Strong’s Hebrew and Chaldean Dictionary means “Gods in the ordinary sense, but specifically used of the Supreme God.”
  2. At the baptism of Jesus, there was a full manifestation of the Godhead. (Mathew 3:13-17)
  3. Believers are baptised in the Name of the Trinity, showing their co-equality. (Matthew 28:19)
  4. The three person of the Godhead are mentioned in the Benediction. (2 Corinthians 13:14)
  5. The Bible declares that they are one. (1 John 5:5)
  6. The Father is called God (1 Corinthians 8:6); the Son is called God (Isaiah 9:6-7); the Holy Spirit is called God (Acts 5:3–5).

 

INSTANCES OF THE TRINITY WORKING IN HARMONY

  1. Creation: God the Holy Spirit hovered over the face of the waters (Genesis 1:2). God the Father spoke the Word (John 1:1; Hebrews 1:2; Colossians 1:16).
  2. The incarnation: God the Father gave His only begotten Son (John 3:6); God the Holy Spirit came upon Mary to cause conception (Luke 1:35); God the Son was born into the world (Luke 2:11).
  3. Redemption: God the Son offered Himself as a substitute. Hebrews 9:14 “He offered Himself through the eternal Spirit” i.e. God the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 9:14); God the Father accepted the sacrifice (Hebrews 9:14).
  4. The death of Stephen: He was filled with God the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:55); He saw God the Son, Jesus standing up (Acts 7:55). He saw also the Glory of God.

 

THE TRINITY SHARING THE ATTRIBUTES OF THE GODHEAD

Certain attributes ascribed to God alone is demonstrated by each person of the God-head. Attribute: Omnipotence (having total power) – 1 Peter 5 (the Father); 2 Corinthians 12:9 (the Son); Romans 15:19 (the Holy Spirit).

Attribute: Omniscience (knowing everything) – Jeremiah 17:10 (the Father); Revelations 2:23 (the Son); 1 Corinthians 2:11 (the Holy Spirit).

Attribute: Omnipresence (present everywhere) – Jeremiah 23:24 (the Father); Matthew 18:20 (The Son); Psalm 139:7 (the Holy Spirit).

 

OTHER ILLUSTRATIONS TO EXPLAIN THE DOCTRINE OF TRINITY

 

Note: We cannot understand God completely now, we only know in part (1 Corinthians 13:9). Some of the following illustrations throw more light on this subject. (Romans1:20)

  1. Man himself is a tripartite being, made up of spirit, soul and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23), yet he is one man.
  2. Water manifests in three forms – liquid, ice and steam.
  3. The elements of the sun – the Father is likened to the whole sun, Jesus (the Son) is the light, the Holy Ghost is the heat you feel.

 

JUDGEMENT

The word judgment means ‘a separating’. It also denotes ‘the decision of a court of law or judge, the act of distinguishing; passing judgment upon a person or thing, a calling to account, to sentence.’

 

For some reasons, this is an unpopular subject in the church today. But it is one we need to remind ourselves of at all times. For just as there is Heaven to gain for the Righteous, there is also a Hell to avoid for the Unrighteous (Hebrews 9:27). It is pertinent at this point to say that the prerogative for judgment belongs to God (Hebrews 12:23) but God the Father has chosen in His sovereign wisdom to commit all judgments to the Son (John 5:22). Jesus Christ himself has transferred it from His person to the Word (John 12:47–48).

 

TYPES OF JUDGMENT

The Bible lists different types of judgment but we will deal with only the following here:

  1. The Judgment at Calvary: John 12:31-33. The subject of this Judgment is the believer in relation to his sin (Hebrews 9:25-28; Romans 6:10). This Judgment was borne by Jesus for the believer on the Cross of Calvary (John 3:14-15; 1 Peter 2:24; John 17:4; Luke 2; John 19). It is based on Christ’s finished work (John 3:16; John 5:24; Romans 6:8). The consequence of the judgment was the death of Christ and the resultant life (eternal) to those that believe in His name. (Romans 4:1–24; Romans 5:1-21; Romans 8:1-6)
  2. Self-judgment of the Believer: 1 Corinthians 11:28; Psalm 26:1,2. This judgment must take place throughout the lifetime of the believer on earth (Hebrews 12:5-11). The subject here is the believer in relation to his walking in the light of God’s Word (1 John 1:7). It is a daily exercise (Romans 6:16-23; Romans 8:1-3; Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 3:5-17). The basis for this judgment is our sonship (Hebrews 12:6-7). Its purpose is for us to avoid being judged but receive forgiveness and deliverance from our weaknesses. (1 Corinthians 11:30-32; 1 John 1:9; Peter 4:17)

Note: Here we talk of self-judgment, not judging others. (Romans

2:1-2; Matthew 7:1-2)

  1. The Judgment Seat of Christ (Greek Bema): 2 Corinthians 5:10. This is the judgment of the believer in relation to his work (Galatians 6:8; Ephesians 6:8; Colossians 3:24; Romans 14; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Corinthians 3:3). According to Bible prophecies, this will happen at the second coming of Christ (Luke 14:14). The purpose of this judgment is the believer’s reward or loss of reward for his works. It is not a judgment unto condemnation, so even if there is loss of reward, there is no loss of one’s soul for any wrongdoing confessed and forgiven (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 1 Corinthians 9:27). The phrase “cast away” here means disqualified for the reward. At this judgment, believers will be judged concerning:

 

Words – Matthew 12:36-37

Thoughts – Matthew 15:19-20; Matthew 5:28

Secrets – Romans 2:17

Motives – Titus 1:11

Doctrine – Romans 2:14-16; Romans 14

Conduct toward others – Matthew 18; Romans 14

Carnal behaviours – Colossians 3; Romans 1&2

 

  1. Israel’s Special Judgment

Time:             During the Great Tribulation.

Subject:         The Jewish Nation or People. Ezekiel 20:34-38

Place:             Jerusalem and Vicinity. Jeremiah 33:7

Basis:             Rejection of the Godhead. 1 Samuel 8:7; Luke 23:18; Acts 7:51

Result:           The conversion of the Jews and their acceptance of Christ as Messiah. Jeremiah 30:7; Isaiah 66:8

  1. The Great White Throne Judgment: Revelations 20:11-15; Acts 17:31; Romans 2:16. This is the judgment of the wicked (including the ungodly who rejected the Gospel and died in their sin), from Adam to the end of the Millennium. It is called The Day of God’s Wrath (Romans 2:5; Revelations 16-17); the Day of Judgment and destruction of ungodly men (2 Peter 3:7). This Judgment will take place at the Great White Throne (Revelations 20:11; Psalm 9:7-8) at the end of the Millennium (Revelations 20:7-15). The basis of this judgment will be as follows:

 

  1. The Law of Conscience – Romans 2:12
  2. The Law of Moses – Romans 2:12-16

iii.        The Gospel – Romans 2:12-16

  1. The Book of Life – Revelations 3:5; Revelations 20:12; Philippians 4:3; Luke 10:20-16

 

  1. The Judgment of Angels: Jude 6; 2 Peter 2:4. This is the judgment of angels for rebellion against God (see Revelations 12:7-12). This judgment shall be carried out by the saints of God. It shall take place in Heaven, before the Great Throne, after the Millennium (2 Peter 2: 4; Jude 6; Revelations 20:11-15). The basis of the judgment will be obedience to God (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6; Ezekiel 28:11-17). The purpose of this will be to effect the punishment stipulated for the unfaithful angels (Matthew 25:41) which is eternal damnation in the Lake of Fire. (Revelations 20:10)

 

THE RELEVANCE OF DOCTRINE

  1. For us to ever remain grateful to God. (Romans 5:8-9)
  2. For us to ever maintain the fear of God. (Hebrews 10:31; 1 Peter 1:17)
  3. For us to be stirred up in evangelism and intercession for the lost . (Colossians1:28)
  4. For us to always present the Gospel as it is. (Romans 1:16-20)
  5. It is no way an attempt to motivate people to right conduct through fear, but a reminder that we are dealing with a God who demands that we play

by His set rules. (2 Timothy 2:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10-11; Romans 11:22)

QUESTIONS

  1. List two instances the Trinity work in harmony.
  2. State three Bible foundations of the Doctrine of Trinity.
  3. Use any two physical illustrations to explain the Doctrine of Trinity.
  4. Enumerate the basis of the White Throne Judgment.
  5. Explain two types of Judgment, by stating who they directly affect.
  6. Explain the term Judgment.
  7. The Judgment Seat of Christ has to do with what? Explain.
  8. Briefly describe the relevance of the doctrine.
  9. What happens at the Judgment of Angels?
  10. State the attributes shared by the Trinity.

 

THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST  1

INTRODUCTION

Anyone who pays attention to today’s headlines is likely to wonder whatever happened to ethics and justice. Sometimes it seems like fairness never happens in matters of business, government, law and world affairs. But for those who long to see justice reign, the Bible offers powerful hope. Christ is coming back the second time to judge all evil. (Revelation 20:4-6)

 

As believers, we should not be weary of doing good and walking in obedience to God’s commandments regardless of what others are doing because Christ is coming back to judge all, that is, the saints, the unbelievers and Satan with his host of demons.

 

It is therefore very important to appraise your stand in Christ to be sure you are truly saved. To be saved simply means that one has come to the realisation that one is a sinner, confessed one’s sins and genuinely asked God for forgiveness, thereby making peace and reconciling oneself back to one’s Maker.

 

You have to understand that you are saved by Grace and Faith in Christ, and not by works, but by the blood of Jesus Christ which He shed on the cross for the remission of your sin. You have to believe with your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Saviour, and that He is the Son of God who was born of the virgin Mary and who died for you (Romans 10:9-10). You then receive the seal of the Holy Spirit with the fruit of righteousness manifesting in your life (Ephesians 1:3). The question now is: are you really sure you are saved?

 

There are different schools of thought about Jesus’ second coming. Some teach that the second coming is when, at death, He comes to receive the soul of the dead person, which would be a personal encounter and not a public revelation, visible to the entire world. But the Bible makes it clear that His coming would be like His ascension which is described as being personal, bodily, visible and with power (Acts 1:10-11).

 

There are three Greek words used to reveal this fact:

(1)      Parousia – personal presence

(2)      Apokalupsis – revelation

(3)      Ephiphaneia – appearing

 

These three words signify that there will come a time when Christ will return in a public, personal revelation of Himself to the world.

 

The Saviour’s first coming was in humiliation but the Second Advent

will be glorious. Actually, there are three major viewpoints with

respect to His Second Coming vis-à-vis the millennium reign

(Revelations 20:4-6):

 

(1)      The Millennial View: It teaches that the Second Coming will follow rather than precede the millennial age.

(2)      The Post-Millennial View: This does not believe in a literal period of a thousand years but believes that when Christ comes, everything ends quickly.

(3)      The Pre-Millennial view: The Lord comes and then follows the Millennium.

 

Another unresolved problem of pre-millennialism is whether the church will go through the seven years of tribulation. Concerning this, there are the Pre-tribulation and the Mid-tribulation debates.

 

Another school of thought is that the Second Coming is in two stages:

 

(a)      The Rapture, which is secret (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17), when the Lord comes for his saints and we meet Him in the air.

(b)      The Revelation, which is public (Revelations 1:7), when the Lord comes with His saints to set up the Millennium. (1 Thessalonians 3:13)

 

 

THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST  2

PROPHECIES OF CHRIST’S SECOND COMING

His first coming was prophesied and those prophecies came to pass literally. This gives us great confidence that prophecies of the Second Advent will also be fulfilled literally and not in a figurative or spiritual sense.

  1. It was foretold by the prophets. Daniel 7:13 “…I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven….”
  2. It was foretold by Jesus Himself. Matthew 25:31 “When the son of Man shall come with His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall he sit upon the throne of His glory.”
  3. It was foretold by Paul. 1 Timothy 6:14 “Keep this commandment without spot, unbreakable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
  4. It was foretold by angels. Acts 1:10-11 “…Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”

 

TIME OF CHRIST COMING

This is a secret that only the Lord knows. Matthew 24:36 states, “But

of that Day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Jesus Christ as man did not know that date, but Jesus Christ as God is omniscient and certainly knows the exact moment when it will occur. There is a reason to believe it is a movable date (2 Peter 3:12); it can be advanced or retarded depending on the speed or slowness of taking the Gospel to every tribe. (Matthew 24:14)

 

PURPOSE OF CHRIST’S COMING

  1. To complete the salvation of saints; He has delivered us from the power and penalty of sin but then He shall deliver us from the presence of sin. (Hebrews 9:28)
  2. To be glorified in His saints. 2 Thessalonians 1:10, “…to be admired in all them that believe….”
  3. To bring to light the hidden things of darkness. 1 Corinthians 4:5 “… who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels of the heart.”
  4. To judge. 2 Timothy 4:1 “…Christ; who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing.”
  5. To reign. Revelations 11:15 “…and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”
  6. To receive us to be with Himself. John 14:13 “I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
  7. To destroy death. 1 Corinthians 15:25-26 “For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”

 

 

HOW IS CHRIST COMING?

  1. Secretly at the rapture. 1 Thessalonians 5:2, “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” Matthew 24:44 “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Matthew 24:50 “The Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for Him, and in an hour that he is not aware of.” Be prepared to meet HIM TODAY!
  2. Publicly at the Revelation. Revelation 1:7 “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him….” Also Matthew 24:30; Titus 2:13

 

WHERE IS CHRIST COMING TO?

  1. At the rapture, we will meet Him in the air. (1 Thessalonians4:17)
  2. At the revelation, we will descend with Him to the earth. Probably, He will land on the Mount of Olives. (Zechariah 14:4)

 

 

THE MANNER OF HIS COMING

  1. In the clouds. Matthew 24:30 “…see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven.”
  2. In the glory of His father. Matthew 16:27 “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with his angels.”
  3. In His own glory. Matthew 25:31 “When the Son of Man shall come in his glory….”
  4. In flaming fire. 2 Thessalonians 1:8 “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
  5. With power and great glory. Matthew 24:30 “…clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
  6. As He ascended in bodily form. Acts 1:9-11
  7. With a shout and the voice of the archangel. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 “For the Lord Himself shall descend… with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God.”
  8. With His saints. 1 Thessalonians 3:13 “…coming of…Christ with all His saints.”
  9. Accompanied by angels. Matthew 16:27 quoted above.
  10. Suddenly. Mark 13:36 “Lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping.”

 

 

OTHER SIGNS INCLUDE:

  1. The destruction of Jerusalem. Luke 21:20, 24
  2. The completion of the Church. Romans 11:25
  3. Gospel preached everywhere. Matthew 24:14
  4. The coming of the antichrist. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8

 

 

CONCLUSION

Be not a scoffer like those in 2 Peter 3:3, for His coming is sure and

certain. Is it right to sell everything and sit on a hilltop and wait for

Him? Definitely not. We ought to plan and work as if He was not

coming for another century but live a holy and pure life as if He would

return today (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13). This doctrine must affect our

lives. It ought to keep us busy and WATCHING.

 

REFERENCES

  1. Alban Douglas –          One Hundred Bible Lessons
  2. Kenneth E. Hagin –          The Woman Question
  3. F.J. Dakes –          Annotated Reference Bible
  4. Benny Hinn –          Good Morning Holy Spirit
  5. W.E. Vine –          Expository Dictionary of New

Testament Words