Freedom from Dying

Matthew chapter 3 opens with the radical locust and wild honey-eating, camel hair clothed, John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness, and exclaiming-

“Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” (Matt 3:2)


Oh, that’s a word we seldom hear. Go ahead, tweet it or post it. I bet you won’t get too many “likes”.

And many pastors with big stages and huge followings have seemed to have figured that out too.

But John, famous for baptizing, did so for those who were CONFESSING their sin.

They renounced their sin (sin as defined by God and not by the culture ) and turned from their wicked ways to follow the Lord.

Let’s don’t miss that the way to freedom comes by repentance- a turning away from ourselves, our way, and our sin and a turning toward the Lord in obedience.

Freedom will NEVER come from elevating yourself and your way but actually from dying to self.

The immersion in waters of baptism represent this dying to sin and self and being made alive in Christ.

Many of you saw my description of my baptism posted on this page a few days ago.

But let me be clear, baptism does not save us. It is an outward expression of an inner decision and it is an act of obedience because we are following the Lord and being baptized as He was (Matt 3:13-17)

Because this decision to repent and surrender our lives to Christ is a cognitive decision that one can only make for one’s self when one is old enough to comprehend the meaning—infant baptism, while a noteworthy statement of intention by parent’s to raise their children to follow Christ, is only a symbolic statement by the parents.

One day each of us will have to answer for ourselves about our decision to turn from sin and self and follow Christ or not.

As much as I wish we could make the decision for our kids to follow Christ, only they themselves can make the decision to do so. This is why believer’s baptism comes AFTER a personal decision for salvation.

I know this is not how some of you who follow this page were taught, but I’d challenge you to test tradition against scripture and ask the Holy Spirit to make it clear to you.

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