Message of the Cross Part 2

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by Travis Bryan III

Back to Basics: Part 2-Baptism (Rom 6)

  1. The word “baptism” literally means “to be overwhelmed with calamity” or “adversity” as in a flood or storm or fire;
  2. Baptism is our experience of the cross. The most common form of this baptism occurs when a person is drowning in his own sins, failures, transgressions or failure to keep the rules, and he finally becomes exhausted from trying to save himself. This leads to a descent, a fall, a drowning without water or a sinking down into death. The law was given to multiply our opportunities for falling. Rom 5:20.
  3. We FALL or SINK DOWN OUT OF our arrogance, self-effort, self-confidence, self-esteem, pride, security, independence; self-righteousness; self-saving trust in idols like drugs, alcohol, food, entertainment, religion, networking, health fanaticism, knowledge of our trade or profession, earthly wisdom, intellectual knowledge of the Bible, lists of things to do to create order in our lives, psychological techniques, bromides for living like “God helps those who help themselves.”  We FALL DOWN INTO God.  This is what baptism is: a falling down out of things, some of which even have temporal value, and falling into a person, Jesus Christ, and His things, things that have eternal value.  It is a surrender, a self-sacrifice, a letting go, a willingness to lose an illusion of what life is in order to gain real life (John 12:23-24), a consent to experiencing loss, after the letting go-a sinking down, an emptying out, a recognition of one’s utter inability to climb up anymore into happiness or success, an acceptance of undeserved suffering, a cessation of TAKING or GRABBING for gusto in hopes of being made into a giver instead of a taker, an admission of defeat, a resignation from our continual fleshly quest to gain the high seat of control, wealth, clout, earthly power, influence, and approval from others.  In these ways, it is a death to self, a crucifixion or ourselves to the world and the world unto self.  Gal 6:14.
  4. It is not water baptism.  Water is a symbol of this only and has no actual salvific value itself.  It is a falling down into depths from which we have only one choice: cry out to God for salvation OR rail against God in bitterness, blame and anger.  This is the CRUCial place of decision, the “valley of decision.”  See Joel 3:14 and Jonah 2.
  5. The depths of despair are where this death to self is finally found.  It can be found nowhere else.  It is “out of the depths” that we find God.  Is 51:10; Ps 68:22; 71:20; Ps 107:22-end chap; Ps 130; Ezekiel 27:34; Deep calleth into deep.  Ps 42:7. The depths of God (Christ’s burial) call out to the depths of your being (your burial with Christ).  Rom 6:4.
  6. God allows Satan to bring upon us the depths of the cross-experience just as He allowed Satan to put His Son on the cross.  John 13:27.  God does this for a redemptive purpose: that we might experience resurrection newness of life and be freed from slavery to sin and self.  Rom 6:3-7.

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Author of several enlightening and influential books on subjects ranging from false prophets, end times, the original lie of Satan to mankind, evangelism, last day / end times victory, and the daily walk of an authentic disciple. Todd’s books can be found on BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon.com, and on SafeGuardYourSoul.com. His websites include SafeGuardYourSoul.com, GreatCommissionAdventure.com. A former Marine, contracted to NASA, youth pastor, TV show host, Bible College class president, and member of numerous churches throughout the south, by the saving grace of Jesus Christ Todd has and continues to learn to set aside all that involves the philosophies and whims of mere men to follow the King of the kingdom as a simple servant. His sincerity and ability to speak on a variety of topics from a broad and edifying perspective, and with a humble candor, is refreshing. Todd has an obvious understanding that he is nothing without Jesus and yet, by the working of divine grace, his Gospel tracts, articles, Moments with My Master email devotional, and books have taught, encouraged, and inspired thousands. Todd Tomasella is the author of several Christian, non-fiction books, hundreds of articles, devotionals, audios, tracts, videos, Bible school curriculum, and study guides. No matter the format utilized, the divine mandate is simply getting people into God's Word for themselves (Nehemiah 8:8; Habakkuk 2:2; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17). Let’s Grow Together! Sign up here to begin receiving the Moments with Our Master email devotional that is sure to help you grow in grace and in the knowledge of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 1:2; 3:18). It’s sent out 1-2 times weekly for the edification and equipping of the body of Christ. Sign Up HERE: info@safeguardyoursoul.com

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