I often receive questions about salvation, faith, baptism, ministry, and how they’re all connected. During our 2017 Pilgrimage to Israel, I had the amazing opportunity of baptizing 11 people in the Jordan River! [see the embedded video just below]
So, I thought I’d update a previous blog post about baptism that addresses the Bible’s teaching in this area.
Christian Baptism was established as the entrance into God’s New Testament (NT) Christian Church. That New Testament church was built on the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Until those events occurred in their entirety, the world was living under the Old Covenant; aka: the Old Testament/Old agreement/Old “will” (see Gal 4.4 and Heb 9.16-17).
In other words, baptism is completely Christian in nature. We should not attempt to force it through an Old Testament event or counterpart. When God started something entirely new in His Church, He also created a new way for us to respond to Him spiritually.
It happens now whenever I read the Gospels. I see images. I picture the mountains, the lake, the land. I can walk it in my mind. I actually see The Story. I see it in 3-D.
It happened again on Easter. As I preached through Jesus’ decision to leave Galilee and walk south to Jerusalem (Luke 9.51, ff)…I WAS THERE!–seeing the countryside He saw and smelling the same aromas He smelled.
Having been to the Holy Land, the Gospel of Jesus takes on a deeply realistic, living-color, three-dimensional quality that is deeply profound. Studying his teaching where He taught…standing on the beach of Galilee where He invited his disciples for breakfast…walking where he walked on ancient Roman roads…praying exactly where he prayed in the Garden.
This is an amazing set of experiences that will forever change you.
Many people have a trip to Israel on their bucket list. Allow me to suggest you not wait any longer. Once you live through this experience, the Bible will forever after “stand up” in your mind three-dimensionaly. As a passionate teacher of God’s Word, I can’t wait to exchange my classroom of chairs, slideshows, and dry erase boards with the classroom of the Galilean countryside or a 1st Century Roman city!
- January 24 – Feb 2 2017
- $2997 from Chicago; $3297 from Dallas or Indianapolis (save $80/person if you sign up by 28 April 2016)
- Link to Registration Site
Bill Mesaeh, Jr
MA, MRE, MDiv
Six years ago, I went on a trip that did more for my spiritual life than 8+ years of seminary. I was part of a group of pastors who spent 10 days in Israel walking where Jesus walked. We climbed the hills he climbed, breathed the air he breathed, and saw the same mountains he saw. At every new site I heard myself saying the same thing, “I will never be the same again.” On the flight back one of the pastors commented, “Until this time in my life, I’ve read the Bible in black and white. Now I read it in color.”