Andy Tran

University Seventh-day
Adventist Church

Buried and Forgotten By God


Buried and Forgotten By God

Apr 19, 2016Unlock Revelation

Back in 1999, Magician David Blaine was buried alive for seven days in New York City. With only inches of wiggle room, he was buried beneath a 3-ton water-filled tank. He ate no food and drank only a few small sips of water each day during his stunt. At the end of seven days, they removed the water tank to the astonishment of bystanders. He was buried alive!

It may be a fear to some to be buried alive, trapped in a coffin underground with no way out or form of communication. Yet the Bible talks about being buried alive – and it is a great thing! The lecture today focused on what it means to be buried alive as a Christian.

Some of the last words of Jesus before he ascended to heaven are in Matthew 28:19-20. Here Jesus commissions his disciples to share everything they have learned, and to baptize people in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Baptism must have been pretty important to Jesus if He mentioned it right before He left. While the Bible frequently talks about baptism, there is quite a bit of confusion on the subject. People are baptized in different ways with different meanings. This recap will take a Biblical look at baptism and its significance in the Christian walk.

First, to clear up the variety of baptisms out there, the Bible says in in Ephesians 4:5 that there is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. People are baptized by sprinkling, pouring, immersing, oil on the forehead, and even in a tub of rose petals. A church in North Carolina gathered their congregation in the parking lot and had the fire department hose them with water as baptism. Not sure we find that anywhere in the Bible.

You might be wondering why we are exhausting what is seemingly a small point. Why does this matter? God’s calling for His people is to surrender their all to Him and in an age of spiritual confusion baptism places a significant role. Luckily, Jesus gives us a pretty good example of what Biblical baptism involves.

In Matthew 3:13-17 we see Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist. John is baptizing in the Jordan River. The Bible says that when Jesus came up out of the water the Holy Spirit and God the Father acknowledged this event (foretold by the 70 week prophecy , you can read about it here). If Jesus came up out of the water, where was He? He was in the water! Why was John baptizing in the Jordan River, a river that flows 150 or so miles into the Dead Sea? John 3:23 tells us he was baptizing there because there was much water there. If a little sprinkle or a small cup of water was necessary for Biblical baptism, then John would not have been in a major river. But He knew God’s plan for baptism and here we see Jesus set an example for us.

Let’s look at another situation in Acts 8:35. Philip the disciple was sent by the Spirit to help an Ethiopian man understand what he was reading (the book of Isaiah). After explaining it to him, the man wanted to be baptized. The Ethiopian said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” He pointed out there was water and he could get baptized, and the Ethiopian man went into the water and came up rejoicing.

The Bible tells us that immersion is the only form of baptism. Jesus followed that example, and the Father could not contain His joy. The Ethiopian came up out of the water, and he could not contain his joy! Both examples show that much water is needed, both went in the water, and both came up from the water.

Baptism comes from the Greek word baptizo, which means to “immerse” or “plunge under.” When dying cloth you baptizo the cloth in the dye, you immerse it until the dye colors every fiber of the cloth. In baptism, you are immersed in the water and come out a new creation (symbolically).

There are two parts to baptism, the inward belief and outward demonstration. Mark 16:15 says that whoever believes and baptized will be saved. You choose to follow Jesus in your heart, and baptism is a public affirmation of that inward belief.

What about being buried alive?
Colossians 2:12 says that we are buried with Him in baptism. In essence, baptism is being buried alive. You are saying goodbye to the old way of life you once had before Jesus. When you come up you are a new creation. You are saying yes to a new life where Jesus is your savior and by His wounds you have been healed! Romans 6:3,4 says that we are baptized into Jesus’ death, and after that we walk in a newness of life. Romans 6:11 says we are dead to sin and alive through Jesus. Baptism is merely the grave between the old life of sin and the new life in Jesus.

The case for immersion is more evident in the cathedrals scattered throughout Europe. They had large baptisteries for immersion. You can see one in the Leaning Tower of Pisa today. Immersion was almost exclusively practiced until the 13th century. The change to sprinkling and/or pouring is explained in Cardinal Gibbon’s Faith of Our Fathers. On page 275 he says:

For several centuries after the establishment of Christianity, baptism was usually conferred by immersion, but since the twelfth century the practice of baptizing by infusion has prevailed in the Catholic Church, as this manner is attended with less inconvenience than baptism by immersion.

In addition, the teaching of original sin (where Adam’s sin is transferred to future generations) led to an increase in infant baptisms However, the Bible says that the child is not guilty for the sins of the parents (Ezekiel 18:20). To suggest otherwise is a monstrosity.

What should you do before being baptized?
Acts 2:38 – Repent, then be baptized. Turn away from your sins and turn towards Jesus!
John 3:16/Acts 16:31 – Believe in Jesus and you will be saved.
Matthew 28:19-20 – Learn to observe what God has commanded. Baptism is not the end of your walk with God! Think of it like graduation.

How old do you have to be before being baptized?
There is no Biblical mandate for when a person should be baptized. Based on the above steps, one could be ten years old or 50 years old. If you are old enough to understand the reason why Jesus died, the significance of His death, and the context in why it had to happen, then by all means be baptized! A baby cannot understand these things, which is why infant baptism is not found in the Bible and why it is not encouraged.

There are times in our lives where our mistakes make us want to start over. Having a clean slate is a prized possession. Sometimes that will take the form of a new move, a new house, or a new look. In the Christian walk, God provides an opportunity for a clean slate and a new start. Yes, the consequences of past actions cannot be reversed, but they can be covered in the blood of Jesus.

Do you want to have your sins covered by His blood? Do you want to accept Jesus in your heart today and show your love for Him by being baptized?




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