What scriptures give you evidence that "the Apostles laid
great emphasis on the Baptism of Jesus?"
First of all, we should distinguish
the meaning of our baptism and the baptism of Jesus. We cannot be
born again merely by receiving water baptism. We could only be born
again only by believing in Jesus Christ. Supplementary ceremonies
such as baptism or circumcision are not indispensable for the salvation
of God. The Bible does not focus on water baptism that believers
receive. Rather, it focuses on the baptism that Jesus received from
John the Baptist.
In fact, there're a lot of phrases
that prove that the baptism of Jesus is indispensable and essential
for our salvation. In the Gospels therefore, His baptism is proclaimed
in the prologues. The gospel according to Mark begins the story
of the gospel of Jesus Christ, Son of God, surely with the baptism
of Jesus, and John wrote the gospel in date sequence, using terminologies
such as "the next day" (1: 29) and "the third day"
(2:1) based on the day Jesus was baptized.
John the Baptist declared the word
of God on the next day he baptized Jesus saying, "Behold! The
lamb of God who takes away the sin of the World" (John 1:29).
All the sins of the world were laid on Him as John the Baptist baptized
Him. And then, He died on the Cross for the atonement of our sins,
saying, "It is finished!" (John 19:30), and rose again
from the dead the third day. The apostle Paul said, "Christ
died for our sins according to the Scriptures" (1 Corinthians
15:3). The Scriptures here means the Old Testament. How could a
sinner offer a sacrifice to be forgiven? He had to put his hands
on the head of the sin offering before slaying it. If he had omitted
the process of "putting hands on the head of the sin offering,"
he could not have been forgiven for having offered an illegal sacrifice.
The apostle Paul said, "Or do you now know that as many of
us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His Death?"
(Romans 6: 3) To be baptized into Christ Jesus is to believe the
baptism of Jesus in the Jordan, not just our water baptism. Then
how can it be that we are baptized into Jesus? When we believe in
the fact that John the Baptist laid all our sins on Him for us when
he baptized Jesus, we can be baptized into Him.
"For as many of you as were baptized
into Christ have put on Christ" (Galatians 3:27). Those who
passed all their sins onto Jesus through John the Baptist have been
without sin and become holy children of God.
"In Him you were also circumcised
with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body
of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ" (Colossians
2:11). The way of being delivered from sin by putting off the body
of the sins of the flesh is to be circumcised with a inward circumcision
made without hands (Circumcision is that of the heart, Romans 2:29),
that is, to believe in the baptism of Jesus, which cuts off sins
in our hearts, the apostle Paul said.
"There is also an antitype which
now saves us baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh,
but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) through the resurrection
of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 3:21). Baptism is an antitype that
saves us. As we already know that people perished in the days of
Noah for not believing the water, even today there're still disobedient
people, who would perish even though they might believe in Jesus,
because they don't believe in Jesus' baptism, which is the water.
The apostle John revealed everything
about the gospel in his first letter writing. "This is He who
came by water and blood Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by
water and blood" (1 John 5:6). Jesus came to us by His baptism
and the Cross to save us from all our sins. John also said, "And
there are three who bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water,
and the blood; and these three agree as one" (1 John 5:8).
This tells us that the baptism of Jesus, the Cross, and the Spirit
all together mold one perfect salvation.
Jesus said to Nicodemus, "Most
assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again of water and the
Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). We
are born again of water and the Spirit. The belief in His baptism
of water and the Cross is all you need in order to be redeemed and
to receive the Holy Spirit as a gift. This is what the Bible says
about being "born again."
Thus, the apostle Peter said, "Repent,
and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ
for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the
Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). For the forgiveness of all sins and
the gift of the Holy Spirit, you should always have immutable faith
in the baptism of Jesus deep in your heart. What else can we possibly
say? There're many phrases that insist His baptism as an indispensable
act of righteousness for our salvation. The Christianity must return
to the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
"Therefore, leaving the discussion
of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection,
not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and
of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of
hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment"
(Hebrews 6:1-2). Here, we can get a clue to finding the original
gospel of the early church. They have taught the doctrine of baptisms,
of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal
judgment to those who just became a Christian. We all should believe
in mind that Jesus took away all our sins by His baptism and died
on the Cross in order to be judged for our sins according to the
righteous law of God.