Baptism has great significance in most Christian traditions. It is a rather distinctive New Testament ordinance although some might point to the Jewish ‘cleansing ceremony’ with water as a precursor. There is little evidence to support any immersion examples prior to the ministry of John the Baptizer in the New Testament. John’s baptism was a distinct immersion into water for repentance and always pointing to the coming Kingdom of God. The gospels record this: “John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, ‘Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven (God) is at hand.” And, “I baptize you in water for repentance, but He who is coming after me (Jesus) is mightier than I… and He will baptize you with (into) the Holy Spirit and fire.”
Dave Peterson writes, “I have come to believe that in this human moment, Jesus was giving us a new model for baptism. In each of our own baptisms these three things occur:
1 The heavens open–all barriers between God and us are removed.
2 The Holy Spirit descends–God takes up spiritual residence in us.
3 God speaks–God makes this grand declaration about us: “You are my child, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” (sonship)
There is no better way to be human than to be baptized and invite Jesus to come alive in you.”
We are immersed into water, Spirit and sonship.
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Jesus