Baptize in the Name of the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit

Baptism

Jesus commanded His Disciples to “Go make Disciples of all men, Baptizing in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Teachings of the Apostles explains Baptism in a short but informative instruction.

Concerning baptism, you should baptize this way: After first explaining all things, baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in flowing water. But if you have no running water, baptize in other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, then in warm. If you have very little, pour water three times on the head in the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. Before the baptism, both the baptizer and the candidate for baptism, plus any others who can, should fast. The candidate should fast for one or two days beforehand.

Baptism is the outward expression of the inward acceptance of the covenant made through the blood, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. John the Baptist made people clean through a repentant baptism in preparation for the coming Messiah by washing the sins away in the flowing water of the Jordan. For he said, “Repent and be baptized”.

The best way to baptize is in water that flows. This is done so to symbolize a removal of the sins. Nowadays we have a Baptismal that water is poured into and is still. It is good but a flowing one would be better. Why cold water? the temperature of the water is important because if you are baptized in cold water the pours stay closed so that no new sin can enter in. But it is ok for warm water due to the temperature of the surrounding area and how quickly the pours would close. Full immersion is preferred but a pouring is acceptable. Even before going into the water one should not eat or drink for one to two days. Why? Because you must enter the covenant humbly, with the understanding that the earthly foods only fill the body while the spirit needs the bread of life. By fasting, the body becomes dependent on God’s Word so it is a full acceptance of Jesus through the trust that His Word is sufficient for life.

Notice two things that did not have an alternative mode here. First the person must understand and accept the Word and the sacrifice that Jesus made finishing the need for the blood sacrifices for our salvation. Secondly, the fasting. The only thing about the fasting is the time limit. A child can fast for one and be good but an adult, two days.
The waiting for Resurrection Day to be baptized did not start until late first century to early second century. Instead it was basically an on the spot acceptance and washing bringing more and more into the Body of Christ. This was both right and proper going along with the Great Commission.

Perry Stone wrote on the first century Byzantine Church. In his explanation of things the men and women were baptized separately because they went into the water in the nude. This was the process: After the fasting was complete, the candidates lined up dressed in white robes and entered into a cavern inside a hill. At the lowest point there was a pool of cold flowing water. Upon entering the water, the outer garment was removed and the appointed priest, deacon, or elder, asked for confirmation of beliefs then the person was immersed in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Upon exiting the water they were given their white garment and a glass of milk mixed with honey to cleanse the inner self. When all Baptisms were complete, the whole Community of Believers shared in Communion then a celebration meal. Now that is a blessed time.

Baptism has sure changed since then as it is a full community observance. Certain denominations do things a little backwards by baptizing before the candidate even realizes what is going on, then later has to go through classes to explain everything and then accept the covenant. There is a clear statement that in order to be baptized, one has to personally make the choice to accept Jesus. Someone else cannot make that choice for you. The Great Commission that Jesus spoke before He ascended said to make Disciples of all mankind baptizing and maintaining obedience to the Word. To make Disciples one must first explain everything to which they outwardly show their acceptance through baptism then they are followed up with constantly through the speaking of the Word. That is the process of Baptism.

Have you been immersed in the waters of Baptism? I personally was Baptized as a baby through the Lutheran Church, went through the Catechism, and had my first Communion by the time I was 8. But I did not truly know Jesus. I was chosen to give a sermon when I was 9 on a children’s Sunday, but I still did not know Jesus. I went through 25 1/2 years thinking I was good to go until I truly discovered what Jesus was doing in my life. When I truly became aware of Jesus, I gave a public confession and was Baptized by immersion. I was 26 when I truly gave my life to God. When did you?

The Didache: The Guide to Living A Christ-Like Life in the Early Church

Believe it or not, there was a scroll that went around the churches that is said to predate the writings of Paul and the Gospels themselves. It has a unique history in that it is mentioned by very early writers such as Origen who lived in the Second Century A.D. Who exactly wrote it is uncertain and why it isn’t in the cannon of Scripture will be found to be obvious as we continue reading and researching it.

SO WHY BRING THIS UP THIS YEAR????? 

Brothers and Sisters, this was what the early Gentile followers of Christ had to life a right life. It brought the Ten Commandments and other basic teachings to include the morality laws that Jesus reiterated NOT removed from how to live and be saved from eternal death.

If we want to get a closer look at what was taught and how it was presented to the early church before for year 100 A.D. then this is it. It is simple yet complex. It does not contain complex doctrinal ideals that we find in Paul’s writings. NOr does it contain the Spiritualism written in John’s Gospel. Simply the Didache is a text for understanding right from wrong, Baptizing procedures, and the treatment of others who come to preach the Word as well as a look into the Lord’s Supper, how to pray and more.

The text is propsed to have been written at a point not too long after Jesus was Crucified so if you want to know what they knew and understood this is it.    

So Let’s Get Started 

To start us off, the first chapter says begins with a clear statement, a way leading to life, and a way leading to death. The writer concentrates on a way of life. Here is the first Chapter.     

 There are two ways, one of life and one of death! And there is a great difference between the two ways.

 The way of life is this: First, you shall love God who made you. And second, love your neighbor as yourself, and do not do to another what you would not want done to you. The meaning of these sayings is this: Bless those who curse you, and pray for your enemies, and fast for those who persecute you. For what reward is there for loving those who love you? Do not the heathens do the same? But you should love those who hate you, and then you shall have no enemies. Abstain from fleshly and bodily lusts: If someone strikes your right cheek, turn the other also, and be perfect. If someone forces you to go one mile, go two. If someone takes your cloak, give also your coat. If someone takes from you what is yours, don’t ask for it back. You really cannot. Give to everyone who asks you, and don’t ask for it back. The Father wants his blessings shared. Happy is the giver who lives according to this rule, for that one is guiltless. But the receiver must beware; for if one receives who has need, he is guiltless, but if one receives not having need, he shall stand trial, answering why he received and for what use. If he is found guilty he shall not escape until he pays back the last penny. However, concerning this, there is a saying: “Let your alms sweat in your hands until you know to whom to give them.”

The difference between life and death has to do with the way we live our days. Follow the path of light written in the Word and you live, not doing so leads to death. So what are the basic tenants we are to follow? Love God the Father, Creator; Give the same love to others as you would have love for yourself; Treat others how you wish to be treated. We are told that loving our neighbor should include those who we dislike, in fact we should show them love more, how else would we share God’s Love than to show our “enemies” that it is better to love than to hate. We are, after all, made of the same flesh and bone with slight physical variations.

America was on the verge of equality until certain incidents occurred that caused racial tensions to rise way beyond what they should have. An act of justice that leads to a violent outbreak only to find out the accusations were fabricated and the city was in ruins over a big misunderstanding caused a movement that separated a nation. Rights were given to individuals under false pretenses and the persons took to destroying the rights of others to further the cause of destroying good moral values and the family. These things have led to people taking up causes that go against the values on which America was built on. Violence does beget violence but true love and understanding begets peace.    

The next grouping is the physical side of living. Our bodies, though made of flesh, are special and uniquely made. They are not meant for others to view over the internet or be paraded on stages or screens. Abstain From Fleshly And Bodily Lusts. There is it folks- oversexualization of the human body leads to disobedience of the Commandments and total misuse can lead to physical and eternal death.

When someone strikes you or verbally abuses you stand up for yourself, do not let them see your actions as weakness but strength by standing firm. They will get their due. Do not give into your own anger and strike back but kill the individual with God’s love and forgiveness. When we are given a task don’t just do the mission and say it is complete, do more than required because God never stopped with us after creation. Material things should have no high place in the movement of our lives, if someone is in need and you have extra, give all you can, do not hoard things because you will only cause yourself calamity when many are in need and know that you have more than enough.

Giving is Good, Recieving for Purposes that are not your true needs, BAD

Giving of yourself and your material goods is one of the many other things God desires of us. However, remember this if you are on the receiving side, you best have actual need or when you are discovered you will face the consequences of your thievery. Those in need will have blessings bestowed but those who are greedy will live destitute and faithless in the long run. Be aware of where and to whom the material things and funds are given. We have seen this with the recent disasters as misfortunes where people are asking for donations so they can help and instead pocket it.  The sympathies of people when a situation hits a family are one thing but to ask for funds when all things are already being provided for is theft.

Brothers and Sisters, this first part of the Didache tells us to be watchful and diligent in staying in the Word. The basics on the greatest commandment and living a Christ like life are only the beginning of these teachings. Keep with me as we continue to move forward and learn what could be the first missions directives and pamphlet on Christian living,      

*The Didache is in the public domain.