NT baptism is the counterpart to OT circumcision. Just as circumcision served as the seal of the Old Covenant (Rom. 4:11), water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is the seal of the New Covenant.
11 In whom [i.e., Christ] also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
A male child born to Hebrew parents was indeed a Hebrew, but if he were not circumcised he was excluded from the covenant and its blessings and promises. In fact, an uncircumcised Hebrew man was not permitted to enter into the house of God to worship.
In like manner, when someone receives the gift of the Holy Ghost prior to being baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ (like Cornelius and his house did in Acts 10), they are not sealed to the covenant until they are baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. Hence Peter’s command that they should be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ!
There is an interesting story in Joshua chapter 5 concerning this subject. When it was time for the Children of Israel to enter the Promised Land and claim their inheritance, they were not permitted to go in until all the men who had been born during the 40 year period of wilderness wanderings had been circumcised!
During the 40 years of wilderness traveling, those who were uncircumcised were eating manna, drinking water from the Rock, being miraculously clothed, following the Pillar of Fire and Cloud, etc., etc…. To all practical intents and purposes they were as much a part of God’s People as were all the others.
But God knew and we know that they weren’t sealed unto the covenant. And when Joshua [the OT “Jesus”, if you please] became the leader and they started marching toward the Land of Promise, God would not permit them to go forward and inherit the Promised Land until the matter of the seal of the covenant had been properly dealt with.
I’m convinced that those who are not baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ will not inherit the Kingdom of God unless they receive the seal of the New Covenant – water baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ.
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Pastor Tim D. Cormier
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