15. Jesus Christ gives one Ceremony and three Rituals.

"Mark 16:15 preach the gospel to every creature. Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded: Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega .. 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, .. they .. have right to the tree of life, and .. enter .. the city."

 

I am a retired pastor of the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India
.

Declaration

Jesus Christ, Peter, and Paul tell us to take water baptism to be saved. Jesus Christ gave observances of Communion, Lord's Supper, and foot washing. Communion is sacred and it must be taken worthily. Lord's Supper is fellowship meal for believers. Foot washing is symbolic ritual to correct each other.

If you prefer to hear the video clip also, please click on this link: "Declaration 15"

This is, Declaration of Faith #15. Topic is: Jesus Christ gives one Ceremony and three Rituals.

Explanation

The Ceremony is Water Baptism and it is required for our Salvation.

Jesus Christ came to his disciples after his resurrection and told them in "Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: In Mark 16:16 he said "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Those who take baptism shall be saved and so baptism is needed for salvation. If we do not believe what Jesus Christ says, we will not take baptism and we will be damned. This is what Jesus Christ says. So, even though it is a ceremony, it has eternal value.

Preachers say; it is not required for Salvation

Almost all preachers that I know of, unanimously claim that water baptism is not needed for salvation. Even the churches that promote baptism also say that it is not needed for salvation. They say it because they want to be politically or religiously correct. 1 Peter 3 says: "20 ... in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us... In Acts 2:38: "--- Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, ---" That is, we need water baptism for the remission of sins, that is for our Salvation. In Acts 22:12-16, Ananias tells Paul "--- now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." Preachers laugh at the principle that water baptism washes away sins. But, God says in the scripture, water baptism is required for salvation.

Baptism is by immersing in the water

How to take water baptism? Since it is a ceremony, many churches play with a cup of water and call it baptism. Let us see how Jesus took the baptism that he told us to take. Matthew 3:16 says, "Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water:" So, the baptism is by immersing in the water and coming out of the water.

Jesus went to the cross, died for our sins, was buried and rose again. Let us read Romans 6. "3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:" So, by taking water baptism, we are united with Jesus Christ. It is described as baptized, that is immersed into Jesus Christ, in his death. There we become one with him. As he was buried, ceremonially we immerse into water and as he was resurrected, we come out of water. At his resurrection, his body became new and at ascension, he was in the Omnipotent Spirit body as God. He became new in the process, and so we will also become new, because we will be united with Jesus Christ. This is the promise that the scripture gives. Hang on to the promise, and take water baptism, if you have not baptized yet. If you are baptized, live with him. If you have strayed away from him, get back to him now, and be one with him. "Colossians 2:12 says, 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." Here also we see the same thing, that we are buried with him in baptism, so that we will be raised with him to live with him, instead of living with old sins. Baptism is a ceremony like the marriage. The ceremony is to live together with the Groom as one family. Baptism also is to be united and to live with Jesus Christ as one.

Passover, Unleavened Bread, and the Blood.

In the Old Testament we see passover feast. Christians always preach that the blood of the passover lamb is on the door post and we are safe inside the house. Is it really so. Let us see 1 Corinthians 5:6-8. "6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." The new testament passover is not a ceremony but it is our life application. Jesus is the Lamb that is sacrificed. We are the unleavened bread. Both must be eaten together, and that is how we become one with the Lamb. If we are not unleavened, we cannot be joined with him as one. Christians have learned to say that we are in Christ. It is just a meaningless slogan. Nobody can be in him, if they have sin in them. Sin is the leaven, or yeast in the bread, and it can never be mixed with the passover Lamb.

The Lord's Supper, foot washing, and communion are Rituals.

Jesus Christ has divided the Passover into three ordinances. They are, the Lord's Supper, foot washing, and communion, which is the breaking of bread. The gospel of "John 13:1 says about the feast of the passover that Jesus participated. Verse 2 says that the supper being ended." This supper in the passover feast is called the Lord's Supper. This is to eat together. Jesus Christ had done two things, when the supper was ended. He washed the feet of his disciples and gave them communion. Please notice, that the communion is after the supper. They both are not the same, but two functions. In Luke 22:12-18 also we see the Lord's supper. In verse 19 the communion ritual begins. "19 (Jesus) took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you." This is done after the supper. This is the communion or breaking of the bread. The part of the communion is holy and supposed to be taken with caution. We skipped the foot washing and so, let us turn to John 13. "4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 5 After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded." A few churches do this as ritual and call this as 'foot washing service.' Jesus Christ has given us these three ordinances. The Lord's Supper is the fellowship dinner among believers. Communion is breaking of bread, and it is a holy ritual. Foot washing is an observance, primarily understood in old eastern culture.

The Lord's Supper is fellowship with food. Passover is a feast; comes once a year; but we can have Lord's Supper every time believers get together. It is like pot luck. For the Lord's Supper, everybody shall wait until all come, and eat together. Paul rebukes Corinthians for not waiting to eat in 1 Corinthians 11:20-22. The purpose of the Lord's Supper is to have oneness, or unity, or friendship with new believers. It is to become like one family of believers.

Communion is not the Lord's Supper, but it is symbolic of the partaking of the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Communion or breaking of bread, is a holy ritual. It is explained in 1 Corinthians 11. It is taking part in the death of our Lord Jesus Christ as a ritual. His body is broken and his blood is shed for us. In communion, we take him inside of us to be a part of us. His body and his blood becomes our body, so we all become his body, and so we are one body. A caution comes with it; don't take it as a casual event. Examine yourself; and if you are not worthy of it, stay away from it. If you take it unworthily, God will punish you, even with physical death. We will not take the warning lightly, if we have any insight into spiritual reality.

Not many churches observe the foot washing ceremony. The observation is explained in John 13:4-17. As Jesus began to wash the feet of Peter, he resisted him first, and then he asked him to wash his head also. Jesus said that they were all clean except Judas Iscariot. So, he does not refer to the dirt on their feet. He made it symbolic to clean their trespasses, or such things in the walk of life. As he washed their feet, which was symbolical, they must correct the mistakes of each other in a humble way, as servitude so that, all of them may be clean, holy and blameless. There is no record that the apostles followed foot washing ritual in the Bible. However, they have corrected each other in such matters.

So; Jesus Christ and the apostles said that we must take water baptism for our salvation or for the forgiveness of our sins. Jesus Christ has begun three ordinances. 1. Lord's Supper. 2. Communion or Breaking of the Bread. And 3. Foot Washing. In water baptism, we are immersed into Jesus Christ. In communion, we are taking Jesus Christ into us. In both, we are symbolically become one with Jesus Christ. This must come to pass in our life. If we strive for it, God will bring it to pass.

Thank you for listening, God bless you and be with you. Amen.

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You may read the lessons on the links: "Water Baptism", "Partake Communion", "Water baptism video." 

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