By Ernest O'Neill

What Baptism into Jesus' Death Means

By Rev. Ernest O'Neill

Being baptized into death to those things is being freed from sin and declaring to your Creator, "Lord, You alone can supply me with these things." That's what it means to be baptized into Jesus' death. It means that you're willing to identify yourself with Jesus in his death to people and to the opinion and the approval of people for your own sense of significance.

It means you are willing to be baptized into that with Him. It means you are willing to be baptized into His death to food and shelter and clothing as a reassurance of security. It means you are willing to be baptized into His death to congenial or convenient circumstances as the source of your happiness. In a way, it means that just as you are cut off from the life-support system of this external physical world when you are buried in the water -- so when you are buried with Jesus you are cut off from the life-support system of this present external world.

Of course, the killer with most of us is, we are so used to that life-support system that our whole personality reacts against that kind of death. Indeed, our personality cannot adjust to it; it cannot adapt to a different life-support system and the only reason it can at all, loved ones, is that God took your people-addicted, thing-addicted, circumstance-addicted personality and He put it into His son Jesus on Calvary and He destroyed it. And He destroyed it before that in a cosmic destruction, and for that reason, your personality is able to change like that in a moment, if you're willing. If you're willing, your personality can change like that -- in a moment. It can be looking that way for security, significance, and happiness -- and it can change like that.

Loved ones you can, you can! It is Satan and the whole train of his servants that we have in our society today that claims you can't change. You can change. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, you can change because God has already worked the change in His Son, and all you are doing by being willing for that change is to allow Him to actualize that in you this very moment.

That's why it is so important to take a definite step of commitment. Doesn't matter whether it's going down into the water, doesn't matter whether it's coming up here or not, and doesn't matter whether it's sitting in your own chair at home -- but a definite moment of commitment when you say, "Lord God, I am willing. I am willing to die to the life-support system that has been my only reinforcement and my only strength. I am willing to die, Lord, to people and their opinion of me for my sense of identity and significance. I am willing, Lord, to die now to things and possessions for my feeling of security. I am willing to die to congenial circumstances for my sense of happiness and contentment and Lord I am willing to depend on You, and You only, and I am willing to live off our relationship and that alone, and anything else that comes to me is just an extra that You give me, but I am willing to depend on You only."

Loved ones, the moment that you part company from your last relationship of dependence on this external world, that moment God is able to cut the umbilical cord that connects you to people and things and circumstances and He is able to energize you by his Holy Spirit so that you immediately sense that He is real, and you enter into all the security and the significance and the happiness of a real personal relationship with him. But loved ones, He can only work that, if you are willing on this side to part company from those things. If you are willing to die to that life-support system if you are willing to be cut off from that physical external world as the source of your security, significance, and happiness. May I just make that point?

I am not saying that you stop eating. I am not saying that you stop having friends. I am not saying that you stop owning things. I am saying that you stop using those as your source of security. You stop using those as your source of significance and your sense of identity. You stop using those as your source of happiness because loved ones, it's using those things that make you so obnoxious when you don't get what you want. That's what makes you so obnoxious to the loved ones that live with you -- to your friends, to your colleagues, to everybody you come in contact with. What makes us obnoxious is we get so irritated when we don't get what people we want or what things we want or what circumstances we want. "It's raining today and I was going to go sailing. It's not snowing and I was going to go skiing." "Wife, you ought to do that for me." Loved ones, that's the source of sin in our lives, and being freed from that means dying to all those things as our right.