By Ernest O'Neill

What is Real Baptism?

By Rev. Ernest O'Neill

Of course, the baptism that we need to experience is a real one but it is not just the baptism into water. It's a different kind of baptism. You know when you go under the water, you have to suddenly begin to live in dependence on the life that you have already stored up within you, haven't you? Then you have to live certainly by the breath that you have taken before you go under the water and you have to live by the energy and the strength that you have stored up in the past because you are cut off from any more food while you are under the water. You have to live by whatever inner contentment and peace about yourself you have because you can't have any contact with other people; you are cut off from them and from their approval or their recognition. So, you can see that when you go under the water you're in a sense cut off from any external supply of life.

Now, of course, most of us can't take that for more than three minutes and unfortunately, the reason is not just because we don't have the lung capacity but because so many of us during our lifetime have been utterly dependent on people for our sense of identity. We've been utterly dependent on circumstances for our sense of happiness or contentment. We have been utterly dependent on things for our sense of security. So,
when we are cut off from the external world like that, many of us have a real traumatic experience of frustration and we lack satisfaction in our lives if we are for a moment cut off from all those things. Loved ones, that's the kind of baptism that we do need to experience because you can only have a relationship with God if you have been baptized into a death to all other relationships that would try to supply what He alone can supply. Now that baptism you do need to experience.

You might not experience baptism with water or you may, but you do need to experience a baptism into dying to all other relationships that will try to supply you with what God alone can supply you. That's the true Baptism that is necessary. Loved ones, unless you do experience that, you will never experience spiritual regeneration. Unless you come to the point where you die and are willing to be cut off from people as the source of your identity. Unless you are willing to die and be cut off from the external world of circumstances to provide you with happiness or uplift or optimism, you can never enter into a real relationship with your Creator. It's the same with things. Unless you are willing to be cut off from the sense of security that you get from the world of things and possessions, you can never really experience a real relationship with God, because that's really what sin is, you know. Sin is depending on people for your sense of identity instead of God. Sin is depending on things for your sense of security instead of God. Sin is depending on congenial circumstances for your happiness instead of depending on God. That's what sin is.