Truth, Understanding, Insight


26th April 2008, mgh


4) After Baptism

A person's responsibility does not end with baptism. The person must live in accordance with the principles and precepts outlined in the Bible and the commandments of Jesus Christ. Paul states that having risen from the waters of baptism, there are clear instructions about behaviour and attitude to the Creator, His son and fellow man. Firstly the principle thing in one's life is the love of God and Jesus Christ. The reward of faithful service is eternal life when Jesus returns to reign as King over a subdued world.

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)

Paul writing to the Ephesians clearly tells them that immorality will most definitely exclude a person from an inheritance in the Kingdom of God.

And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. (Ephesians 5:2-5)

Peter explains that having been baptised, one becomes a part of the wonderful promises extended to the patriarchs and of the divine nature. It is important to acquire knowledge, but personal character building is also necessary, culminating in love.

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2Peter 1:4-8)

There are many passages that deal with moral issues and behaviour. Consider Paul's advice about relationships with others on a personal and business level, acquiring patience, honesty, sympathy and kindness, helping those in need, control of the tongue, dealing with adversity and in all aspects of life the imprtance of prayer for guidance.

Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. (Romans 12:9-17)