|Volume 23 Number 11 November 2021
A Soul and the World
Ernest S. Underwood
“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world,
and loses his own soul? Or what will a man
give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26 NKJV).
I. What is the soul?
II. What is the world?
III. If you should gain “the whole world,” what would be your gain?
IV. If you should gain “the whole world,” what would be your loss, for everything you gain, you must sustain a loss?
V. If you should gain “the whole world,” what would be your profit?
The New Birth
Mark T. Tonkery
Jesus said in John 3:5-6, “…Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (NKJV).
There are many who want to argue that baptism, which one must enter to become a Christian, is not immersion; some say it is sprinkling or pouring of water. A quick word study of the New Testament Greek can help us to understand that baptism is immersion.
When one compares the Greek words for sprinkling, pouring and immersion, it is clear that the Holy Spirit meant immersion regarding Christian baptism. The word “sprinkle” in Greek is rhantizō. The word “pour” in Greek is ekcheō or ekchunō. The word “baptism” in Greek is baptisma, meaning “immersion,” and the verb form is baptō, which means “cover wholly with a fluid” (Strong’s). The Greek verb baptizo means to “dip,” “submerge” or “immersion.” (Vine’s 96).
With this said, if the Holy Spirit wanted to use the Greek words for sprinkling or pouring for baptism, the Greek words were readily available in the first century to do so. Therefore, we can see that the meaning is clear that God desired people to be immersed into water to experience the New Birth.
Some may say, “Well that is pretty technical. I don’t know Greek; is there a simpler way to understand this?” The answer is, “Yes.” One can simply read our English Bible and get a clear understanding of one being immersed.
For example, Colossians 2:12 reads, “…Buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” Note also Romans 6:3-5.
Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection
Notice that both passages state that we are “buried” in baptism. We understand what buried is – to cover up completely. That’s what we do in a cemetery when we lay a loved one to rest; we do not leave a body exposed to the elements. Neither do we merely sprinkle or just pour some dirt over the casket. We “bury” the dead completely in the ground. In a similar way we are “buried,” “covered” or “immersed” in water to get into Christ.
Then, there is the example of immersion in John 3:23, “Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized.” John’s baptism, which prepared the way for the baptism that Jesus authorized (Matthew 28:18-20), was done with much water, meaning immersion. We also see in Acts 8:38 that Philip took the Eunuch down into the water to be immersed into Christ.
As we have discussed the mode of baptism, we must not forget why one is to be immersed into Christ. Mark 16:15-16 tells us that this is the proper response to the preaching of the Gospel, in which one must believe and in which one is baptized. Baptism is stated as the place where one is saved. On the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2:38, baptism was the point remission of sins was received. In Romans 6:3-6, 17-18, baptism is the act of obeying the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Have you truly been born again and thereby have entered the kingdom of God? Have you confessed your faith in Christ, repented of your sins and been immersed into Christ, or are you still spiritually dead? Think about it!
Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Electronic Database. Seattle: Biblesoft, 2010.
Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words. Nashville: Thomas Nelson P., 1985.