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TBONE61
Oct 8th 2008, 03:39 PM
Acts 8:26-39 (New King James Version)

26] Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. 27] So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28] was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. 29] Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.” 30] So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31] And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. 32] The place in the Scripture which he read was this:

“ He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;
And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
33 In His humiliation His justice was taken away,
And who will declare His generation?
For His life is taken from the earth.”

34] So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” 35] Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36] Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” 37] Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38] So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. 39] Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.

Form Follows Function

This question often arises, So...why baptize by immersion, dunking the believer under the water, getting him or her wet from head to toe? Other methods seem more dignified. A little water atop the head seems less disruptive, no wet clothes or robes, towels or hairdryers. It's all just symbolism, isn't it? Well yes, baptism is symbolic. It is a picture of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Declaring his own death to sin and the world, the believer is buried in the water and then raised again from the watery grave. Baptism publicly links us with the cross, the tomb, and the resurrection. Is there a more graphic way to identify with Christ? The function (linking with Jesus) dictates the from (immersion).

FOR TODAY: Function today as a testimony of Christ's love.