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Your new life in Jesus is freedom from your old life in darkness. However, learning to live in freedom is difficult. Baptism helps us leave the past behind. How? Baptism is our first step into a real relationship and connection with Jesus.
Exodus 14:12 (NLT) Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’”
Step Into Your Freedom
Leaving Bondage is Simple… Letting Go of a Bondage Mindset is Not.
1.5 million slaves entered the wilderness without a master. Almost immediately they began to express regret for leaving their slavery. They were ready to give up on their freedom before they even received it.
1 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NLT) All of them ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Yet God was not pleased with most of them, and their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
What is the problem? Why don’t people want to experience true freedom? It’s because freedom is frightening. If you want a child to feel safe, give boundaries, some kind of fence. Knowing where I am supposed to stop is comforting.
Freedom is also a responsibility. I am responsible for everything concerning me. There are no Pharaohs to send food, provide housing, or define me.
Freedom is a mindset. Just as slavery is a mindset. Baptism is a weapon to tear down our ‘Bondage mindset’, so that we can build a freedom mindset.
How could Baptism set you free from your past? Hint: the ritual is important, but the power is in the mindset. It’s what you think. It’s what you believe. Do you believe it’s true that God has dealt with your past? In believing, are you rejoicing? Baptism is a celebration of freedom!
Your Pain Has a Purpose
Abusers, Slavedrivers, and Pharaohs Create Pain for their Purposes
Pharaoh’s purposes were to build his Kingdom. The Prince of Darkness works the same way. He creates pain and forces you to build his kingdom. That was the pain of Egypt. The people of God were building a Kingdom of slavery, but they were fed in that kingdom. They were provided for to some degree. Even slavery has its positive points.
BUT, your pain is coming from being USED by a system, a world, and an enemy.
2 Timothy 2:25-26 (NLT) Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. 26 Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.
Will You Find Your Escapes or Walk into Your Freedom? Life in slavery is measured by its escapes. Any escape from the pain is important. This is why addiction is rampant. It’s why entertainment and amusement are the way of life today. Everyone is just trying to get a measure of escape from their bondage. But, Jesus taught us that the truth will set us free.
1 Corinthians 10:1a (NLT) …All of them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them,
Your Baptism is the First Step into Your God-Given Purpose
Baptism conveys: I’m leaving my pain. Now the pain I endure is Jesus’ pain. The pain I experience in this life is to fulfill His mission. The pain I experience in this life is to accomplish my God-given purpose.
Your Life Is Going Somewhere
1 Corinthians 10:1b (NLT) all of them walked through the sea on dry ground
They didn’t just Leave Egypt to go Wander in the Wilderness
Yes, that is what happened but that was their choice, not the plan. It’s not enough to leave your past. We must have a destination in mind or we will end up in a wilderness. How will you avoid the wilderness?
Freedom Requires a New Leader.
And, the New Leader isn’t anything like the Old Master. They were “baptized” into Moses, and he was nothing like Pharoah. Pharaoh was a violent and controlling force. In contrast, Moses gave them miracles. He also gave them the Law as a way to relate to God and others. Victory would come to their nation only once their collective slave mindset was dead.
You are to be baptized into Jesus, and He isn’t like anything you know. He leads through forgiveness, rest, peace, and love. He gives power and victory. He also ends the old slave within you. (Hebrews 4:11-12)
Your Baptism Is More Than A Ritual
Israel Walked that Wilderness with Jesus
They kept rejecting Jesus. That was what was stressing them out. They just needed to believe and trust in God’s provision. But God’s provision doesn’t look like Egypt’s provision. God doesn’t lead people like a Pharaoh who abused people.
Baptism is a Lifelong PURSUIT of Jesus
Baptism means ‘I am free’, Yes, free from the tyranny that kept you doing what someone else wanted, but also free to do what is best for you. Free to pursue the one WHO IS THE ANSWER! What fulfills your purpose?
Romans 13:14 (TPT) Instead fully immerse yourselves into the Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, and don’t waste even a moment’s thought on your former identity to awaken its selfish desires.
Talk About It…
- Have 3 people in your group read 1 Corinthians 10:1-5 from different translations of the Bible. Highlight any words or phrases that you find interesting. Discuss your selections.
- Share your Baptism experience. Why did you decide to be baptized? What did it mean to you?
- How does our thinking or our belief system enslave or free us?
- How does pursuing God’s purpose for our lives free us from the enemy’s abuses?
- Where is your life going? Why? Does your plan for your life match up with God’s plan?
- How does Baptism establish a new trajectory for your life? How can we make the ritual mean something?
- If you really believe this is from God, what should you do?