Immersion into Life

Tel Aviv Coast
Baptism - it happens at different ages, in different ways, with different ceremonies and experiences.  Even Yeshua (Jesus) would have taken part in ritual and ceremonial washing practices as a practicing Jew in the First Century before entering the temple at the special feast times.  When his cousin came along, the man we often call ‘John the Baptist’, he offered a new insight into immersion in water.  Immersion for the Jewish person was already symbolic of consecration to God, but John talked about a “baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins”.  When it came time for Yeshua to start his public ministry, he first insisted that John baptise him saying, “It is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness.”    It was an essential part of God’s plan of righteousness that Yeshua needed to fulfil.

From there we know the apostles and early believers also taught that immersion in water was an important, if not vital part of our life of faith as followers of Yeshua, and through the centuries, this has filtered down the different cultures, until we arrive at the varied practices we have today.

For the Israeli believers today, immersion is still an important act and expression for someone living a life of faith in Yeshua.  Many congregations do not have their own facilities to hold worship services, and even less to baptise or immerse people, so it is not unusual for Adonai Roi, a congregation in Tel Aviv, to walk down to the beach and take advantage of the wonderful Mediterranean Sea for this purpose!  At other times they will hire a bus and drive to the shores of the Galilee, not far from Capernaum, where Yeshua began His ministry and take time for fellowship, fun and to baptise new believers into the Body of Messiah.

Adonai Roi Congregation also run Dugit Messianic Outreach Centre.  Dan, Dugit’s Outreach Director, shared the testimony of Ya’acov* who was immersed during one of these trips:

“Ya’acov has been coming to Dugit for a few months now. I remember the first time he walked in the door and had a lot of questions and concerns about the End Times. After studying scripture with him, I could see that he still had a lot of questions. He came again and again, and recently received Yeshua as his Lord and Saviour. He has come before to other events such as Dugit Live and is slowly starting to get connected with Adonai Roi Congregation and the Body of Messiah. Please pray that God continues to work in his life and to bring healing in different areas.”

Immersion at the beach
Another young Israeli man, David*, was looking for truth. After searching through different Eastern religions, he realized that there had to be only one true faith. He came across Dugit Messianic Outreach Centre and was invited to attend one of their congregational home groups. David was amazed by the love that the young believers had for the Lord, especially in worship. He also witnessed the miraculous transformation that occurred in one of his friends who had recently come to faith in Yeshua. After attending Adonai Roi several times and reading the Bible, David recognized that the Gospel of Yeshua was the one, complete “Truth!” He has since confessed his faith in Messiah and has been immersed in the sea. God is doing wonderful things!

We praise the Lord that he is drawing more Israelis to faith in Messiah Yeshua! Please continue to pray for these new believers that they may become strong disciples, the men and women of God that He has called them to be.

1Corinthians 12:13 “For we were all baptised with one Spirit so as to form one body – whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”  (NIV)
Sunset over the Galilee

 *Names have been changed.