I grew up in a historical church denomination. I remember as a teenager reading in the Bible about water baptism. I knew I had been baptized as an infant and had been told that I only needed to confirm my baptism through a public declaration of my faith. I did this at age 11, but I never felt fully confirmed. As I read my Bible my attention was drawn to biblical baptism, in other words, being immersed in water. Some friends of mine attended a church that baptized through full immersion in water. At first Pastor Lewis was hesitant because he did not want to make trouble between the two denominations. I assumed he came to believe that my conviction and desire to be baptized was more important than a difference between the two churches regarding baptism. In the middle of the week he called and asked if I still wanted to be baptized. I told him I did, so the following Sunday evening I was immersed in water with the congregation looking on as witnesses. As Peter writes:
There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 3:21 KJV
Something had changed in me; I just was not sure what it was. All I knew was I began to have more assurance of my son-ship in Christ and a deeper longing for the Lord and His Word.
Through baptism our identity switches from Adam and the fleshly realm to Christ who gives us His life-giving Spirit. The Spirit of God begins to empower us daily and a whole new mindset begins to form as the transformation out of the kingdom of darkness into His wonderful light takes place. God intends that the mind of Christ becomes our way of thinking. Paul gave clear instruction in Philippians when he wrote:
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Philippians 2:5–9 NKJV
Does that not say it all? Here we have the heart of our success over the kingdom of darkness. It is called conformity to the person of Christ. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit can this transpire and become reality on earth. That is why Paul declared:
“Christ in you the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27b NKJV