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Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
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March 20, 2023 10:00 am


Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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March 20, 2023 10:00 am

In this show, Dr. Shah talks about the importance of baptism in the life of a believer. Baptism

isn’t a new concept but was something that has been passed down by God’s people.

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Hey everyone, it's Monday, March the 20th. I'm Ryan Hill, John Galantis. You're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at, or if you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028, or you can email us at contact at You scared me. You guys can help us keep the conversation going by supporting this podcast, sharing it online, leaving us a good review on iTunes, Spotify, anywhere you get your podcasting content from.

We're going to leave a couple of links in the description so you can do just that. Are you good? Your brain just ever skipped to something else. If you're in the middle of a conversation and I was like, what do I need to do for the night? It happens all the time when I'm driving a motor vehicle. I'm focused on what I'm doing, and then I'm like, hmm, what about the kids?

Just complete out of left field. Sorry about that, everybody. It's all right.

Take a minute. Compose yourself. I'm going to read the verse of the day. It's coming from John 8-32, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. A lot of times people think about the Bible and about Christianity as a list of rules of things you can't do. Don't do this.

Don't do that. Half the Ten Commandments are like, don't fill in the blank. But when we know the truth of God's word, when we know who Christ is and what he's done for us, that's true freedom. We are in bondage to sin.

We are in bondage to our sinful natures until that moment of salvation. That's when we realized true freedom. That's something we've been talking about on the worship team for about a year now.

Ever since, I would say, early 2022, we've been talking about this idea of freedom and worship. What does it mean? It doesn't just mean that you come, and there's just no barriers. There's no boundaries.

I can jump, and I can clap, and I can scream, and I can run. All that stuff, you can worship. But what we're saying in freedom is that, like you said, there is no holding back. You don't have to hold back your love for God and your passion for him. You can express it freely without fear of ridicule, without fear of persecution. Because of what he's done for us, you are able to let go of all the things that you think he's looking for out of your worship.

I agree with you. Freedom. The truth is going to make you free. David asked me an interesting question. Dave, if you want to just turn your mic on there and ask it, because I was eager to see what your answer to this would be.

I've been asked this question before, but I want to see what your take on it is. Sure. All right. You get a million dollars. That's a lot of money. That's a lot of money. I wouldn't turn it down. Okay.

A million dollars. But for the rest of your life, for the rest of your life, you are chased by a snail. And if that snail touches you, if that snail, even so much as just gets like right there on your skin, you're dead. It's also like the snail is constant. He doesn't take a break. It's 24-7 making it. It's like traveling in a straight line to you. Its main goal is to kill you.

I feel like I would probably take that. You're on high alert at all times. I am. But here's the thing. A snail is not going to be able to get into my house unless he's crawling through like a vent or something.

The snail has, I think, direct access. Has his ways. Yeah. Okay.

So that's what I said. My thing was I'll take my family, we'll move across the ocean. And he's like, the snail will find its way onto a ship. It's not a...

Okay. So there are no barriers that can keep the snail out. It might slow the snail down. This is not a normal snail. This is like a John Wick snail.

It's not like you can't foil... My life is genuinely in danger. I've got to keep this snail in sight because otherwise I don't know where he's sneaking up from. And the further, yes, and the further you go from the snail, like if I move across the earth, now I have no clue. Well, okay. Well, is it a year? Is it 10 years?

I don't know. Yeah. How long will it take the snail? Because if, I mean, if a snail hops on a ship, it's going to move a lot faster than a snail would. That's right.

Um, that changes things. You can't foil the snail. You can slow the snail down. And I assume that I'm not able to kill the snail. No, the snail is immortal.

At least that was my understanding. This is David's question, but... Yeah, the snail is 100% immortal. Like, if this is for the rest of your life... So this force is coming slowly for me. At all times.

At all times. Like when you're asleep, the snail is moving. That's scary. That is scary. Yeah, I don't think I would take that now. I mean, you're living the rest of your life kind of on edge.

Yeah. It's kind of happening to us on a metaphysical level, right? Like death is constantly like one day. We have a day and that day is one day closer every day, but we don't know when it is. And like, it's always kind of that, that thought in the back of your mind that you don't think about. But then I think about it and it's like, yeah, my day is coming.

And every day I wake up, it's one step closer. Right. Okay. Well, that actually lines up with what we're talking about today.

I was literally goofing. No, it doesn't. We're talking about baptism. Yeah, but we've been talking about how Jesus is sufficient for today. That's true.

There you go. We can't look ahead and be worried about like, you know, one day we're going to die. Yes, I mean, we are. One day we're going to die, but we can't focus on that nor can we like be stuck looking backwards.

We've got to focus on today. So in order to understand that we've walked through the seven I am statements of Jesus through the gospel of John, but we're still kind of camping out in the book of John talking about, we're talking about the ordinances that have been established through the book of John. We've seen a lot of baptisms here at Clearview recently, and it's evident that God is moving and baptism is something that is such a celebration for us here at Clearview.

But we're going to talk about what makes baptism a staple of Christian living, why it is a non-negotiable, not an optional part of the Christian life. Well, good morning, afternoon, evening, Clearview Today listeners. My name is John and I'm David. And we just want to take a quick second and let you know about another way that you can keep in touch with Dr. Shah's work. And that is his weekly podcast series, Sermons by Abaddon Shah, PhD. As a lot of you may know, or maybe some of you don't know, if you don't know, you do now. And if you don't know, then maybe just hop off the podcast. David, I'm just playing. Hop off the podcast.

I'm just playing. Keep listening. Dr. Shah is actually the lead pastor of Clearview Church in North Carolina. Every single weekend, he preaches expository messages that challenge and inspire us to live God honoring lives. Well, one of the four core values of Clearview Church is that we're a Bible believing church. So every sermon is coming directly from scripture, which is great because that guarantees that there are timeless truths that are constantly applicable to our lives. This is a great resource because whether you're driving, whether you're cleaning the house, whether you're working out, you can always benefit from hearing the word of God spoken into your life. And God's word is always going to do something new for you every time you hear it.

Sometimes it's conviction and sometimes it's encouragement. But know that every time you listen to God's word, you're inviting the Holy Spirit to move and work in your life. You guys can check out the Sermons by Avidan Shah PhD podcast. First and foremost, check it out on our church app. That's the Clearview app. You can get that in the Google Play Store. You can get that on iTunes, but you can also find the podcast on the Apple podcast app or on our website at And listen, if you've got a little extra time on your hands, you just want to do some further reading, you can also read the transcripts of those sermons.

Those are available on Dr. Shah's website, And we're going to leave you guys a little link in the description so you can follow it. But for right now, David, let's hop back in.

All right. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Avidan Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at if you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, you can send us a text at 252-582-5028. That's right. And if you're joining us for the very first time today, we want to let you know who Dr. Shah is, who's talking to you today. Dr. Avidan Shah is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor and the host of today's episode.

You can find all his work online at his website, that's That's right. What better way to start the week? Happy Monday to you, Dr. Shah. Happy Monday to you guys. It's good to be back in the studio. That's right.

We're like the anti-Garfield over here. We love Mondays. We love Mondays. Love Mondays because that's more Clear View Today content.

That's right. Clear View Monday. Clear View Today Monday. There you go. Clear View Monday Today. That's nice. I don't know. That's nice. We'll workshop it. So over the course of the past few weeks, throughout the month of March, we've been seeing baptisms, like a surge of baptisms.

Explosive. And that's something that is always moving to me. And we've talked about this before as a team. It's just so powerful to see people take that step of obedience and follow God's command to be baptized. That's not something that we lock into one Sunday a year, but we have baptisms throughout the year.

That's right. But it seems like over the past few weeks, we've seen a surge of the number of baptisms here at Clear View. Well, it's sort of because I preached a message, if you remember, water, bread, and cup. And in this message, I touched on the two ordinances of the church right here at Clear View. One is baptism and the other is communion. And I think both of them made a big impact on people's lives, but baptism made the ones who hadn't been baptized step forward. Absolutely.

Yeah. I contrasted baptism and communion. First, baptism is my individual or my personal identification with Jesus Christ. Communion is our corporate identification with Jesus Christ.

So individual identification, what does that mean? Identification means that I am one with him. I identify with him. He is in me.

I'm in him. So when he died, I died. When he was buried, I was buried.

When he rose from the grave, I rose from the grave. And when I got saved, God applied to my life what had already been done. And so now that I am saved, it's no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. Galatians 2 20, I've been crucified with Christ. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me and the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. So that is what baptism represents.

Yeah. And I love the emphasis that you place on baptism, Dr. Shaw, and that we do here at Clearview. I mean, it's much more than just walk into the tank, dunk, here you go. I mean, spectacle is not the right word, but it's a celebration. We take time for each person getting baptized. I mean, there's a video that's involved and there's a whole process, and it's meant to celebrate that moment for them. You said something to somebody getting baptized once, and I remember it. They were kind of nervous, kind of apprehensive.

They didn't like being in front of people. And you're like, hey, what I want you to do is I want you to just remember this moment. I want you to remember, soak up everything that's happening, let it imprint on your memory, because this is a once in a lifetime thing. This is, it is a significant moment, almost like a turning point moment in your faith, in your walk with Christ. And just the way that you spoke about baptism was just so profound and so weighty and so beautiful. It just, that's something that's really stuck with me.

Yeah, that was very true. You know, baptism is not something that began with Baptists. You know, people think back in the 1600s, in fact, baptism was part of the Jewish life way before even John the Baptist. They were baptizing people.

They had these rituals. Think about the Qumran community, living by the Dead Sea. If you ever go there and you, you know, there's a place for you to go to and stand on this ridge and look across and see the caves. You've been there with me, John and David. But then if you go to the left, okay, kind of going away from the gift shop area, to the right are the caves, but to the left, towards the Dead Sea, are these ruins that have been left there for centuries, right?

But the most prominent thing that I love to see there are the baptistries. Yeah. Yeah.

Those are pretty cool. They're there. You've seen it?

I've seen them. Right? And like we talk about baptism once in your life. These people would baptize themselves several times a day.

Yeah. It was a purification. It was a sign of purification, like washing yourself clean. So I'm about to begin the day, baptism. I'm about to write some scriptures as a scribe, baptism. It's time to eat, baptism. It's time to end the day or season or some festival, baptism.

So several times a day, this community would baptize themselves. Wow. That's really interesting.

Yeah. So, you know, that was there way before. And in some ways, you know, Paul even talks about how baptism, you know, all were baptized into the sea. He's referring, of course, here to God's people coming out of Egypt and going into the promised land.

You know, he talks about all of them. Let me see if I can find that passage here. This is a powerful passage, by the way. He talks about them going into the Baptist, to the sea, and all were under the cloud and they were baptized. So even though the rite of baptism was not exactly like it looks today, there was, oh here, 1 Corinthians 10.

It says, Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. Of course, it's safe figure of speech, but could it also be that they did understand this initiation by going through the water? Even if they were not like, stop, baptized, now let's go through.

They may just have walked through and it was considered to be the immersion they needed. So it's one of those things where the imagery really helps and kind of like you were talking about, Ryan, that here at Clearview Church, and I think a lot of churches get this right, is where baptism is a significant thing. You kind of mentioned that we always show a video and that video, for anybody out here that are listening that want to kind of make baptism a central thing that you guys do, is we always record their testimony up to this point.

How did you come to know the Lord? And what ends up happening, even with little kids or with teenagers or with adults, is they tell the story of who they were. You know, well, I was this person. These are the things that I used to do. These are the things that I used to find important.

But now, since getting saved, you know, I feel this or I feel that or I'm looking forward to this. And so what happens is there's this picture of who I was. This is who I was. I did some good things. I did some bad things, but I was fundamentally different. And so what follows that video is the baptism.

And so kind of like you said, Dr. Shaw, when they come up out of that water, they're no longer who I was. I've been identified with Christ now. And that's kind of, we're not celebrating who that person was, but we're showing through that video that there's been a change. There's been a transformation. I used to be this. Now I'm showing you through this display that I'm identified with Christ.

Yeah. You know, we have people listening from all walks of life and all kinds of backgrounds. Dr. Shaw, can you take just a minute and walk through what baptism is, what it means for people who are listening who might not know? Well, number one, this is a custom tradition that was there way before John the Baptist. But John the Baptist gave it a new meaning. This was a baptism unto repentance. If you read the book of Acts, there were people in the early church who were only practicing John the baptizer's baptism until Paul came to them and he said, have you not heard of the baptism through Christ? And then he baptized them and the Holy Spirit came upon them. So there is the baptism of John. Then there was baptisms that happened prior. And then the idea of this immersion was always there among God's people.

Now I'm going somewhere with this and the somewhere is this. When we are baptized today, based on the Great Commission, but Jesus said, go into all the world, make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. That is a whole different baptism.

Okay. That is something new that Jesus instituted. But it also symbolizes our place in the family of God. Baptism is one of those traditions that mark us as in the same line as God's people.

Not just the first believers, but also those that were baptized through John the Baptist going beyond to the Jewish people, going beyond to the patriarchs. So this is much more than just an individual moment in a person's life. It's a rich history. It's a family tradition. Even though the meanings have become more nuanced, it is a family tradition. So think of baptism as a family tradition. When you join this family, you do this.

Even though your reason for doing it is not the reason that John the Baptist's disciples were being baptized, even though your reason for doing it is not the same as the Qumran community, even though your reasons for being baptized are not identical to the people who were baptized by walking through the sea, you are still doing the same act. And hence you are part of this family. It gives us roots. It gives us a connection, a link to the family of God. The differences shouldn't divide us, right?

We should be looking for these things like baptism that bring those similarities together so that there is continuity between God's people. Yeah. Because then if not, then it's just like, why are we doing this? Oh, because Jesus said it.

Right. But maybe he said it just to the first group. Why do we need to be baptized? And that's some of the arguments people have raised who only do sprinkling or who don't do baptisms at all, or make baptisms optional, or accept infant or adult baptism as, hey, as long as you have something done, no big deal.

But when you understand the deep significance meaning and the continuity, that's when you go, wait, now this, there's a reason behind this. That's a good point. And I've often hear people say that as though it is an optional thing. Like, hey, listen, baptism does not save you.

Like, yes, that's true, but pointing it out for the reason, pointing it out to make it an optional thing is not helpful. That's not what Jesus had in mind. Yeah. And then when, by the time Paul comes around, right? Romans chapter six, I believe he gives it a much clearer meaning and understanding which is the, you know, we are baptized into his death and then we have risen to walk in the newness of life. Jesus doesn't talk about all those things, but Paul does. So even by Paul's time, the same ritual, right? Family tradition continues, but now it has a richer meaning. Now, maybe Jesus did talk about it.

I don't know. Maybe he did, but the gospels don't talk about that. So my encouragement to people is stop making it optional. Stop being so dismissive, get to the heart of what baptism really represents. And it's much more than just Jesus told us to do it, which is true.

And it's much more than just a representation of my death, burial and resurrection. Cause I mean, think about it. If it's already happened, why am I doing this water thing? Cause it already happened.

And you're telling me it's not that the water doesn't do it for me. Then why am I doing it? Well, could it be that that's what families do?

We continue the same thing. Like for example, if I could make up an example here, like we eat turkey at Thanksgiving, right? But when you go back further back to the pilgrims, you're right. What did it mean for them? That was their source of food, right?

That was something special that they were going to eat. So even though we're eating turkey, it doesn't have the same exact meaning as it did for the pilgrims or the various stages in American history. Nonetheless, by having turkey on the table in a way makes me more American. It does.

And it makes your life better because it makes your mindset better because once you do understand it, you know, this is something that I think that Christians tend to do is they equate tradition equals bad. If this is a tradition, then it's to be avoided. Or optional.

Yeah, it's up. You can do it if you want, but you absolutely don't have to. But taking part in that tradition, like you were talking about, does instill you with that American spirit. And it says, listen, all of these people who founded this great nation, I want to identify with you guys.

I want to, I'm part of the nation and part of the fruitful result that you dreamed of. And when Jesus says, go and be baptized for us to then say, well, that's fine. We're still going to heaven even if we don't Jesus, but I'll do it if you really want us to.

We miss the family aspect, the family dynamics of the gospel. Who was the guy, there's a story, I think it's in Acts, I can't think of where it is, but the eunuch, he's like, I want to get what, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think he sees like water and is like, what's stopping me? This is Acts chapter six, I believe it is right.

I can look it up. Yeah. He is, he is, he comes to Jerusalem to worship. He is probably an African. He is probably an eight God, Acts chapter eight, a God fearer. And he gets a scroll of Isaiah, buys one and he is headed back home. And as he's headed back home, he's reading through the book of Isaiah and he's reading that passage where it talks about how this, this one kept his mouth shut and like a sheep before a shearer silent, he opened not his mouth and God, the Holy Spirit sent Philip, the evangelist to run after the chariot, catch up with it and ask that man, do you understand what you're reading? And his answer is no, I don't know what I'm reading.

That's why I need some help. So he stops the chariot, Philip gets in and then he explains to him the meaning of what he was reading. Picture this, I mean, on this road that he is going from Gaza, headed back, you know, and he's, he's, he's listening to Philip explain about Jesus. And then comes the point of baptism. His, his question is what, what did you find out? He's, so it's, it's Acts eight, just like you said, and he said, 36, and as they were going along the road, they came to some water in the eunuch said, see, here is water.

What prevents me from being baptized? Yeah. Yeah. He was ready to do it. He wanted it. So seems like he felt like this is a family thing and I want to be in this family. And if I'm allowed to be in this family, this is a tradition I got to go through.

I'll do it. That's a, that's a good point. You say I'm a, if I'm allowed to be in this family, this is a privilege. Jesus allows us to come into the family of God and be children of God. And for us to be like, well, I don't, that's fine. I'll come be in the family.

I appreciate that. But do I really need to do all your traditions? I mean, How disrespected would we feel if our kids treated our family traditions like actions? Yeah. Or if I were to come along and say, Thanksgiving is all wonderful and all, but I don't, the Turkey stuff is all stupid. And, and all this family sitting together and cranberry sauce and all that, it's all dumb. Yeah. I don't have to be like, what's, and then, and I know there are people with this whole idea of multiculturalism in America.

Like we don't have to have that. I'm going to have my own kind of food. Okay.

Do it. Just know that's a great family thing you're doing. It's not part of the American family. Right. Right. So I'm sorry. It doesn't have the same meaning.

Well, yes, it does. I'm, I'm being thankful. Right. But do you really think you're standing in line with all the found the, the, the people who, who laid the foundation of this nation? I'm sorry.

You're not. Yeah. Yeah. But I remember that was one of the few things in life as a young person that I was like, I wanted to remember like, you know, you do stuff in life and then it's like, I'm just kind of in the moment. I remember specifically going into the baptist being like, I want to, I want to kind of like you said, I want to soak this in. You have a sense of that heaviness. Absolutely. Yeah.

Even, I mean, even when my kids went through the, the baptistry and you know, Asher will get there one day. They all, all four of them so far have just kind of had that sense of like, this is really important. Like I'm not going to act up.

I'm not going to be crazy. This is, this is a really significant moment. It's one of those things where I know this sounds crazy, but like, I want time to be under the water. Like you're only under the water for like maybe a second, maybe two. Yeah. But I want time to be down there to, I want it to kind of soak in like what I'm doing. But then by the time I even have that thought I'm coming back up. Yeah. It's, it's one of those weird things, but I definitely had that where I was like, when I go under, I want this to mean as much as possible.

And I don't mean just like mean harder and like force meaning, but I want to just sit and soak in the meaning. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Without drowning though. Exactly.

How about you guys in the back? I was baptized at seven. I didn't really understand it like I fully do now. So I want to actually be re-baptized sometime. We've talked about it, so that's coming. Possibly the Jordan river? Possibly in the Jordan river.

In Israel. If we do that, we got to post that to Clearview today. That would be really great.

That would be amazing. But so I've been baptized, but not with the understanding that I have now. So how about you Nicholas?

I was baptized at the same age, around seven, six or seven. I remember actually having a sit down conversation with you in our old house. Yep. I baptized you. I remember that.

Wow. So it's, it's a, it's a great family tradition. It has deep meaning and the meaning is richer and more impactful the older you get, you know, what that really represents that, that the baptistry is like a watery grave. Going in the water is like you're dying, being laid into a coffin.

Going further in is like you're being buried. When you come back up, you have risen to walk in the newness of life. Wow. What a great symbol. And I have traveled all over the world, especially in the Middle East, places like Philippi, Greece, and I've seen baptisteries and Egypt have seen baptisteries. Is this beautiful?

That's what Christians have done for several thousand years. Wow. It's beautiful. And thinking about belonging to a family tradition like that, that just makes it all the more impactful. You guys enjoyed today's episode or if you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028.

You can visit us online at and you can partner with us financially on that same website. Every gift that you give goes not only to building up this radio show, but countless other ministries for the gospel of Jesus. That's right.

And because you guys stuck around to the end of the episode, we're going to answer that question we posed up top. Dr. Sha, Kenneth G. wrote in and wants to know who's the most famous person you've ever met. Oh, wow.

Ooh, I have to do some thinking on that. Okay. So this person comes to mind, not because he is the most famous ever that I've met, but recently I would say. Okay.

So let's go back to recently. The person I met who I believe is probably the most famous would be Dr. Mustafa El Fekih, who is, who was the librarian of Alexandria. And then of course he was an ambassador to India, ambassador to Austria, and then also an advisor to the president of Egypt.

And so quite a famous person. And the library was closed that day. Really? We were supposed to go see the library of Alexandria is closed. You're going to open the library.

I mean, to be fair, if you're, if you're the librarian for the oldest library in the world, that's pretty fast. You've got a little bit of a pull. I'll tell you this.

I mean, it used to have scrolls and scrolls and scrolls of, of manuscripts and parchments. Yeah. That's a, that's a pretty, that's awesome. Yeah. Very cool. We love you guys. We'll see you tomorrow on Clearview Today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-20 12:09:29 / 2023-03-20 12:22:24 / 13

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