When you show up in court with three reliable witnesses, you have a very strong case. The Lord God redeemed Israel and offered three strong signs as witnesses that they are a chosen people.
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1).
1st sign: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;”
God parted the waters of the Red sea and the tribes of Israel passed through on dry ground, kept safe from the Egyptian armies.
2nd sign: “and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.”
The Lord held back the waters of the Jordan river and His people crossed over on dry ground into the Promised Land.
3rd sign: “When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 43:1b-2).
The nation of Israel marched around the city of Jericho for seven days and on the seventh day the priests blew seven trumpets and the Lord overthrew the city. The walls crumbled and the city was burned. Yet God’s people were not harmed in any way.
It’s amazing to see the truths of Scripture appear as a golden thread through the whole Bible—beginning to end. Signs as witnesses of God’s saving grace in the Old Testament point forward to Christ, our Lord and Savior. “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope” (Romans 15:4).
As New Testament Christians we too are given three witnesses of God choosing us to be called by His name, by means of His saving grace. “For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement” (1 John 5:7).
These are the signs:
1st sign: Washed in the waters of baptism.
“this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21).
2nd sign: The washing of the word.
“To make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word” (Ephesians 5:26).
3rd sign: The baptism of fire.
“But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Luke 3:16).
We are a washed people—to make us a holy nation before the Lord Almighty. We are given sure and reliable signs to give witness to us being a called and chosen people who are made part of the family of God. The waters of baptism, the washing of the word, and the baptism of fire bear witness to the powerful effect of God’s saving grace to redeem us. This is the work of the cross of Jesus Christ, and the power of the blood He shed on our behalf. These sure and reliable signs strengthen our faith so we may walk according to faith with great confidence.