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Monday, May 23, 2011

Our Baptism

Where did Baptism originate ??
Who baptized?
HOW did they baptize?
What did the apostles of Christ command concerning this?

Most  have heard about John the Baptist.... but did you know...?
 God had given John the baptist a direct command to baptize  (to baptize means literally "to immerse", not sprinkle.)

John 1:33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize in water, he said unto me, 
Upon whomsoever thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and abiding upon him, the same is he that baptizeth in the Holy Spirit.

John gave a strong message of repentance and baptized those who were told to "bring forth fruits worthy of (your) repentance", i.e. to change of one's mind and will).

But baptism was also  foreshadowed in the Old Testament temple service.
1.   Under the Old Law, as a priest entered the temple to do service, he was to follow the law given in Exodus 30:18 where God commanded:

"Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and the base thereof of brass, whereat to wash. And thou shalt put it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein.
19  And Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat: 
  (their works (of their hands) and spiritual walk (of their feet) were to be cleansed
      by the washing of the water by obedience to the Word)
20  when they go into the tent of meeting, (that is to come before God)  they shall wash with water,
     that they die not;
      or when they come near to the altar to minister,
      to burn an offering made by fire unto Jehovah

      (the OT priest offered the sacrifice and burning of the flesh, which symbolized how the Christian is to
       repent from our dead fleshly works and sin)
21  So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not: and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations.

 The NT "translates" this statute into water baptism and continuing in His Word, the New "eternal" Covenant in Christ. 
In doing so, we "fulfill all righteousness" as there is no righteousness apart from the Word and obedience in faith, to the terms of the New Covenant. And we are "walking as He walked", that is, in the very footsteps of Christ.
2.  Jesus as our high priest likewise had to fulfill the righteousness of the law, which He too submitted Himself to fulfill it for us.
     The law required the priest to wash a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed
    which pointed right to Jesus Christ, our "High Priest".

 Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
3.  As we transition into the New Testament, baptism is *commanded,  as the extension of the law of the Old Testament, only it was changed:
     Their is no longer a tribe of priests doing service for God in a temple built with hands,
      Baptism is now commanded for ALL believers who each are now a priest and who are themselves a corporate temple made without hands, to offer up the sacrifices of praise and our "reasonable service".

 Thus the ceremonial "washings", the ordinance commanded in the washing in the laver,  became a complete immersion into Christ, which points us also to immersion in water and Spirit.
  (Hebrews 9:10 being only (with meats and drinks and divers washings) carnal ordinances, imposed until a time of reformation.) 

 The literal water of baptism also being a symbol of both the Word and Spirit, which Jesus called the "new birth", for the "born again" believer..
 Therefore when the gospel was preached after the death and resurrection of Christ,  baptism was commanded, and was 
always by immersion.

The OT priest was to obey the command to wash his hands and feet (symbolizing his works and walk) in order to offer an acceptable sacrifice and come into God's presence.

The NT believer, who is also of a "a royal priesthood" is to likewise continue in his baptism through abiding in the Word and offering up the sacrifice of his flesh, in laying down his life for the brethren.
(1John 3:16)
4. Baptism also shows forth and fulfills our death to sin, self (through repentance), and burial as Christ died, was buried, and rose to walk in new life.
At our baptism as we are immersed in the water "we are buried with Him by baptism into death"
-Rom 6:3-4-5) in order that we might arise to walk in newness of life.
5. Baptism also shows us a token of God's forgiveness of sins "arise and be baptized WASHING AWAY thy sins..."  Acts 22:16, Acts 2:38.
6. There is one more beautiful truth that goes with our baptism
Not only does it bury us with Christ showing our repentance and death to sin, it also shows us the promise of our immersion into Christ who is the Word.
     As the disciples baptized, they did so as ambassadors of Jesus Christ, acting in His Name and authority. 

The name of Jesus was the ONLY name used in baptism and our baptism is  where the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is revealed in Jesus
The name of Jesus was called upon to save by the new believer, and the person administering the baptism acted as the representative of Jesus Christ.  

"neither is there salvation in any other, for there is NO OTHER NAME under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12
"Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name" Phil. 2:9

This was so important that disciples of John the Baptist were re-baptized  into the name of Jesus in Acts 19.
   (5  And when they heard this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.

the Greek word for baptism is baptizo 
the definition is:
 to dip, to immerse, to submerge, to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water, to wash one's self, bathe.
Our New Testament baptism is a blessing from God and a visible way to experience forgiveness of our sins when we believe the gospel.
It was in the last instruction Jesus gave the apostles and the first time the message of Jesus was preached, it resulted in a command to the crowd to be baptized in Jesus' name. Acts 2:38 a figure for the NT priesthood of believers:
the OT priest performed the washing as commanded.
Revelation 1:6 and he made us to be a kingdom, to be priests unto his God and Father; to him be the glory and the dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

The law was only the shadow, Christ gave us the Light, and the New Testament reveals Him.

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