Baptism (4)

WE ARE BAPTIZED INTO THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST

1 Cor. 10:1,2 — "For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea"

Amp. - "EVERY ONE OF THEM allowed himself to be baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, (that is, they were thus brought under obligation to the law, to Moses and to the covenant, consecrated and set apart to the service of God)"

Way - "By this their baptism in cloud and sea THEY PLEDGED THEMSELVES TO FOLLOW MOSES."

Paul said, "these things occurred as examples to keep us (vs. 6). Moses is a type of our Lord Jesus  In the baptism of the sea (water) and the baptism of the cloud (Spirit), they were committed to the leadership and authority of Moses. So we in our water baptism and reception of the Holy Spirit, declare JESUS CHRIST AS LORD! We will follow Him into the fulness of the land of rest!"

BAPTISM IN WATER HAS TO DO WITH CIRCUMCISION

Col. 2:11,12 - "In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead"

Moffit - "In Him YOU HAVE BEEN CIRCUMCIZED, with no material circumcision that cuts flesh from the body, but with Christ’s own circumcision, when yon were buried with Him in your baptism."

The word "circumcision" means "the cutting around". When spoken of as a physical rite in the Bible, it refers to "the cutting off or around of the foreskin in males". God instituted it as a "token of the covenant between Himself and Abraham".

Gen. 17:10,11 - "This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you."

At the very beginning of life, it marked that life as deserving of death. "By the mutilation it practices on the organ of generation, it points to corruption in its source as adhering to the very being and birth of me." Israel was to be a people cut off from sin and pollution. The rite of circumcision was intended to be a permanent sermon declaring God’s desire that Israel be His peculiar and holy people. Moses and the prophets understood this and so urged it upon the people.

Deut. 10:16 - "Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer."

Deut. 30:6 - "The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live."

Jer. 4.4 - "Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, circumcise your hearts, you people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, or my wrath will flare up and burn like fire because of the evil you have done— burn with no one to quench it."

Paul said that outward circumcision alone did not make a Jew a "real Jew". It must be an inward token of a heart attitude toward sin and God.

Rom. 2:28,29 - "A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God."

1 Cor. 7:19 — "Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts."

Gal. 5:6 - "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love."

Gal. 6:15 — "Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation."

In beginning his life in God, the repentant, believing slnner does not submit to the physical rite of circumcision. He does, however, experience a "circumcision not made with hands", which Paul calls a spiritual circumcision performed by Christ", which involves the "putting off the body of the flesh." This circumcision or “cutting off" of the old life and burial in baptism are spoken of together. "Thus you were circumcized when you were buried with Him in your baptism".

BAPTISM IN WATER DEMONSTRATES THE OBEDIENCE OF A GOOD CONSCIENCE.

1 Pet. 3:20b, 21 - " . . . In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and 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."

Amp. - " . . . a few (people), actually eight in number, were saved through water and baptism, which is a figure (of their deliverance), does not also save you (from inward questionings and fears), not by the removing of outward bodily filth (bathing), but by (providing you with) the answer of a good and clear conscience (inward cleanness and peace) before God, (because you are demonstrating what you believe to be yours) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ."

Water baptism is not for the purpose of cleansing the physical body from "filth". It is that act of obedience that demonstrates the reality of our repentance and faith and the desire to have "a good conscience before God.

Study Questions for Lesson No. 10

  1. Give the relationship between Israel, Moses and water baptism.
  2. What is the relationship between Old Testament circumcision and New Testament water baptism?
  3. Does water baptism have anything to do with the conscience?

Previous page: Baptism (3)
Next page: Laying On of Hands (1)