Matthew 3:13-16

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."

 

Ephesians 4:4-5

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Romans 6:3-5

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

I Peter 3:21

This is a symbol of baptism, which now saves you - not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God, it saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Colossians 2:12

and you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

John 3:1-5

Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him." Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

Acts 8:26-40

And the angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, Get up, and go toward the south unto the way that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, which is desert. And he got up and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Isaiah the prophet. Then the Spirit said to Philip, Go near, and stay close to this chariot. And Philip ran up to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, Do you understand what you are reading? And he said, How can I, except someone should guide me? And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.” And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I ask you, of whom is the prophet speaking? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached to him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came to some water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what keeps me from being baptized? And Philip said, If you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stop: and they both went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and Philip baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, and the eunuch saw him no more: but he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.

Galatians 3:26-27

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for as many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

Mark 16:15-16

And he said unto them, Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved, and he that disbelieves shall be condemned.

Titus 3:5

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewal of the Holy Spirit

Matthew 28:19-20

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.

Acts 2:38-41

And Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him." And he testified with many other words and exhorted them, saying, "Save yourselves from this crooked generation." So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls

Acts 22:16

And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name.

 

Baptism should be preceeded by faith and repentance.

Baptism is God’s terms of surrender. Our obedience

Baptism is an outward sign that we have accepted Christ’s gospel.

Baptism is being unified with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection.

Baptism is “clothing” ourselves with Christ.

Baptism is “accepting” Christ (on His terms, not ours)

Baptism is an act of faith.

Baptism is an act of  exchanging our life for His.

Baptism is a picture of how we die to ourselves and come alive in Christ.

Baptism portrays the washing of regeneration

 

The book of Acts covers 20+  years and is a book of transition.

It describes the Holy Spirit decent in various ways, laying on of hands,  baptism, believing the preaching… you just cant label it any one way

 

The words baptizo and bapto in the classical Greek are used with great latitude. Neither of these words can be said always to mean immerse. In the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the word "baptize" is used in such a way that it could not possibly always mean immersion. For example. in Daniel 4:23 in the Septuagint, it says that Nebuchadnezzar was baptized with dew. Certainly no one would say that he was immersed in dew.

In the New Testament use of the word, it is equally true that the word 'baptize" cannot always mean immersion. For example, in Hebrews 9:10, we read: "But deal only in food and drink, and various baptisms, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation." The King James Version uses "washings" instead of "baptizings", but the Greek says "baptizings." This passage refers to the Old Testament ceremonial cleansings, such as the red heifer, and the Day of Atonement. These Old Testament cleansings were never by immersion, but always by sprinkling. Notice how Hebrews 9 itself, verses 19 and 21, emphasize the fact that the Old Testament ceremonial cleansings were by sprinkling.

I Corinthians 10.1, 2 is another such passage: "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea." In this case the Jews certainly were not immersed.

Mark 7:4 is also clear: "And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brazen vessels, and of tables." Again in the King James Version, the word "washings" is used, but the Greek again is "baptizing". If baptize always means immerse, it means that the Jews, each time they came from the market place, had to fill a tub with water and go under, head and all. This is impossible, for most of them had no such accommodation in their homes. Further, this passage would also say that they constantly immersed their tables. This is again obviously impossible. Many of the ancient versions add "and couches" to this passage. To say that they regularly immersed their beds, even if they did use bed rolls, is foolish.

At least three of the baptisms mentioned in the New Testament are difficult to imagine as immersion. The eunuch was baptized by a desert road. The jailer was baptized in the middle of the night. Three thousand were baptized on the Day of Pentecost. It is easy to see how these took place if sprinkling or pouring were used, it is difficult if immersion is taken as the only mode.

As to Romans 6:3,4b: "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death".  Surely, it is not the water baptism which baptizes us into Christ's death, but the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Secondly, however, even if it is taken to mean water baptism, this passage means more than the totally inadequate picture of burial that going under the water can give. What these verses teach is. the great and marvelous reality that, when we accept Christ as our Saviour, we actually have died with Him.

Salvation by Faith Alone
First of all, a Jew saved in the early Christian era would realize that even as he had been justified by faith alone, so also Abraham had been justified by faith alone two thousand years before. Romans 4:1-a makes this abundantly clear: "What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory'; but not before God. For what saith the scriptures? Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness." Galatians 3-6 is just as definite: "Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."

The fact is that the Bible carefully emphasizes that Abraham was justified by faith and that only, just as we are. It is a serious mistake to believe that anyone in any dispensation, has been or can be saved in any other manner than by faith plus nothing. Religious or moral obedience has no place as far as personal salvation is concerned in any dispensation. Notice that it is Paul's writings that stress this fact so clearly.

The Covenant Is Immutable or-the Unity Of the Covenant
Secondly, the Jew saved in the early Christian days would realize that the Covenant made with Abraham is Immutable, that is, unchangeable. Hebrews 6:13-18: "For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could sware by no greater, he sware by himself. Saying, surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men verily sware by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us."

This passage is very' definite that, first, the Covenant made with Abraham is unchangeable, and that, second, it includes us who are saved in this dispensation.

Covenant Is Primarily Spiritual
This Jew would also remember that the Covenant made with Abraham was primarily spiritual. For those of us who are Gentiles saved in this era the national promises made to the Jews do not apply, but the spiritual promises do apply. Romans 4:16 is clear concerning this. The 13th verse tells us definitely that God is here speaking of the promise to Abraham, and yet verse 16 is equally clear that we, the Gentiles saved in this present era, are the fulfillment of that promise. "Therefore, it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all." Therefore, the promise could not be primarily national, but spiritual. Galatians 3:7,8,13,14 and 25 tell us exactly this same thing. We, the Gentile Christians, are the fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham; therefore, (though there is a natural, national portion of the Abrahamic covenant) the promise is not primarily national but spiritual. These passages also show that there is a spiritual unity in all dispensations.

Galatians 3:17 makes it abundantly plain that the spiritual promise made to Abraham was not set aside by the giving of the Mosaic Law four- hundred and thirty years afterward. The spiritual unity was not broken by the giving of the law on Sinai.

This Jew of ours, therefore, would have in his mind that Abraham was saved in the same manner as we are saved; and that the promise made to Abraham is Immutable and primarily spiritual; and further, that we who are saved in this dispensation are included in that promise. He would have in mind the Unity of the Covenant.

The Outward Sign
This Christian Jew would also remember that the spiritual promise in the Old Testament days was sealed with a physical sign. Romans 4:10, 1 la: "How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith, and that after he was justified, circumcision was given as a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had, yet being uncircumcised." This passage says that Abraham was justified by faith, and that after he was justified, circumcision was given as a seal of the righteousness which was his by faith before he was circumcised.

The Old Testament and the New Testament alike also remind us that the circumcision of the flesh was to be an outward sign of the true circumcision of the heart. In other words, that true circumcision was a spiritual thing. Deuteronomy 10:16 reads: "Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff-necked." Romans 2:28, 29 says the same thing; "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God." Circumcision, therefore, was primarily spiritual.

Further than this, we must never forget that circumcision is not just a sign through the years of Abraham's faith, but it is a sign of the faith of the individual father. The case of the proselyte and his child proves this. Exodus 12;48; "And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall he as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof." In other words, when a Gentile became a true believer in the living God and wanted to have a part in the religious observances of the Passover, first of all he had to be circumcised, but all his children had to be circumcised too. Thus, circumcision was the sign of personal faith and not just the faith of Abraham.

Therefore, this Jew, saved in the early Christian era, would remember that not only was the promise made to Abraham primarily spiritual, but the outward seal, that was given to show the individual's faith, was also primarily to be of spiritual meaning.

This, of course, is exactly what baptism in the New Testament is; and, therefore, circumcision in the Old Testament was in that dispensation what baptism is in this, Colossians 2:11, 12 is the final proof of this. The King James Version is not as clear as it might be. The American Revised is more accurate and we quote from it. By omitting that which should be in parentheses, this is when we have: "In whom ye were also circumcised in the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism." This being so, the Bible declares that Old Testament circumcision was what baptism is in the New Testament.

SO, dont get hung up on how it is done, just be obedient to God.

bp

 

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