Wednesday, September 16, 2015

There Is One


There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.   Ephesians 4:4-6

Note: This post is LONG.  I have made it a pdf download on the side bar if you care to save it and read it at your leisure.

Today marks one month since I was baptized in a lake--such a wonderful memory it will always be!  I was previously "baptized" by sprinkling with water, not as a baby, but when I was preschool aged.  I don't remember it, but I have a certificate.  The verse in my layout for today has often been used to support the idea that there is no need to be "re-baptized."  The problem with that is the "re" part.  Sprinkling, by definition, is different than baptizing.  We'll see later why sprinkling does not fit into the symbolism of baptism, but the word for baptize in Greek is baptízō (970) – properly, "submerge"; hence, baptize, to immerse (literally, "dip under"). Baptízō implies submersion ("immersion"), in contrast to rhantizó (4472): to sprinkle, meaning "cleanse ceremoniously by sprinkling" (which can call for anointing oil, blood or water in the Old Testament (nazah/5137) but in the New Testament referred specifically to the sprinkling of blood, looking back to the Old Testament).

Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.  Hebrews 9:22

And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, 22 let us let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water.  Hebrews 10:21-22  (Some translations say "with the blood of Jesus" after "sprinkled clean.")

Since every example of baptism in the Bible was after believing in Jesus, by immersion, then sprinkling babies with water doesn't actually fit the biblical purpose of baptism.  The argument that the Bible does not say "not" to baptize babies is not a good reason "to" baptize them.  Likewise, John the Baptist leaping in Elizabeth's womb when in the presence of Jesus in Mary's womb does not mean that babies typically believe.  John was very special and filled with the Holy Spirit even as a baby, as the following verse makes clear:

And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.  Luke 1:14-15

Baptism in the New Testament is not the "same" as circumcision in the Old Testament. That was for males only, specifically to be performed at eight days old.  The circumcision that God is looking for is not physical, but spiritual, of the heart:

For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God. Romans 2:28-29

The circumcision referred to in the following verse refers to the symbolic death of the sinful flesh and being raised into new life by the power of His resurrection:

In Him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised with Him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross.  Colossians 2:11-14

The Gentile believers were not to be physically circumcised (and there is no mention of baptism taking its place):

But some of the believers from the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to command them to keep the law of Moses!”  Acts 15:5

He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why are you testing God by putting a yoke on the disciples’ necks that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear?  Acts 15:9-10

For it was the Holy Spirit’s decision—and ours—to put no greater burden on you than these necessary things: 29 that you abstain from food offered to idols, from blood, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. You will do well if you keep yourselves from these things.  Farewell.  Acts 15:28-29

Babies are not aware of their need for a Savior.  They have not yet committed any sins of which to repent and have a "circumcised heart" over.  No one's faith can save someone else, so the faith of a parent can't save their child.  Baptism does not save or impart grace--it is a symbol of our having received what does save--grace through faith.  Notice it does not say grace through baptism, but rather through faith--no one in the Bible was baptized prior to believing.  No one came to faith due to being baptized.  The Greek word that is translated as grace in the New Testament is charis, meaning grace, favor or kindness.  If we do something in order to deserve or receive it, that would be works.  If you search an online Bible for verses containing both the word baptism (or baptize) and grace, you will not find any--they are not related.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Despite baptism not saving, I was distressed in my heart by not being biblically baptized.  I decided to do something about it because our Lord instructed us to. Everyone who loves Him wants more than anything to please Him and to obey Him in all things.

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, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:19

Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.  John 14:21

Baptism is a sign that we are serious about this passage:

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.  Romans 8:5-8

The baptisms performed by John the Baptist were for the washing away of sins after repenting.  Those he baptized did not receive the Holy Spirit.  (See later in this post for information about Jesus' baptism by John.)

I baptize you with water for repentance, but the One who is coming after me is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to remove His sandals. He Himself will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  Matthew 3:11

Early in Acts, baptism in the name of Jesus  is for forgiveness of sins:

Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Acts 2:38

But these are written so that you may believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing you may have life in His name.  John 20:31

Paul's baptism:

So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; 19 and taking food, he was strengthened.  Acts 9:17-18

The following verse is from a retelling by Paul of his conversion from a persecutor of believers to a follower of Jesus.  Notice again the emphasis on Jesus' name, since it is not the water, but Jesus and His precious blood who washes away sins:

"And now, why delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins by calling on His name."  Acts 22:16

There actually were some disciples who were baptized once by John for repentance of sins, and again in Jesus' name after Paul explained that John prepared the way for the gospel of Jesus.

And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John's baptism.” 4 And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  Acts 19:3-5

Paul's explanation of how to receive salvation:

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Romans 10:9-10

Paul was an apostle to the Gentiles:

Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry 14 in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them.  Romans 11:13-14

Please see my post here about Israel:
http://layoutfortoday.blogspot.com/2015/07/grafted-in.html

For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man's gospel. 12 For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.  Galatians 1:11-12

This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 7 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God's grace, which was given me by the working of His power. 8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. Ephesians 3:6-10

God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.   Colossians 1:27

Paul explained what baptism for believers represents:

What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply? 2 Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or are you unaware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life. 5 For if we have been joined with Him in the likeness of His death, we will certainly also be in the likeness of His resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body may be abolished, so that we may no longer be enslaved to sin, 7 since a person who has died is freed from sin’s claims. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him, 9 because we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death no longer rules over Him. 10 For in light of the fact that He died, He died to sin once for all; but in light of the fact that He lives, He lives to God. 11 So, you too consider yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.  Romans 6:1-11

So baptism is an outward sign of what happened inside of us when we believed--to show that our old self has died, drowned, been crucified with Christ, and we have been raised (up out of the water) into His resurrection as a new creation, having been given new life in Him.  It is symbolic that we have been born again in our spirit (regenerated) through the power of the Holy Spirit giving us the gift of faith and coming to live inside of us so that we can both desire to do and actually do the will of God, and be transformed into the likeness of Jesus.

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  John 3:3

He saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. 6 He poured out this Spirit on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that having been justified by His grace, we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life.  Titus 3:5-7

For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose. Philippians 2:13

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  Romans 8:29

Our sins are washed away not by water, but by the blood of Jesus:

Now this is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in Him. 6 If we say, “We have fellowship with Him,” yet we walk in darkness, we are lying and are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say, “We don’t have any sin,” we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. 1 John 1:5-10

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.  Ephesians 5:25-27

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.  John 17:17 The Greek word for sanctify is hagiázo (37) means "to make holy, consecrate, sanctify; to dedicate, set apart."

"Word" in the above passage in the Greek is rhéma, or spoken word.  So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.  Romans 10:17  Jesus is both the Truth and the Word.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6 (So it is abundantly clear that the ONLY way to salvation is through Jesus–there is no “bypass,” such as “earning” salvation.)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways. In these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son. God has appointed Him heir of all things and made the universe through Him. Hebrews 1:1-2

Notice how the above passages stress the changed life that will be evident by the new, born again creation?  The current trend of "hyper grace" flooding the people-pleasing churches is the kind of lie that Satan loves.  Come as you are, and stay as you are--no need to obey Jesus.  What kind of love is that?  Not the kind we were shown at Calvary, that's for sure.  Please see my post about it here:  http://layoutfortoday.blogspot.com/2015/07/come-as-you-are.html

By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.  1 John 2:6

You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.  Romans 8:9

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no plans to satisfy the fleshly desires.  Romans 13:14

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  2 Corinthians 5:17

Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is in you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.  2 Corinthians 13:5

For through the law I have died to the law, so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ 20 and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing. Galatians 2:19-21

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ like a garment.  Galatians 3:27

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.  Ephesians 2:1-3

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.  Ephesians 4:22-24

Why was Jesus was baptized?  He told us why:

Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”  John 3:13-17

To fulfill all righteousness.  What did He mean by that?  He is our High Priest, beginning His ministry at the usual age of 30.  He is also our King (and King David, whose line He is from, became King at age 30.  Joseph is a "type" of Jesus and was also put in charge of Pharaoh's kingdom at the age of 30.)  Kings were anointed by prophets of God with oil representing the Holy Spirit.  John the Baptist was a prophet of God, paving the way for the coming Kingdom of God.  When Jesus came up from the water, He was anointed with another symbol for the Holy Spirit, a dove.

And John testified, “I watched the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He rested on Him. 33 I didn’t know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The One you see the Spirit descending and resting on—He is the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and testified that He is the Son of God!”  John 1:32-34

What is really amazing is that we believers are given the unimaginably great honor of this anointing when the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us as well.  When you realize this, doesn't it make you want to live only for God?  Is that too much for Him to ask, especially considering He is our Helper and never leaves us on our own to try to do anything He asks us to do?

As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.  1 Peter 2:4-5

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.  1 Peter 2:9-10

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  John 15:5

Since we are baptized into Jesus (Romans 6:3), I think our baptism can also be viewed as a symbol of our entry into the royal priesthood as He was.  We are ceremoniously washed, and were anointed with the Holy Spirit when we believed. (Ephesians 5:26)

Jesus is our High Priest:

When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, Luke 3:23

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: 2 “Take a census of the Kohathite branch of the Levites by their clans and families. 3 Count all the men from thirty to fifty years of age who come to serve in the work at the tent of meeting. Numbers 4:1

Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the doorway of the tent of meeting and wash them with water. 5 You shall take the garments, and put on Aaron the tunic and the robe of the ephod and the ephod and the breastpiece, and gird him with the skillfully woven band of the ephod; 6 and you shall set the turban on his head and put the holy crown on the turban. 7 Then you shall take the anointing oil and pour it on his head and anoint him. Exodus 29:4

Moses said to the congregation, “This is the thing which the Lord has commanded to do.”  6 Then Moses had Aaron and his sons come near and washed them with water. Leviticus 8:5-6

He also placed the turban on his head, and on the turban, at its front, he placed the golden plate, the holy crown, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.  Leviticus 8:9

Then he poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him, to consecrate him. Leviticus 8:12

This is the declaration of the Lord to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool.” 2 The Lord will extend Your mighty scepter from Zion. Rule over Your surrounding enemies. 3 Your people will volunteer on Your day of battle. In holy splendor, from the womb of the dawn, the dew of Your youth belongs to You. 4 The Lord has sworn an oath and will not take it back: “Forever, You are a priest like Melchizedek.”  Psalm 110:1-4

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.  Hebrews 6:19 (Melchizedek means My King is Righteousness or King of Righteousness.)

In the following passage, Joshua (whose name is the same in Hebrew as Jesus), represents Jesus:

Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments. 4 And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.” 5 And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord was standing by.  6 And the angel of the Lord solemnly assured Joshua, 7 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my charge, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here. 8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men who are a sign: behold, I will bring my servant the Branch. 9 For behold, on the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with seven eyes, I will engrave its inscription, declares the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day. 10 In that day, declares the Lord of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and under his fig tree.”  Zechariah 3:3-10

It is well known that Jesus is the Branch:

On that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of Israel’s survivors.  Isaiah 4:2

Then a shoot will grow from the stump of Jesse, and a Branch from his roots will bear fruit.  Isaiah 11:1 (Jesse was the name of King David’s father, the royal line from whom Jesus came from.)

The days are coming”—this is the Lord’s declaration— “when I will raise up a Righteous Branch of David. He will reign wisely as king and administer justice and righteousness in the land.  Jeremiah 23:5

In those days and at that time I will cause a Righteous Branch to sprout up for David, and He will administer justice and righteousness in the land.  Jeremiah 33:15

In the above passage, Joshua is stained with filthy garments representing sin.  Jesus became sin for us:

For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.  1 Corinthians 5:21

Joshua is told that if He does the will of God, He will rule God’s house.  Jesus said:

“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work,” Jesus told them. John 4:34

"For I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me."  John 6:38

"The One who sent Me is with Me. He has not left Me alone, because I always do what pleases Him.”  John 8:29

And it will come about in the last days
That the mountain of the house of the Lord
Will be established as the chief of the mountains.
It will be raised above the hills,
And the peoples will stream to it.
2 Many nations will come and say,
“Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord
And to the house of the God of Jacob,
That He may teach us about His ways
And that we may walk in His paths.”
For from Zion will go forth the law,
Even the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
3 And He will judge between many peoples
And render decisions for mighty, distant nations.
Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares
And their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation will not lift up sword against nation,
And never again will they train for war.
4 Each of them will sit under his vine
And under his fig tree,
With no one to make them afraid,
For the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.
Micah 4:1-4

Jesus is also our King (as shown above and below):

But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.  9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”  Hebrews 1:8-9

Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout Egypt.  Genesis 41:46

Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, clothed him with fine linen garments, and placed a gold chain around his neck. 43 He had Joseph ride in his second chariot, and servants called out before him, “Abrek!” [kneel] So he placed him over all the land of Egypt. 44 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but no one will be able to raise his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt without your permission.”  Genesis 41:42  Notably, Pharaoh also gave Joseph a new name (Genesis 41:45)- the meaning of which is not given in the Bible.

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11

Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.  1 Samuel 16:13  (Ramah means heights or lofty place.)

David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years.  In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.  2 Samuel 5:4-5

You can read more about how parts of the lives of Joseph and David foreshadowed the earthly life and coming reign of Jesus at JesusPlusNothing.com.

digital scrapbook paper by Marta van Eck, elements by Mystique Designs (retired)