Foundations – Baptism

Let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings

  1. Repentance from dead works and sin and following Jesus
  2. Faith is the belief that God came in the flesh as Jesus and he died and rose again.  If this is right, then the rest of the Bible is right.
  3. Now we are taught that Washings are a milk doctrine, yet we have no idea why it is plural.

Notice it says washings instead of Baptisms. Baptisms was a word that did not exists in New Testament times.  It does come from he Greek word to be submerged in water so it is a real word. It was developed later so in the Bible it would have been immersions or washings

  1. Jewish Baptism.

Baptism was a one time event into the name of Jesus, but it was not the only time people experienced baptism

To understand it let us say what it is not.

  1. not practiced only by Christians.
  2. Not a new Christian ritual
  3. Did not remove sin
  4. Not given to babies or infants
  5. Did not involve sprinkling of water
  6. it did not even involve one person dunking another person in the water.

When Jesus told his disciples to go and baptize others, (Matthew 28: 19) there was not any instruction of how to do this because they knew what he was talking about.

Here is what we do know about it.

  1. totally immersed themselves in a thing called “Living water”
    1. Living water is running water or rain water.
  2. They would go to a place where this water gathered, which is called a mikvah” and they would immerse themselves
  3. Baptizing themselves would be a change in their legal status before God
    1. This is what baptizing in Jesus name would mean.
  4. Some would do it overtime they came into the presence of God
    1. A lot of Mikvahs were discovered in Jerusalem
    2. They would actually immerse themselves three times.
      1. Humble myself before God
      2. Step toward him
      3. Sin washed away by living water.
  5. The problem here is that Hebrews is written to Hebrews and they would have known all of this and probably already have done these things, so what is the instruction part that is needed.

2. John the Baptist.

He was not standing over people baptizing them.  he was standing over them giving approval of the changed lives they were leaving

John Noticed that people were coming to be baptized that were not really accepting the changed life of repentance.

Luke 3: 7 – 9 If we don’t have a changed life, then all you are doing is getting wet.

In the time of the hebrews, there was a persecution against the  christian population.  Baptism into it could be a death warrant.  Don’t want any people who will turn back later.

The crowd understood this and asked “What should we do.?”  Luke 3: 10

Life change.

  1. Generosity toward those in need. Vs 11
  2. Life change was so evident corrupt tax collectors were coming. Quit stealing from people Vs 12,13
  3. soldiers who worked for Herod.  Be satisfied with your pay.

Then John mentions the two Baptisms. Vs 16 Holy Spirit and Fire.

Fire here is not the tongues of fire when the Holy Spirit was poured out, it was the baptism of the fire of judgement or a fire of repentance in the Holy Spirit.

3.  Didache

There is a book that was discovered in 1873 and it was a writing of how to do “church” written in the 100’s.  Talks about how the early church practiced fasting, Baptisms, the Lord’s Supper, daily prayer.

Key start was a teaching known as the two ways.

  1. Way of Life which is to Love the Lord with all your heart and to love your neighbor
  2. Way of death or fire is to reject the Lord’s commands

Jesus spoke of the way of fire as judgement.

Luke 12: 49, 50 Fire coming and already burning baptism of fire.  Jesus was going to bring the fire of judgement that was deserved on the world upon himself.

4. Instructions

Teach them instruct them about baptism and the need for a Baptism of the Holy Spirit or Fire will come.

We have an example of this in Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost

  1. Bible promised the outpouring of the Holy Spirit would come
    1. As did John the Baptist
  2. Jesus died for us and suffered for us Acts 2: 22 – 24 Baptism of fire
  3. God raised Him from the dead Faith
  4. What should we do same question to Joh the Baptist Vs37
  5. Repent and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit Vs 38
  6. Save yourselves from this wicked generation Vs 40
  7. 3000 baptized into Jesus that day.
  8. Born of water and the Spirit John 3: 5

 

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