Archive for November, 2009

Being baptized without a ritual, but through Yeshua’s dead

November 26, 2009

Gal.3:27 “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”

I am reading a book of Tom Holland, Contours of Pauline Theology. He argues that the theology of Paul is about the Second Exodus or New Exodus, a second Pesach. Paul uses the model of the Exodus in his writings, especially in the letter to the Romans, according to Tom Holland.Interesting point is his view on baptism. Baptism which is spoken of in the New Testament is corporate and it is done with the dead of Christ. The community is baptized into Christ’s dead.

“As Moses, in the Exodus out of Egypt, took the people of God, for they were united with him through baptism, so Christ takes those who have been baptized into union with him from the realm of sin and death. This baptism into Christ took place in his exodus, (Luke 9:31) in his coming out of the realm of Sin and death. It was a baptism into his death that all believers experienced, in the same historic moment.” (p.151)
We are no longer in the corporate body of sin (Rom.6:6) [1] (first Adam) but in the body of Christ. (second Adam)
“What I am arguing for is that the baptism passages which we have considered are speaking neither about water baptism nor even of Christ’s baptism into his sufferings, even though these are important related themes, but about a baptism modeled on the baptism of Israel into Moses when Israel came into a covenant relationship with Yahweh through the representative He had appointed.” (p.151)

This brings me to say that water baptism is only a sign to confess one’s conversion and relationship to Yeshua the Messiah, which took place before. Not water baptism, but the conversion makes sense. The choice of man does make sense. Hence I am speaking of the good choice. A good choice comes from HaSjem. He encourage His children-to-be to make a good choice. That choice begins with an out coming of sin and grasping the of the promise of life. (Blood on the doorpost) and it is final made up with a personal covenant between the soul and HaSjem. (Receiving of the Torah) This signing of the contract for eternal life does take a complete amount of time. (7×7 weeks, according to the time between Pesach and Shawuot) It always is done perfect. A half completed contract could not exist. It is a divine process guided by the Holy Spirit. A man is not able to this but by the almighty arm of HaSjem working out great miracles. The enemy, who is also active here, must leave. (Waters)

The model of the Exodus gives us a pattern of the real true baptism.

Real baptism is done by HaSjem with Yeshua. And it has to be done with us. All who are dealing with it, are entering a new covenant, a state of being born-again, dying in the old body of sin and rising up into a new body, full of love and holiness for HaSjem. Water baptism is an old Jewish cleaning ritual, however it has a very rich meaning. In the time of Yeshua it was becoming a sign. In essence it points back to the redemption of the people of Israel through the Red See in connection with Pesach (forgiveness of sin) before and Shavuot (entering the covenant) after it.

To learn more about water baptism, a good article has been written by Ceil Rosen of Jews for Jesus. I’ve found many nice articles, all on Messianic websites and all pointing back to the Mikve and Mayim Chayim and its meaning.

Maimonides said: “By three things did Israel enter into the Covenant: by circumcision, and baptism and sacrifice. Circumcision was in Egypt, as it is written: ‘No uncircumcised person shall eat thereof’ (Exodus 12:48). Baptism was in the wilderness, just before giving of the Law, as it is written: ‘Sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes’ (Exodus 19:10). And sacrifice, as it is said: ‘And he sent young men of the children of Israel which offered burnt offerings’ (Exodus 24:5)”
This matches with the main parts of the Heidelberg Cathechism: Misery of man (the Law), Deliverance and Thankfulness.

Yeshua did it all, and in him we are being baptized.

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  (John.14:6)

[1] Tom Holland clearly points out that the body (here) means corporate, chapter 5 – The Paschal Community and the Body of Sin. Book is full text available online here.