Posts Tagged ‘new covenant’

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.

About the New Covenant

October 23, 2009

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah. (Jer.31:30)
הִנֵּה יָמִים בָּאִים, נְאֻם-יְהוָה; וְכָרַתִּי, אֶת-בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֶת-בֵּית יְהוּדָה–בְּרִית חֲדָשָׁה

The covenant has caused a lot of controversies in church history. The church spoke many times about the covenant but it often ended up in disagreement. For me, as a remnant of the Protestant tradition, I learned some clear sayings in the period of the 17e -18e century by e.g. Calvin, Owen, Brakel and others. After that era, clearness disappeared more and more. But all leaders and denominations deal with the same problems: they want to see the things you can’t see. They utilized the Roman-Greek way to make things clear. And the problem is they propagate a covenant in which you enter by birth. They correlate the Jewish covenant of circumcision with baptism. And they argue, as a result, to baptize children too. So if you are born from a father and mother who believe and are consequently “grafted in the Jewish olive tree”, you are into the covenant. And when you are in the covenant, you receive the sign of the covenant: baptism, a few weeks after birth.

When you do this practice, your are instantly confronted with the huge warn from the apostle Paul to the Galatians. The warning that the sign of the covenant (circumcision) nothing has to do with entering the real covenant of grace, the new covenant.

However, many churches did and yet do give value to this (ethnical) covenant.Covenant_of_Abraham

In contrast with the huge amount of books written by church members, it’s funny that the Apostolic Writings mentions very little about the covenant.

1.) Mark, Math. and Luke: This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. Repeated by Paul, 1Cor.11:25.
2.) In Galatians the covenant with Abraham.
3.) In Hebrews the covenant with Israel, the Torah.

Yeshua spoke about his blood being the new covenant, and the writer of Hebrews spoke about the new covenant, besides the old, related it to the words of the prophet Jeremiah and compared it with the blood of Yeshua. Paul in Galatians only spoke about the covenant with Abraham, but with an allegory pointed out to the new covenant.

The new covenant is effectuated by blood. Once the blood comes upon the soul, it is established. This is nothing new, we’ve seen this before. The people of Israel said “We will hear and do” and offered sacrifices to God, and then Moses sprinkled the people with blood to seal the covenant. (Ex.24:8)

To enter the new covenant we have to be circumcised of the heart and baptized with the spirit of fire. Those people are new-born ones. They enter the covenant of grace of Yeshua the Messiah. They are not merely came to the mount Sinai of thunders and fire (Hebr.12:18) but came to the Heavenly Judge, the almighty King and also their own Father full of love and His son full of grace. Surrounded by angels seeing the Living One and say: woe to me because I’m a sinner. They “are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable hosts of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling…” (Hebr.12:22-24)

And then, what are they going to say? Am I going to give my whole live to Him? Sure! Sure I will do that! I love You and I will always do what You want me to do! I’ll sign the covenant and whenever I draw away from your law, correct me and guide me on your preferred way and teach me how to follow. I will do al You want me to do. And this (I think you can see so) is the new covenant. Initiated by HaSjem, signed with heart and soul of the individual. Caused baptism and full repentance.

Now a have a question. What is the value of the old covenant, the physic line of Abraham and Israel? Because the world and specially the church wondered about the establishment of the state Israel in 1948. We couldn’t get around that fact and must agree that there were some special promises in the covenant with Abraham. Paul argued to the Galatians that you don’t need it to get to be saved, but what is the benefit of the “ethnic” covenant?

PS: An easy article for more about biblical covenants you can find here. I think there are two main covenants, those with Noah (7 commandments) and those with Abraham/Israel (Torah) renewed with Yeshua.