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7.

Mat
28:19

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father
and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

I
1.

Baptism

The view from the N.T.

Among Western Christians there are four major views on baptism: i

A. Baptism is the means of spiritual renewal and initial justification and sanctification through the infusion
of grace received in it, in such a way that one cannot be saved ordinarily without it. Baptism
communicates saving grace, by the working of its own power. Children of all church members and
unbaptized adult converts must be baptized (Roman Catholic).ii
B. Baptism is a public testimony to one's faith in Jesus Christ. Only those who have reached the age of
discretion can make such a profession of faith. Therefore, only those who are able to confess
Christ should be baptized. (Baptist). iii
C. Baptism is so closely related to the gospel that through it, Christians receive eternal life and without
baptism there can be no assurance of salvation. Both the children of believers and unbaptized adult
believers should be baptized (Lutheran). iv
D. Baptism is a means of sanctifying grace and a gospel ministry to the people of God. It is a sign and seal
of the Covenant of Grace illustrating what Christ has done for his people and sealing salvation to
the same. Therefore covenant children of believing parents as well as unbaptized adult converts
should be baptized. (Reformed).v
2.

N.T. Scriptures:

Luk 3:3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the
remission of sins;
Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from
the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Act
2:37
Act
2:38

Mat
28:19
Mat
28:20

Now when they heard {this,} they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the
apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?"
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.

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

Definition:

A-1
Noun
Strong's Number: 908
Greek: baptisma
"baptism," consisting of the processes of immersion, submersion and emergence (from bapto, "to dip"), is
used (a) of John's "baptism," (b) of Christian "baptism," see B. below; (c) of the overwhelming afflictions
and judgments to which the Lord voluntarily submitted on the cross, e.g., Luk 12:50; (d) of the sufferings
His followers would experience, not of a vicarious character, but in fellowship with the sufferings of their
Master. Some mss. have the word in Mat 20:22,23; it is used in Mar 10:38,39, with this meaning.
B-1
Verb
Strong's Number: 907
Greek: baptizo
"to baptize," primarily a frequentative form of bapto, "to dip," was used among the Greeks to signify the
dyeing of a garment, or the drawing of water by dipping a vessel into another, etc. Plutarchus uses it of the
drawing of wine by dipping the cup into the bowl (Alexis, 67) and Plato, metaphorically, of being
overwhelmed with questions (Euthydemus, 277 D). It is used in the NT in Luk 11:38 of washing oneself
(as in 2Ki 5:14, "dipped himself," Sept.); see also Isa 21:4, lit., "lawlessness overwhelms me." In the early
chapters of the four Gospels and in Act 1:5; 11:16; 19:4, it is used of the rite performed by John the
Baptist who called upon the people to repent that they might receive remission of sins. Those who
obeyed came "confessing their sins," thus acknowledging their unfitness to be in the Messiah's coming
kingdom. Distinct form this is the "baptism" enjoined by Christ, Mat 28:19, a "baptism" to be undergone
by believers, thus witnessing to their identification with Him in death, burial and resurrection, e.g.,
Act 19:5; Rom 6:3,4; 1Cr 1:13-17; 12:13; Gal 3:27; Col 2:12. The phrase in Mat 28:19, "batizing them into
the Name" (RV; cp. Act 8:16, RV), would indicate that the "baptized" person was closely bound to, or
became the property of, the one into whose name he was "batized." In Act 22:16 it is used in the
Middle Voice, in the command given to Saul of Tarsus, "arise and be baptize," the significance of the
Middle Voice form being "get thyself baptized." The experience of those who were in the ark at the time of
the Flood was a figure or type of the facts of spiritual death, burial, and resurrection, Christian "baptism"
being an antitupon, "a corresponding type," a "like figure," 1Pe 3:21. Likewise the nation of Israel was
figuratively baptized when made to pass through the Red Sea under the cloud, 1Cr 10:2. The verb is used
metaphorically also in two distinct senses: firstly, of "baptism" by the Holy Spirit, which took place on the
Day of Pentecost; secondly, of the calamity which would come upon the nation of the Jews, a "baptism" of
the fire of Divine judgment for rejection of the will and word of God, Mat 3:11; Luk 3:16.
4.

Ordinace from God

A.
an ordinance immediately instituted by Christ ( Mat 28:19,20), and designed to be observed in the
church, like that of the Supper, "till he come." The words "baptize" and "baptism" are simply Greek words
transferred into English. This was necessarily done by the translators of the Scriptures, for no literal
translation could properly express all that is implied in them.
B.
The mode of baptism can in no way be determined from the Greek word rendered "baptize."
Baptists say that it means "to dip," and nothing else. That is an incorrect view of the meaning of the word.
It means both ( 1) to dip a thing into an element or liquid, and ( 2) to put an element or liquid over or on it.
The gospel and its ordinances are designed for the whole world, and it cannot be supposed that a form for
the administration of baptism would have been prescribed which would in any place ( as in a tropical
country or in polar regions) or under any circumstances be inapplicable or injurious or impossible.
Baptism and the Lord's Supper are the two symbolical ordinances of the New Testament. The Supper
represents the work of Christ, and Baptism the work of the Spirit. As in the Supper a small amount of bread
and wine used in this ordinance exhibits in symbol the great work of Christ, so in Baptism the work of the
Holy Spirit is fully seen in the water poured on the person in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
That which is essential in baptism is only "washing with water,"

C.
Christian baptism, which has the form of a ceremonial washing (like Johns pre-Christian
baptism),
a.

is a sign from God that signifies inward cleansing and remission of sins (Acts 22:16; 1 Cor.
6:11; Eph. 5:25-27),

b.

Spirit-wrought regeneration and new life (Titus 3:5), and the abiding presence of the Holy
Spirit as Gods seal testifying and guaranteeing that one will be kept safe in Christ forever (1
Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:13-14).

c.

Baptism signifies union with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-7; Col.
2:11-12); and this union with Christ is the source of every element in our salvation (1 John
5:11-12). Receiving the sign in faith assures the persons baptized that Gods gift of new life in
Christ is freely given to them. At the same time, it commits them to live henceforth in a new
way as committed disciples of Jesus. Baptism signifies a watershed point in a human life
because it signifies a new-creational engrafting into Christs risen life.

D.
Christ instructed his disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
(Matt. 28:19). This means that the covenant relation which baptism formally confers is one of acceptance
by, communion with, and commitment to all three Persons of the Godhead. When Paul says that the
Israelites were baptized into Moses (1 Cor. 10:2), he means that they were put under Moses control and
direction. Thus, baptism into the name of the triune God signifies control and direction by God himself.
The outward sign does not automatically or magically convey the inward blessings that it signifies, and the
candidates professions of faith are not always genuine. Peter had to tell the newly baptized Simon Magus
that he was still unrenewed in heart (Acts 8:13-24).
E.
As a sign of a once-for-all event, baptism should be administered to a person only once. Baptism
is real and valid if water and the triune name are used, even if it is of an adult whose profession turns out to
have been hypocritical. Simon Magus received baptism once, and if he came to real faith later it would
have been incorrect to baptize him again.
F.
No prescription of a particular mode of baptism can be found in the New Testament. The
command to baptize may be fulfilled by immersion, dipping, or sprinkling; all three modes satisfy the
meaning of the Greek verb baptizo and the symbolic requirement of passing under, and emerging from,
cleansing water

II.

THE JEWISH BACKGROUNDOF CHRISTIAN BAPTISM


BY Ron Moseley, Ph. D.
1.

History of the Jewish Mikveh

A.
Def: Mikvah (or mikveh) (Hebrew: ; Tiberian Miqwh, Standard Hebrew Miqva) (plural,
mikvaot) is a "ritual bath" used for immersion in a purification ceremony within Judaism. Its main use
nowadays is by Jewish women to achieve ritual purity after menstruation or childbirth. Immersion in a
mikvah is also required during a traditional conversion to Judaism and in some cases for pots and pans
Traditionally, the mikvah was used by both men and women for various purposes. Everyone was required
to go to the mikvah upon coming into contact with the dead or other ritually unclean (tamei) objects if they
wanted to enter the temple area or eat Terumah. Nazirites were required to immerse in the mikvah upon
completing their vows, lepers were required to immerse upon healing, priests were required to immerse
before performing certain Temple rites, men were required to immerse after having a nocturnal emission
(this is still practiced by some as tevilath Ezra, "the immersion of Ezra"), and women after giving birth or
menstruating.
The term mikveh in Hebrew literally means any gathering of waters, but is specifically used in Jewish law
for the waters or bath for the ritual immersion. The building of the mikveh was so important in ancient
times it was said to take precedence over the construction of a synagogue. Immersion was so important that
it occurred before the high Priest conducted the service on the Day of Atonement, before the regular priests
participated in the Temple service, before each person entered the Temple complex, before a scribe wrote
the name of God, as well as several other occasions.
The Mishnah attributes to Ezra a decree that each male should immerse himself before praying or studying.
There were several Jewish groups that observed ritual immersion every day to assure readiness for
the coming of the Messiah. The Church Fathers mentioned one of these groups called Hemerobaptists
which means "daily bathers" in Greek. Among those used to regular immersion were the Essenes and
others that the Talmud calls tovelei shaharit or "dawn bathers."
On the third day of creation we see the source of the word mikveh for the first time in Genesis 1:10 when
the Lord says, "...to the gathering (mikveh) of waters, He called seas." Because of this reference in Genesis
the ocean is still a legitimate mikveh.
B.

The Mikvaot Around The Temple

The New Testament tells us that many of the early church's daily activities were centered around the
Temple. Historically, we know that there were many ritual immersion baths (mikvaot) on the Temple
Mount including one in the Chamber of Lepers situated in the northwest corner of the Court of Women
(Mid. 2:5). Josephus tells us that even during the years of war (66-73 A.D.) the laws of ritual immersion
were strictly adhered to (Jos. Wars, 4:205). The Temple itself contained immersion baths in various places
for the priests to use, even in the vaults beneath the court (Commentary to Tam. 26b; Tam. 1:1). The High
Priest had special immersion pools in the Temple, two of which are mentioned in the Mishnah. We are told
one of these was in the Water Gate in the south of the court and another was on the roof of the Parva
Chamber (Mid. 1:4; Mid. 5:3). There was an additional place for immersion on the Mount of Olives which
was connected with the burning of the red heifer (Par. 3:7). A special ramp led to the mikveh on the Mount
of Olives from the Temple Mount, which was built as an arched way over another arched way to avoid
uncleanness from the graves in the valley below. Recent archaeological excavations have found 48
different mikvaot near the Monumental Staircase leading into the Temple Complex.

2.

Three Basic Areas

***According to Jewish law there are three basic areas where immersion in the mikveh is required.
1. Immersion is required for both men and women when converting to Judaism.
There were three prerequisites for a proselyte coming into Judaism: Circumcision, baptism, and sacrifice
(Maimonides, Hilkh. Iss. Biah xiii. 5).
2. Immersion is required after a woman has her monthly period (Lev. 15:28).
3. Immersion is required for pots and eating utensils manufactured by a non-Jew (Encyclopedia of Jewish
Religion p-263).
***Besides these, there are other times when it is customary to be immersed in the mikveh such as the
occasion before Yom Kippur as a sign of purity and repentance and before the Sabbath in order to sensitize
oneself to the holiness of the day.
The Six Descending Orders of Ritual Immersion
There are six descending orders of ritual baths in the Mishnah (Oral Laws of how to accomplish the written
Law) and the highest order is that of a spring or flowing river. We see Jesus understanding and fulfilling
this order in Matthew 3:16 as He comes to be baptized in the Jordan River "fulfilling all righteousness."
This highest order was called Living Water and illustrated the forgiving of sins, therefore, we hear Jesus
using this term concerning Himself (John 4:10-11).
The Water Restrictions: There were also six basic restrictions on the water used in the mikveh including
such rules as:
(1) the mikveh can not contain other liquid besides water.
(2) The water has to be either built into the ground or be an integral part of a building attached to the
ground
(3) The mikveh can not be flowing except for a natural spring, river or ocean.
(4) The water can not be manually drawn.
(5) The water can not be channeled to the mikveh by anything unclean
(6) The mikveh must contain at least 40 sa'ah or approximately 200 gallons of water.
The term sa'ah is an ancient Biblical measurement equivalent to approximately five gallons. All six
requirements come from the original Hebrew words found in Leviticus 11:36. Rabbi Yitzchok ben Sheshes
said the amount of 40 sa'ah was derived from the idea that the largest normal human body has a volume of
20 sa'ah, therefore the amount of water needed to "nullify" this body is double this amount or 40 sa'ah.

Lev
11:36

'Nevertheless a spring or a cistern collecting water shall be clean, though


the one who touches their carcass shall be unclean.

3.

Why Be Immersed?

To the ancient Jew, the mikveh was a process of spiritual purification and cleansing, especially in relation
to the various types of Turmah or ritual defilement when the Temple was in use. Although God has not
revealed all the meaning of the mikveh, it is obvious because of the amount of space given to it in
Scripture, and the effort of Jesus to fulfill it, the command is of utmost importance. All commands of the
Lord fall into three categories:
1. The moral or ethical laws that are necessary for man to live in harmony are known as Mishpatim and are
literally translated judgments.
2. The rituals and festivals which reawaken us to important religious truths such as Sabbath, holidays, the
Tefillin and the Mezuzah that remind us of God's presence are known as Edos and are literally translated
witnesses.
3. Israel's identification as God's chosen people to the other nations (Deuteronomy 4:6). This group of laws
are known as Chukim and are literally translated as decrees. Among the decrees of this group are the
dietary laws as well as ritual immersion.
4.

How Immersion Was Done

Jewish baptism has never been taken lightly, but in ancient times immersion was to be performed in the
1.

presence of witnesses (Yebam. 47b).

2.
profession of his faith : The person being baptized made special preparations by cutting his nails,
undressed completely and made a fresh profession of his faith before the designated "fathers of the
baptism" (Kethub. 11a; Erub 15a). This is possibly where churches, sometime later, got the term
Godfathers. The individual stood straight up with the feet spread and the hands held out in front. The
candidate would totally immerse themselves by squatting in the water with a witness or baptizer doing the
officiating. Ancient sages teach that the word mikveh has the same letters as Ko(v)Meh, the Hebrew word
for "rising" or "standing tall," therefore we see the idea of being baptized "straightway."
3.

Immersion:

a
.Immersion was accompanied by exhortations and benedictions (Maimonides Hilkh. Milah iii.4;
Hilkh. Iss, Biah Xiv .6). A convert would reaffirm his acceptance of the Torah by declaring, "I will do and I
will hear" which was a phrase from the oath that was originally taken by the priests not to forsake the Torah
(Deuteronomy 29:9- 14). This ritual demonstrates the willingness of the convert to forsake his Gentile
background and assume his Jewish identity by taking on the status of one who keeps the commandments.
According to a number of Jewish sages, mayim, which is the Hebrew word for water, shares the same root
as the word "mah", meaning "what." This teaching points out that when a person immerses in water, he is
nullifying the fleshly ego and is asking, "what am I?" in the same manner that Moses and Aaron did in
Exodus 16:7 when they said to the Lord, "we are what?"

b.
The Jewish baptism candidates were often immersed three times. The idea of total immersion
comes from the Scripture in Leviticus 15:16 when it says, "he shall wash all his flesh in the water." One
reason it was customary to immerse three times was because the word mikveh occurs three times in the
Torah.
c.
According to Jewish law the immersion had to have a required witness. Dr. William LaSor in the
Biblical Archaeology Review says apparently the Biblical phrase "in the name of" was an indication of the
required witnessFurther information on this can be found in Jewish literature concerning proselyte baptism
where it indicates his baptism required attestation by witnesses in whose name he was immersed.
d.
The immersion candidate was not touched by the baptizer in Jesus' day. Because Leviticus 15:16
says "He shall wash all his flesh in the water," Judaism stresses that the entire body must come in contact
with the water of the mikveh. To insure the immersion was valid, no clothing or individuals could touch the
candidate. Any such intervention that prevented the water from reaching a part of the body was known as
Chatzitzah and rendered the immersion invalid. Although the mikveh was more spiritual than physical,
often the bath had two sets of steps, one entering and another leaving so as not to defile what had been
purified.
e.
The baptismal water (Mikveh) in rabbinic literature was referred to as the womb of the world, and
as a convert came out of the water it was considered a new birth separating him from the pagan world. As
the convert came out of these waters his status was changed and he was referred to as "a little child just
born" or "a child of one day" (Yeb. 22a; 48b; 97b). We see the New Testament using similar Jewish terms
as "born anew," "new creation," and "born from above." According to Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum rabbinic
literature uses the term "born again" to refer to at least six different occurrences. Note each of these life
changing experiences: (a) When a Gentile converts to Judaism. (b) When an individual is crowned king. (c)
At age 13 when a Jewish boy chooses to embrace God's covenant and be numbered with the believers. (d)
When an individual gets married. (e) When an individual becomes a rabbi. (f) When an individual becomes
the head of a rabbinical school.
f.
Jewish law requires at least three witnesses made up of qualified leaders to be present for certain
immersions (Yebam 47b). Ordinarily a member of the Sanhedrin performed the act of observing the
proselytes immersion, but in case of necessity others could do it. Secret baptism, or where only the mother
brought a child, was not acknowledged.
4.
new birth: The concept of immersion in rabbinic literature is referred to as a new birth (Yeb. 22a;
48b; 97b; Mass. Ger. c.ii). Note six other important aspects of ancient Jewish immersion:
5.

Repentance Without Baptism

One of the most important teachings in Judaism is that of repentance. According to both Scripture and
rabbinic literature, no matter how great the sin, if a person repents and forsakes the sin before God he can
be forgiven. As we see in the case of John, Jesus, and all New Testament writers, repentance was always
involved. The Jerusalem Talmud states, "nothing can stand before repentance" (Yebamos 47b). According
to Dr. David Flusser, the Dead Sea Scrolls as well as the New Testament teach that water can purify the
body only if the soul has first been purified through repentance and righteousness.

6.
A.

Water and Blood Both Illustrate God's Cleansing In Judaism

Washing by Blood:

The Jews believe that uncleanness is not physical, but rather a spiritual condition as related in Leviticus
11:44 where it states by wrong actions one can make the "soul unclean." Therefore, the purification through
ritual immersion, as commanded in Scripture is basically involved with the soul, rather than the body. Note
how both water and blood are cited in Scripture:
(1) Blood is used in cleansing in relation to the Passover Lamb (Exodus 12).
(2) Blood is used in cleansing in relation to the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16).
(3) Blood is used in cleansing in relation to the Feast Offerings (Leviticus 23).
(4) Blood is used in cleansing in relation to the five Levitical Offerings (Leviticus 1-7).
(5) Blood is used in cleansing in relation to the atonement for the soul (Leviticus 17:11-14).
B.

Washing by Water:

(1) Water is used in cleansing in relation to the separation and the ashes of the Red Heifer (Numbers 19).
(2) Water is used in cleansing in relation to the consecration to priestly ministry (Leviticus 8:6).
(3) Water is used in cleansing in relation to the cleansing of the leper (Leviticus 14:1-8).

Summary
A detailed study of the Jewish background of Christian baptism shows that it is vitally important, but God
doesn't always tell us why. Obviously, the convert could repent and have a part in the life to come without
it, but the emphasis seems to be pointing to the taking on of a new "believer" status illustrated as a "new
birth" by immersion. In any covenant with the Lord the three items of God's Word, the blood, and a token
are always present (Genesis 17:11). Jesus was always cautious to have three witnesses in everything He did
(I John 5:7-8). In the Old Testament circumcision was considered the token of God's covenant, and in the
New Testament we see the same wording concerning baptism as it is referred to as "circumcision made
without hands" (Colossians 2:11-12). Whatever religious denomination, all believers should agree that
immersion has its roots in the Jewish mikveh of Jesus' day, and it is of utmost importance for each of us to
fulfill this righteous deed.

III

Baptism through Jewish eyes


1.

It is part of Jewish life

There was thinking that Baptism is a way of life in Judaism, so the disciples didnt think they were doing
anything outside of Judaism. They understood Baptism to be connected with a New Life, and understood
it both as an outward cleansing and spiritual cleansing
* Water is used in cleansing in relation to the different washings of the Law (Hebrews 9:10)
* Water is used in relation to the remission of sins (Acts 2:38); Titus 3:5; Mark 16:16; Acts 22:16; Romans
6:3; I Peter 3:20-21; Ephesians 5:26; John 19:34; I John 5:6; Hebrews 9:19- 23).
A.

John understood it

Jhn 3:23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and
they came, and were baptized.
B.

Peter understands it

Act
2:36
Act
2:37
Act
2:38

"Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and
Christ--this Jesus whom you crucified."
Now when they heard {this,} they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the
apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?"
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.

C.

Philip preached it

Act
8:12

But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name
of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike.

D.

Jesus commands it

Mat
28:19

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father
and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

2.

Jesus teaches on Baptism

2.

Jesus challenges us in Baptism

Jhn
3:1
Jhn
3:2
Jhn
3:3
Jhn

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 have come from God
{as} a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him."
Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see
the kingdom of God."
Nicodemus *said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time

3:4
Jhn
3:5
Jhn
3:6
Jhn
3:7
Jhn
3:8
Jhn
3:9
Jhn
3:10

into his mother's womb and be born, can he?"


Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot
enter into the kingdom of God.
"That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
"Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'
"The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes
from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
Nicodemus said to Him, "How can these things be?"
Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these
things?

A.

Nocodemus
1.
Rabbis
Rabbi (Classical Hebrew ribb;; modern Ashkenazi and Israeli rabb) in Judaism, means "teacher",
or more literally "great one". The word "Rabbi" is derived from the Hebrew root-word RaV, which in
biblical Hebrew means "great" or "distinguished, (in knowledge)".
2.
We Know
Rabbi was a Hebrew term used as a title for those who were distinguished for learning, who were the
authoritative teachers of the Law
3.
A sign from God that he is with us
Gen 17: 10-12: This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants
after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. . . . (11) and it shall be the sign of the covenant
between Me and you. (12) And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised
throughout your generations,
Circumcision is a religious practice traditionally required by Judaism, usually performed in a ceremony
called a Brit (or Bris) milah (Hebrew for "Covenant of circumcision"). A mohel performs the ceremony on
the eighth day after birth unless health reasons force a delay. According to the Torah (Genesis, chapter 17
verses 9-14), God commanded Abraham to circumcise himself, his offspring and his slaves as part of an
everlasting covenant. According to Jewish law, failure to follow the commandment carries the penalty of
karet, or being cut off from the community by God
So Nicodemus thinks the sign of BRIT: Means GOD is with us
B.

Jesus challenges all of this


1.

Truly, Truly no Rabbis, but me

The rabbi is not an occupation found in the Torah (i.e the Pentateuch) as such; the first time this word is
mentioned is in the Mishnah (most commonly thought to be codified around 200 C.E, that codification
often attributed to Rabbi Judah Hanasi).
.The title "Ribbi" was borne by the sages of ancient Israel, who were ordained by the Sanhedrin in
accordance with the custom handed down by the elders. They were titled Ribbi and received authority to
judge penal cases. Rab was the title of the Babylonian sages who received their ordination in the
Talmudical yeshivas.. The basic form of the rabbi developed in the Pharisaic and Talmudic era.

10

2.

You must be born againgood teaching about life

What Nicodemus and the other rabbis believed about eternal life rested in our obedience of doing mitvot,
the deeds of the commnadments.
The problem with the Pharisees was in their preoccupation with the minute, they had forgotten the
"weightier matters of the law." Jesus said, "...these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other
undone. (Matt. 23: 23)." The Pharisees said, but they often did not do (Matt. 23: 3). They did works to be
seen of men (Matt. 23: 5). They loved attention and religious titles (Matt. 23: 6-9). The Pharisees were
often more concerned about keeping their own traditions than God's law. Hear Jesus, "Full well ye reject
the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition" (Mk. 7: 9). They made void God's
commandments and rendered their worship vain (Mk. 7: 7, 13)
A.

Jesus does not agree

Jhn
5:24
Jhn
5:38
Jhn
5:39

"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life,
and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
"You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent.

B.

Jesus brings a new insight about salvation and being in the Kingdom of heaven

"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that
testify about Me;

Nocodemus: believed being a good Jew was based on works. Jesus says being a good Jew means being like
a gentile?????...Born Again..this was a term that rabbis used about GENTILE CONVERTS!....You
must be baptized like a Gentile to enter the Kingdom .HERES THE PROCESS
a.
The baptismal water (Mikveh) in rabbinic literature was referred to as the womb of the world, and
as a convert came out of the water it was considered a new birth separating him from the pagan world. As
the convert came out of these waters his status was changed and he was referred to as "a little child just
born" or "a child of one day" (Yeb. 22a; 48b; 97b). According to Fruchtenbaum rabbinic literature uses the
term "born again" to refer to at least six different occurrences. Note each of these life changing
experiences: (a) When a Gentile converts to Judaism. (b) When an individual is crowned king. (c) At age
13 when a Jewish boy chooses to embrace God's covenant and be numbered with the believers. (d) When
an individual gets married. (e) When an individual becomes a rabbi.
b
Jesus relates how salvation is the greatest life changing event for a person, so why shouldnt the
rite of Baptism be applicable to both Jew and Gentile. He challenges Nocidemus to see Salvation from both
a gentile and Jewish perspective!!!
3.

The Sign that God is with usBaptism

Christian baptism, which has the form of a ceremonial washing (like Johns pre-Christian baptism), is a
sign from God that signifies inward cleansing and remission of sins (Acts 22:16; 1 Cor. 6:11; Eph. 5:2527), Spirit-wrought regeneration and new life (Titus 3:5), and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit as
Gods seal testifying and guaranteeing that one will be kept safe in Christ forever (1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:1314). Baptism carries these meanings because first and fundamentally it signifies union with Christ in his
death, burial, and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-7; Col. 2:11-12); and this union with Christ is the source of every
element in our salvation (1 John 5:11-12). Receiving the sign in faith assures the persons baptized that
Gods gift of new life in Christ is freely given to them. At the same time, it commits them to live in a new
way as committed disciples of Jesus. Baptism signifies a watershed point in a human life because it
signifies a new-creational engrafting into Christs risen life.

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Col
2:11
Col
2:12

and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of
the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;
having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith
in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

Rom 4:11 and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith
A

We (identify) with Jesus in Baptism

***

Baptism doesnt save you, but I believe we can identify with those who went before us.

Rom
6:3
Rom
6:4
Rom
6:5
B.

Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into
His death?
Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was
raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have become united with {Him} in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be
{in the likeness} of His resurrection,
We identify with those went before us

a.
When Paul says that the Israelites were baptized into Moses (1 Cor. 10:2), he means that they
were put under Moses control and direction. Thus, baptism into the name of the triune God signifies
control and direction by God himself.
1Cr
10:1
1Cr
10:2
1Cr
10:3
1Cr
10:4

For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all
passed through the sea;
and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
and all ate the same spiritual food;
and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed
them; and the rock was Christ.

b.
Peter compares God's judgment-flood to baptism (1 Peter 3:20,21, See also 2 Peter 3;6, 7). Notice
in the case of Noah's baptism who was dry and who was immersed. The same is true of Moses' "baptism" in
the Red Sea (See 1 Corinthians 10:1-13).
1Pe
3:20
1Pe
3:21

who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the
construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through {the}
water.
Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you--not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an
appeal to God for a good conscience--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

C.

Baptism identifies us with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

Christ instructed his disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matt.
28:19). This means that baptism formally confers is one of acceptance by, communion with, and
commitment to all three Persons of the Godhead.
Every Israelite and every Gentile convert confessed the Shema, "Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord
is one" Deuteronomy 6:4).

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i1

These categories are rough and ready. For example, by Baptist I do not mean only those who attend
Baptist congregations, but rather most non-infant baptizing evangelical congregations in North America.
Note also that there are other Christian traditions not in this list which wield some influence in North
America. For example, the Campellite tradition (The Church of Christ; the Christian Church) teaches a
type of baptismal regeneration, (formally resembling the Lutheran position) but denies infant baptism
(formally resembling the Baptist position).
ii
See the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994), 1210-84
iii 3
The Baptist Faith and Message adopted by the Southern Baptist Church (San Francisco, 1962), Article 8
says, "Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and
the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen
Savior, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life
in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church
ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord's Supper. The Lord's
Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread
and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate his second coming." The
Baptist position has received the significant support of Karl Barth in his Church Dogmatics.
Many Baptistic churches also allow the practice of baby dedication. It would appear that this rite
substitutes for baptism of the children of believers. Why? Because believers instinctively know that they
need to present their children to God. Like the altar call this is a human substitute for divinely instituted
covenant signs and seals of baptism and the Lord's Supper. Baptism is the sign of entrance or initiation
into the visible Covenant assembly (church). Baby dedication fulfills this function. Similarly, the altar call
often effectively replaces the Lord's Supper as an opportunity for believers to respond to God's grace.
Regarding the mode of baptism there are two major procedures: effusion (sprinkling, pouring) and
immersion. Historically orthodox Christians have accepted any mode of Christian baptism. Baptists,
however, usually acknowledge only immersion. Although this has not always been the case. "The original
Baptists did not immerse" (B. B. Warfield, "The Archeology of the Mode of Baptism," Studies in Theology
[Oxford, 1932], 347, n.10). This also unites them with the Campbellites and distinguishes them from the
Reformed position. The latter have historically practiced effusion.
The argument over mode is really an argument about what is the appropriate action in baptism to
symbolize the truths of baptism. If baptism is the gospel made visible and if we are baptized as an act of
identity with Christ's death, then how we ought best symbolize those truths?
The Reformed practice of effusion draws from the rich history of the Biblical practice of sprinkling for
sanctification and salvation. The typical Hebrew term for effusion/sprinkling is Zaraq (e.g., Exodus 29.1621) which is translated with a variety of terms in the LXX. Two of the more interesting passages for
understanding the Biblical background and basis for the Reformed practice of effusion are the Passover
painting of the door-posts with the blood of the Lamb (Exodus 12:22) and Exodus 24:1-8.
In the former case, the Hebrew verb "to dip" is Tabal which was translated in the LXX with Baptizen,
apparently strengthening the Baptist case. Yet, notice that the hyssop branch was "dipped" but the
redeeming blood was "touch[ed]" (RSV) to the door-post. In the latter case, Moses "took the blood and
sprinkled (Zaraq/Kataskedannumi) it upon the people, and said, "Behold the blood of the covenant which
the LORD has made with you...". This is the sort of image Peter meant to invoke when he spoke of the
sprinkling (Rantismos) of Christians with the blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:2).
In fact the word baptize and its cognate Baptein is used routinely in the LXX to describe ceremonial
washings. The Jews were not in the habit of immersing objects for purification. Look at two notable
immersions in the Old Covenant Scriptures. Peter compares God's judgment-flood to baptism (1 Peter

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3:20,21, See also 2 Peter 3;6, 7). Notice in the case of Noah's baptism who was dry and who was
immersed. The same is true of Moses' "baptism" in the Red Sea (See 1 Corinthians 10:1-13). Exodus
repeatedly reminds us that Moses and the Israelites went through "on dry ground" (See Exodus 14:16,
22; 15:19; Psalm 66:6; Hebrews 11:29). Paul explicitly makes the point that Israel was "baptized in the
sea" and yet it was dry baptism. The only ones immersed were Pharaoh's armies. It would seem, in the
Israelite mind, that to be immersed would constitute an identification not with the God of the Exodus, but
Pharaoh. This would hardly be appropriate for Christian baptism.
"Why," one might ask, "in the New Testament, do people go "down" to or "in" the river to be baptized?"
(See Matthew 3:6,16; Acts 8:38). It is not certain that either John or Jesus was immersed. Practically, if
one is to baptize in the desert, one must stand in the water. In the mass baptism of Acts 2:41 it is unlikely
that 3000 people were immersed in the city's water supply. If the Ethiopian Eunuch was immersed, so was
Philip who baptized him. Both men are governed by the same Greek preposition (Eis). So, if the
immersionist view is correct, that the jailer was immersed, then both men went "into" (i.e., were
immersed) the water. More likely, both men went "to" the water or perhaps both men stood "in" the
water. For more information on the verb Baptize see J. W. Dale, Baptizo (Philadelphia, 1869 [repr. 19915]). See also Jay Adams, The Meaning and Mode of Baptism. Reformed churches who sprinkle infants do
so on strong Biblical grounds and not out of sentiment or personal preference.
iv 4
Article 9 of the Augsburg Confession (1530) says, "Of Baptism they teach that it is necessary to
salvation, and that through Baptism is offered the grace of God, and that children are to be baptized who,
being offered to God through Baptism are received into God's grace. They condemn the Anabaptists, who
reject the baptism of children, and say that children are saved without Baptism."
v 5
The Heidelberg Catechism (1563), Q.69 says, 'How is it signified and sealed to you in Holy Baptism,
that you have part in the one sacrifice of Christ on the cross? Thus: that Christ instituted this outward
washing with water and joined therewith this promise: that I am washed with his blood and Spirit from the
pollution of my soul, that is, from all my sins, as certainly as I am washed outwardly with water, whereby
commonly the filthiness of the body is taken away; Q.70: 'What is it to be washed with the blood and
Spirit of Christ? It is to have the forgiveness of sins from God through grace, for the sake of Christ's
blood, which he shed for us in his sacrifice on the cross; and also, to be renewed by the Holy Spirit and
sanctified to be members of Christ, that so we may more and more die unto sin and lead holy and
unblamable lives'; Q.72: 'Is then the outward washing with water itself the washing away of sins? No, for
only the blood of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit cleanse us from all sin'. See Belgic Confession (1561),
Art.34; Art. 27 of the Thirty Nine Articles (1662); Westminster Confession (1647), chapter 28.

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