Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Born of water

I was always puzzled as to why, if Nicodemus thought physical birth was a reference to water, why then did Jesus correct him by saying you must be baptized with water.

John 3:4-5
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

It didn’t make sense, but that's what the church has taught regarding being born of water.  I did some research on the custom of Jewish water baptism and that totally cleared up everything for me in John.  It was awesome.  It dawned on me that the text isn’t associating physical birth with water—and that is why Jesus corrected him. 

The clue to keep in mind regarding the Jewish earthly kingdom ordinance of water baptism is that it has to do with Israel's calling by God to be a kingdom of priests to minister to God for the gentiles in the kingdom here on the earth. In Exodus chapter 29, God tells Moses that all the priests of Israel need and are required to partake in two specific ordinances: washing/cleansing (i.e., baptizing) with water, and then anointing with oil.

Those two ordinances were a picture/type of John's water baptism and the anointing of the Holy Ghost that came down in Acts 2. That is why the Lord Jesus Christ was baptized of John. When He was baptized it had nothing to do with sins because He had none. He was water baptized "to fulfill all righteousness," that is, because as a member (the High Priest) of that priestly nation, he needed to submit to God's Word and be baptized and then anointed—which is why the Holy Spirit came upon Him right after. That is why the Lord told Nic in John 3 that "ye" (i.e., the whole nation of Israel) needed to be born of "water and the Spirit!" But read Exodus 29 to see more.

By the way, that is why we today in the dispensation of grace don't need to be water baptized—because we are not called of God to be a kingdom of priests...only Israel is. Our conversation is in the heavenly places—to rule/reign with Christ up there forever, while Israel reigns with him on the earth.

Our baptism today is a spiritual one, not a physical one. (Note: all references to baptism of the bible simply means "total identification"...including the three different baptisms, all found in one verse…)

Matthew 3:11
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

The moment we trust the shed blood of Christ for our sins, the Holy Ghost baptizes (totally identifies) us into the body of our Lord.

1 Corinthians 12:13
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Hopefully this helps!

Do you have a question for Pastor Ron?

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