Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Jailor gets wet

If baptism isn't something a believer is to do today, in this dispensation of grace, why did Paul baptize the Philippian Jailor?

The jailor chose to be baptized in Acts 16 because at that time in history water baptism was the proof or evidence that a person believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. Water baptism was solely a Jewish earthly kingdom ordinance, and because the book of Acts was written by God to and for the nation of Israel, all the believers were water baptized as a sign.

1 Corinthians 1:22
For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

The nation of Israel was created by God to be his kingdom of priests and holy nation in the earth.

Exodus 19:6
And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

1 Peter 2:9
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

Revelation 5:10
And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

God created the body of Christ to one day run and rule his government in the heavenly places, just like he created Israel to rule his government down here on the earth.

Ephesians 2:6
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Philippians 3:20
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

1 Thessalonians 4:17
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

In your bible, we are told to rightly divide the Word of truth. What that means is to make the divisions in God's word that he makes himself. The books of Genesis thru Acts are written to Israel to explain how God dealt with them in the past. The book of the Acts of the Apostles, which shows the actions of all God's apostles, explains to Jewish people the fall of the nation of Israel and God's salvation in Christ going to us gentiles.

Romans 11:11
I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

Today, God's instructions to us gentiles and about us gentiles are only found in Paul's 13 letters Romans to Philemon, which come right after Acts. Paul is our Apostle sent by the Lord Jesus Christ to us today.

Acts 9:15
But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:

Romans 11:13
For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

1 Corinthians 14:37
If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

That is important to know because Paul learned later from the Lord that he was not sent to water baptize.

1 Corinthians 1:14-17  
I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

Then the books of Hebrews thru Revelation are written again to the Hebrew nation of Israel, and those books are for the future remnant of Jews who will go thru the Tribulation period and deal with the Anti -Christ after the body of Christ is taken home to Heaven in the rapture. The book of Hebrews explains the cross work of the Lord and his fulfilling of Israel's new covenant [Jeremiah 31:31-34].

So when that gentile Philippian jailor trusted Paul's preaching of Christ in Acts 16, Paul water baptized him to show the Jewish readers that he was a true believer on the Lord Jesus. It is my understanding (and it can be implied) that Paul probably mentioned the baptism in verse 32. God, by this time in the book of Acts, has already taught the reader the issue of water baptism. So it was really no need to show Paul actually saying it. In fact, I find it interesting that God did not record Paul actually saying that the jailor must be water baptized because of what Paul says later.

1 Corinthians 1:17
For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

So yes, it is obvious to everybody in that day and time that water baptism was required for a believer.

Immersion was not the chosen method of water baptism in the bible though. In the bible, Israel was baptized by being sprinkled with water, not immersed.

Numbers 8:7; 19:18
And thus shalt thou do unto them, to cleanse them: Sprinkle water of purifying upon them, and let them shave all their flesh, and let them wash their clothes, and so make themselves clean.

And a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, and upon the persons that were there, and upon him that touched a bone, or one slain, or one dead, or a grave:

Ezekiel 36:25
Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

John the Baptist himself knew this and used an object called a "reed," which is a long leafy plant like thing that he dipped in the water and sprinkled the people with. The Lord Jesus Christ mentions this himself when talking about John.

Matthew 11:7
And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?

Luke 7:24
And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?

1 Kings 14:15
For the LORD shall smite Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water, and he shall root up Israel out of this good land, which he gave to their fathers, and shall scatter them beyond the river, because they have made their groves, provoking the LORD to anger.

Just imagine how long it would have taken, and how exhausted it would have been if John had to physically grab a hold of and immerse every single believer? It was much easier for him to just dip the reed in the Jordan River and sprinkle the people as they came close.

Today, water baptism is not a part of God's grace program for us gentiles! There is only one baptism today in the dispensation of God's grace.

Ephesians 4:5
One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

That baptism is not a physical water one, but an unseen spiritual one, because the body of Christ is a spiritual entity.

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.

Colossians 2:12
Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

Remember there are about 12 different baptisms in the bible! Three different ones alone in one single 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:

In fact Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:2, that the children of Israel were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the Red Sea coming out of Egypt, and we all know that they went over on dry ground. The only ones who got wet were the Egyptians that died in the water! Most people have been taught and trained to automatically think water when they see the word baptism, but in the bible, baptism is simply the issue of "total identification" with something or someone else.

No comments:

Post a Comment