The consequences for our spirit when we receive God’s salvation through faith ROMANS 6 – Part 2
Right away, you reach the core idea of this chapter, the main point of teaching on the consequences of salvation for our spirit. Our old spirit was put to death with Christ and so it has ceased to exist. Paul uses the concept of baptism to explain what happened when we were saved by our faith in Jesus Christ. And to understand this comparison properly, we first need to understand the term baptism properly. The word baptism means a washing and there are two baptisms described in the New Testament. One is spiritual, one is physical. One God does, one we do. One produces a death and rebirth, the other pictures a death and rebirth.
The first baptism the Bible describes is the spirit baptism or the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is a baptism of spirit in the sense that a person is immersed by the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God comes to live inside a person, so in that sense the person is completely immersed by the Spirit. The baptism of the Spirit is the moment we are born again, as Jesus said to Nicodemus: Continue reading
Was Abraham declared righteous before or after he was circumcised? ROMANS 4
Before the Law, saved by grace through faith. After the Law, same thing. The Law did not have any impact on how we are saved. Some have asked, is God’s blessings for the Jew or for the Gentile also? There were some Jews in Paul’s day and probably some Orthodox Jews today that are probably thinking God may have had two systems for salvation. Maybe for the Gentiles God had this system of faith. But for the Jews, by following the Law was meant to be something like faith plus works. Or just works, period. Could it be possible that there are really two systems involved here. And Paul says let’s consider when Abraham received his declaration of righteousness. Continue reading
The Baptism of Jesus – Conclusion
John’s baptism of Jesus brought John’s ministry to an end and it began Jesus’ ministry… but it served one more purpose. It established a model for Jesus’ followers to repeat so we can identify with our Lord. Just as Jesus received water baptism to fulfill all righteousness, so are His followers called to do the same. As Jesus commanded at the end of Matthew, in a passage commonly called the Great Commission… Continue reading
The Baptism of Jesus – Part 2
When John saw his godly cousin, Jesus, coming out to join that rogues’ gallery of repentant sinners, John was incredulous. John says, if one of us should be repenting to the other, it should be me repenting to you Jesus. John wasn’t calling Jesus the Messiah. He was simply saying I have more sin than you do, so I need you to baptize me. Of course John was both right and wrong. On the one hand, John was right that he had more sin than Jesus. In fact, John didn’t realize how right he was as John had infinitely more sin than Jesus because Jesus was perfect, sinless, God incarnate.
But John was also wrong to think that Jesus shouldn’t be baptized. Because Jesus wasn’t coming to receive a baptism of repentance. Jesus had no need to repent. He was coming to John to serve a different purpose. Jesus was obeying the command of His Father and ensuring that John would likewise obey his calling. Specifically, Jesus says this moment was fitting to fulfill all righteousness. The Greek word translated “fitting” literally means to be clearly seen. In other words, Jesus is saying “in doing this we will be displaying righteousness as we obey the Father.” Jesus didn’t need to be baptized for repentance, but He did need to receive John’s baptism to be obedient to the Father. And that meant it was required to fulfill all righteousness. But if the baptism of Jesus by John wasn’t a baptism for repentance, what specifically did John’s ministry of announcing the coming Messiah accomplish? Continue reading