And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.
United with Christ in baptism. This explains why
“The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from Heaven: “You are my Son, whom I Love; with You I am well pleased.”
We note that Jesus did not ‘need’ to do this, but did. Let us review a few instances:
Historically, baptism has been used as a rite of initiation, showing the inductee’s entrance into a new belief or observance. Baptism in the church is also a token of the forgiveness of sins we experience at salvation—in much the same way that Pilate attempted to show his innocence by washing his hands with water (Matthew 27:24), Christians show they are cleansed by Christ when they are baptized by water.
Some Bible students have identified seven baptisms in Scripture. The seven baptisms are usually listed as being these:
1) The baptism of Moses (1 Corinthians 10:1–3) – when the Israelites were delivered from slavery in Egypt, they were “baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.” That is, they were identified with Moses and his deliverance by passing through the Red Sea and following God’s presence in the cloud (Exodus 13:21). Paul uses this as a comparison to the way that Christians are identified with Christ and His salvation. Those who followed Moses passed through the water and were thus initiated into a new life of freedom and Law-keeping; those who follow Jesus Christ, who is greater than Moses, pass through the waters of baptism and are thus initiated to a new life of freedom and grace.
2) The baptism of John (Mark 1:4) – as John the Baptist preached repentance of sins in preparation for the coming of the Messiah, he baptized people in the Jordan. Those who were baptized by John were showing their faith in John’s message and their need to confess their sin. In Acts 18:24–25, a disciple of John’s named Apollos preaches in Ephesus; however, only knowing the baptism of John and the need for repentance, he needed to be further instructed in the death and resurrection of Christ. Later in the same city, Acts 19:1–7, Paul encounters some more followers of John. These disciples had been baptized for repentance, but they had not heard of the new birth or the Holy Spirit. Paul taught them the whole message of salvation in Christ, and they received the message and were subsequently baptized in Jesus’ name.
3) The baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:13–17) – this was Jesus’ act of identifying with sinful humanity. Although Jesus did not need to repent of sin, He came to John to be baptized. John balked at performing the baptism, saying that Jesus should be the one baptizing him (Matthew 3:13–14). But Jesus told John to proceed with the baptism: “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness” (verse 15). In this baptism, Jesus put His stamp of approval on John’s ministry and also began His own. As Jesus came up from the water, the Father spoke from heaven, and the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form upon Jesus (verses 16–17).
4) The baptism of fire (Matthew 3:11–12) – John prophesied that Jesus would baptize men “with fire.” This speaks of Jesus’ judging the world for its sin (see John 5:22). Immediately after mentioning the baptism by fire, John describes Jesus as overseeing a harvest to come: “His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (verse 12; cf. Matthew 13:24–30, 36–43). Those who are judged by Christ in the last day will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15).
5) The baptism of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13–14; 1 Corinthians 12:13) – John also predicted that Jesus would baptize men with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11). This is a spiritual baptism, and it is the baptism that saves us. At salvation, we are “immersed” in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit covers us, indwells us, fills us, and makes us a part of the spiritual body of Christ. The baptism of the Spirit is what initiates us into new life in Christ. The first people to experience the baptism of the Spirit were the believers in Acts 2 on the Day of Pentecost. The spiritual entity known as the body of Christ is formed by this baptism: “We were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13).
6) The baptism of the cross (Mark 10:35–39) – Jesus used the language of baptism to refer to His sufferings (and those of His disciples). James and John, the Boanerges, had come to Jesus asking for a place of honor in the kingdom. Jesus asked them, “Can you . . . be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” (Mark 10:38). They replied that they could, and Jesus confirmed it: “You will . . . be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with” (verse 39). The “baptism” Jesus speaks of here is the suffering He was to endure. James and John would suffer, as well.
7) The baptism of believers (Matthew 28:19) – this is a washing in water to symbolize the action of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s heart. Believer’s baptism is one of the two ordinances given to the church. Different churches practice different modes of baptism, but all who follow Christ should be baptized, since it is commanded by our Lord. Water baptism pictures some wonderful spiritual truths. When we are saved, we are “buried” with Christ and “rise” to newness of life; our sins are “washed away,” and we are cleansed. It is Spirit baptism that saves us, but water baptism is our outward expression of that event. “All of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death[.] We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:3–4).
Of the seven baptisms found in Scripture, only two are of personal significance to the Christian today: the baptism of the Holy Spirit (that saves us) and believer’s water baptism (that identifies us with the church). The other baptisms were uniquely for other times, limited to certain people, or (in the case of the baptism of fire) still future.
We see the eunuch from Ethiopia baptized;
Philip the Evangelist was told by an angel to go to the road from Jerusalem to Gaza, and there he met the Ethiopian eunuch, the treasurer of Candace, Queen of theEthiopians. He had been to Jerusalem to worship (Acts 8:27), and was returning home.
There is so much significance in this. We many times may not have considered ‘Africa’ as in any way ‘affiliated’ with Christianity or ‘religion’, but in The Word, it clearly says so.
This is a topic for further discussion, and we shall touch on it. But, even more significant was Moses wife, a woman of ‘color’ that was spoken of ‘negatively’ by Miriam his sister, and was punished harshly for it.
Miriam speaks ill about her brother Moses, and her punishment seems completely disproportionate to her “crime.” She is afflicted with leprosy, and sent out of the camp for seven full days. All this for expressing concern about her brother’s marriage?
I have always considered Miriam an example of strength and piety. Without her, Moses would never have been born, and surely would not have survived in the Nile. The way I see it, she spoke to Aaron only out of concern for her brother and his wife, Tzipporah. For this she was punished so harshly?
As a young girl in Egypt, she midwifed alongside her mother Yocheved. Together they defied Pharaoh’s decree that all Jewish baby boys must be killed at birth.3 We also know that when Pharaoh demanded that all baby boys be drowned, Miriam’s father, Amram, decided to separate from his wife so that they would have no more children. Since he was a leader of the Jewish people, many followed his example. Miriam accused her father, “You are worse than Pharaoh! Pharaoh’s decree is against the boys; you are effectively causing that there are no Jewish girls also!” Through her urging Amramremarried his wife, and Moses was born.
When her mother placed Moses in a basket on the Nile, it was Miriam who hid in the reeds and waited to see what would happen (she knew that this child was the prophesied redeemer, and that somehow he would be saved), and it was she who arranged that he be nursed by his own mother.
Later, after the Exodus and the splitting of the Red Sea, Miriam led all the women and girls in song and dance. Together with Moses and Aaron, she led the Jewish people for the forty years they were in the desert. During this time, the Jews were provided with water in her merit.
The Talmud teaches that like her two brothers, Miriam died through “the kiss of death” from G‑d. Her soul was so elevated that the angel of death had no power over it.
Throughout her life, the focus and essence of Miriam’s life was a determined objective of increasing family unity and harmony. This drive was part of her quintessential self and her path of divine service.
When Miriam witnessed her younger brother willfully separating from his wife, she could not stand by, but voiced her protest, to correct what to her was a reprehensible situation.
Moses differed from all other prophets in that he had to be ready to hear God’s communication at any moment. He therefore had to be ritually pure at all times, meaning he had to refrain from marital relations with his wife, Tzipporah.
Miriam learned of Moses’ conduct by a chance remark of Tzipporah’s. Not realizing that God had instructed Moses to do so, and feeling it was unjustifiable, Miriam criticized Moses to his older brother, Aaron, in the hope of rectifying the situation. Since both Aaron and Miriam were also prophets, but were not required to withdraw from normal family life, in their understanding neither was Moses so required.
Miriam’s intentions were pure and upright, but she erred in her basic evaluation of Moses. Moses . . . was a unique individual, a prophet like no other. Being such a supreme prophet, standing head and shoulders above others, he was not to be judged by the same yardstick and the same parameters as any other individual—even another prophet as great as Miriam or Aaron.
Miriam was punished for her criticism, despite her proper intentions.
My aim today is to argue from Scripture and experience that interracial marriage is not only permitted by God but is a positive good in our day. That is, it is not just to be tolerated, but celebrated. This is extremely controversial since it is opposed by people from all sides. Scripture: Deuteronomy 7:3–4 and Colossians 3:9–11.
Interracial marriage was against the law in sixteen states in 1967 when the Loving vs. Virginia Supreme Court Decision struck down those laws. That is very fresh historically. Laws reflect deep convictions, and convictions don’t usually change when laws do.
This is one of the clear examples of interracial marriage. But, there is a key example – Yes! Marriage is one thing as in the case of Moses. We look at another significant piece in the puzzle of the Story.
Abraham took on an ‘inter racial’ relationship secondary to Sarai’s desire that Abram have a heir.
Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”
Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.
When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.”
So much is apparent and brings to question so very much.
Pride? Despisement? In no way was that appropriate and Abram sent her away. Much happened afterward
God intervenes and reminds Hagar of the promise that Ishmael shall be the father of a great nation Genesis 21.18. Later, when Abraham dies, Ishmael returns to attend the funeral and we learn of the promise’s fulfillment he and his twelve sons have settled east and north of Egypt, where modern Arabia is now located.
So whatever happened to him? According to the biblical account, he dies at the age of 137 and nothing else is heard of him other than the modern conjecture that he and his sons are the seed of Saudi Arabia.
But this story isn’t complete. Outside of Christianity and Judaism is a third faith, numbering approximately 1 billion followers, who claim Abraham and his son Ishmael in their lineage and as their prophets. Islam, founded by Mohammed sometime after 610 CE, traces its roots to these men. Indeed, Mohammed’s own lineage is traced through these two prophets. .
Again, there is so much to share but we can see what is. Many questions come to mind. But, all are of one family! As believers we are one family race totally aside.
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
1 John 3:1-2
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
Jesus came and changed the world! Exodus 21 says so much, I will admit that this raises so many hairs on my back.
It speaks of those in “bondage”/servitude and what was to be done. I understand, but as we have shared Jesus changed that ALL! Now, as believers we are all co-heirs of The Kingdom of Heaven.
The concept of “race” is biological, not Biblical. There is no mention of different races, as such, in the Bible, nor even of the very concept of a “race.” Evidently, there is no Biblical or theological meaning to the term, and we must conclude, therefore, that races are purely arbitrary entities invented by man for his own convenience in biological and anthropological studies.
Biologically a race is generally thought of as a variety, or sub-species, within a given species. In terms of evolutionary philosophy, it may represent a stage in the evolution of a new species. Thus different sub-species within a species may vary in their respective degrees of evolutionary advance over the ancestral species, depending upon the relative efficiencies with which the postulated evolutionary mechanisms of mutation, segregation, natural selection, etc., have been functioning in each case.
This leads to the observation that racism, in the sense of struggle between races and the conviction that one race is superior to others, must be based on evolutionism, not on theism. Evolutionary scientists may not all be “racist” in their personal or political philosophies. Nevertheless, the various philosophies that have promoted racism have, quite understandably, used the supposed universal evolutionary process as their intellectual framework for such a position. Nazism and Marxism are two notable examples.
The testimony of the Bible, however, is that all men who have ever lived in the world are descendants of Adam and, therefore, are of essentially the same race—the human race. “God hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26). Furthermore, all men in the present world are also descendants of Noah, after the great Flood. Before the Flood, God had said: “The end of all flesh is come before me; . . . behold, I will destroy them with the earth” (Genesis 6:13). Then, later the Bible says: “All flesh died that moved upon the earth . . . and every man” (Genesis 7:21). After the Flood, “God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth” (Genesis 9:1). Finally the Bible says: “And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the Ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: . . . and of them was the whole earth overspread” (Genesis 9:18, 19).
As we have shared, something as simple as ‘blood type’ is universal, this is not Color specific! Yes, an individual can request exclusion from recieving or donating (racially) motivated. That is their choice m.
One essential fact is that all come from the same ‘blood line’. To make this specific; even if we believe Adam and Eve are just a ‘story’, life started somewhere, no? We canman assess and conclude that everything in existence started from somewhere. Even evolutionarily reasoning one cell became two and so on. But, where do the ‘differences’ come from?
Quit a bit to ‘mull’, human has been on Earth for years. Evolution, is stated!
In the early 19th century Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744 – 1829) proposed his theory of the transmutation of species, the first fully formed theory of evolution. In 1858 Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace published a new evolutionary theory, explained in detail in Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859).
Understandably, Man shall be on the increase of knowledge
“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.
But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.”
We accept theorems as fact. Yet, these theorem did not exist prior, yet we accept them as fact. I would be a naysayer if I disagreed. Knowledge is on the rise – wisdom has existed even before ‘theorem’ are proposed…
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
James 1:5 King James Version (KJV)
This says so much. Seek – find; Ask – recieving; Knock and the door shall be opened. So much more to share but I thought I would share to promote contemplation.