Parting the water for ministry.
In Genesis 1:1-7
Here, in the beginning of time, we see the Spirit of God moving over the face of the dark and void waters of the earth, getting ready to bring about a change. We see the Godhead at work here over the still, unseparated, unbroken water.
Like the earth, we were once darkness and void. We were once alienated and enemies from God.
But God speaks into our lives and the Word brings the Light (John 1:1-18)
The Word, the Light, the Son of God, Jesus Christ breaks the darkness and chases it away.
The Spirit moves over us and then the still waters of our hearts are moved. They are separated. The water is then parted.
Parted like the waters when we are baptized.
So what is this thing called baptism?
Some say that it is the sign of salvation and they will proclaim that only when you are physically baptized will you be saved.
Others say that it is merely for show and that we do it to join the Church.
But baptism is not salvation and it is more than just confirmation. It is more than a show for others to see but it is not a salvation through works.
This thing called baptism is a symbol, a covenant with our Lord as well as a means for ministry.
What can we learn from baptism?
In the waters of preparation
1) We die in submission to God in baptism.
We know from verse 15 that John did not think that it was proper for him to be baptizing Jesus for the remission of sins. Why? Because he grew up around Jesus. He saw how sinless Jesus was and is. He knew that there was no sin to repent of in Jesus. So he said “No, You should be washing me!” Yet Jesus told him to permit it because He said it was “To fulfill all righteousness.”
He was acting out something. He was doing something, not for sin, but for the Father and for us.
Some reasons for His baptism
1) To affirm the ministry of John
2) To identify with the rest of Israel and with us
3) To illustrate the Godhead
4) To dedicate His submission to God
5) To show expectation of the Father’s provision
Baptism is a picture of our death, burial, and resurrection and we submit to God through this for ministry making a new covenant with the Father.
In orthodox Jewish homes, they still practice the birthright and blessing ordination as we see in Genesis 27:25-29 with Isaac and Jacob. We can see this in the baptism of Jesus
Matthew 3:17 where God says, “ This is My Beloved Son” The birthright
“In whom I am well pleased” The blessing –
And through this we can understand that God was giving Jesus His ministry here on earth. God was telling His Firstborn Son Who He was and what He would be. We can also see that this is for us because later in chapter 17:5, during the transfiguration of Jesus God says the same but at the end He tells the disciples to listen to Jesus
Jesus meets us in baptism and like Christ, we become pleasing to the Father.
When we are saved and indwelled with the Spirit, we then are named into the family of God
1) We become joint-heirs with Jesus and in baptism we become pleasing to the Father as well as equipped for ministry through the Spirit
2) We then become consecrated as temples of God
1 Corinthians 3:16
1 Corinthians 6:19
2 Corinthians 6:16
3) We are equipped for ministry through the empowering of the Spirit
2 Corinthians 3:3-6
Aaron and his sons were washed for priestly service (Leviticus 8:6, 16:23-24)
4) We become a washed living sacrifice
Leviticus 8:21, 16:3-5
The Holy Spirit came down from heaven like a dove
The Spirit remained on Jesus to prepare Him for ministry, not salvation
Not because He was just a man
Not because He was a Spirit man
He is the God-Man.
The Spirit covered Him, like a blanket. A comforter
2) We die to sin in baptism
1 Peter 3:21-22
Noah’s name means rest and is similar to the verb meaning comfort.
This is a picture of our dying to sin through the waters of the Spirit (John 4:14)
When we are indwelled with the Spirit of God at salvation, we receive a new nature, a nature that is not from birth, but from God. A nature that is like the new one that Noah saw after the flood. Genesis 6:17, an uncorrupted nature.
Everything in the earth had to die and everything earthly has to die within us.
Will we still stumble and fall? Yes, just like Noah, but as we live in Christ, we die to sin daily (Romans 12:1-2) and we live in Christ through His resurrection
3) We die to self in baptism
Jonah’s name means dove. Jonah spent three days in the whale and he is a picture of our dying to self through the resurrection of Jesus
These verses take on a whole new meaning when we seek to live like Christ
Matthew 10:39, 16:25
In the waters of separation
Going through the waters of the covenant
Noah was in Christ (Figuratively) in the ark for 40 days and 40 nights through the water.
The water took away what was unclean and God made a covenant with the new nature
The sign of this covenant was the rainbow
Moses and the children of Israel had gone through the Red Sea.
Moses spent 40 days and nights with God on the mountain. He came back with the Ten Commandments or a covenant with Israel
The sign was circumcision
Jesus went through the water of baptism. He spent 40 days and nights in the wilderness before being tempted. He came back with the Kingdom manifesto (The Sermon on the Mount) the guide for new Kingdom living or a covenant for Christians
The sign for us is the Holy Spirit
Because we are washed by the Word of God (Ephesians 5:26)
John 4:10-15, 7:37-39