Some Old Testament

Ezekiel 36: 25,26 (NIV)  Cherubim by Jepoi Genaldo

 

25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

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Ok… what do you think that language is referring to?

 

If you answered, ‘Holy Baptism’… go straight to the head of the class!

 

 If you answered anything else, you can sit in the corner with a pointy hat.

 

 

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18 Responses

  1. Well, water baptism maybe…but there’s no immersion, so even that’s questionable. If anything, he must be talking about Spirit Baptism. Yeah–that’s it.

  2. What size hat do you wear, Erich? 😀

  3. This is also why so many miss the Ethiopian eunuch passage he is reading in Acts 8. We have to keep a few things in mind like the eunuch didn’t have his assembled old and new testament NASB, ASB, NIV, KJV, etc…assembled by book producers for Lifeway to sell down the street. In fact he had no NT cannon in his hand and the very NT, Acts in this case, was going on that is being recounted. Neither did he have a leafed copy of the OT with chapter and verse inserted, so he was reading Isaiah and had come to the famous direct reference in Isaiah 53 referring to Christ and asks who does this speak of. We find conveniently in Isaiah 52:15 the very preceding to chapter 53 verse where the eunuch would have read, “so will (meaning in the revelatory last days, as the ENTIRE book of Acts establishes) he (meaning Jesus the Christ or Messiah) sprinkle (meaning baptize as Christ said He would) many nations (meaning the gentiles of which this eunuch belongs), and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand. (hidden in the types and shadows of the OT).

    To this the eunuch asks about baptism, “here is water” and why now (since he’s a nation person) can he not be baptized (by Jesus mind you via the authority and more importantly the LIVING word to do so) washing away his sins, giving him the Holy Spirit, giving Him the name under heaven only which whereby men can be saved, Jesus, “he/Yaweh will save His people from their sins”.

    To THIS – not immersion or his confession of faith (a rather dreary and beggarly worthless set of things) – he dances off in GREAT joy and cheer. And who in their right mind would not having just been baptized by Jesus Christ, told by Jesus Christ “I forgive you all YOUR sins”, told by Jesus Christ “I wash away YOUR sins”, told by Jesus Christ “Here is the promised Holy Spirit FOR YOU”, “Here is FOR YOU your death and resurrection in reality in and through Me”, “Here is FOR YOU objectively with or without your faith the very name of God, the Trinity”, “Here FOR YOU is the heavenly kingdom and all righteousness, your sin is Mine and My righteousness is yours”, “Here you are born from above adopted for nothing in fact in spite of yourself out of the shear naked grace of God.” No wonder he danced and sang, who wouldn’t.

    Juxtaposition that with immersion and ‘my confession of faith’, wow, whoopy, “I should dance I suppose?”

    It’s really like setting gold next crap and comparing the two.

    Larry

  4. “25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

    Is it talking about major transplant operations? If so it’s incredibly ahead of it’s time!

  5. ExPatMatt,

    You go to the head of the class!

    That is exactly what it is talking about…and more so than any surgery that ever will be performed by man.

  6. So… I take it you have no place for the metaphoric and/or theological meaning of a Scriptural passage? ‘Cause… maybe it’s just the Quaker upbringing in me (I doubt it), but I take that as much more metaphoric than literal.

  7. metaphoric, really that is much more Greek gnostic in its origin where the seperation between flesh vs. spirit is made. That Platonic ideal being the spirit and flesh (earthly) some how less. Such is ultimately denying and warring against the incarnation. The Hebrews had no such concept as a friend of mine recently pointed out, very eye opening. They understood flesh (earthly body) and spirit to mean all man is period.

    The “metaphoric” is often playground for such gnosticism, which then in turn leads some form of works righteousness either via reason, affections or experiences (or some combination there of) other wise of the “spirit” immediately sans mundane means.

    Ultimately it is here that all theologies of glory meet: Calvinist with Arminians with Pelagians with semi-pelagians with apostate Rome with eastern mysticism with all strains of gnosticism with baptist/anabaptist, etc… Through reason, affections or experiences man thus is said to be immediately operated upon by “god” or the “spirit”. This high flying gnostic thought parallels ultimately all denials of the incarnation itself. It does not see the revealed God Who suffers Himself all the way down to the earthy to become man for making us His true brothers.

    Thus, this OT passage knows nothing of such a division between flesh/earth and spirit via the way of the metaphoric. This is the same problem some have in interpreting Nicodemas in John’s Gospel coming to Christ at night.

    L

  8. Of course no Baptist/Anabaptist/reformed consistently believe the metaphorical/symbol/sign only. Just attempt to tell such a pastor, “I have no need for the lesser beggarly symbolic baptism that is really only metaphorical to the reality that has already occurred inwardly. Why go through such insignificant superfluous frivolity being I already possess the inward reality?” And of course no such serious pastor in such would concur at all.

    L

  9. Also the eunuch, the gentile/nation person, didn’t see it that way either but demanded, “here is water, what prevents me from baptism?’ He did not say, “Oh since its it convenient seeing here is some water, let’s go through with the sign/symbol/metaphore to the reality that has already occurred”.

    Baptist and reformed alike like the personal touch moving down from general gospel when it comes to so called conversion, election or rebirth, they just don’t the real Gospel coming forth pro me.

    L

  10. Here is one to chew on: a person who denies baptism is effecacious as a means of grace, but claims it is just an act of obediance or something we do to , and not what God does for us–that is, that it gives us his name makes us his child and hence provides forgiveness of sins–is in danger of not having saving faith in Christ.

  11. trust me, you’re not the first to tell me that i’m not saved because i haven’t been baptized [by water]… /shrugs

  12. I would not tell anyone that they are saved or not (not our call).

    Erich didn’t say that either. Being in danger is just that.

    Those who disbelieve in the Sacraments usually hate the graciousness of it. That a little infant should receive something free of charge from the Lord, without doing something, or making some profession of faith just rankles many people. Sort of the older brother syndrome in the prodigal son parable.

    I just think it is wonderful that God has chosen to save some in baptism, totally apart from anything that I do, say, feel, or think!

    Yipee!!

  13. I believe in the sacraments… just in a different manner. Friends (Quakers) believe that the outward symbolism of water baptism is not a requirement of salvation; we emphasize the baptism of the Spirit. With communion, we hold that all meals should be communion with God; after all, the first communion was a Passover meal. Bottom line, it’s not the sacraments that save– it’s God in his work with Christ and we are saved upon our belief.

    And I realise Erich didn’t say those who don’t believe in the sacraments are not saved, but saying that one is in danger of not having saving faith in Christ simply because one doesn’t believe in/practice the sacraments in that way comes off as very close to saying that.

  14. Steve,

    You and Erich have hit upon a point missed, the accusation of “you are saying I’m not saved”. This is a tough one because it fundamentally comes from the same mindset that does not SEE it is trying to work its way to heaven. It’s hard to explain to a fish “your wet”, when wet is all he knows and so immersed he doesn’t know wetness for a lack of difference.

    Steve nails it down nice and tightly saying, “Those who disbelieve in the Sacraments usually hate the graciousness of it. That a little infant should receive something free of charge from the Lord, without doing something, or making some profession of faith just rankles many people. Sort of the older brother syndrome in the prodigal son parable”.

    A baptist, I did, and Reformed for that matter, I did, here’s a Lutheran speak of baptism being the Gospel, God’s Word, name and work with or without my faith and blows completely by that returning to their definition of baptism (their paradigm), which is fundamentally a Roman paradigm ex opera operato. I.e. baptism is my faith, showing my obedience, an ordinance to show forth an inward reality, etc… Takes THAT paradigm and says, “see you are working your way to heaven doing baptism or so you think”. They’ve never left their fish tank on baptism and refuse to hear that it might be something else namely what Lutheran confessions confess. It’s like taking food, call it poison (the Baptist paradigm) and say, “Why do you eat poison (really food) and think you live/it feeds you.” The Lutheran is saying, “No you are using the wrong end of the shovel, it’s FOOD not poison, that’s why I eat it.”

    The real question is as Steve clarifies, its really not first nor foremost about infant baptism but about “Those who disbelieve in the Sacraments usually hate the graciousness of it” and then secondarily thus such is displayed in, “That a little infant should receive something free of charge from the Lord, without doing something, or making some profession of faith just rankles many people”. It’s not about “infant baptism” per se but what the implications of infant baptism has on ALL baptism including adult; thus infant baptism is merely a grand open testimony or bill board that most clear displays “…the graciousness of it (baptism)…” and not the opposite false doctrine of believers baptism. That’s why Baptist doctrine is in opposition at a high level to the Words of Christ in that Baptist display before the world, satanically, that an adult of such is the kingdom of heaven. Yet Christ, the Lord of the Kingdom of Heaven says very clearly in a harsh rebuke, “do not prevent the little children and infants from coming to Me, for of such belong (are owners) of the kingdom of heaven” and just to be clear, “unless you (adults) become as they, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven”. Thus, Baptist display the adult as the ideal or principle model of the kingdom person and church congregant and Christian, yet Christ for Whom Christians are, the actual King of the kingdom, and Lord over His church says, “No, these infants and children are”. BIG difference, one a word of men, the other a Word of God. It’s actually very clear and explicit.

    The same thing occurs with the Lord’s Supper when those under the spell of the false teachers say something like the LS is a memorial meal and you cannot ‘work your way to heaven’ by eating it. They actually reveal in real words their own doctrine, again they are using their paradigm to define the LS and thus conclude what they conclude, proving they believe the LS is a work of men. And so they accuse one of ‘working their way to heaven’ by eating the LS. Yet Christ says in direct opposition to that concerning directly, explicitly and plainly the LS, “TAKE EAT this is My body/blood…given/shed FOR YOU…FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SIN…this do…”. The obvious ‘begging the question’ is this, “How is it that I’m working my way to heaven if Christ gives it to me? The answer is obvious. Working your way to heaven would be inventing another doctrine, like memorial meals or signs only, and then trying to ascend to God, but not taking what he descends down to put into my mouth or on my body. It’s like God reaching down giving you a warm coat in a freezing world to save your life and you reply in complete blindness, “GET THAT THING OFF OF ME I’m not going to work my way to my own salvation.” The irony of “Those who disbelieve in the Sacraments usually hate the graciousness of it”, is that they then otherwise turn around and start working their way to heaven through other means and concepts of types of “infused grace” (RC) or in heterodoxy Protestantism infused grace is converted over to the idea of rebirth/conversion/election, that ‘power’ now to obey.

    Therefore the real issue is not, “do you believe or disbelieve in infant baptism”, rather do you despise and disbelieve in the Sacraments due to the graciousness of it of which a little infant displays as they receive something free of charge from the Lord, without doing something, or making some profession of faith just rankles many people which is the older brother syndrome in the prodigal son parable.

    AND the danger for one IS the older brother syndrome in the prodigal son parable, that is you will stand outside of the great feast of heaven in hell just because of this all along as the Father beseeches you to come in. The hell of hell is that it is desired and thought to be of God by the fallen human mind! That’s why the Pharisees didn’t see God right in front of them all along thinking they defended God, Scripture and circumcision. Believers baptism, ironically, is precisely and exactly the same problem the Judiazers had concerning circumcision.

    Warning of danger is NOT accusation of ‘not being saved’, its warning of danger. Which is what Erich and Steve are speaking of.

    Larry

  15. Larry,

    You did a very nice job of unpacking and expounding on my and Erich’s comments.

    Thanks, my friend.

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