Ephesians 4:3-6; One baptism, part 13. Jesus’ baptism. Baptism in the epistles.

Class Outline:

Wednesday June 2,2021

Title: Ephesians 4:3-6; One baptism, part 13. Jesus’ baptism. Baptism in the epistles.


Baptism of Jesus - unique as He was not a sinner. In the ritual Jesus identified Himself with Israel as her cleanser so that righteousness would be established.


The water was symbolic of the Father’s will for Jesus to die for the sins of the world. His resurrection is also implied and thus His baptism represented the fact that He would successfully complete His mission.


Why did Jesus, despite His sinlessness, submit Himself to baptism? He was willing to declare at the front of His ministry, that He would accomplish salvation for man at the end of His ministry.


Also, at the event, the Father from heaven declared, “Thou are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” The Servant prophesied by Isaiah identified Himself with Israel as her Savior and the One who would take away her sin. The Father was quoting the first Servant Song in the Book of Isaiah. In the four Servant Songs, the Servant must suffer vicariously for the people. It reveals clearly that Jesus was conscious of being the Servant (the Messiah).


At His baptism, the Father identifies Jesus with the Servant foretold by Isaiah, ISA 42:1, and further identifies the Servant as the Son of God.


In the Servant songs, the Servant must suffer vicariously for His people.


That the Servant, the One who would suffer to save the people would be the Son of God, connects the Suffering Servant to the other prophecies in Isaiah about the son who will be called Immanuel (God with us), ISA 7:14, and the son who would be called mighty God, ISA 9:6. The people of Israel were fed lies concerning their scriptures for many years, and they had to receive the messages of John and Jesus and put the truths together properly. This would take time. Hence, the judgment upon them would not occur for forty years, and during that time the apostles and their fellow workers would be sent to them, also having special gifts and the power of miracles. As Peter writes, God is patient, wanting all men to come to repentance.


The people come to John to be baptized for their own sins, but the sinless Son of God must come to be baptized for the sins of the whole people.


Jesus is baptized in view of His death, which will affect the forgiveness of all sin.


Jesus identifies with the people, but as their Savior and not a fellow sinner.


The reason Jesus gives to John who resists, “to fulfill all righteousness.”


MAT 3:13-15

Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?" 15 But Jesus answering said to him, "Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness."


Perhaps He has His own righteousness in mind in that He will obey to the point of death, even death on a cross. He would also have the people in mind since their righteousness depended on His death. His death will provide forgiveness for all people.


Still, Israel did not understand the concept of a suffering Messiah. The disciples that had traveled and ministered with Jesus for three years didn’t understand it. The whole society, for generations, had been raised to believe that the Messiah was fully a warrior/conqueror. The concept of Him suffering and dying at the hands of enemies, and further, being hung on a tree, was impossible to them. Yet still, that truth sat unnoticed in their scriptures in the Servant Songs and in many other prophecies.


The suffering Servant being the Messiah and the Son of God was an impossible conception for Judaism.


Remember, the leaders and teachers had neglected the word of God in favor of their traditions. They held their oral law to be even higher than the written law, even to claiming that Moses had received the oral law on Sinai, but of course not writing it down.


The baptism of Jesus points forward to the Cross, in which all baptism will find its foundation and fulfillment.


MAR 10:38-39

But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking for. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?"  39 And they said to Him, "We are able." And Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink you shall drink; and you shall be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized.


John proclaims, “Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world.” Jesus’ use of the word baptism confirms this.


John and James would not be baptized by the sins of the world like Jesus would be, but they would be obedient to the Father to the point of death, as Jesus was. We are all called to it. Jesus affirms that He cannot give them those two seats, but He also affirms that they must drink the cup as He did. All of us are called to obey the Father to the point of death.


LUK 12:49-50

“I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished!”


In the Book of Acts there is the baptism at Pentecost ACT 2:38, the baptism of the Samaritans ACT 8:12, eunuch ACT 8:38, Paul ACT 9:18, Cornelius and his house ACT 10:48, Lydia and her house ACT 16:15, Philippian jailor and his house ACT 16:33, Crispus and his house and many Corinthians ACT 18:8, believers in Ephesus by Paul ACT 19:4, Paul recounting of his own baptism ACT 22:16.


Baptism in the epistles. There is no specific command to be baptized in water.


ROM 6:3-4

Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.


Many teachers throughout the history of the church assumed that Paul meant water baptism in ROM 6:3-4. And since everyone was water baptized, it didn’t affect their faith in their identification with Christ in His death and resurrection. However, if that interpretation were true, believers would have to wait for their water baptism to be alive in Christ, which is false and also unreasonable since a ritual does not make a person alive in Christ. Paul here may be using the word baptism in its core definition, as in, “Have been immersed and identified into His death.” We will see just this type of usage of the word baptism by Paul in our next passage.


Being identified with Christ in His death that we may live with Him and walk in newness of life occurs at the moment of salvation, we know. Therefore, it occurs when we are baptized by the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation.


Israel was identified with Moses when they passed through the sea.


1CO 10:1-4

For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 and all ate the same spiritual food; 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.


The body of Christ is formed by the baptism of the Holy Spirit.


1CO 12:12-13

For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.


Our baptism by the Holy Spirit into Christ clothes (immerses) us in Christ.


GAL 3:27-28

For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.


EPH 4:5

one Lord, one faith, one baptism,


Col 2 is much like Rom 6 - we are baptized into Christ’s death (“buried with Him in baptism) and made alive with Him.


COL 2:9-15

For in Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; 11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 When He had disarmed [Greek: put off] the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.