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 Re:

The Jewish Baptism of Proselytes.

Edersheim: The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Appendix 12. The Baptism of Proselytes.

1. Proselytes of the Gate did not undergo baptism or even circumcision.

2. It was otherwise with 'the proselytes of righteousness,' who became 'children of the covenant,''perfect Israelites,' Israelites in every respect, both as regarded duties and privileges. All writers are agreed that three things were required for the admission of such proselytes: Circumcision (Milah), Baptism (Tebhilah), and a Sacrifice (Qorban, in the case of women: baptism and sacrifice) - the latter consisting of a burnt-offering of a heifer, or of a pair of turtle doves or of young doves Maimonides, Hilkh. Iss. Biah xiii. 5). After the destruction of the Temple promise had to be made of such a sacrifice when the services of the Sanctuary were restored. On this and the ordinances about circumcision it is not necessary to enter further. That baptism was absolutely necessary to make a proselyte is so frequently stated as not to be disputed (See Maimonides, u. s.; the tractate Massekheth Gerim in Kirchheim's Septem Libri Talm. Parvi, pp. 38-44 [which, however, adds little to our knowledge]; Targum on Ex. xii. 44; Ber. 47 b; Kerith. 9 a; Jer. Yebam. p. 8 d; Yebam. 45 b, 46 a and b, 48 b, 76 a; Ab. Sar. 57 a, 59 a, and other passages). There was, indeed a difference between Rabbis Joshua and Eliezer, the former maintaining that baptism alone without circumcision, the latter that circumcision alone without baptism, sufficed to make a proselyte, but the sages decided in favour of the necessity of both rites (Yebam. 46 a and b). The baptism was to be performed in the presence of three witnesses, ordinarily Sanhedrists (Yebam. 47 b), but in case of necessity others might act. The person to be baptized, having cut his hair and nails, undressed completely, made fresh profession of his faith before what were 'the fathers of the baptism' (our Godfathers, Kethub. 11 a; Erub. 15 a), and then immersed completely, so that every part of the body was touched by the water. The rite would, of course, be accompanied by exhortations and benedictions (Maimonides, Hilkh. Milah iii. 4; Hilkh. Iss. Biah xiv. 6). Baptism was not to be administered at night, nor on a Sabbath or
feast-day (Yebam. 46 b). Women were attended by those of their own sex, the Rabbis standing at the door outside. Yet unborn children of proselytes did not require to be baptized, because they were born 'in holiness' (Yebam. 78 a). In regard to the little children of proselytes opinions differed. A person under age was indeed received, but not regarded as properly an Israelite till he had attained majority. Secret baptism, or where only the mother brought a child, was not acknowledged. In general, the statements of a proselyte about his baptism required attestation by witnesses. But the children of a Jewess or of a proselyte were regarded as Jews, even if the baptism of the father was doubtful.

It was indeed a great thing when, in the words of Maimonides, a stranger sought shelter under the
wings of the Shekhinah, and the change of condition which he underwent was regarded as complete. The waters of baptism were to him in very truth, though in a far different from the Christian sense, the 'bath of regeneration' (Titus iii. 5). As he stepped out of these waters he was considered as 'born anew' - in the language of the Rabbis, as if he were 'a little child just born' (Yeb. 22 a; 48 b; 97 b), as 'a child of one day' (Mass. Ger. c. ii.). Edersheim: The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Appendix 12. The Baptism of Proselytes.

The Jews of John Baptist's day were very familiar with baptism; it was part of the essential ritual of a Gentile becoming a Jew. What must have been provoking was that John was baptizing Jews. There is an interesting feature in that one of John's sites was 'Bethabara beyond Jordan'; that means on the other side. I have often wondered whether John was acting out the Crossing of the Jordan in Joshua's time. Bethabara is exactly where they crossed. Jesus said of John, 'he restoreth all thinks'. John's preaching of repentance and baptism was almost like a re-setting of the dials, bringing Israel back to the point of its beginnings.

What can we learn from Jewish Baptism to help us in building up our understanding of the word 'baptism'? There are definite links with 'cleansing' here and again the concept, for converted Gentiles, of old things having passed away and all things become new. It provoked in the Jewish thought ideas of 'born anew', 'a little child just born' and a 'bath of regeneration'.

I am not building doctrine on Jewish habits, but it is good to remind ourselves that John Baptist was not preaching in a sterile vacuum but in a market place of ideas. In such a context the word 'baptism' would have held ideas that were common to many groups.


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Ron Bailey

 2004/9/27 15:33Profile
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 Re:

John Baptist's Testimony

I am trying to build 'from the ground' up, rather than reacting to contemporary views or definitions of the 'Baptism in the Holy Spirit'. Suppose you were in a closed country with no access to denominational or historical sources. Your only source is the scripture which you 'search diligently' to know what Christ expects of you and what you may expect of Him; this is my attempt to answer the last half of that search.

John Baptist was like the Morning Star which shone so brilliantly but which was inevitably made invisible by the rising of the sun. We are usually anxious to get on into the gospel account and sometimes this prevents us from considering 'how great' this man was. He was the greatest unregenerate servant of God; But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. (Mat 11:9-13 KJV) John was one of the Bible's milestone men; a watershed in God's ongoing purposes. John is the last of the breed.

His work was blessed with amazing popular success but, more importantly, with Christ's personal approval;
Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. (Mat 3:5-6 KJV)
And he answered and told them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought. (Mar 9:12 KJV)
He brought back the spiritual condition of the people to the highest levels. As Elijah had marked a new beginning for Israel, so John did the same. If John is the greatest of the prophets it behoves us to listen carefully to what he has to say about 'Baptism in the Spirit'. It is, after all, his phrase. In every narrative that mentions 'Baptism in the Spirit' there is a reference to John Baptist. (Matt 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, John 1:33, Acts 1:5, Acts 11:16) It almost seems that the inspired historians never used the phrase without crediting John with its origin.

But it is not just John's origin of the phrase that the historians record but his continual contrast between his own mode of baptism and that of Christ's. "I am a water baptist; He will be a Spirit baptist." is the theme of his prophecy to Christ's future work. Well, as the world's most experienced baptizer, what did John think baptism signified? We have touched on the Jewish view of water baptism as the end of the old and the beginning of the new. It is a sacremental expression of death followed by life, and part of incorporation into the people of God. In Israel's Levitical ritual they placed their hands on sacrificial animals and acknowledged their sins; John's innovation is that Jews must also acknowledge their sins and then submit to baptism. So there is a clear focus on sin, and its penalty in death. But beyond the death there is new identity within the family of God. It is as though, old things had passed away and all things become new. He invited the hearers to 'play out' the sentence of death upon the old and yet when that was done they lived.

John's specific teaching about the nature of Christ's Spirit Baptism is found most fully in Matthew and Luke who each record with almost identical words; John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable. And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people. (Luk 3:16-18 KJV) This coming Baptizer, says John, will baptize you with (in) the Holy Spirit and fire. This is not two baptisms but one; a baptism in 'Holy Spirit and fire'. Water was a Biblical symbol of judgement and cleansing; so was fire. There can be no doubt that when John used this phrase he was thinking of judgement and cleansing; his next words confirm that plainly. His thought moves seemlessly from the picture of 'fire' to the place that fire has in the process of harvest. His image is of the threshing floor; John says it is 'Christ's winnowing fan, Christ's threshing floor', Christ's garner. The only difference between Matthew and Luke is that Matthew tells us it is Christ's harvest too. (cf Luke 3:17, Matt 3:12) This whole process of baptism in Spirit and fire, according to John, is HIS.

What is John referring to? He links Christ's Baptism with harvest. It is easy to forget in the midst of all the other symbolism that the feast of Pentecost was a 'harvest festival. (Originally called the Feast of Weeks, (First Fruits and Harvest) (see Leviticus 23:15 - 21), it is observed on the sixth day of the Sivan (our May/June). It became known as Pentecost (meaning 50th) because it comes 50 days after Passover. It was the celebration of the beginning of the harvest season when the people brought the first fruits and offered them in thanksgiving to the Lord.) When was the last time we thought of Pentecost as a celebration of harvest? But for John the ideas are inseparable. This was Christ's harvest and John sees that the Spirit and fire Baptizer will have his fan in his hand. Seed and tares have grown together to harvest but now the time of final separation has arrived; Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. (Mat 13:30 KJV) Can you see the consistency of the imagery?

John has in mind the process of harvest. The wheat (and tares) have been cut down and gathered together on the threshing floor. With flails and sledges they have been out the gold grain, but it is all mixed up with the husks. They takes spadefulls of the mixture and lift it gently into the air. Meanwhile they create a gentle breeze with their fans and in a golden haze the chaff is blown to one side and the heavier grain fall to the earth. Next they gather the wheat into the barns, and the chaff is consumed in a spectacular conflagration. Have you seen a fire like this? Have you heard one? The fire creates its own upward thermal and draws in the oxygen which furthers the process. The noise is alarming; a great continuous roar. I cannot see this picture without seeing the day of Pentecost; And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. (Act 2:2-3 KJV) Donald Gee's history of the Pentecostal movement in the UK was called 'Wind and Fire'; the upper room had become part of the harvest process; the rushing mighty wind filled the room, and the coming Spirit filled those who waited in it. One of the consistent pictures of God's attitude to sin is expressed powerfully in Hebrews; For our God is a consuming fire. (Heb 12:29 KJV)

But John's image of harvest is part of his thinking on Christ's Baptism. Can we see any of our old patterns of baptism here? Judgement on sin and sinners, separation of God's people to safety, the old passed away, behold all things are become new. They are all here. Can we see why the old Holiness preachers equated Baptism in Spirit with God's dealing with sin rather than power to evangelize? And what is more sobering, how do pentecostal/charismatic paradigms of Baptism in the Holy Spirit match what we have seen so far? If, as many pentecostal/charismatic teachers would say, Baptism in the Holy Spirit does not relate to sin, separation, sanctification and new beginnings, then centuries of Biblical ideas have a been without purpose, and the word baptism now means some quite different to what we had been led to expect.

I'll pause for a while now to await comment, protest, street demonstrations or whatever... Iron sharpeneth iron... and then try to explain what I think the term 'baptism in the Spirit' signifies. I promise that whatever you have believed this to mean I will not subtract, but I will try to enlarge and add to our expectations and understanding of all that is encompassed by this amazing phrase 'Baptised in the Holy Spirit.


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Ron Bailey

 2004/9/29 6:15Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
'll pause for a while now to await comment, protest, street demonstrations or whatever... Iron sharpeneth iron... and then try to explain what I think the term 'baptism in the Spirit' signifies. I promise that whatever you have believed this to mean I will not subtract, but I will try to enlarge and add to our expectations and understanding of all that is encompassed by this amazing phrase 'Baptised in the Holy Spirit.



Hi Bro. Ron,

I was home again and logged on yesterday but did not comment as I wanted to read through all your materials. I printed it out for some bed time reading. :-)

Again, I think this material should be stored some place. It is really good stuff. For years I have been unable to find a resource that will allow me to search the Septuagint for NT Greek words. I can perform an Englishmsn's search with my PC study bible (or others) and I even have a Hebrew Englishman's in hard cover; but I don't read Greek well enough to just sit down and read LXX material. Maybe there is a feature on studylight I am missing. If you have any suggestions I am wide open.

As I read through I was anxious to see what direction you would ultimately take the Baptism in the Spirit. At this point you could go at least two different directions (I'm sure you have a third :-) ) and suggest that the Baptism in the Spirit actually takes place at the Born Again experience. That, being, we are baptised by the Spirit into Jesus Christ. I see your taking this approach as highly unlikey due to Christ being the baptiser who baptises with the Holy Ghost and fire; and your well reasoned articulation of the who's and what's (if you will).

The second direction I could see you going would be that of Wesley and the proponents of the second blessing for the purpose of Entire Sanctification. Your etymological work on baptO and baptizo has reopened my mind and heart to that possibility. Keep in mind I come from an Oberlin theology based family doctrine. I believe deeply in Christian perfection and strive to understand and reach it for God's glory. How to get there has been an enigmatic quest for me. To the place to where I have often believed (to my shame) it was impossible to reach on a practical and practicable level.

My Pastor is old school Pentecostal and believes that the key to total victory over sin is to be "on fire for God"-- full of the Holy Ghost and power. I agree with this. He also takes the approach that the baptism in the Holy Spirit leads to a holy life. He has used the illustration before of filling a cup with water and then saying- the cup is filled. He then takes the same filled cup and drops it into the picture of water and says; "Now it is baptised."

Looking forward to reading to you continuing on with this.

God Bless!

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2004/10/5 8:17Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
As I read through I was anxious to see what direction you would ultimately take the Baptism in the Spirit. At this point you could go at least two different directions (I'm sure you have a third )


Getting to know you, getting to know all about you, getting to like you.....

You have missed another option... I may take both routes at the same time! :-D

I have added some comments on PCs and the Septuagint PC Septuagints


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Ron Bailey

 2004/10/5 10:59Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
You have missed another option... I may take both routes at the same time!



I was watching yesterday for a new post. I had hoped you had still planned to keep it going.

I appreciate you directing me to e-sword. I had not known of it. I will be doing a seminar later in the month on bible study tools and that looks to be a great free bible program. I am going to try to load it myself over the next few days. If I can get it all together I may just use it. I wonder if they offer a CD with it all ready to install?

God Bless!

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2004/10/6 7:40Profile
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 Re: the forgotten baptism

We have at least one more 'baptism' to look at before we take the word into the phrase to see what we ought to be expecting from a 'baptism in the Spirit'. If the OT references are to 'hidden' baptisms' this one must be called the 'forgotten' baptism; I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished! Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: (Luk 12:49-51 KJV) Martin Luther king said 'I have a dream'but Jesus says 'I have a baptism'. What is he referring to? He links it in His thought to the sending of 'fire on the earth' and 'division'. This is not the only time He took up this kind of language; But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: (Mar 10:38-39 KJV) This is His cup and His baptism and there can be little doubt that He is referring to His death on the cross, but what extraordinary images to use. I may have led a 'sheltered life'but I have never heard anyone (other than myself) preach on Christ's death as a baptism; this is why I called it the 'forgotten' baptism.

This is a foundational image of His death, but little referred to in evangelical circles. If we take some of the values of 'baptism' from our previous notes and apply them here it begins to make sense. Isaiah comtemplated Babylon's judgement and was 'baptized in terror'. When Christ contemplated the cross His reactions were remarkably similar; And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. (Mar 14:32-36 KJV) Luke records great gouts of blood that splashed on the earth as He prayed. The other language used is to be found in medical textbooks of the day describing the extremities of a complete nervous breakdown. Terror has taken hold of Him.

Mark's gospel tells us of His thoughts as they walked to Gethsemene; And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. (Mar 14:26-27 KJV) This is a quotation from Zechariah; Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith Jehovah of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered; and I will turn my hand upon the little ones. (Zec 13:7 ASV) It is God who calls for the Sword of Judgement against 'my fellow'; it was the horror of this prospect that 'Abba, Father' must now unsheath His sword that broke Him in Gethsemene. And this was only the contemplation of the event, what must the reality be described as? A baptism to be baptized with and a cup to be drunk.

"O make me understand it,
Help me to take it in,
What is meant to Thee, the HOly One
To take away my sin"

The cup that he had first referred to in Mark 10 reappears in His prayer in Gethsemene. 'the cup' of Mark 10 has become 'this cup' of Mark 14. It is no longer 'the cup' as a prospect, it is 'this cup'; within reach now. His Abba Father is reaching out to Him with 'this cup'. The other image 'baptism' is an overwhelming flood. Judgement falls upon sin and the judgement becomes the source of the salvation; this is consistent with Noah's Baptism and Moses' Baptism. The separation effected by those Old Testament baptisms is seen again in the cry of dereliction; My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me and He bears in His body our sins. And it all culiminates in the great cry; it is finished. Old things have passed away...

I believe something else is happening here which takes us to the very edge of revelation and human comprehension. Baptism effected a union. Those who 'received' Noah's baptism were united with him in his destiny. Those who 'received' Moses' Baptism were united with him in his destiny. What was Christ baptized into and with what was He united? I see a reference here to the real 'passion of the Christ'; For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2Co 5:21 KJV) The sinless lamb of God is seen as the 'serpent in the wilderness' [John 3:14] God has drawn the veil of an impenetrable blackness over these eternal moments and we can go no further, we can only bow and worship.

And yet, and this is breathtaking, He says; ... Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: (Mar 10:39 KJV) The disciples said 'We can' which only serves to show their ignorance at such a prospect, but He says 'ye shall...' How can these things be?

I'll try to answer the question in the next postings, but before we leave this I will draw our attention to a remarkable verse in Paul's letter to the Corinthians; For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all made to drink into one Spirit. (1Co 12:13 RB Literal) Notice, baptism and drinking have come together again here in One Spirit. It was not an idle promise.... ye shall.


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Ron Bailey

 2004/10/6 7:51Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.



Hi Bro. Ron,

Is it possible that we need to rethink somehow or at least look at some of the aspects of what was actually causing this heaviness. Jesus said "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." He condemned sin in the flesh (Romans 8:3) by striving against sin to victory and as Hebrews says 'unto blood'; which the JAMA article on the crucifixion calls by a actual medical term (which you alluded to) as being 'hemohidrosis' or 'hemotidrosis.' A friend turned me on to this about 10 years ago (you probably already have it, but in case someone is interested). [url=www.godandscience.org/apologetics/deathjesus.pdf]Click for JAMA article PDF[/url]

The striving against a sinless flesh which was 'weak' yet not 'sinful' (in His case) brought about this condition it seems as obedience unto death, even the death of the cross, was a sore test of righteousness. The spirit was willing- but the flesh was not. Could it be that through this struggle He condemned sin to the uttermost as He faced off with what would have to mount to be the greatest temptation one could conceive of- the temptation to walk away from giving His life for the sins of the world when there was no real law stating that He had to do it- yet He knew it was the Father's will. This blows my mind and makes me to see myself as a pathetic wretch when it comes to striving against sin.

Would you say that once we are genuinely born again of the Spirit that our death to sin in terms of original sin is annhilated? I mean, the law of sin that is (was) in our members. The law that seems to exist in the flesh of fallen man that causes sin to revive within us when a commandment comes. That law of sin that is resident and can only be brought to the surface by the law or a NT commandment from Christ designed to reveal that rebellion is truly resident as is proved when the right commandment or combination of commandments are presented. When we go down in our personal Jordan are we dying to the Law of Moses (as it were) so in turn we are thereby free from the law that causes rebellion to surface or is there a seperation that takes place from sin within our members that would allow the laws of God to truly be holy and just and good to us?

God Bless!

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2004/10/6 9:45Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
Is it possible that we need to rethink somehow or at least look at some of the aspects of what was actually causing this heaviness. Jesus said "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."


Hi Robert
I think it was the horror of separation that crushed Him rather than a physical trial. I'm not sure about the aspect of the 'weakness' of Christ's flesh. Paul says For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you. (2Co 13:4 KJV) but this is not directly referring to the flesh/spirit contrast.

He was a perfect human being and the instinct for life would be perfectly manifest in Him. We were created to be an overcomer and there was nothing in Him that would have wanted to lie down and die. I have wondered about the 3-fold choice He made; And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. (Mat 26:44 KJV) and I see a parallel in Exodus with Israel after the flesh. Three times Israel was required to consider, count and choose. Three times they said; 'thy will be done' [EX 19:8, 24:3, 7] I see the True Israel making the same deliberate choice. Israel was not rushed into this, neither was Christ. He considers, counts the cost and chooses. He was under no illusion to the cost but He deliberately set Himself to do the will of God, and when Peter again tried to prevent the cross Christ answered; ...Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? (Joh 18:11 KJV) Notice in Gethsemene it is offered and accepted but here it is defended. The choice is made 'my Father hath given me'; He will drink it now to its last dregs and no one will prevent Him.


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Ron Bailey

 2004/10/6 11:22Profile
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 Re:

Hi Bro. Ron,

Great points. I won't hinder you getting to the baptism in the Holy Spirit any farther. :-)

God Bless,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2004/10/6 11:29Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
Would you say that once we are genuinely born again of the Spirit that our death to sin in terms of original sin is annhilated? I mean, the law of sin that is (was) in our members. The law that seems to exist in the flesh of fallen man that causes sin to revive within us when a commandment comes. That law of sin that is resident and can only be brought to the surface by the law or a NT commandment from Christ designed to reveal that rebellion is truly resident as is proved when the right commandment or combination of commandments are presented. When we go down in our personal Jordan are we dying to the Law of Moses (as it were) so in turn we are thereby free from the law that causes rebellion to surface or is there a seperation that takes place from sin within our members that would allow the laws of God to truly be holy and just and good to us?


Hi Robert
I think this needs to be carefully expressed if we are not to run into error. I see Christ's cross baptism as His uniting with Man the Rebel, Adam. In Romans 6:6 we read knowing this, that our old man was crucified with [Him], that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. (NKJV) This 'old' man is singular and apparently shared by all of us, hence it is 'our old man'.

We often hear folk talk about 'my old man' but I don't think this is a scriptural concept. There is a human solidarity of rebellion which began in Adam and hence we share the consequence of his behaviour. It is 'our old man'. (old is paleios - ancient) According to this verse the shared old man was co-crucified with Christ. I have switched to the NJKV here because it carries the tenses better. (although I think 'done away' is too strong) This is a 'was' rather than an 'is'. An event took place when this 'shared old man' was put to death; it was at the cross.

The verse then says that the purpose of this execution of the 'shared old man' was that the 'body of sin' might be 'katargeO' (rendered inoperative). You use the word 'annihilate'. KatargeO does not strictly mean 'cease to exist' but 'cease to operate'. But this state of affairs, where the 'body of sin' ceases to operate in only true in Christ, because it is only in Christ that the 'shared old man' was crucified. Crucifixion is a vivid picture of a man who 'ceases to operate'; his feet can no longer take him and his hands no longer obey his will.

So I am hedging on this 'annihilate'? Yes, because I try to keep to biblical phraseology and the Bible does not use the language of 'annihilation'. The Sanctification people like the language of 'roots' and the idea of its removal, but this seems to 'locate' sin somewhere in humanity and then describes its removal. Erradication, literally, means the removal of the root. I am uncomfortable with the word because I can't see a 'root' located in man.

The other term we haven't defined here is 'body of sin'. All commentators see this as our body ie our physical humanity under the rule of sin. I don't (no suprizes there :-( ) I have long felt that this is a mystical body. In a way Satan's counterfeit 'body of Christ'. This is humanity under the wrong head. The solidarity still continues in Adam, only in Christ is it rendered inoperable. I felt very lonely in this particular interpretation and then discovered the Oswald Chambers believed the body of sin to be a mystical body; I have felt a little reassured since then. ;-)

I don't see Rom 6 as relating primarily to the Law of Moses but to the Law of Sin and Death which 'entered' through Adam's disobedience in 5:12. Your interpretation here would be different to mine because of our different starting points in the timing of Romans 7. In my understanding, the Law of Moses (as applied by the Spirit) stirs up this sleeping tyrant, and the man becomes its slave again. In a sense Romans 7 looks after itself, for me, as an illustration of a personal experience of a man before he is 'made free from sin' and become a 'servant(s) to God'. This part of the discussion should probably wait, I think.

Good to talk to you.


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2004/10/6 11:53Profile





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