Welcome to “Learning and Living the God-centered life” Carmel Baptist Church www.learningandlivingtheword.com May 9, 2010
Word studies - “Digging for diamonds” Romans 6:3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? This is the word “baptidzo” in the Greek, it is a verb in the INDICATIVE mood. The indicative mood means the mood of reality or a fact that can be counted on as true.
<ul><ul><ul><li>The Meaning of the Greek Word Baptize </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Now we have two Greek words that are very similar </li></ul><ul><li>Bapto (Strong’s 911) </li></ul><ul><li>Baptidzo (Strong’s 907 and 908). </li></ul><ul><li>Before we look at these we must first distinguish between these two words. We must understand the real significance and the meaning of these words. </li></ul><ul><li>It is the word Baptidzo that is predominate in the Scriptures occurring approximately 100 times in the NT compared to 4 times for Bapto – which is translated dipped. </li></ul><ul><li>John 13:26 - Judas dipping the sop </li></ul><ul><li>Rev 19:13 - Jesus robe dipped in blood </li></ul><ul><li>Luke 16:24 - And send Lazarus to dip the end of the finger </li></ul>
In the Bible Study Magazine, May 1989, James Montgomery Boice helps us understand not only the difference between these two words, he also helps us understand the significance of these words.….. The clearest example that shows the distinction between the words Bapto (911) and Baptidzo (907, 908) is a text from the Greek poet and physician Nicander, who lived about 200 B.C. It is a recipe for making pickles and is helpful because it uses both words.
<ul><ul><ul><li>Nicander says that in order to make a pickle, the vegetable should first be ‘dipped’ (bapto) into boiling water and then ‘baptized’ (baptidzo) in the vinegar solution. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Both verbs concern the immersing of vegetables into a solution. But the first is temporary. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Whereas the second, the act of baptizing the vegetable, produces a permanent change. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When used in the New Testament, this word baptize (907,908) more often refers to our union with Christ than to our water baptism. e.g. Mark 16:16. ‘He that believes and is baptized shall be saved’. </li></ul></ul></ul>
<ul><ul><ul><li>Christ is saying that mere intellectual assent is not enough. There must be a union with him, through baptism, a real permanent change, like the cucumber to the pickle! </li></ul></ul></ul>
We shall now consider the important word baptidzo (907 and 908). One of the first times the word “Baptize” occurs in Classical Greek writing is by a fellow named Euripedes. He writes of a ship being Baptized – as it goes down in the water and does not come back to the surface – we would say ‘it sank’. In secular documents of the later Koine period, which documents are written in the same kind of Greek that is used in the NT, Moulton and Milligan report the following mechanical usages: a submerged boat, a person overwhelmed in calamity, steel placed in fire.
In Untranslatable Riches page 84 Kenneth Wuest writes, “Plato writes of a person baptized into drink - that is he was drunk. Or of a youth baptized into an argument - that is he was absorbed in it. Or of iron baptized into fire to be tempered. Other writers commenting of the outcome of a Roman war wrote that many ships were baptized into the sea - that is they were sunk.” As we see from these examples, it is generally agreed among scholars that the basic meaning of the word Baptize is ‘Place into’ but there is more, much more.
This is the crucial point. As Wuest continues, “The introduction or placing of a person or thing into a new environment or into union with something else so as to alter its condition or its relationship to its previous environment or condition. The translation is ‘ to place into’ or ‘ to introduce into’ ” The word does not mean simply for one thing to be placed into another, but rather to be introduced into the other in such a way as to be changed or altered.
Wuest agrees with Boice – baptism implies a permanent change. Both words Baptism and Bapto go beyond simple association or identification. Both words have a ‘deeper’ meaning that is often overlooked. “Place into” can be an acceptable translation as long as the placing into is seen in two aspects.
Maybe we can best understand the full significance of the words Bapto and Baptidzo by considering dunking a donut in a cup of coffee.
What occurs is more than simple association or identification of the donut with the coffee. A donut lying beside a cup of coffee has an association but baptizing the donut into the coffee is something else. It is united with, irrevocably at one with the coffee. Remember as Wuest wrote, “union with something else so as to alter its condition or its relationship to its previous environment or condition.” The donut will never be the same not only because the donut placed into the coffee but and primarily because the coffee was placed in the donut! These are the ‘two aspects’ of baptism .
Could it be in the church today that many have an association with Christ but have not been baptized into Him?
And further it seems that those who acknowledge we are placed into Christ in baptism miss the second and more important aspect – that He was placed into us!! Since Baptism properly understood includes both aspects, saturation may be more accurate than immersion when trying to understand Baptidzo. Not only was the donut placed into the coffee but the coffee was placed in the donut.
Now let’s look again at our examples from the time of Plato and consider these ‘2 aspects’ of baptism that we learned from Wuest. Plato wrote of a person baptized into drink – that he is was drunk. Not only was the person into drink but the drink was (more importantly) in the drunk. And of the youth baptized in an argument – not only was the youth in the argument, but (more importantly) the argument was in the youth. And the steel – not only was it in the fire, but it was changed (tempered) because the fire went into the steel.
And the ship - not only did the ship go into the sea. But this could have never happened unless the sea first went into the ship.
Thus Both aspects of Baptism are vitally important to understand the word Baptism.
Lewis Sperry Chafer has written, “Baptism into Christ is not identification alone; it is a union of life … The two aspects of baptism into Christ are inseparable and blend into one entity. Christ becomes the sphere in which the believer enters and lives. A sphere is that which surrounds an object on every side and even penetrates that object. To be within a sphere is to partake of all that it is and all that it imparts. Thus the bird is in the air, and the air is in the bird; the fish is in the water and the water is in the fish; the iron is in the fire and the fire is in the iron. Likewise, in the Spiritual realm, Christ is in the sphere of the believer’s position. He encompasses, surrounds, encloses and indwells the believer.
The believer is in Christ and Christ is in the believer, through the baptism with the Spirit, the Christian has become as much an organic part of Christ as the branch is part of the vine, or the member is a part of the body.” So Spiritual baptism fully understood embraces two aspects - both the fact that we are placed into Christ and Christ is placed into us – union with Christ that changes our condition forever. It is non-reversible. We have a new ‘state’. We are ‘new creatures in Christ’. (The doctrine of REGENERATION) Once you were a cucumber but now you are a pickle never to become a cucumber again.
End of this session on the word “baptism” Additional study notes have been included for those who want to dig a bit deeper into this word.
And in Spiritual baptism we are not just united with Jesus Christ but with all three members of the Godhead. Remember the promise of John 14:16 and 16:7 repeated in Acts 1:5 and fulfilled on Pentecost in Acts 2. When we receive the Spirit in baptism we receive the Father and the Son. Jesus said in John 14, “ We will come and make our abode…” John 14:16 “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; John 16:7 “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. Acts 1:5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
When we are baptized into the Body of Christ by the Spirit we are - as we read in the Great Commission, “Baptized into the name (singular) of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” There are not three baptisms into three separate gods. But one Baptism into one God who is in three persons.(Trinity) We are placed into God and He – Father, Son and Spirit – is placed into us. Without this Baptism a person is not saved. For the Bible teaches ‘he who does not have the Son does not have life’ Jn 5:14 and ‘He who does not have the Spirit is none of His’ Rom 8:10. He who is not baptized of the Spirit is not saved.
<ul><ul><li>Remember, water Baptism is an outward sign of an inward reality. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spiritual Baptism is the inward reality. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meaning that when we are baptized we are placed into the body of Christ and that He is placed into us – remember the ‘two aspects’ that we learned from studying the word Baptize. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When we are reading in the Epistles and encounter the word Baptism we should think first of its Spiritual significance – that is ‘Spiritual Baptism’, but often we first think of water baptism. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Even at times in the gospels reading the word Baptism in light of its Spiritual significance helps tremendously to understand the passage – for example Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38. </li></ul></ul>
In 1 Cor 12:13 Paul is writing to “the church at Corinth”, that is, those at Corinth who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus and saints by calling (1 Cor 1:2) Corinth was a church with all the gifts (1 Cor 1:5,6) and yet a problem plagued church. Paul reproves them for fighting and quarreling among themselves (1:11). He reproves them for acting fleshly, for being babes in Christ (3:1). He reproves them for tolerating sexual sin within their congregation.
Yet, in light of all these problems, in 12:13 Paul reminds them that they were all (already) baptized into one body - they didn’t need a second baptism in order to solve their spiritual problems. The fact that they were baptized into the body and were saved was the very reason Paul wrote to them to straighten up their walk. They had both been placed into the body of Christ and they were made to drink of the Spirit. Both aspects of baptism accomplished in one baptism.
John Walvoord says of this passage, “The major doctrinal passage in the NT on the baptism of the Spirit is 1 Cor 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. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews of Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” This passage may be taken as the basis of interpretation of all the other passages.”
<ul><li>Examples of “spiritual baptism” </li></ul><ul><li>Matthew 3:11 “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. </li></ul><ul><li>Mark 1:8 “I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” </li></ul><ul><li>Luke 3:16 John answered and said to them all, “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. </li></ul><ul><li>John 1:33 “And I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit .’ </li></ul>
<ul><li>The next 3 references utilize the noun “Baptism” </li></ul><ul><li>Ephesians 4:5 - one Lord, one faith, one baptism (not two Baptisms) </li></ul><ul><li>Colossians 2:12 - having been (aorist tense – completed action) 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. </li></ul><ul><li>1 Peter 3:21 - And corresponding to that, (the antitype) baptism now saves you —not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, </li></ul>
<ul><ul><li>Our understanding of Spiritual Baptism in Luke’s Historical record of Acts must be in keeping with the Theological and Doctrinal record of the Epistles – there must be no contradiction. In Ephesians 4 we are taught there is One Baptism – not two. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In Romans 6 we are taught that our Baptism into Christ was a Baptism into His death and thus a release from ‘the Sin’ – that is the power and lordship of the indwelling sinful nature. (Key point in Romans 6:1-10) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In 1Cor 12:13 we are taught that all in the church at Corinth had been baptized into Christ and that the significance of Spiritual Baptism is not only that we were placed into the body of Christ but that He by His Spirit was placed into us. </li></ul></ul>