We are studying concerning the message that God gave to Paul for our life and worship today. The Lord gave many apostles and others to give the law and all the message He had for the nation of Israel. We can study about this in all the Old Testament, the four gospels, and into the book of Acts. However, when God called Paul, a new message for the Church was revealed. This message was never known by any prophet or others who taught the nation of Israel.
In the last lesson, we studied concerning baptism. The Lord, through Paul, tells us in Ephesians 4:4-6 that we have only one baptism for today. Then we saw in 1 Corinthians 12:13that this one baptism is performed by the Holy Spirit, who baptizes us in the death of Christ and puts us into the Church, the Body of Christ.
In some of the Scripture texts for this lesson we see several Scriptures that tell about Jesus being baptized with water. This was performed by John, the Baptist. However, John tells us in John 1:26-33 just why he baptized Jesus with water. In the 31st verse we read,
“And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.”
Christ came into this world as a Jew; therefore he fulfilled all the law and ordinances that the Jews were to do. Some feel that we should be baptized with water because Jesus was baptized with water. However, we see in this Scripture that Jesus was to be identified with the nation of Israel. We are not Israelites, and do not have to be identified with Israel. No one could ever do all that the Lord did. We are never told that we have to follow the Lord in circumcision, baptism, worship in the synagogue, and certainly we couldn’t die for the sins of the world. Christ was taken to the temple as a small child; He was circumcised, and fulfilled all that the Jews required of the Jewish people.
Today, we are to do what the Lord tells us to do. He chose Paul to give us our instructions for today. He chose Moses at one time to relay the message of the Law, and Noah to announce the flood. When the Lord chose a special person for a special reason, He made it clear what that person was to do and teach.
Therefore in this subject of baptism, we must follow the one baptism that is for today. By this one baptism every saved person is identified with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. This baptism is performed by the Holy Spirit when we accept the free gift of salvation from sin, which Christ accomplished when He died on the cross. The Holy Spirit baptizes us into His death, puts us in the Body of Christ, and seals us. We can never be taken out of this Body!