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Sunday September 26th 2010
1). 1Pe 3:18 ? For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, 19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. 21 ? There is also an antitype which now saves us--baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.
a). We had seen last week how Satan through his fallen angels had sought to corrupt the families of the earth through entering into unlawful sexual relationships with the daughters of men and how these angels were imprisoned in Tartarus to await judgment; with the result of their corrupting work being destroyed in the flood.
b). However, our beginning scripture also tells us that 8 souls, Noah and his family, were saved in the ark ?through water? and that there is an antitype to this ?which now saves us ? baptism?.
c). The Lord provides further commentary for us on Noah in ?
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
d). Noah, by faith, having believed that which God had said concerning ?things not yet seen? then organized his life with a view to deliverance ? he ?prepared an ark for the saving of his household?.
e). The waters of the flood brought death to the corrupted families of the earth, but provided the buoyancy for life for Noah and his household because of their faithful obedience to God?s revelation.
f). Now as this is a type and the antitype which now saves us is baptism [not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but he answer of a good conscience toward
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God], and as Noah acts by faith before the flood then we would we need to ask, ?What salvation are we talking about?
g). And this would be the same question we would have to ask concerning an often misunderstood statement made by the Lord recorded in the gospel of Mark.
2). Mr 16:15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
a). As we read the words spoken by the Lord, recorded here in Mark?s gospel, we could mistakenly believe that baptism has a part to play in the salvation we already possess ? the salvation of our spirit, the free gift of eternal life.
b). But the evidence of scripture will easily show that this is not the case.
3). Firstly, let?s pull out some things from our two verses here in Mark.
a). The phrase ?go into all the world? can be misleading
b). The word ?world? = Greek word ? kosmos = an orderly arrangement. The inhabited world in a broad or narrow sense.
c). In other words, ?world? can be understood as the whole world, or that particular part of ?the world? which is being specifically dealt with. And we would need to look at context to determine which of these it would be.
d). And the context given by comparing scripture with scripture with regards to that recorded in Mark would show that it must be the narrow sense and not the broad sense.
e). Remember Christ?s own words concerning the scope of His earthly ministry - Mt 15:24 But He answered and said, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
f). And then this in John - Joh 18:20 Jesus answered him, "I spoke openly to the world.[kosmos] I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing.
g). Then when the Lord sent out the twelve His instructions to them paralleled His own ministry - Mt 10:5 ? These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: "Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. 6 "But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 "And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'
h). And so we can see that both Jesus and His disciples have ?the world? as it specifically relates to the lost sheep of the house of Israel as their focus ? an eternally redeemed nation walking in disobedience and yet the only ones at this time able to receive the offer of the Kingdom of the Heavens.
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4). This focus on Israel by Christ and then the disciples is further corroborated by what we read in - Ga 2:7 But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter 8 (for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles), 9 and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.
a). Going into all the world in a broad sense, that is going to the Gentiles, is the ministry that was given to Paul. Going into all the world in a narrow sense, going to the Jews, is the ministry given to the disciples ? the only ones present when Jesus spoke the words recorded in Mark and confirmed here for us in Galatians.
5). Secondly, let?s notice the order given to us in our Mark scripture ? ?He who believes and is baptized will be saved?
a). We see here believing then baptism resulting in salvation ? so again we would need to ask the question, ?which salvation are we talking about??
b). It cannot be eternal salvation ? if baptism is a prerequisite of eternal salvation, then eternal salvation is through works. Something that is completely contrary to the teaching of scripture - Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
6). Thirdly, we have the phrase, ?he who does not believe will be condemned? ? a phrase it would be more convenient to apply to the eternally lost than the eternally saved. But the belief in question here is not belief in God?s provision for sin through the death and shed blood of His Son, but belief in the gospel of the glories of Christ ? the Son of God and His coming Kingdom. The very message that Jesus was sent to proclaim to the lost sheep of the house of Israel - Lu 4:43 but He said to them, "I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent."
a). We would also need to understand the use of the word ?condemned? in Mark, ?he who does not believe will be condemned? in relation to the eternally saved, in the same way that the word is used in - Ro 8:1 ? There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
b). Condemned [Mark] / condemnation [Romans] = Greek ? ?katakrima?
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c). And by comparing scripture with scripture we can see here that walking according to the Spirit and believing have the same outcome thereby showing an inextricable connection between the two.
d). So, do we have other scriptural evidence for baptism/walking according to the Spirit being connected to events beyond the point of our eternal salvation? Yes we do.
7). Let?s begin with the foundation in Genesis where we find our foundational type for that which is symbolized in baptism - Ge 1:9 ? Then God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth"; and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 So the evening and the morning were the third day.
a). It is the first day of the restoration of the earth when light shines into the darkness that is the foundational picture of our eternal salvation ? and it is only after the process of the earth?s restoration has begun on day one that we can come to the events of the third day. The restoration of the earth takes place through a sequence of days which have a beginning point in day one and move inexorably toward a terminal point ? the 7th day ? the Sabbath Rest.
b). So what do we find here in Genesis on the 3rd day? The dry land is brought from beneath the waters, out of the place of death, by the power of the Spirit, by a sovereign act of God, in accordance with His word, in order to produce fruit.
c). So our foundational type shows us that only that raised out of the place of death by the Spirit in response to the word of God can produce fruit.
d). And we would also note that this fruitful land, is brought from the place of death, for a specific purpose ? to create the environment in which Man would live to have dominion ? Isa 45:18 For thus says the LORD, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: "I am the LORD, and there is no other.
8).We can also go to another of our foundational types ? the Red Sea crossing by Israel - Ex 14:21 ? Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea
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into dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.
a). Now this event on the third day following the exodus from Egypt comes after the slaying of the Passover lambs with the application of the blood providing a substitutionary death for the firstborn ? the means by which Israel?s eternal salvation is sovereignly brought to pass.
b). Having died a vicarious death in Egypt on the night of the Passover, Israel is then buried in the Red Sea to be raised to newness of life to be led by the Spirit to the land that God had promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in order to be established at the head of the nations within a Theocracy, in order to receive their inheritance.
c). Both our foundational types then, from Genesis and Exodus, show an event that is subsequent to an initial sovereign act of God on behalf of His creation, and makes clear to us that coming up out of the water, out of the place of death by the power of the Spirit, has to do with newness of life, walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, and is inextricably connected with a land and an inheritance in that land in order to fulfill God?s stated purpose for Man ? ?let them have dominion?.
9). Now to look at this in respect of ourselves, we know that -
1Co 5:7b?For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
a). Christ as our Passover, as with Israel?s Passover, denotes both the means and the point of our eternal salvation, enabling us to pass from ?death unto life?.
b). And we will remember that the free gift of eternal life is as a result of a sovereign act of God ? the finished work of God the Son on the cross of Calvary, and is ours when we exercise faith in that finished work ? God?s provision for sin through death and shed blood.
c). And this involves nothing more than our faith, our belief in God?s provision - Ac 16:30 And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" 31 So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household."32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.
d). As we see here in our scripture, with respect to the Philippian Jailer, our participation in baptism, even though it may follow hard on the heels of our ?believing on the Lord Jesus Christ?, is an event that comes after having been eternally saved and so has nothing to do with eternal salvation of itself.
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10). Also the actual physical process of baptism has no value in itself ? it is neither magical, nor mystical. So it would not be unreasonable to ask, ?why bother??
a). Firstly we should bother because of what the act of baptism teaches us.
b). And secondly it is something that we should bother to do because it declares in a symbolic way what our intentions are. It is a visual declaration of our faith in that which God has said about the means of entry into His coming Kingdom.
11). Let us look to Jesus as our example - Mt 3:13 ? Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?" 15 But Jesus answered and said to him, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed Him. 16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." 4:1 ? Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
a). Clearly Jesus did not need to be baptized for very obvious reasons, but look at the order of events so as ?to fulfill all righteousness? ? He comes out of the water, declaration is made from on High concerning His status as God?s only begotten firstborn Son, and therefore His right to rulership ?
b). 2Sa 7:12 "When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 "He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 "I will be his Father, and he shall be My son.
c) He is then led by the Spirit into the wilderness where His worthiness to take Satan?s scepter is proven.
d). We have then, baptism ? the leading of the Spirit ? resulting in worthiness to receive the inheritance - Heb 1:1 ? God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 ? having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
e). And we can see one aspect of the fulfillment of our Hebrews scripture in our opening verses this morning ? 1Pe 3:18 ? For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the
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flesh but made alive by the Spirit, 19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. 21 ? There is also an antitype which now saves us--baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.
f). Again let?s note - Christ dies, having been put to death in the flesh, and is raised from the dead by the power of the Spirit, to the position where ?angels and authorities and powers have been made subject to Him? ? a fact that would have been made poignantly clear by His appearance in His resurrection body before the imprisoned angels in Tartarus.
g). And although He is not yet exercising this authority, as He waits for the revelation of the many sons who are to be brought to glory, the clear outcome of His resurrection is rulership and inheritance.
12). And we know what the scripture says in respect to ourselves with regards to this from that which we studied in ? 1Pe 1:3 ? Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 ? In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls.
a). Our living hope, our inheritance reserved in heaven, the salvation of our soul is only possible through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
b). Our eternal life is based on His death and shed blood apart from resurrection.
c). Our inheritance and a position of rulership with Him in the Millennial Kingdom is made possible because of His resurrection.
d). Just so as we are clear as to the pattern that Christ has given us as we have seen here in our scriptures ? we have suffering, death, burial and resurrection resulting in rulership.
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13). Ro 6:3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 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. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.
a). How will we be united together in the likeness of His death? ?
1Pe 4:1 ? Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind
b). Col 2:12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.
c). And here we have it ? through baptism we are buried with Him in death, symbolizing the death of our flesh, as we go under the water which symbolizes the place of death ? then we are raised from the dead, by the power of the Spirit, as we come out of the water, to walk in newness of life in order to be led by the Spirit in faithful obedience to the word of God.
d). Our old sin nature, the ?old man?, that associated with the word flesh is to remain in the place of death so that we no longer be slaves of sin walking according to the flesh, but instead we are to be led by the Spirit, so as to be fruitful in the antitype of the 3rd Day of Genesis 1:9-13 ? this is because fruit worthy of the Kingdom can only be produced in the realm of the Spirit, never in the flesh ?
Joh 12:24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.
Joh 15:8 "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Mt 13:23 "But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word[of the Kingdom] and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty."
d). The Spirit?s leading for us, in the same way as Israel out of Egypt, is in one direction ? to the heavenly realm of the Kingdom promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants - Ro 4:13 For the promise that he would be the
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heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
14). Which brings us nicely back to Noah ? let?s just revisit God?s commentary for a moment - Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. 7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
b). Note what it was that brought about salvation for Noah and his household ? it was his faith, his belief in what God had said concerning things ?not yet seen? that made the saving of eight souls possible.
c). Knowing what God had said concerning those things not yet seen, Noah and his household organized their lives accordingly ? the building of the ark ? resulting in the saving of souls ? Noah becoming the heir of righteousness which is according to faith.
15). And we have seen that the antitype of this, ?which now saves us? is baptism.
a). It is because we have believed what God has said concerning things not yet seen - Heb 11:1 ? Now faith[believing God to the saving of the soul] is the substance[the unshakable foundation] of things hoped for, the evidence[a bringing to light so that we have proof] of things not seen.
Ro 8:23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
Heb 4:1 ? Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.
b). We have not yet seen with our natural eyes the coming Kingdom of Christ, the Day of Rest ? our hope realized, but we do believe what God has said about it therefore we will organize our lives, building our ark if you will, that will prepare us to receive the salvation to be revealed in the last time.
16). As we plunge beneath the waters of baptism and rise again we are declaring our intention to die to self and to walk according to the Spirit in faithful obedience as a continuous process to spiritual maturity.
a). We declare our intention to keep our old man in the place of death
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b). We declare that we have believed what God has said about this in relation to entrance into the coming Kingdom.
c). We declare our intention to be found worthy at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
d). Col 3:1 ? If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. 5 ? Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience,
17). To bring us back to Mark 16 ? if we will believe ? those things which God has said concerning things not yet seen, the hope which the Holy Spirit guarantees for us ? and be baptized ? keep our old man in the place of death so as to walk in newness of life, led by the Spirit in faithful obedience ? then we will be saved, at the Judgment Seat of Christ
a). We will receive the salvation of our soul
b). Be adopted as a first born son
c). Become a coheir with Christ and part of His Bride
d). Resulting in our ruling with Him in the Kingdom which is to come.
18). So then, as we are baptized we see a onetime action that declares our intent to make a lifetime practice of dying to our flesh, to walking in the Spirit in faithful obedience. In effect then, we have been baptized and are continually in the process of baptism that will result in our future salvation.
a). If we embrace this baptism now, the future baptism that awaits us at the Judgment Seat will hold no fear - Lu 3:16 John answered, saying to all, "I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
b). Re 1:14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;
c). 1Co 3:11 ? For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
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