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Hebrews 6:1-2 by Robert Dean
Series:Hebrews (2005)
Duration:52 mins 40 secs

 

 

Hebrews Lesson 59  July 13, 2006

 

NKJ Psalm 119:9 How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.

 

We are in Hebrews 6.

 

NKJ Hebrews 6:1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,

 

We saw last time that it has the idea of foundational principles about Christ. Arche is the word there. It ties in and is a synonym for the word stoicheia used back in Hebrews 5 talking about basic doctrines related to the person of Christ. 

 

Then we have the characteristics of these foundational doctrines. The first we studied last time and the time before, the foundation of repentance that is changing your mind from thinking that works has some value toward God and instead trust in God - the juxtaposition of works of legalism verses faith in God. 

 

We saw then verse 2.

 

NKJ Hebrews 6:2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

 

What we are focusing on is an understanding of this doctrine related to baptisms. One of the first things we addressed was the issue of the verbiage that is used here in Hebrews 6:2. You have the word here baptismos which denotes the act as a fact. There is a different word here than what we might expect. There are two different forms of this word in the Greek. One ends in the suffix mos the other ends with the suffix maMos which is the word we have here is usually used for the ceremonial washings of the Jews in contrast to the word baptisma that is usually descriptive of Christian baptism, Jesus baptism or the baptism of John the Baptist. The unusual thing about this word is that here it occurs in the plural. That is extremely rare. I believe the writer chose this word because the plural encapsulates both ideas, both the Jewish ritual washing idea and what it pictured as pictured in the baptism of John, Jesus or believer's baptism. They all relate to cleansing in terms of ritual baptism. That is the foundation. So he uses the word in the plural because it ties together both of the ideas.  He is addressing former Jewish priests who are now believers and who are on the verge of throwing away their Christianity and going back into Judaism. So he is saying that we don't want to lay the basic doctrine related to understanding that significance of these rituals in Judaism and what they portrayed as well as the Christian ritual related to John's baptism or Jesus' baptism or the believer's baptism. So that brought us to and introduction to the whole doctrine of baptism last time. I gave you two points to begin with last time which defined things and then set up the different kinds of baptisms. There are 8 different baptisms.

 

Doctrine of Baptism

 

  1. Definition: The English verb baptize comes from the Greek verb baptizo which means to dip, to plunge or to immerse. As an action it signifies identification of someone with an action, with a person, with an object or with a new status in life. Identification is its significance.
  2. Then I went to the second point to talk about the different baptisms. There are three ritual baptisms which all involve water.   
    1. Baptism of Jesus in Matthew 3:13-17
    2. Baptism of John the Baptist in Matthew 3:1-11
    3. Baptism of Church Age believers in Acts 2:38, 2:41, Acts 8:36-38. We will come back and talk about the significance especially of the believer's baptism at the end. I want to deal with the dry baptisms first. 
  3. I pointed out that there are four elements in ritual baptism that are important to understand.
    1. There is a person who performs the baptism. The word we are going to use here is the agent of the baptism. The reason we do that is because we get into some interesting exegesis because in some passages you shift from an active voice verb to a passive voice verb where the subject performs the action to a passive voice verb where the subject receives the action. So rather than becoming confused with this concept of who is the grammatical subject of the sentence, we want to talk about proper terminology. The agent is the one who performs the action whether it is passive voice verb or an active voice verb. So keep that in mind. We may not get there tonight. In the sentence, John hit the ball. John is not only the grammatical subject of the verb hit, he is also the agent who performs the action of the verb. If you make it a passive voice construction—the ball was hit by John— 

John is no longer the subject of the verb. The ball is now the subject of a passive voice verb, but John is still the agent who performs the action. That is why we use this terminology. That is going to become important because that has not always been clear in grammatical discussions of the baptism by means of the Holy Spirit. So people have gotten confused over this. You have actually ended up with two different baptisms by the Holy Spirit and you didn't know it.

  1. The element that provides the identification. So you have the agent who performs the action. John performs the action. The Holy Spirit is not the one who performs the action though. So we have to understand that. Then there is the element—water, Spirit, fire. These are three instances,
  2. Then you have the person identified – that is who is being identified in the passage. In the baptism by Moses, the Jews in the Old Testament coming out of slavery in Egypt are the ones identified. With John's baptism it is the Jew who is repenting for the coming of the kingdom. So we have to look at the person identified.
  3. Then there is a new status into which the person is entered. 

 

Those are the elements. We have to keep these elements in mind as we analyze the doctrine of baptism. We always find these things present even in dry baptisms. They are not only present in ritual baptism but also in wet baptism. All of that we have covered in the past. 

 

  1. The five real baptisms are all dry baptisms. We will take them in chronological order. We will list them and then come back and talk about each one.
    1. The baptism of Noah  I Peter 3:20-21
    2. The baptism of Moses  I Corinthians 10:2
    3. The baptism of fire mentioned in Matthew 3:11-12
    4. The baptism of the cross  
    5. The baptism of the Holy Spirit

 

  I will give you Scripture for those when we get there. 

 

These are the five dry baptisms. Let's talk about this first one. This is really interesting because at first glance you don't' see this when you look at this passage. That is the reason I always enjoy teaching I Peter 3:20-1.

 

NKJ 1 Peter 3:20 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.

 

The "who" here refers to the spirits in prison. These are the fallen angels who committed the sin with the daughters of men in Genesis 6. That is the previous verse. The context talks about how Jesus went down to preach to the spirits in prison. 

 

Then it tells us when this occurred.

 

They went through the water. They were not in the water. The ones who got wet died. The ones who stayed dry are the ones who go through the baptism.  That is why it is a dry baptism. 

 

NKJ 1 Peter 3:21 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,

 

You didn't know that did you, that you were saved by baptism. This is one of the passages that people will go to try to prove that you are saved by water baptism. But, they don't read it closely enough. 

 

That tells you he is not talking about water baptism. Last week I put up the picture of all of the ritual baths outside the entrance to the Temple in Jerusalem. The person coming to the Temple would take a ritual bath.  He would take off his robe and then he would take a dip in the miqveh, come out and be ritually cleansed. When we were up at Masada there were a number of these baths. They were obsessed with ritual cleansing in rabbinical Judaism. 

 

I like the way the New King James sets off the appositional clause there.  

 

That's the main thought.

 

So let's look at this in terms of some basic exegesis. The key phrase that we need to understand is the phrase in verse 21. It is translated in the New King James "and corresponding to that baptism now saves you".

 

Corresponding to what? It is corresponding to the ark delivering the 8 people through the judgment of God at the time of Noah. 

 

What we need to understand is this word translated "corresponding to." This is the Greek word antitupon which means against, corresponding to or that for which a type refers. Look at the breakdown of that word. It is anti + tupon. That Greek word tupon with the u in it is often transliterated over into English with a y. That is where we get the English word type. We talk about types in the Bible. Something is a type of Christ. A type is a picture or shadow of something that would come later. It is a training aid that God has designed in order to teach spiritual truths or something usually about the person or work of the Lord Jesus Christ. An antitype is that to which the type refers.   

 

You have types and antitypes. The type is the shadow image. It pictures a future reality. The antitype is the reality. So the antitype corresponds to something that happened earlier. So something in the present is an antitype that is pictured by something in the past, which is the type. For example in the Old Testament you had a lamb without spot or blemish. This is the type. The type is a picture. It pictures something about the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. It pictures the fact that He was without sin and that He was in judicial terms totally innocent. He was not just not guilty. We have seen legal cases in the last few years where people have been declared judicially not guilty. That doesn't mean they are innocent. We all know that they are guilty. They just haven't been found legally guilty. In this case the lamb is without spot or blemish. It was innocent. 

 

When we were in Israel we went to several places that had little films about the destruction of the temple or about how temple worship was conducted. One of the things that struck all of us as we watched this one man about a man comes to Jerusalem and brings a lamb to the temple.  Here he is walking with this cute little lamb. You want to pet it and cuddle it. It is snowy white. It has these eyes that you could lose yourself in. You realize that it's a great picture of Jesus Christ. He was totally without sin. Here you are going to take this sweet and wonderful baby lamb that hasn't done anything wrong. You are going to slit its throat and splatter blood everywhere. You think about the blood-encrusted altar on the way into the temple and the smell of all of that blood would be pretty strong. It is to express the horror of what has to be done to deal with sin. 

 

So we had the lamb that is a picture of the antitype who is Jesus Christ. So we would say Jesus Christ is that which corresponds to or is the antitype of the lamb. Do you understand what I am saying? Christ is that which corresponds to the lamb. The lamb as the type looks forward to Christ. Christ is the antitype that corresponds back to something. So if we just had a question mark there and then Jesus is called the lamb then we would know that whatever it corresponded in the back had to be a lamb. That is important for understanding this. What we have here is something that really isn't the word baptism or baptize. It isn't used to refer to what happens with Noah's Ark. But it is used of the antitype. So if the antitype is a baptism that which the Old Testament shadow image corresponds to as a baptism, then that which occurred in the Old Testament must be a baptism even if it isn't called a baptism. Have I made myself clear? Since the word baptism is not applied to the ark, but it is applied to the antitype then this is the baptism that now saves us. Then the ark and the deliverance from the flood was a baptism. It was an identification. Those 8 people that were on the ark were identified with Noah in the same way that later on the Jews who go through the Red Sea are identified with Moses. So it is a baptism. 

 

Now let's go back and look at the passage. 

 

The present baptism corresponds to the deliverance through the ark.  

 

One question we need to ask here is what baptism is this - the baptism that now delivers us. Let's look at this word translated "now". It is the Greek word nun that means now. Sometimes it has an immediate rather than a general sense. That is right now as opposed to this general time period. 

 

We often make statements like, "Right now Israel is at war." 

 

We could take it right out of the headlines today. If somebody heard that sentence in isolation they might not understand that we are talking about right now, today. They might think about generally in this time period because off and on Israel has been fighting terrorist a war for a long period of time. It is just that today there is a hot war that is happening. That is how Peter is using it in a sense. Peter wrote at the beginning of the Church Age. The "now" refers to now in the Church Age. Peter personally had heard Jesus announce the coming of the Holy Spirit and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He was there on the day that Jesus ascended.  

 

In Acts 1:5 Jesus said…

 

NKJ Acts 1:5 "for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

 

So Peter was there when Jesus said the baptism from the Holy Spirit was about to come. This is a unique baptism because of its nature for the Church Age. It is a dry baptism. Later in Acts 11 Peter declared that this prophecy of Jesus, this announcement in Acts 1:5 which declared that the baptism of the Spirit, was yet future. By Acts 11 Peter declared it was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. In Acts 11 talking to the Gentiles with Cornelius at Caesarea by the Sea.

 

NKJ Acts 11:15 "And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. 16 "Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, 'John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' 17 "If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?" 18 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, "Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life." 19 Now those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only.

 

Them is the gentiles

 

So he is reporting to the Jews on what happened to Cornelius and the gentiles.

 

The baptism of the Holy Spirit had never occurred prior to the day of Pentecost. There was no baptism of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. 

This is what distinguishes the Church Age from the previous dispensations. Every believer receives at the moment of faith alone in Christ alone this baptism by means of the Holy Spirit, which we will study in detail before we are done. What the baptism of the Holy Spirit does is to identify us with the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lore Jesus Christ as described in Romans 6:3. That is the baptism that saves us. At that instant you put your faith alone in Christ alone at that instant many things happen simultaneously. One of the first things that happens is the Holy Spirit is used to identify you with Jesus Christ's death, burial and resurrection. That is what Peter is talking about here in I Peter 3:21. This is the antitype that now saves us - baptism through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.   

 

So Peter puts together the type (that is the Old Testament picture of the ark) as a picture of the doctrinal baptism of the Holy Spirit. So both of these are dry baptisms. They don't involve water. The type is Noah's ark. The antitype is the Lord Jesus Christ. The 8 who were in the ark who were identified with Noah in the ark are analogous to every single believer in the Church Age who is in Christ in the baptism of the Holy Spirit we are identified with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. We are baptized into Christ. We are in Christ. Just as the 8 were in the ark every believer is in Christ and thus saved. No judgment came on those in the ark. Judgment was upon those who were outside of the ark. For Church Age believers there is no judgment to us. There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ. Judgment belongs only to unbelievers who are condemned because they sinned? No. Because they did not believe in the only begotten Son. 

 

NKJ John 3:18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

 

So Noah's ark is a type of Spirit baptism which makes it a dry baptism. So that is our first baptism. The baptism of Noah is a type of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. 

 

As we look at this verse,

 

NKJ 1 Peter 3:21 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,

 

This is the Greek word apothesis which means to remove. It used to remove clothing that is dirty. It is a physical term. It is not a spiritual term. It is not the washing away of dirt through water baptism. But it is an appeal to God for a good conscience. The word there for appeal is the Greek word epirotema which is the word for a pledge. It is the pledge that baptism is a pledge of a good conscience toward God which comes because we have been cleansed spiritually by God the Holy Spirit at the instant of our faith alone in Christ alone. There is a washing, a cleansing. It is a positional cleansing. Now we have to remember that there are two types of cleansing in the Christian life. There is positional cleansing that takes place at the instant of salvation, which cleanses us from all sin. Then there is experiential cleansing that takes place as we confess our sins as we go through the Christian life. Even if you die with unconfessed sin you still go to heaven because you are positionally cleansed in Christ. 

 

I remember when I was a kid that was a question everybody got concerned with. What if you die with unconfessed sin? What happens? Do you go to hell? Do you have to go to hell for a while? Do you go to purgatory? No. You are positionally cleansed of all sins at the cross but experientially cleansed through I John 1:9. So this baptism is a focus on positional truth.   

 

Now one other thing I want to note here. Why does he say through the resurrection of Jesus Christ and not the crucifixion of Jesus Christ? That

is because the resurrection is the conclusion of this whole process. This is a typical figure of speech where you are talking about the entire work of Christ on the cross from start to finish. The payment of sins was between 12 noon and 3 p.m. but the whole process of His work isn't over with until the resurrection occurs. The reason he refers to the resurrection here and not the crucifixion is that he is talking about the entire process of the crucifixion – the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is what is included in the process. So he looks at the final element in the work of Christ in saving us. 

 

Now let's go to the next baptism. We looked at the baptism of Noah. Now let's go to the next one chronologically. That is the baptism of Moses. This is mentioned in I Corinthians 10:2. 

 

This is one of those great passages that emphasizes the importance of the Old Testament for believers today. Too many people think that the Old Testament isn't relevant for Church Age believers.

 

NKJ 1 Corinthians 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea,

 

"My fathers" is referring to the Jews of the Exodus generation, not the fathers of the Gentile Corinthians that he is addressing. He is referring to the Jews that came out of Egypt. 

 

"All passed through the sea." Somebody sent me an email the other day. If there were 2 million Jews the passing, the opening would have to be 5 miles wide in order for the Jews to get across in one night. Somebody has worked up all the logistics on this, which is pretty fascinating.  

There are some things we don't think about but they are pretty obvious. Another thing that was pointed out was that if there are 2-3 million Jews (which I believe to be true) you had at least 610,000 men of warrior age between 20 and up. Then if you have one child for every adult male, then you have 1.8 million. So it is not difficult to assume 2-2 ½ million. Think about it. Houston isn't too much larger than that. If you are going to have all of those people camped in one spot in the wilderness it is going to be larger than the circumference of Loop 610. It wouldn't be quite as far out as the Beltway. It would be somewhere in between. That is a huge territory. So the logistics of this were something that only God could accomplish. The historical event that is being referred to in 10:1 is the Exodus event where the Jews passed through the sea on dry ground. Once again those who get baptized here stay dry. The ones who get wet are the ones who get judged and the ones who die.

 

In verse 2 we read….

 

NKJ 1 Corinthians 10:2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,

 

The important thing to note here is that the phrase "into Moses" uses the Greek preposition eis. That is a directional preposition. It indicates that this phraseology is used in almost every baptism passage. I will get to it in a minute. You have the agent who performs the action. You have the verb baptism either active or passive. Here it is a passive verb. They received the act of baptism. 

 

Does it say who is performing the action of baptism in this passage? No, it doesn't. Who is performing the action of baptism in this passage? 

God. He isn't stated though. What you have in all of these baptism passages is a formula. You have the agent who performs the work of identification; the verb of identification, the means which is indicated by the en clause in the Greek - en plus the instrumental which should be translated "by means of the cloud and by means of the sea." The reason that is important is that some people want to take that en when you are baptized by water as locative. It can mean locative – location, sphere. But if these things hold together what you have here is that the Jews weren't in the cloud and they weren't in the sea by location. The identification with Moses is accomplished by means of the cloud. This is the pillar of cloud indicating the Shekinah presence of God and by means of the sea. So we have to understand this phrase instrumentally. It is indicating the instrument God uses to accomplish the identification. 

 

The eis clause indicates that new state into which the baptized person is identified. He goes from being what he is now to something new. So the Jews were identified with Moses and his leadership as they pass through the Red Sea. They are following Moses. They are trusting God. 

They are identified with Moses and Moses' faith and Moses' leadership. God is the one performing the action identifying them with Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They stayed dry. The army of pharaoh is judged.

 

Then we have the mention of the baptism of fire. This is the third real or dry baptism mentioned in Matthew 3:11.

 

By doing it this way we are building our understanding of the vocabulary and the grammar in these passages. This is something so crucial and why there is so much confusion over baptism and the different kinds of baptism. It is because people don't pay attention to the grammar and the technicalities of the passage. 

 

John the Baptist is speaking.

 

NKJ Matthew 3:11 "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

 

I didn't put it in here. We will cover it again. I am sort of peeling the onion, and peeling the onion and repeating and repeating because this is important to get. It should be by means of water.  It is that en clause again. 

 

"Unto repentance." That is the eis clause. That is the new state.

 

In this first sentence, who is performing the action of baptism? Who is speaking? I just said it. This is a test to see if you are awake tonight. 

John the Baptist is performing the action of baptism. 

 

He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire—future active indicative verb. He will baptize. Who is the He?  Christ. Christ is the agent of baptism. He is the subject of the verb. It is an active voice verb. He is the one who performs the action of this baptism. And there are two baptisms talked about here – one by means of the Holy Spirit and one by means of fire. Now notice that what John is doing is drawing an analogy between what he is doing by means of water and what Jesus will do by means of the Holy Spirit. Now let me remind you. In our exegesis of I Corinthians 10:2, I said it was not inside of the sea and inside of the cloud. That doesn't fit. The Jews didn't get into the water. So it is not that sense. It is the sense of by means of. It is not talking about in the water. It is talking about using the water to affect the identification. Water is the means. But Jesus is going to come along and in the future at some undefined future time He will baptize you - one by means of the Holy Spirit and one by means of fire. Just as John is affecting his baptism by means of water (water is simply the instrument), the Holy Spirit is being used by Jesus as an instrument and fire will be used as the instrument to do something.

 

NKJ Matthew 3:12 "His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

 

So Matthew 3:12 defines for us the second baptism here – that is fire that is the judgment upon the lost – their identification with fire and judgment. That is baptism by means of fire. This takes place at the end of the tribulation. All unbelievers who survive the tribulation will be identified with fire the earth will be judged by Jesus Christ and then all unbelievers are removed from the earth, identified with the defeat of Satan. Then the Millennial Kingdom will be established. 

 

Now we come to our fourth dry baptism which is the baptism of the cross.

 

NKJ Mark 10:38 But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?"

 

Once again we see the main theme is identification. 

 

They just got through saying, "Lord, we will go through anything with You."

 

"Are you going to be able to be identified with the same identification that I am baptized with?"

 

They said to Him, "We are able."

 

He said to them, "You will indeed drink of the cup that I drink and with the baptism that I am baptized with you will be baptized."

 

He is identified on the cross with our sins. That is the essence of the baptism of the cross. Jesus Christ is identified with our personal sins when He was judged for them as our substitute.

 

Now we come to the fifth one. 

 

NKJ 1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body -- whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free -- and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

 

Notice how Jesus uses this analogy of drinking with the baptism of the cross. 

 

"Are you able to drink the cup that I am drinking?"

 

That is another picture of identification. That same idea of drinking of the cup is used in I Corinthians 12:13. 

 

I just want to point out how often these same images go hand-in-hand through the Scripture. 

 

Most of you have been taught that in this passage when it says "for by one Spirit we have been baptized" that the Spirit performs the baptism. 

You were taught wrong. Why is that? Let me go back and explain it to you. 

 

When John announced and prophesized that Jesus would baptize by the Holy Spirit, I really stressed who performs the act of baptism. It is Jesus. He is both the subject of the verb and the agent who performs the work of baptism. Now when we come to I Corinthians 12:13, in the English it looks like the Holy Spirit is the agent of that passive verb baptism. 

 

"For by one Spirit" - en pnumati.

 

We were all baptized - aorist passive indicative. It looks like the Spirit is the one who does the work of baptism because that is how we express this in English. When we move from to an active voice to a passive voice verb in English, we indicate the agent of the action of the verb by the preposition by. So you have probably been taught that the Spirit identifies you into Christ. What is the problem? That problem is that John prophesied a baptism that Jesus also prophesied in Acts 1:5 that Jesus would be the agent – the one who performs the baptism by the Spirit.

 

If we come over here and say that the Spirit does it, then we have two baptisms - one performed by Jesus and one performed by the Holy Spirit. Is that what we have? If you say yes, you are a charismatic. You are a Pentecostal. You have got two baptisms. That is what charismatic theology says. You have got one baptism when you are saved and then a subsequent baptism after you are saved. One is by Christ and one by the Spirit. You have to get them both. This was a problem. Chafer taught this. Ryrie taught this. Walvoord taught this. Lots of people have taught this. In my early years I taught this. I sat around a library with Dan Wallace who has written a very good grammar on Greek. I disagree with a lot of Dan's theology. But I sat down with Dan one day talking about this in the early 80's. He walked me through this.

 

I thought, "Talk about a blinding flash of the obvious." 

 

Everybody has missed this. It is a very important thing to understand. 

 

Now we go back to Matthew 3:11. John the Baptist is speaking. 

 

NKJ Matthew 3:11 "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

 

 

Notice, water is preceded by the preposition en. You have got to follow these prepositions. 

 

Notice it is the same preposition. That preposition is instrumental. In an earlier generation (let's say the Chafer, Walvoord, Ryrie generation) there was a huge battle with liberals over the personality of the Holy Spirit. In grammar you have something called agency and instrumentality. 

Unfortunately theologians of that era confused agency with a person and instrumentality with a non-personal object. So if the Holy Spirit is being talked about here, the Holy Spirit is a person so this has to be agency. They muddied the waters because agency is a term to describe the one who performs the action of a passive verb.

 

Are you all thoroughly confused yet? So you can't use agent and instrumentality don't have anything to do with whether the thing is a person or a non-person. It is a grammatical category. It is not making statements about personhood. That was the mistake that they made.

 

NKJ Acts 1:5 "for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."

 

You have the same terminology. 

 

En hudati – hudati is the word for water. 

 

Again it is en pneumatic.  We keep having the preposition en. 

 

NKJ 1 Corinthians 10:2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,

 

What I am pointing out again is that this is formulaic. Every time you have baptismal statements the instrument that is used is indicated by the en preposition, the state they go into is indicated by the eis preposition. What you have to pay attention to is whether the verb is active or passive.

 

So we have our English example.

 

John hit the ball with the bat. 

 

With the bat indicates the means. Bat is the instrument used to hit the ball.  So we have John as the subject. Hit is the verb. The ball is the object. And the instrument is indicated by the prepositions with. 

 

Let's add to that.  If we switch it and make it a passive verb… 

 

The ball (subject) was hit (verb) by John (performer) by means of the bat (means).

 

With the bat indicates means. The performer of the action – the ball was hit by John – John was the subject in the active voice construction. 

Now John is indicated as the performer or the agent of the action with the English preposition by. In Greek the agent of the passive verb action (the one who performs the action in a passive verb construction) is indicated with the Greek preposition dia or hupa. Not en. It is very clear. We don't have that in I Corinthians 12:13. You still have the preposition en

 

In the prophecy of Matthew 3:11, John said..

 

NKJ Matthew 3:11 "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

 

Baptize you "en" the spirit. 

 

Jesus said in Acts 1:5 that you will be baptized many days hence en the Holy Spirit, using the Greek preposition en. Again in I Corinthians 10:13 you still have the Holy Spirit as the subject of an "en" clause. You can't all of sudden make the subject of the en clause the performer of the action of the verb. You just can't do it. So we have to recognize that what we are talking about here is the same thing. In I Corinthians 12:13 it doesn't state who performs the action just as it didn't state it in I Corinthians 10:2 when it said that they were all baptized in the water and in the cloud. It didn't tell us who. In I Corinthians 12:13 it doesn't tell us who does the action. It just tells us that it is done by means of the Holy Spirit into the body. 

 

The emphasis here in the context is the Spirit is the one who does the action or is used to perform the action into the body. 

 

Now let me try to clarify this by something a little more dramatic. In the original image John the Baptist performs the action. He uses water to identify the person with repentance. In the baptism by means of the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ uses the Holy Spirit to identify the person with Himself in His death, burial and resurrection. Do you see how that worked? 

 

Just as John said, "I am going to use this water to identify you with a new state", Jesus is going to use the Holy Spirit to identify the believer with a new state.

 

What does this picture? It pictures cleansing.

 

Performer  Action   New State

 

John the Baptist    Water  Repentance

 

Jesus  The Holy Spirit Himself: death burial, resurrection

 

What does this picture?  Cleansing. 

 

Let me take you to one last verse here as we skip all over the Scripture. 

 

NKJ Titus 3:5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

 

Through what? (These are seen as synonymous categories.) Through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is pictured as water that completely cleanses us from all sin. That is what Peter is talking in I Peter 3:20-1 when I talked about the baptism of Noah. That is a picture of the baptism by means of God the Holy Spirit. 

 

So we come to other passages on the baptism of the Holy Spirit. 

 

NKJ Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

 

That is a passive verb. We receive the action of baptism. "All of you who were baptized into Christ." That is the new state. We are in Christ, but here it is talking about the direction of baptism. 

 

NKJ Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

 

The categories hold up in terms of these prepositions. So at the instant of baptism by means of the Holy Spirit we enter into union with Christ and we are in Christ. 

 

Conclusion:  The baptism by means of the Holy Spirit is the work of Christ whereby at the moment of faith alone in Christ alone, Christ uses the Holy Spirit in the act of regeneration to identify the believer with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ so that he becomes a new creature in Christ where he is completely cleansed of all sin.

 

Now one last point. When we come to believer's baptism where the believer is immersed in water, what do you think it is a picture of? It is a picture of the baptism of the Holy Spirit – positional truth. Positional truth is a terribly abstract doctrine. 

 

Every time you hear the words positional truth you go, "Okay, I think I remember that."

 

It is identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. The Lord has given us these training aids just like we have the training aids of the bread and the cup at the Lord's Table so that when we eat that is a picture of faith in Christ accepting what He has done for us. The bread represents His person; the cup represents His work. We have this training aid. We are commanded to do it repeatedly. 

 

NKJ 1 Corinthians 11:25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."

 

Water baptism is different. It pictures a one-time event, which is what happens at positional truth. 

 

So next time we are going to come back and look at those three wet baptisms what they signified specifically looking at water baptism, believer's baptism as it is identified by Christ in Matthew 28:19-20 under what is called the great commission. Then we are going to work our way through Acts to see how the apostles understood and applied Matthew 28:19-20. There have been confusing things taught by different people. Different dispensationalists have taught different things about when baptism was effective, when it was, when it wasn't. Some hyper dispensationalist like Bolanger came along and said that the Church Age didn't begin until Acts 28. Others identified Acts 19 or Acts 17. These are called hyper dispensationalist. They end up relegating baptism to a transitional period for the church. 

 

"It is not for today." 

 

So we have to evaluate those arguments and see if they hold water in light of what was going on in the book of Acts.

 

Let us bow our heads and close in prayer.