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A Mini-Series is a small subset of lessons from a major series which covers a particular subject or book. The class numbers will be in reference to the major series rather than the mini-series.
Hebrews by Robert Dean
Series:Hebrews (2005)
Duration:56 mins 50 secs

Hebrews Lesson 108  November 15, 2007

 

NKJ Isaiah 40:31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

 

We're in a series on Hebrews, but we won't spend much time in Hebrews to begin with so don't bother turning there yet. In fact if you want to turn somewhere, go ahead and turn in your Bibles to Ephesians 1:13.

 

We started this sort of minor digression here about two weeks ago in Hebrews 7:25 where we're in the middle of one of the most significant passages on the present ministry of Jesus Christ in the book of Hebrews. Hebrews 7 begins to introduce us to His current ministry which is referred to as His high priestly ministry. Jesus is in session. That's a term that theologians developed to describe the fact that He is seated currently at the right hand of God the Father based on the Latin word sessiona meaning to be seated. He is not on the throne of David right now. He is not reigning from heaven. He is not in a position of authority other than He is the High Priest who is interceding for us at the right hand of God the Father. So chapter 7 goes through a lengthy analysis of His priesthood that it's not based on the Levitical priesthood which is based on genetics. It's a Jewish priesthood that was based on the Mosaic Law and God set aside one tribe of the 12 tribes of Israel that would be the tribe of the priesthood. That was the Levitical priesthood. Those who would serve as High Priests would be descendents from Aaron. The other Levites would serve in the temple in adjunct roles and to serve in the Temple, but the high priest would always come in the direct line of descent from Aaron. 

 

So the Jewish priesthood was a temporary priesthood. The priests were fallen. They were sinners. They had to not only offer sacrifices for the people, but they had to offer sacrifices for themselves. It was not a permanent fix to the sin problem, but it was designed to teach about what needed to happen in order to solve the sin problem. It was a picture of death and that the penalty for sin was death. Back in Genesis 2:7 God would provide the perfect solution. So we studied in the Mosaic Law the fact that just about anything you did would cause you to be ceremonially unclean which meant that you couldn't come into the presence of God and before fellowship could be restored there would have to be some sort of offering, sacrifice. Various different kinds of offerings were prescribed, but usually and ultimately it was a blood sacrifice (the blood of the lamb) that was the ceremonial element that secured that cleansing. That was a picture of Jesus Christ and His death on the cross as the Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world. 

 

So the writer of Hebrews is addressing a Jewish audience and he goes through in chapter 7 and in the latter part of chapter 7 he is addressing the reason they has to be this shift to a new kind of priesthood. 

 

The old covenant which is what we will get into a little bit in the next chapter was temporary. It was only designed to function for a short period of time until a permanent solution would come into place. That permanent solution came into place when Jesus Christ died on the cross and there He made a sacrifice for our sins and His death actually establishes the basis for the New Covenant. The New Covenant is the subject of chapter 8. So here in chapter 7 it focuses on what He has done as a High Priest.

 

In chapter 7 we read:

 

NKJ Hebrews 7:25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

 

This is a fantastic truth that very few Christians down through history have understood, especially if you go back and have any understanding of the early church. By the early church I also include the medieval church from approximately 100 AD with the death of the last apostle up through – actually it was in the 1520's – the early stage of the Reformation. No one really understands that they have a secure salvation. They have got confused thinking, muddy thinking. Every now and then there is a light that seems to understand a few things, but for the most part there is this thinking in the early church that baptism literally washed away sins. It wasn't just a symbolic event. So people are terribly concerned about what happens to them after they are saved if they commit sin. This is one reason if you read any of the stuff in The Da Vinci Code that Constantine who was the emperor who legalized Christianity in the Roman Empire - Constantine wouldn't get baptized until he was almost dead because he was so afraid that if he got baptized and committed some terrible sin that he would lose his salvation. So he wanted to wait until the last possible minute. That was not uncommon in the early church for people to do that because in Christianity (sadly) people haven't understood the complete and total work of Christ on the cross. So when Jesus Christ died on the cross, that period of time between 12 noon and 3 pm when it was dark on the face of the earth and He cries out to God…

 

NKJ Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"

He is crying to the Father, but He calls Him God which indicates that there is a separation, a distinction. There is not that intimacy between Him and the Father. Why? Because at that point in time the sins of the world are being imputed to Him and He is being judged for our sins. 

 

As Paul put it in 2 Corinthians:

 

NKJ 2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

 

So there is this transfer on to Him of our sins so that He takes the penalty upon Himself. This is what establishes the basis for salvation. So, all sin is paid for. There is no sin that you can commit today that wasn't paid for by Jesus Christ on the cross. God the Father as the absolute and eternal judge of the universe is omniscient. He knows every single sin that every single person can commit and will commit in history. He knows every sin you are going to commit the rest of your life. He knows every sin you have committed. There are no secret sins. He took every single sin in human history and imputed that to Jesus Christ so it was actually and truly paid for on the cross. Because God the Father's knowledge is not incomplete, you can't have an incomplete payment for sin. There are no surprises.

 

You can't go out tomorrow and commit and sin and God goes, "Oops! I forgot about that one. That's too big for My grace." 

 

See, there is no sin that is too big for the grace of God. There is no sin that you can commit that is unknown by the omniscience of God and no sin that you can commit that is more powerful or that can overpower the omnipotence of God. God provided a perfect solution. So when He sends His Son, the Eternal Second Person of the Trinity to go to the cross and die for our sins, then He is able to save us to the uttermost. 

 

NKJ Hebrews 7:25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

 

Again and again we see this phraseology – those who come to God through Him. "Coming to God through Him" is a synonym in the Scriptures. 

 

In many places Jesus goes back and forth with this verbiage where He says "Those who come to Me" or "those who believe in Me".

 

These are synonyms. So "coming to Christ" is synonymous with believing on Him. That is how we come to Him, by believing that He died on the cross for our sins – not by inviting Jesus in to our life, not by walking an aisle or these other sort of cultural symptoms or results even that people emphasize in a lot of churches today because they don't look at what the Scripture says. The Scripture are so very plain that he who believes in Him has eternal life. The operative verb again and again and again in John is "believe" – believe in Him. So He is able to save us because of who He is.

 

So in the last few weeks we've gone through the whole doctrine of eternal security. We started off looking at what the doctrine meant.

 

Definition: It is briefly defined. It's the work of God toward the believer at the instant of faith alone in Christ alone which guarantees that God's free gift of salvation is eternal and cannot be lost, eternal and cannot be terminated, abrogated, nullified or reversed by any thought, act, or deed that you can commit. 

 

So you will be saved if you put your faith in Jesus Christ. The instant you trust in Him a number of things happen that secure that salvation for you. Now we went on in the last couple of weeks. We talked about the character of God and how the character of God secures that salvation for us – that He is able to secure that salvation for us. 

 

Then we looked at the work of Jesus Christ. In His work He has not only promised that He's the one who can save, but He has the power to keep us. You have the passage in the Gospel of John where Jesus is talking about the fact that when we are in the Father's hands that nothing can be lost. In John 6:37-40 that everyone that comes to Jesus, Jesus will not lose. No one can snatch us out of the Father's hands.

 

NKJ John 10:28 "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.

 

Jesus is powerful enough to keep us. The Father is powerful enough to keep us. So we've gone through the role of the Father, the role of the Son, the prayer of the Son last time, which is what intersects with this particular verse. 

 

NKJ Hebrews 7:25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

 

The focus here is on His post resurrection eternal life. After the resurrection He spent 40 days with His disciples. Then on the Day of Pentecost (or just before the Day of Pentecost actually) He ascended into heaven about 10 days before the Day of Pentecost and then sent the Holy Spirit to the church on the Day of Pentecost. 

 

So, in His present position having ascended to the Father at the Father's right hand, He continuously makes intercession for us. Now that brings us to the third member of the trinity, which is God the Holy Spirit. That takes us to a couple of key things that the Holy Spirit does for us at the instant of salvation. 

 

Now we all know that God does about 40 things for us at the instant of salvation. He has redeemed us. He imputed righteousness to us. He has justified us.  He has brought us into the body of Christ. There are a variety of ministries of the Holy Spirit that are accomplished at the instant of salvation. These are all irreversible. 

 

I pointed out last time that one of the weaknesses in a rather anemic view of salvation is what happens when people think they can lose their salvation because they don't understand all that God did to save them. 

 

That whole process of being converted from being unsaved (being an unbeliever, being spiritually dead) to being spiritually alive is an extensive process that isn't just saying, "Okay, now you get to go to heaven when you die."

 

There is much more involved in it than that. We'll look at it a little bit tonight.

 

Ephesians 1:13 is one of the key passages on the sealing of the Spirit.

 

NKJ Ephesians 1:13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

 

So let's look at a couple of things there just to pick up the significance of what he is saying. This is all part of that introduction that Paul has. It's a very lengthy sentence from verse 3 down to verse 14. Now he is talking about the significance of having trusted in Christ. Verse 12 picks up a little bit of the context. 

 

NKJ Ephesians 1:12 that we who first trusted in Christ

 

There we have the key to salvation – trusting in Christ. It doesn't say trust in Christ and go to church, trust in Christ and get baptized, trust in Christ and do works. It will contradict that in the second chapter that faith and works don't go together at all.

 

He says: 

 

should be to the praise of His glory.

 

NKJ Ephesians 1:13 In Him you also trusted,

 

It picks up the verb from the previous sentence. 

 

after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

 

It's an adverbial participle of time there so you could translate it "when you heard" or "after you heard". The idea is first you have to hear and then you believe. Faith is based on content. You have to understand the gospel. 

 

Paul says in Romans 10:

 

NKJ Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

 

First you have to hear the message and then you believe the message. 

 

NKJ Ephesians 1:13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

 

So once again we have an emphasis here on the exclusivity of the Christian message. This is not something that you should ever feel you have to apologize for. We live in an era today when you are considered to be some sort of enemy of society if you believe that you have a handle on truth and that you know what absolute Truth is. If you think if you know what absolute Truth is you can only know it if you base it on the Word of God.

 

Jesus said:

 

NKJ John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

 

So when He said "I am the truth" he is claiming the position of exclusivity that there is only one truth. There is not something that is true for the Russians and something that is true for the Arabs and something that is true for the Muslims and something else that is true for the Buddhists and we all worship the same God, because we don't. There are too many differences and these are categorical differences. 

 

The god that Muslims worship is a solitary god. He is not a Trinitarian god. He is a solitary god. So therefore even though they claim that he is loving - and the word "love" is never ascribed to Allah in the Koran. But, they claim that; but he can't be truly a loving god because if he is eternal and he is alone then he can't be loving because he doesn't have an object for his love. He has to wade through eternity until he gets some creature that he can love. If he is god he can't be loving. If he is loving, then he is dependent on his creatures in order to have an object for his love. So this solitary god of Islam doesn't work. 

 

That's why the Trinitarian God of the Bible works. It fits the message that God is love. The Father loves the Son. The Son loves the Spirit. The Spirit loves the Father. This is an eternal society. But there is no society in the godhead of Islam which is why the mirror image in their religion often gets messed up because they don't have an ultimate reality that has a perfect society. So they never quite get it right in creation.

 

The other problem with the god of Islam is that he hates the Jews. The god of the Bible is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Allah of Islam is the god of Abraham and Ishmael. Those are two different gods. The way to get into heaven if you are a Moslem is either through jihad (which is an act of violence in support of Islam) which will guarantee that you go immediately into paradise. Other than that you have to go through various works and ultimately you never know because it is up to the whimsical arbitrary will of Allah as to whether or not you actually make it into heaven.

 

In contrast to that the Bible says that…

 

NKJ Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

 

So there is a salvation that solves the problem. The problem is sin. Jesus Christ died on the cross. So we have a message of absolute truth – one that is exclusive. It is exclusive in that those who don't believe it are excluded. But, everybody has the opportunity to believe because God gives a non-verbal witness in the creation. He gives a non-verbal witness so that the heavens as the psalmist said in Psalm 19 – the heavens declare the glory of God.

 

NKJ Psalm 19:1 To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.

So anyone can observe creation and recognize that there must be a God. If they desire to know God and God being omniscient knows the innermost thoughts of the heart, then God will make Himself known to them and no matter where they are on the planet God ultimately gets the gospel to people. 

 

It is amazing the things you tend to uncover here and there that's just not generally known about how many people, how many Christians, how many of the early disciples made it to India. And then there disciples made it to China and others went to Africa. I believe that if we knew all the facts we would realize that probably within 50 years of the death of Christ the gospel had circumnavigated the planet. There is little evidence that you hear here and there around the world. You run into stuff that indicates that Christians took a message there way back in the second century or the third century and nobody knew about it until some recent discovery. So we have a message of truth. 

 

NKJ Ephesians 1:13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation;

 

Gospel means good news. It is the good news that rather than being dead in your trespasses and sin, you have eternal life. This eternal life is not based on who you are but on who Jesus Christ is and what He did on the cross. 

 

in whom also,

 

That is in Jesus Christ – that is position in Christ. Hold on to that thought because that's where we are headed before we finish tonight. 

 

 having believed,

 

An aorist participle takes the action into the past.

 

you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.

 

Aorist tense verb. In the Greek grammar that is referring to the fact that when they believed they were sealed. The believing was in the past and the sealing took place at the time that they believed.

 

Now the Greek word for sealing (which is the verb here) is the Greek word sphragizo. Sphragizo has the meaning of taking (originally) a signet ring perhaps or some sort of emblem. You would melt wax on a document and then you would put an impression on that document. It was like a signature. It was done to authenticate legal documents. So sealing was an object. It's like going to a notary today. It is something that made a document official. It was a sign of ownership. It was a sign that something was secure and that it showed legal ownership. 

 

Seals were widely used very early after the time of the Noahic flood. We have evidence going back to early Mesopotamian civilizations in Sumer and in Babylon. We have discovered these cylinder seals that are about this big. They are about as big around as your finger. This is what they would use to seal a document. Seals were used and showed up in different forms in different cultures whether you are talking about Egypt or the Hittite Empire. It was something that was passed down from culture to culture, civilization to civilization. It was the idea that somebody would mark his possessions. It was a sign of ownership.

 

Now if you are a Texan that means branding. That is the best analogy. You get branded by the Holy Spirit. I always liked that analogy because back in the Old West when you would have rustlers who would go out and they would steal a bunch of cattle. Then they would sit out and take a cinch ring off of a saddle and they would use that with a pair of pliers and heat that up in a fire and then they would use that to change the brand. If they were a good branding artist (a good cinchering artist), then they could change the brand. If you looked at it from the outside, you would never know that the brand had been changed. 

 

See, this is what happens with a lot of Christians. They trust Christ as their savior. They get sealed by the Spirit. They are now branded or owned by God as a member of the family. He has put His seal on them. They have been branded. What happens due to their negative volition, their rejection of truth, they become distracted by the cares of the world and the details of life and they no longer care about the fact that they are child of God and are supposed to live for Him in this world. So what happens is they start living like everybody else. They become what the Bible calls a worldly Christian. They are also a carnal Christian. They are living on their sin nature. They don't look any different from all those unbelievers who are still under the domain of Satan (the Bible says). 

 

The only way you are going to know the difference is the same way you knew the difference back in the Old West. You would have to kill the cow or the steer and then you would have to skin it and turn the hide inside out. You could always see what the original brand was once you turned it inside out. 

 

So there are a lot of people who are Christians. They trust Christ as their Savior. They get sealed by the Spirit then they get distracted and forget about their spiritual identity. They get off track and live in a way that's no different from any unbeliever. Nobody can tell the difference between them and an unbeliever. The last ting that you would think is that person is going to heaven. You look at their life and they look as bad as anybody else.  But when they die, the true brand will be revealed and it will be clear that they were sealed by the Spirit and that cannot be lost. So this idea of marking – tattooing was another way they did it in the ancient world. It was the idea that an individual would guarantee his ownership or guarantee his signature by this legal act. 

 

It was often applied to wills. It was applied to deeds of sale. It was applied when there was any kind of finance involved or any contract was entered into.  There was always a sealing. Of course when a person gets saved in the Church Age that's an application of the New Covenant as we'll see when we get into it next time. So with the application of that covenant there is a seal that goes with it that guarantees it. 

 

So sphragizo is that act of physical sealing and guaranteeing that the individual is indeed a child of God. So sealing is a legal concept which references a person's seal or signature guarantee of a contract or a treaty. Once again it takes us back to something I emphasized over and over again is that God is a God of law. Now what I mean by that is not the Mosaic Law, but that He operates within a revealed legal framework. So when you go from Genesis to Revelation, God always reveals His will and He always reveals what the stipulations are and He limits Himself in human relationships to these contracts.  The Bible calls them covenants. It is the same idea as a contract. As man understands those various contracts down through history – the original creation covenant (the Edenic Covenant), then the Adamic Covenant, then the Noahic Covenant, then the  Abrahamic Covenant, then the Mosaic Covenant, the Davidic Covenant, the New Covenant. All of these are the basic covenants we have studied in the past. This tells us how God deals with people at different times in history.

 

In the New Testament the concept of sealing is applied to the ministry of the Holy Spirit when a person is saved. This is one of the 40 things that happens to every person at the instant of salvation. It's not experiential. You didn't know you got branded when you trusted in Christ, but you did. You only learn about it afterward when you read the Scripture. So sealing is the guarantee of eternal salvation. It is a grace gift to us to teach us and help us understand that we don't have to worry about sin after salvation. Sin was paid for. We're saved. Christ paid the penalty. It's His righteousness that is the basis of salvation, not our righteousness. 

 

Paul said in Titus 3:5: 

 

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,

 

So sealing is the guarantee of our salvation that no matter what we do, it can't reverse the brand. It is ours until the Lord takes us home. 

 

Now this isn't just mentioned in one verse. This is mentioned again. Paul wants to remind the Ephesians before he finishes with them of this principle again.  So turn over two or three pages to Ephesians 4:30.

 

NKJ Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

 

He gives them a command not to grieve the Holy Spirit of God by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. See the reminder is that this is one of those great things that God did for you when you got saved. He gave you eternal life. He adopted you into the royal family. He blesses you with all the spiritual blessings in the heavenlies – Paul said in Ephesians 1:3. Now He has sealed you. 

 

But whenever you sin as a believer, you grieve the Holy Spirit. Grieving the Holy Spirit in context is related to when we sin. It's just like when you were a child and you would do something that disobeyed your parents and violated their standards in one way or another. They would be grieved and they would be disappointed. You weren't out of the family, but you knew that you had done something that interfered with that relationship that you had with your parents.  So there would have be something that would have to happen in order to get passed that. For the believer that is what we mentioned earlier in 1 John 1:9. 

 

NKJ 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

So Paul reminds them of the sealing of the Spirit because that's a permanent thing. It goes along with the indwelling of the Spirit. It goes along with the presence of the Spirit in our lives. We are made a temple for the indwelling of Jesus Christ and because we have that permanent relationship with the Spirit and all of these ministries of the Spirit that we should not grieve the Holy Spirit but when we do sin we should recover.

 

Another passage that also mentions the sealing of the Spirit is found in II Corinthians 1:22. These are the three key passages that deal with the sealing of the Spirit.

 

Then we come to another passage, another doctrine that is very important to understand because it also relates to our eternal security. We find this in I Corinthians 12:13. This is called the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Now people get all confused about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. If you go to a charismatic church, they will ask you if you have ever been baptized by the Holy Spirit. 

 

"Have you spoken in tongues?" 

 

That would be a Pentecostal charismatic church. They misunderstand what it is. They want to make the filling of the Holy Spirit an experiential thing. But it is not experiential. It is an identification. That's the essence of the word baptism. 

 

People get all confused about baptism. Every time you hear the word baptism in some churches, you hear the word baptism they immediately want to take you out and get you baptized in the local river or swimming pool or baptistery of whatever. There are as we have studied in the past 8 different baptisms in the Scripture. There are some baptisms that are dry and some baptisms that are wet. 

 

Believers' baptism that is your personal testimony of what has already happened in the spiritual realm when you put your faith alone in Christ alone is a wet baptism. But the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a dry baptism because it has to do with our union with Christ. The essence of the meaning of the word baptize is to dip or plunge or immerse. That's the literal meaning. But, it came to signify an initiation into something where something was identified in a new way with something else. 

 

So a good word to use to substitute with baptism to get a sense of what it's talking about is the word identification. 

 

In our passage in 1 Corinthians 12:13 we read:

 

NKJ 1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized

 

Or, we were all identified. 

 

into one body -- whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free -- and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

 

The focus in 1 Corinthians 12 is talking about the unity of the body of Christ. But, the focus is understanding what that identification did. It identified us and placed us into one body. It happens at the instant of salvation for every believer. Just like the fact that you didn't know you got branded when you got saved, you also got baptized by the Holy Spirit the instant you got saved. It's not experiential and it's not until you come back and read the Bible that you begin to understand what this means. 

 

Not only have we got the confusion that has come about because of the Pentecostal Charismatic movement because of their failure to understand that there is only one baptism of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, but there have been others who are not Charismatic who have not necessarily picked up on some of the nuances of the Greek here. (These are good men.) I discovered this as a result of one of my teachers in seminary. 

 

Once somebody shows it to you it is sort of like, "Well, it is just so obvious." 

 

Part of the problem is that so many people just study the Bible in English and in the King James Version (which of course was the dominant translation up until the late '60's), the phrase that you find in the Greek which is this phrase that I've got in English here (en pneumati). The Greek preposition is en. The dative of the word pneuma for spirit is pneumati. That phrase (en pneumati) is found in every single passage that talks about the baptism by the Holy Spirit.  In fact it occurs in almost every passage that talks about baptism. You are always baptized by means of something, whatever it is. 

 

If you were a Greek Hoplite back in the days of classical Greek and you were in the army of Sparta and you went through basic training. When you got out of basic training, then to signify that you were now ready to go into combat and you were ready to get blooded, you would take your spear and you would dip it into a bucket of pig's blood. So you were identifying your weapon with blood. It indicated initiation that you've now graduated from boot camp and you are ready to go be a soldier. 

 

So there are different baptisms like that. Baptism was that initiation right. It's the same kind of thing that you have in the Church Age that when you first enter the body of Christ, you're initiated. There is a change that is taking place. This is baptism. It's done by means of something. It can be done by means of blood like when the Hoplites dipped their spears into the blood. Or, it can be done by means of water which is what John the Baptist did when he was out at the Jordan River. He was proclaiming a message to repent because the kingdom of God was at hand. So the people if they repented and recognized that the works-oriented self righteousness of Judaism at the time was inadequate. They had to revert and change back to a grace understanding of God's plan. If they understood that and were willing to affect that in their lives then they indicated it by being baptized by John. So it's an initiation into a new state.

 

Now the phrase that we have back in Matthew 3:11 is this phrase.  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.

 

See, it's en hudati. The en is the same preposition you have with baptism. That's the parallel. 

 

"I baptize you with water."

 

The state into which they are going into (the new position) is repentance. 

 

Then John said:

 

NKJ John 1:30 "This is He of whom I said, 'After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.'

 

Now that's Jesus Christ, the Messiah. 

 

He is the forerunner of the Messiah and he is announcing that "I have a mission here to prepare people and my message is repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. When He comes then He will have a different baptism. My baptism is a baptism by means of water but …"

 

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.

 

Notice it is that same phrase again – en pneumati.

 

Now John baptized with water - was the instrument that he used. Jesus he says is going to use another instrument. That is the Holy Spirit. He also says this is something in the future.

 

He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

 

So at the beginning of Jesus ministry in about 30 AD this baptism by means of the Holy Spirit hadn't happened yet. It was still a future event. But who's the one who is going to perform that future baptism by means of the Holy Spirit? The question I am asking is who is the subject of the verb baptize. He (Jesus Christ) is the one who will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.

 

En pneumati is not expressing the one who performs the action of the verb. It's expressing what the baptizer is using. Now that's real important. We are going to get into a little technical grammar here in a minute to help solve a problem.

 

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

 

Jesus is speaking. So we have gone through three years of Jesus' public ministry on the earth. Jesus has been crucified on the cross. He's been in the grave for three days, three nights. He has been raised from the grave and now He is about to ascend to heaven. He is giving his final instructions to the disciples. In Acts 1 before He ascends to heaven, He reminds them of what John said.

 

He said, "For John baptized."

 

Now let's go back to basic 6th grade grammar. Baptism here is an active voice verb. That means the subject performs the action. John is the one who is performing the action of baptism. 

 

So he says, "John baptized with water."

 

En hudati. There is our key phrase. I want you to keep noticing the pattern here. We have a template in all these baptism statements. Somebody is the subject of an active voice verb. The instrument that they use is expressed with an "en" clause. The new state is usually expressed in an "eis" clause.  Sometimes it's not there, but if it is there it is expressed with an eis clause. This is in almost every instance. 

 

So John baptized you with water but you will – is that future tense or is that present tense?  (I have taken everybody back to basic grammar here.) Future tense. See it still hasn't happened yet. John said it was in the future when he began this about 28-29- 30 AD.  Now Jesus in 33 is saying it's still future. 

 

He said, "You will be baptized by means of the Holy Spirit."

 

En pneumati. The Spirit is the means.

 

Then we skip over to our passage that we began with. We go back to that – I Corinthians 12:13.

 

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.

 

Past tense or future tense? Past tense! Ah! It has happened now. When did it happen? It happened on the Day of Pentecost when the disciples were going to the Temple and the Holy Spirit came down upon them. That was the initial baptism by means of the Holy Spirit. From that point on it happens every time somebody trusts in Christ as their Savior. But there is a difference here and I want to see if you've caught it. In 1 Corinthians 12:13 it says:

 

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.

 

Here the verb baptize is a passive voice verb. That means the subject receives the action. We (being every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ) receive the action of being baptized. Does it state here who performs the action? Actually, it doesn't. In English in a passive voice construction you express the performer of the action with the preposition "by". This caused many people to think that "by the one Spirit" in 1 Corinthians 12:13 was one baptism and in the old King James in the gospel passages it translated the same Greek phrase with the English phrase "with the Spirit." 

 

So they went, "Ah! We've got two different baptisms. We have one by the Spirit and one with the Spirit." 

 

Everybody gets the "by the Spirit" when they are saved and "with the Spirit" later on. Then they start speaking in tongues. But they didn't look at the Greek.  The Greek uses the same language all the way through. 

 

So now let's go back and pull all of this together. In 1 Corinthians 10:2 we have a different baptism. This is a baptism with Moses. (I am going to this verse just to show you how the template works.)

 

NKJ 1 Corinthians 10:2 all were

 

All being the Jews.

 

baptized

 

They received the action of baptism.

 

into Moses

 

There is that eis preposition indicating they were being identified with Moses. 

 

in the cloud and in the sea,

 

By means of the cloud and by means of the sea. The cloud was the Shekinah Glory that during the day it was a pillar of cloud and at night it was a pillar of fire. It was the Lord leading them through the wilderness and across and through the Red Sea. That's the reference to the sea. So when the Jews followed Moses across the Red Sea (Moses was not Charlton Heston), they were identifying with him and with his faith. So that brought a unity to the Jewish nation.

 

Now let me go back review this in terms of English. When we have a sentence that reads:

 

John hit the ball with (or by) means of the bat.

 

what we are saying that John is the subject. He performs the action of hitting. The object is the ball and the instrument is the bat. 

 

But if we switch it around to the passive verb we will say:

 

The ball was hit by John with the bat.

 

The "by" preposition in the English indicates the one who performs the action. So it can become a bit confusing. Now in Greek they make it real clear what the instrument is. The instrument is going to be expressed by the Greek preposition en over here. To express the performer of the action of a passive construction the Greek is going to use either the preposition hupo or dia. It's very clear. So the Greek makes it very clear. Sometimes the Greek doesn't make it clear. Trust me. But, here it does. 

 

What we have in all these passages is the same pattern that you have with John's original statement. You have the one who performs the action of baptism, the instrument that is used and the ultimate state. 

 

So that is compared to Jesus who uses the Holy Spirit to enter us into a new state. It's not stated in Matthew 3:11. Jesus isn't stated – actually the one who performs the action isn't stated in 1 Corinthians 10:2. The cloud and the sea are mentioned. Moses, the new state is mentioned.

 

Now when we get to I Corinthians 12:13, it doesn't tell us who performs the baptism. But who performs the baptism if you are consistent with everything John said? Jesus performs the baptism. He uses the Holy Spirit just as John used the water to identify us with Himself. So the Holy Spirit is analogous to water. It is a cleansing aspect of that ministry. So the baptism by means of the spirit positionally cleanses us from all sin. You can certainly see how this overlaps with and relates to the fact that we received the imputed righteousness of Christ and the aspect of regeneration – that we are made a new creature in Christ. So what happens at the instant of salvation when you are trusting Christ as your Savior is that you get identified with Christ. 

 

Galatians 3:27-28 says: 

 

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

 

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.

 

That is the picture of righteousness in cleansing that is ours.

 

Titus 3:5 says

 

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,

 

So you have that same imagery that follows all of these phrases through all the way through Scripture to help us understand the tremendous things, the dynamics of our salvation making us a new creature in Christ. We have been identified with Him. It's His righteousness. We are positionally cleansed.  There is nothing we can do to lose that salvation. So we define the baptism by means of the Holy Spirit as 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 His own death, burial, and resurrection so that we enter into a new life. We have become a new creature in Christ. We have new assets, new blessings, new privileges, and new position because we are in Christ. 

 

Now it has always been one of my favorite diagrams because it always made good sense. It's amazing how many people never understand this principle that when the Bible talks about salvation it talks about two different realities that are ours. One the left side of the screen we picture the eternal reality that is ours at the instant of salvation. When we trust in Christ as savior we're baptized by the Holy Spirit and we're placed in Christ in the light. That's why it's a white circle against a dark background. We are also indwelt by the Holy Spirit. But at the same time in terms of our temporal experience we are filled by the Spirit we begin walking by the Spirit but we can still sin. When we sin we are out of fellowship. We're no longer walking by the Spirit. We're no longer walking in the light. We're still positionally clean. We're positionally in Christ. But experientially we're out of fellowship. The sin nature is in control. Then when we confess our sin then we're back in fellowship and we're back under the control of the Holy Spirit and the influence of the Holy Spirit as He uses His word in our lives. 

 

So this concludes our little study of eternal security. 

 

So let's go back to Hebrews 7. 

 

NKJ Hebrews 7:25 Therefore He is also able.

 

Why?  Because there is this master plan of salvation that was set forth in eternity past and it handled every possibility – every exigency. There is nothing left out. 

 

to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them

 

Because He is eternally and because He will live eternally He will eternally secure our salvation. He always lives to make intercession for them.

 

NKJ Hebrews 7:26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us,

 

Verses 26 to 28 is going to summarize what He is doing.

 

Then it describes Him.

who is holy,

 

That means hagios is the Greek word meaning set apart. He is set apart. He is distinct. He is unique. 

 

harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;

 

That verse takes us back to the ascension. He is unique. He is distinct. He is separate from sinners. He is at the Father's right hand. 

 

This next qualification (He is summarizing what we have studied so far) who does not need daily as those high priests to offer up sacrifices. Levitical priests needed to always have a sacrifice for themselves when they went to the Temple. Not only did they have to offer a sacrifice for themselves. They had to get cleansed first. Then anyone who came to worship God had to be cleansed. So they had an inadequate priesthood.

 

But Christ is not.

 

NKJ Hebrews 7:27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people's, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

 

The key word there is the word "for" because that indicates substitution in the Greek. It indicates that He did it for or in place of the lost sinner. He did it once, for all. It can't be repeated. He did it. It was a sufficient death. He paid the price for every sin. He did it once for all when He offered up Himself.  Then, the conclusion in verse 28.

 

NKJ Hebrews 7:28 For the law

 

The Law there being the Mosaic Law.

appoints as high priests men who have weakness,

 

Those who entered the human priesthood under the Mosaic Law were sinners.

but the word of the oath,

 

Now what's the word of the oath? That's the word that we heard mentioned back in verse 21, the quote from Psalm 110:4.

 

NKJ Psalm 110:4 The LORD has sworn

 

He has made an oath.

 

And will not relent,"

 

You being a reference to Jesus Christ. 

 

You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek."

 

So there was a covenant that was the basis for the Levitical priesthood. But, that doesn't establish Christ's priesthood. That's established by a second act, this legal oath. Remember I made the point that everything that God does is wrapped up in this legality. That becomes a pattern for human law. 

 

NKJ Hebrews 7:28  which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.

 

That takes us back to verse 10 of chapter 2. 

 

NKJ Hebrews 2:10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory,

 

That is the plan of the Father.

to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

 

So He is made complete through His life on the earth. Therefore He can be our pioneer. He is the forerunner, the pathfinder. He is the one who set the precedent for the spiritual life of the Church Age and He did that in His high priestly ministry. So now in the Church Age every believer is a priest so we are to follow His pattern. 

 

That takes us up to the end of chapter 7. Next time we will start into chapter 8 where we start making the transition from His high priesthood. We are going to deal with again there is an allusion to Psalm 110 and 8:1 reference to the session of Christ at the right hand of the Father and what He is doing. It's a short chapter, 13 verses, and it focuses on the New Covenant. So we get into this whole thing about the significance of the New Covenant. I have already been asked one question related to whether there was one New Covenant or two New Covenants. You've probably heard both before so we will straighten that out. There's only one New Covenant and that's between God and the house of Israel and the house of Judah.

 

Okay. Let's bow our heads in closing prayer.

 

Illustrations