Meditation

Meditation for 10/28/2019

“To make her holy, cleansing, her by the washing with water through the word.” (Ephesians5:26)

Just husbands took a public vow to be faithful to their wives, setting them apart from their relation to all others (“setting apart” is the root meaning of the word “holy”), so Christians are “set apart” by Christ, through the public act of baptism to be His faithful bride. The metaphor of marriage is used as a powerful illustration of the covenant relationship of God to His people from the time of the Old Testament prophets right on through the New Testament.

“Washing with water through the word” is clearly a reference to baptism, but it is not the literal washing with water that cleanses and sets apart the Christian. It is “through the word,” the convicting, cleansing power of the Word of God (made flesh in Jesus Christ and written in the Bible), that we are saved and sanctified (made holy) as the bride of Christ.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY:

Precious Abba, it is through Your power and Your Word, that we received not only the cleansing of our body and souls, that we become the faithful bride of Christ. This is a public act to reflect an inward feeling and commitment to serve You now and to the end of time on this earth. It is an honor for us to serve Your will, to take Your Word out into the world we live in, and to be ready at all times to greet all with the good news of salvation through Christ Jesus. This we pray in His holy name. Amen

THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

Those who put God first will be happy at last!

KNOWING GOD:

“He saved us not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,” (Titus3:5)

The “washing of rebirth” and the renewal by the Holy Spirit connects new birth and the Spirit in the same way they are connected in John 2:5. Baptism does not literally wash away sins, but baptism would have no meaning if the Holy Spirit did not bring about a new birth and a renewal of the life of the Christian believer. Baptism must declare outwardly and visibly this inward and spiritual rebirth. Even the Jewish proselyte baptismal formula spoke of one coming from the baptismal waters as a “newborn babe.” The Christians proclaimed that the Holy Spirit brought about this new birth. They confessed it publicly through baptism.

I AM:

Ordinances, Baptism as Cleansing: (Hebrews6:2)

Because the writer used the plural baptisms and also used the general Greek word for washing (baptismos) rather than the special word for Christian baptism (baptism), he was probably including the other ritual washings which these people had received or were arguing about. There were, after all, John’s baptism, Jewish proselyte baptisms. Levitical washings for religious ceremonies, and numerous ritual baptisms in the mystery religions monies, and numerous ritual baptisms in the mystery religions being practiced at that time. The teaching is that we musts get beyond thee elementary debates and press on toward maturity. All the “washings” in the world will not suffice if we do not grow toward maturity in Christ. There is only one baptism in the authority and mane of Christ. It does not need to be repeated if it is properly performed upon a genuine believer. It is only the beginning of the Christian journey; one must go on toward maturity in Christ.

Second Thought of the Day:

“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:22)

All of Hebrews uses he worship practices of the Old Testament as a picture of Christian life and worship. The priests ha to be washed with pure water before they exercised their religious duties. Christians are all priests and ministers of God. Baptism is similar to the washing of the Levitical priests in that it publicly symbolizes cleansing and dedication for service.

Having their “hearts sprinkled” and their bodies “washed” is a parallelism such as we have throughout the Bible, showing that both the inward cleansing (heart) and the outward washing (of the body) must take place in valid Christian baptism.

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