Meditation

Today’s Meditation is dedicated to my granddaughter, Happy Birthday, Emma

Meditation for 10/29/2019

“Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius so no one can say that you were baptized into my my name. Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanus; beyond that , I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else. For Christ did not sent me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” (1st Corinthians10:13-17)

The church members in Corinth were splitting into factions and claiming Paul, or Cephas, or Apollos, or even Christ as their leader. In so doing they were actually trying to divide the body of Christ. Paul appealed to the fact that all of them had been baptized in the name of Christ to demonstrate their unity. The name pronounced over them in baptism meant that they belonged to Jesus, not to some earthly leader.

In a shocking moment, Paul expressed thanks that he did not baptize many of them lest they use this to claim a special status of being in Paul’s party. Paul even declared that Christ did not send him to baptize but to preach the gospel. Paul did baptize and approved baptism, but only as a secondary step. The primary importance belonged to preaching and believing the gospel of Jesus Christ, because, without that, baptism would be meaningless. Clear?

PRAYER FOR THE DAY:

Precious Abba, sometimes the churches kind of “lose their way” when it comes to the importance of and the meaning behind baptism. Paul was being pulled from one side to the other and he made it clear that he was called to preach the gospel and to believe in it. This left the splintering factions without any grounds to pursue their paths. Abba, You have given us the Holy Spirit for guidance, wisdom, and direction. Now help us to take the advice and learn to not follow man, but to follow Your Word, which keeps us in Your will and not our own. Amen

THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

There is no reward from God, to those who seek it from men.

KNOWING GOD:

“’You don’t know what yo are asking.’ Jesus said, ‘Can you drink the cup I drink for be baptized I am baptized with?’ ‘We can,’ they answered. Jesus said to them, ‘You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.’” (Mark10:3840)

To baptize (Greek – baptizo) can mean to drown or overwhelm as in a flood. It is clear that Jesus used this word as a metaphor for the suffering and death which would coon “overwhelm” Him on the cross. The “cup” is also the symbol of bitter dregs of suffering. In mentioning baptism and the cup, Jesus connected both of the later Christian ordinances with His death.

I AM:

Ordinances, Baptism as New Life: (John3:3-5)

The words “born of water and the Spirit” have been a battleground of interpretation. Bible students have seen 1) John’s baptism and interpretation; 2) baptism and Pentecost; 3) a demand for humble submission by a Jewish leader to water baptism before expecting to receive God’s Spirit; 4) reception of Christ’s word or teaching as well as the Spirit; and 5) spiritual cleansing and the Spirit’s power. The immediate context compels us to see the primary contrast between the physical birth (which Nicodemus asked about and the new birth for birth from above which Jesus said is essential in order to see the kingdom of God. The main point is abundantly clear: physical birth is not enough; one must be born again spiritually to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Second Thought of the Day:

“They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.” (1st Corinthians 10:2)

Baptism pictures the great redemptive act of God in the Old Testament was the Exodus and the crossing of he Red Sea. This event was seen by Christians as a preview of the New Passover and the new covenant which would come in Jesus. Paul drew the parallel between cross of the Red Sea and Christian baptism. The “cloud” was the cloud of God’s glory, representing the divine presence that surrounded them as the waters of baptism surround the Christian believer.

Passing through the sea was like passing through the waters of baptism to the new life in Christ. God has one plan of redemption. What the people of the old covenant experienced in the Exodus was pointing to the fulfillment in Jesus Christ, the new Exodus, who sealed the new covenant with His death and resurrection.

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