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More Objections to Dipping
Purpose of Baptism - Water Baptism Illustrates the Baptism of the Holy Spirit
What Christ did in His death, burial, and resurrection, the Holy Spirit lays to our account by reason of our being mersed, merged, united, and engrafted in Him through the baptism. Water baptism drives home this change of condition or union that the believer has with Christ.
“Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:3-4
“… and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” Colossians 2:11-12
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Purpose of Baptism - Rich and Diversified
It is remarkable that of all that is said of baptism in the New Testament, little is said about its meaning or purpose. Yet, no one seemed to be surprised about its necessity or considered it a novelty. Why is this? Because baptism was so commonly practiced in the Old Testament, little had to be said about something everyone clearly understood. To the typical Jew of the day, an act of baptism was an act of purification and consecration. They simply kept on doing what they had always done in such situations. No special or new instructions were needed to do this. The old instructions worked just fine. Let us summarize. What is the meaning or purpose of New Testament baptism? Why is a person baptized? There are five clear purposes for Christian baptism. Those are:
Purpose of Baptism - Baptism Is a Rite of Purification
The meaning or purpose of Old Testament baptism was a change of condition that produced ritual cleansing or purification. Purification continues to be illustrated in Christian baptism. Water baptism, therefore, symbolizes an inner cleansing by God of the heart.
“Then for the unclean person they shall take some of the ashes of the burnt purification from sin and flowing water shall be added to them in a vessel. And a clean person shall take hyssop and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it….” Numbers 19:17-18 (Hebrews 9:13)
“And John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water (many springs) there; and they were coming and were being baptized. For John had not yet been thrown into prison. There arose therefore a discussion on the part of John’s disciples with a Jew about purification. And they came to John and said to him, ‘Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have borne witness, behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him.’” John 3:23-26
“Anyone who touches a corpse, the body of a man who has died, and does not purify himself, defiles the tabernacle of the Lord; and that person shall be cut off from Israel. Because the water for impurity was not sprinkled on him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is still on him.” Numbers 9:13
“To cleanse the house then, he shall take two birds and cedar wood and a scarlet string and hyssop, and he shall slaughter the one bird in an earthenware vessel over running water. Then he shall take the cedar wood and the hyssop and the scarlet string, with the live bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird, as well as in the running water, and sprinkle the house seven times.” Leviticus 14:49-51
“Again the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Take the Levites from among the sons of Israel and cleanse them. And thus you shall do to them, for their cleansing: sprinkle purifying water on them, and let them use a razor over their whole body, and wash their clothes, and they shall be clean.’” Numbers 8:7
There is no rite of purification that is depicted as a dipping in all of Scripture. Purifications were only performed by sprinkling in the Old Testament.