House Church Talk - Baptisms and Administrations

Ross J Purdy rossjpurdy at
Mon Feb 2 17:00:01 EST 2004

> So regarding the baptism of Romans 6:3, it is the purpose of the baptism
> the spirit to unite believers with Christ as their Head.  But the baptism
> verse 4 is a different baptism! The word " indicates that the first (v3)
> the reason for the second (v.4).  So baptism of believers in water is the
> acknowledgment of the believer of what God has said and done regarding
> death, burial and resurrection with Christ. I Peter 3:21 says that baptism
> is the answer (acknowledgement) of a good conscience toward God."
> is not primarily a demonstration to men who observe but primarily an
> acknowledgement of the believer to God!

You have introduced a second baptism in Rom 6 which is in direct
contradiction to the ONE baptism of Eph 4:5! Big problem! John the Baptist
preached baptism for the forgiveness of sins as did Peter in Acts (Mark 1:4;
Acts 2:38). Why doesn't Paul preach that in Rom 6? Instead, he preaches a
baptism of blood that unites us with the death, burial, and resurrection of
Christ. Apollos preached only the baptism of John until he was corrected by
Priscilla and Aquila in Acts 18, then in Acts 19, there are some of John's
disciples who had not heard of the baptism with the HS and were then
baptized (not again with water) with the HS.

I believe Hebrews was written to explain the full significance of Christ's
work to the Jews/Hebrews in light of the New Covenant, as well as, the
putting aside of the Davidic Kingdom program for a time since they were
expecting it and it had not appeared yet. Here in chapter 6, there is the
instuction to leave behind such as the teaching of baptisms. Now, this does
not mean to abandon but to move beyond and build upon such a foundation.
Also note that it speaks to those who experienced the HS but it is suggested
that they could backslide! How could that be unless the manifestation of the
HS was no longer evident in the way they had been used to having Him work in

The 11 Jewish apostles had a strong commission to baptize and yet Paul said
he was not commissioned to baptize. Obviously, we need to draw some
distinctions in their ministries. The lack of water baptism is an obvious
distinction. The Jewish apostles preached water baptism for the forgiveness
of sins, while Paul preached something else:

Eph 1:6-7 WEB to the praise of the glory of his grace, by which he freely
bestowed favor on us in the Beloved, (7) in whom we have our redemption
through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the
riches of his grace,

Blood, not water.

Col 1:13-14 WEB who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and
translated us into the Kingdom of the Son of his love; (14) in whom we have
our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins;

Blood, not water.

Rom 3:24-25 WEB being justified freely by his grace through the redemption
that is in Christ Jesus; (25) whom God set forth to be an atoning sacrifice,
through faith in his blood, for a demonstration of his righteousness through
the passing over of prior sins, in God's forbearance;

Blood, not water.

Can we allow for two baptisms when Paul says ONE? Where does it say we must
add some demonstration baptism to the work of God when we are now made
righteous apart from the works of the Law. To water baptize seems like
disdaining God's grace to go back under the requirements of the Law. Is such
binding on us?

For Israel, yes:

1Pe 2:5 WEB You also, as living stones, are built up as a spiritual house,
to be a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God
through Jesus Christ.

1Pe 2:9 WEB But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a
people for God's own possession, that you may show forth the excellencies of
him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:

(Remember that 1 Peter is adressed to the Jewish dispersion and not to

Exo 19:5-6 WEB Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice, and keep my
covenant, then you shall be my own possession from among all peoples; for
all the earth is mine; (6) and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests, and
a holy nation.' These are the words which you shall speak to the children of

Exo 29:1 WEB "This is the thing that you shall do to them to make them holy,
to minister to me in the priest's office: take one young bull and two rams
without blemish,

Exo 29:4 WEB You shall bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the tent of
meeting, and shall wash them with water.

Water baptism is part of the old Jewish dispensation in preparation for
priesthood. After Paul's special commission in Acts 13 to the Gentiles and
then moving on to see the results of his council with the Jerusalem apostles
and elders of the circumcision:

Act 15:7-11 WEB When there had been much discussion, Peter rose up and said
to them, "Brothers, you know that a good while ago God made choice among
you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel, and
believe. (8) God, who knows the heart, testified about them, giving them the
Holy Spirit, just like he did to us. (9) He made no distinction between us
and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. (10) Now therefore why do you
tempt God, that you should put a yoke on the neck of the disciples which
neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? (11) But we believe that we
are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they are."

Act 15:19-20 WEB "Therefore my judgment is that we don't trouble those from
among the Gentiles who turn to God, (20) but that we write to them that they
abstain from the pollution of idols, from sexual immorality, from what is
strangled, and from blood.

Act 15:24 WEB Because we have heard that some who went out from us have
troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, 'You must be
circumcised and keep the law,' to whom we gave no commandment;

Act 15:28-29 WEB For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay no
greater burden on you than these necessary things: (29) that you abstain
from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from
sexual immorality, from which if you keep yourselves, it will be well with
you. Farewell."

Act 21:25-26 WEB But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written
our decision that they should observe no such thing, except that they should
keep themselves from food offered to idols, from blood, from strangled
things, and from sexual immorality." (26) Then Paul took the men, and the
next day, purified himself and went with them into the temple, declaring the
fulfillment of the days of purification, until the offering was offered for
every one of them.

Even though Paul baptized himself for purification, the Gentiles did not
have to observe any such rituals and demonstrations of the Law!

In Christ,

Ross Purdy

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