Baptism and a New Identity
"Purification Unto Sanctification"
By Patie Kwik.
There are many kinds of baptisms in the Bible and yet when we hear the word "baptism" we automatically think of water baptism. I think this is due to the fact that in the gospel accounts we see the ministry of John the Baptist and that his ministry was that of water baptism. But, John, himself, mentioned more than one baptism; he spoke of a water baptism, a baptism with the Holy Spirit and a baptism of fire. Only one of these refers to water. In general, all baptisms are purification unto sanctification and a new identification.
(Rom 6:1-3) What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3 do you not know, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
A part of our sanctification in Christ is that we are dead to sin. How do we become dead to sin? We are dead to sin by being baptized into Jesus Christ, baptized into His death. This is the means through which we receive our new identity in Christ.
(1 Cor 12:12-13) For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the one that baptizes and the result of this baptism is a new identity.
(Gal 3:26-28) For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
When we are baptized into Christ, we are given a new identity; we put on Christ.
In the flesh we are identified as:
When we are baptized into Christ, we lose our fleshly identity. When God looks at us now He no longer sees Jew or Gentile, bond or free, male or female, He sees Christ. With this baptism into Christ, we all receive the same identification as being in Christ.
(Col 2:11-12) In whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also you are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
This baptism is accomplished through the faith of the operation of God not through the operation of man. It is God the Holy Spirit that does the baptizing. It is through this baptism by the Spirit that we obtain our new identity; we are cleansed from all that we were in Adam and are given a new identification in Christ.
(Col 2:20-22) Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
Since we are dead with Christ to the elementary things of the world: circumcision, water baptism, days, things that pertain to the law, and such things that are after the commandments and doctrines of men. Why would we continue to be subject to those ordinances?
Baptism: purification unto sanction and a new identity
The issue of water baptism is purification, something which those of the nation of Israel understood the significance.
(John 3:23-25) And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. 24 For John was not yet cast into prison. 25 Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying.
As John was baptizing, some of his disciples and the Jews began to question the act of purifying. Water baptisms were a part of the elementary things of the world under the law program. Washings were a teaching aid that gave a visible, tangible, object lesson in connection with the need of God Himself to perform a washing of the inside of a person that produces a sanctification and a new identification. Perhaps this is where so many get the idea that water baptism is a symbol as an outward expression of what has happened to us on the inside (in the spirit).
John's disciples and the Jews understood from the law what was to take place in connection with washing from defilement, that a separation needed to take place. In Numbers 9, the water is called water of separation.
(Num 19:9) And a man that is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and lay them up without the camp in a clean place, and it shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for a "water of separation": it is a purification for sin.
(Num 19:13) Whosoever toucheth the dead body of any man that is dead, and purifieth not himself, defileth the tabernacle of the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from Israel: because the "water of separation" was not sprinkled upon him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is yet upon him.
(Num 19:20-21) But the man that shall be unclean, and shall not purify himself, that soul shall be cut off from among the congregation, because he hath defiled the sanctuary of the LORD: the "water of separation" hath not been sprinkled upon him; he is unclean. 21 And it shall be a perpetual statute unto them, that he that sprinkleth the "water of separation" shall wash his clothes; and he that toucheth the "water of separation" shall be unclean until even.
The water was called the water of separation, or sanctification and it was a purification for sin.
(Heb 9:9-14) Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; 10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. 11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
The divers washing (baptisms) cleansed from a known defilement. This was a picture or a type of the need for God to perform a baptism that would provide purification unto sanctification and a new identity, from unclean to purified. Verse 10 says that divers washings were imposed on them until the time of reformation. Baptism served its purpose for a time, but now, how much more shall the blood of Christ cleanse us from sin.
Today, in this dispensation of grace, we are baptized into Christ and purified (cleansed of all that we were in Adam), sanctified (set apart to no longer serve sin but God) and are given a new identification in Christ.