Today's Foundations Devotional: A double baptism

===========================================================

Memory verse:

By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing

through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned.

(Hebrews 11:29)

===========================================================

Yesterday we began to look at the history of the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, as a pattern for us. We saw the role of Moses, and the Passover lamb. Paul describes the next two stages in Israel’s deliverance out of Egypt.

Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptised into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ (1 Cor. 10:1-4).

Just a little further on in the same chapter Paul relates these experiences of Israel in the Old Testament to corresponding experiences of Christians in the New Testament.

Now these things became our examples (1 Cor. 10:6).

Now all these things happened to them as examples [as types or patterns of behaviour], and they were written for our admonition [that is, to instruct and warn us], on whom the ends of the ages have come [that is, for us who now live in the closing dispensation of the present age] (1 Cor. 10:11).

In other words, Paul says these experiences of Israel in the Old Testament are not merely interesting historical events in the past, but they also contain an urgent and important message for us as Christians in this age. They are specially recorded, by divine direction, as patterns of behaviour which God intends to be carefully followed by all Christian believers in this dispensation.

With this in mind, let us consider carefully just what examples or lessons Paul sets before us in the first four verses of the chapter.

First of all we notice the very short but important word all occurs no less than five times. Paul says:

All our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptised into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink (1 Cor. 10:1-4).

Clearly, Paul is emphasising that all these examples or patterns are to be followed by all God’s believing people. God does not leave room for any exceptions. These things are for all His people.

What are the particular patterns to which Paul refers?

There are four successive experiences:

1) all were under the cloud

2) all passed through the sea

3) all ate the same spiritual food

4) all drank the same spiritual drink

Just how do these four patterns relate to the experience of believers in this dispensation? What is their lesson for us as Christians today? We notice, first of all, that these four experiences naturally fall into two distinct pairs. The first two – passing under the cloud and through the sea – were single experiences that occurred only once. The second two – eating and drinking spiritual food and drink – were continuing experiences that were regularly repeated over a long period of time.

Let us begin with the first pair of experiences – those that took place only once: passing under the cloud and through the sea. The key to understanding these is provided by a distinctive phrase which Paul uses in connection with them. He says: “All were baptised into Moses in the cloud and in the sea” (v. 2). Plainly, therefore, these two experiences correspond to two forms of baptism, both of which God has ordained for all Christians in this dispensation.

Tomorrow we will examine the details of these two experiences of Israel, and we shall see just how appropriate each of them is as a pattern of the corresponding experience for Christians today.

========================================================

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You that in my journey through the desert

of my existence here on Earth I may be guided daily by the cloud

of Your Spirit and that my 'passage' through the water of baptism

assures me of my identity as part of Your people and my journey

to the land promised by You! Amen.

========================================================

Leave a comment

Name

Email address

This is never shown to the public.

Comment