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Cucumbers and Pickles

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Matt 3:11    “I • baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
Mark 1:8    I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Luke 3:16    John answered them all, saying, “I • baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals • I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.


Acts 1:37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”


Term generally meaning “to dip” or “immerse,” but representing a group of words employed to signify a religious rite for ritual cleansing

Old Testament Ritual.

Ablution—ceremonial cleansing by water and/or blood—was an important part of the levitical system. The following aspects might be noted:

·         Priests (Ex 29:21; Lv 8:6) were washed and Levites (Nm 8:6–13) were sprinkled with water when initiated into their sacred offices.

·         The priests ceremonially washed their hands and feet in the bronze laver before performing the sacrifices (Ex 30:17–21).

·         The high priest on the Day of Atonement had to bathe himself and clothe himself with “holy garments,” sprinkle the mercy seat with the blood of a bull offered for himself and his “house,” and then sprinkle it again with the blood of a goat offered for the people; finally, he had to shed his clothes and wash himself again after performing the ritual (Lv 16:1–28).

·         Vessels, clothes, and people which had been defiled by contact with something considered unclean had to be washed in pure water (Lv 11:24–40).

·         The ashes of a red heifer were mixed with water and then sprinkled to purify one who had contact with a corpse (Nm 19:11–22).

·         Both sprinkling and bathing were elements of the ritual for leprosy (Lv 13, 14).

·         After intercourse, menstruation, or birth a ritual bathing must occur (Lv 12, 15). Of course, there are significant differences between the ancient rites and the sacrament in the early church. The latter practice was once-for-all rather than continual, a radical cleansing rather than a temporary measure. However, a new baptism is promised in prophetic passages (Ez 36:25; Zec 13:1).


Qumran Lustrations. Qumran was the Dead Sea community of the sect of the Essenes. It originated about 100 b.c. from the priestly ranks and so stressed ritual and cultic cleansing.

Proselyte Baptism. Converts from pagan religions were admitted to Judaism only after fulfilling certain obligations, which included the study of the Torah, circumcision, and a ritual bath to wash away the impurities of the gentile background.

The Mystery Religions. There were many types of ceremonial washings in pagan religions.

The New Testament Development.

The Baptism of John. John preached a “baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Lk 3:3).

The genesis of his baptism may be found in the prophetic acted parable, which not only symbolized God’s message but also intended to bring it about. John’s practice had several theological ramifications:

(1) It was intimately connected with radical repentance, not only of the Gentile but astoundingly (to his contemporaries) also of the Jew.

(2) It was eschatological at the core, preparing for the Messiah, who would baptize “with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Mt 3:11), and therefore looked to the final separation between God’s people and the wicked at the Eschaton (i.e., “the End,” cf. Mt 3:12).

(3) It symbolized moral purification and so prepared the people for the coming kingdom (Mt 3:2; Lk 3:7–14). In spite of the obvious connection between John’s ceremony and the early church, we cannot posit absolute dependence. In fact, it disappeared from Jesus ministry.

At first, Jesus allowed his disciples to continue the rite (Jn 3:22), but later he seemingly discontinued the practice (Jn 4:1–3), probably for the following reasons:


(1) John’s message was functional, while Jesus’ was personal/ontological.

(2) John’s was forward-looking, expecting the coming kingdom, while Jesus’ was backward-looking, celebrating that event. (3) John’s was an interim practice, while Jesus’ was sacramental. Jesus’ ministry fulfilled John’s, so he severed himself from the latter’s modus operandi.


The Baptism of Jesus. This event has its genesis in a complex interplay of motives, divine and human, within the messianic consciousness of Jesus (see Mk 1:9–11 and parallels). Jesus’ Resurrection Command. Here we find the true basis of the church’s practice (Mt 28:19). As already stated, the disciples stopped employing it, so it is here that we see the institution reconstituted as an ordinance based on the death and resurrection of Christ.

Baptism in the Early Church. Acts 2:38 shows that baptism was a sacral institution from the very beginning. This takes it back to the earliest days of the church. In the primitive church it was an important part of the salvation process (Acts 2:38, “repent and be baptized”) and was accomplished via confession and prayer “in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 2:38; 8:16; 10:48; 19:5). Probably there was a question-and-answer period in which the believer confessed his faith and dedicated himself to Christ. The result was reception into and identification with the messianic community of the new covenant, signifying both forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; 5:31; 10:43; 13:38; 26:18) and the reception of the Holy Spirit (Lk 3:16; Acts 2:38, 41; 9:17; 10:47, 48; 11:16, 17; 19:5–7).


The Baptismal Creeds. A great deal of recent discussion has centered on the presence of credal material in the NT and its life-situation setting within the cultic worship of the church, especially in the eucharistic and baptismal rites. The baptismal service emphasized “confession,” and so many of the credal confessions in the NT (e.g., Rom 10:9, 10; 1 Tm 6:12, 13; possibly Phil 2:6–11; Eph 4:4–6; Col 1:13–20) may have developed in the baptismal liturgy.



bap•tize also bap•tise \bap-ˈtīz, ˈbap-ˌ, esp Southern bab- or ˈbab-\ vb

bap•tized also bap•tised; bap•tiz•ing also bap•tis•ing [ME, fr. AF baptiser, fr. LL baptizare, fr. Gk baptizein to dip, baptize, fr. baptein to dip, dye; akin to ON kvefja to quench] vt 13c

1           to administer baptism to

     a      to purify or cleanse spiritually esp. by a purging experience or ordeal

     b      initiate

3           to give a name to (as at baptism) christen vi to administer baptism — bap•tiz•er

908 βάπτισμα [baptisma /bap·tis·mah/] n n. From 907; TDNT 1:545; TDNTA 92; GK 967; 22 occurrences; AV translates as “baptism” 22 times. 1 immersion, submersion. 1a of calamities and afflictions with which one is quite overwhelmed. 1b of John’s baptism, that purification rite


907 βαπτίζω [baptizo /bap·tid·zo/] verb. From a derivative of 911; TDNT 1:529; TDNTA 92; GK 966; 80 occurrences; AV translates as “baptize” 76 times, “wash” twice, “baptist” once, and “baptized + 2258” once. 1 to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk). 2 to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water, to wash one’s self, bathe. 3 to overwhelm. Additional Information: Not to be confused with 911, bapto. The clearest example that shows the meaning of baptizo is a text from the Greek poet and physician Nicander, who lived about 200 B.C. It is a recipe for making pickles and is helpful because it uses both words. Nicander says that in order to make a pickle, the vegetable should first be ‘dipped’ (bapto) into boiling water and then ‘baptised’ (baptizo) in the vinegar solution. Both verbs concern the immersing of vegetables in a solution. But the first is temporary. The second, the act of baptising the vegetable, produces a permanent change.When used in the New Testament, this word more often refers to our union and identification with Christ than to our water baptism. e.g. Mark 16:16. ‘He that believes and is baptised shall be saved’. Christ is saying that mere intellectual assent is not enough. There must be a union with him, a real change, like the vegetable to the pickle! Bible Study Magazine, James Montgomery Boice, May 1989.

(3:11) Baptism— Jesus and John: the word baptism (baptisei PWS: 266) means to dip, to immerse, to submerge, to place into. John's baptism was with water, but Jesus' baptism was "in [en] the Spirit and fire."

1.  John's baptism was both a preparation and a symbol of the spiritual baptism that Jesus was to bring. John's water baptism meant two things.

a.  It symbolized cleansing from all sin. A person was being prepared for the cleansing that Christ would provide.

b.  It symbolized separation or dedication. A person was setting his life apart to God in a renewed spirit of dedication. He was committing himself to the Christ about whom John was preaching.

Note: John's baptism is called "the baptism of repentance"; that is, the person who repented was baptized. There could be no question; it was understood: if a person repented and actually turned to the Lord, he was baptized.

2.  Jesus' spiritual baptism was a double baptism. (Only one preposition is used in the Greek for "the Spirit and fire," the preposition "in.")

a.  Jesus baptizes the person in the Spirit. He dips, immerses, and places the person in the Spirit. Whereas the person was carnal and materialistic minded, he now becomes spiritual minded (Romans 8:5-7). The Jews had looked and longed for the day when the Spirit would come. The prophets had predicted His coming time and again. Therefore, the people knew exactly what John was predicting. The Spirit was expected to awaken and excite the people to such a degree that they would mobilize behind the Messiah and follow Him in the overthrow of all oppressors. The Spirit was to lead the people in freeing Israel and establishing it as one of the greatest nations on earth.

Ezekiel 36:26-27 (NIV)
26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

Ezekiel 37:14 (NIV)
14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.'"

Ezekiel 39:29 (NIV)
29 I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD."

Isaiah 44:3 (NIV)
3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.

Joel 2:28 (NIV)
28 'And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.

b.  Jesus baptizes the person in fire. Fire has several functions that graphically symbolize the work of Christ. It illuminates, warms, melts, burns, and utterly destroys. The difference between baptism with water and fire is the difference between an outward work and an inward work. Water only cleanses the outside; fire purifies within, that is, the heart. Jesus Christ separates a person from his former life and purifies him within by the fire of His Spirit. It should be noted that in John's mind the "baptism of fire" meant that the Messiah was to destroy the enemies of Israel. It was "the messianic fire of judgment" that was to come from the throne of David.

 Baptism in the Spirit is, What the

What the Baptism in the Spirit is

The Spirit-baptism is the immersion or burial of the believer in the Spirit which time he receives the Spirit in his life in all "fulness" and "without measure" and is "endued with power from on high" to do the works of Christ (Luke 24:49; John 7:37-39; 14:12-17; Acts 1:4-8; 3:6; 5:12-16; 19:11; Mark 16:16-20; Heb. 2:3-4; etc.). It is the same full anointing of the Spirit that Christ received (Isa. 11:1-2; 42:1-7; 61:1; Matt. 11:4-6; 12:18; 20:22-23; Luke 4:16-21; John 3:34; 14:12; Acts 10:38).

Luke 24:49 (NIV)
49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."

John 7:37-39 (NIV)
37 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.
38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."
39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

Acts 1:4-8 (NIV)
4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.
5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
6 So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"
7 He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Acts 3:6 (NIV)
6 Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."

Acts 5:12-16 (NIV)
12 The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon's Colonnade.
13 No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people.
14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.
15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter's shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by.
16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed.

Mark 16:16-20 (NIV)
16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."
19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.
20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

Isaiah 42:1-7 (NIV)
1 "Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations.
2 He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets.
3 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
4 he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope."
5 This is what God the LORD says-- he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it:
6 "I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles,
7 to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

Isaiah 61:1 (NIV)
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,

John 3:34 (NIV)
34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.

It is the Spirit coming in, upon, filling, overwhelming, infusing, anointing, and enduing

with full power, and not with just a "measure" as in the Old Testament days. It is the Spirit taking full possession of the believer to live, speak, and work through him in the

same degree that was manifested through Christ and the apostles. It is the fulness of what men had in part before Pentecost.

Matt 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them ina the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”



cf. compare

e.g. for example

n n: noun or neuter

TDNT Theological Dictionary of the New Testament

TDNTA Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Abridged in One Volume

GK Goodrick-Kohlenberger

AV Authorized Version

TDNT Theological Dictionary of the New Testament

TDNTA Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Abridged in One Volume

GK Goodrick-Kohlenberger

AV Authorized Version

a Or into; see Acts 8:16; 19:5; Romans 6:3; 1 Cor. 1:13; 10:2 and Gal. 3:27.

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