Colossians

part 15


 

Second  danger & answer

5d(i)  Baptised into Christ (4)

Type i.  Creation: God commanded the light to shine





5.d.i(a) Introductory remarks


Such is the importance of this baptism into Christ  that we will now take a  detour from our main studies in Colossians and enlarge upon this theme. In the previous three studies we have considered our baptism into Christ and the consequences of it.

For the next several articles we shall consider some OT types regarding this baptism and see what else we can learn. It should also be noted that these studies are by no means exhaustive, and the reader is encouraged to mediate further on theses things.

But first  some words of caution regarding typology.

Typology is a broad term that refers to anything, which can be used to illustrate spiritual truth; these can be events, God-given instructions, inanimate objects etc.

We would want  make one thing absolutely clear from the onset. Since we hold to  the inerrancy of scripture we accept, without reservation that the events under discussion   as being  real history,  and happened exactly as described. So, for example, we hold to a literal 7-day creation, a world wide universal flood etc. What we seek from these real events are the spiritual truths they illustrate.

 We must also note the following:
 
  1. Types are only illustrations and they should never be the
    foundations for doctrine
  2. Any teaching must be consistent with the revelation of the rest of scripture. 
  3. Typology must never be pushed beyond that which was intended.
We have eight types regarding this baptism: the Creation, the Flood, the Exodus, Israel's entry into Canaan, the Laver of regeneration, the Mantle from on high, Naaman and Jonah.


(I) The Creation

In this article we shall confine ourselves to the  first five verses of Gen.1 and we will take up other aspects of the creation narrative in a later study.



In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.  
Gen.1:1-2


5.d.i(b)  without form and void


In the account of the creation the first thing we see is that it is God who initiates  everything. It is: in the beginning God created.. Unless God had spoken the word  to  bring the universe into existence then nothing would have happened. The universe did not come into being by  any other means. It was no  accident, it did not  come into being by some random (so called) evolutionary processes. The whole of creation was initiated by and spoken into being by the living  Word of God. Jn.1:1-5

This is no less true for salvation, it was God who took the initiative, in fact Jesus is called the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world Rev.13:8. Just think, before creation God knew what would happen and had redemption all planned out, so when Adam sinned God gave the promise of the Messiah and the plan of redemption in seed form Gen.3:15. In the matter of salvation we do not drift into it by some random accident, it has to be a definite act of God in a life. God has to speak.

In the Biblical account we have the statement: the earth was without form and void. Much has been written on this: did God create it like this, or was there a cataclysmic event in between the first two verses? If so what was it? Such questions are speculative for scripture doesn't plainly tell us and so we will not pursue that point here.

That the earth was waste and without form describes our condition in our fallen state. The word suggests emptiness.  We have the wisest man of the OT coming to this conclusion:   Vanity of vanities, says the preacher  all is vanity Eccl.1:2. Now in the Hebrew a word that is repeated is an idiom  meaning the ultimate of  that particular quality. (eg. Holy of Holies). Here Solomon declaring in Ecclesiastes that life without God is the ultimate vanity and emptiness.

Paul says something similar in I Cor.15:19 if in this life only we have hope in Christ we are of all men most miserable. In another place the apostle describes us as being dead in trespasses and sins Eph.2:1. As a result of first birth we are fallen in sin and are the  enemies of God. We are in a lost state, void of life and full of a wasted existence.  And we would have remained like that unless God had done something about it.

5.d.i(c)  The Spirit moves

We see next that the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. We must note carefully the following points that are relevant to our subject: the waters covered the earth, and that the planet was immersed in water, or we could say the earth was baptised! It was from this state that the world was made.  We are told that the Spirit moved upon the face of the waters. The Hebrew word for moved means to brood, flutter or shake. The metaphorical language used associating the Holy Spirit as a bird, such as a dove.  The Spirit moved where He willed and the earth came forth.

Likewise when a person is brought into true salvation, the Spirit moves as He wills. No one sees Him nor tells from whence He came, but the effects in a person's life will be clearly visible, as the effects of the wind are seen when it blows. This new birth is accomplished solely by the will of God and not of men, or by any  other agency.

 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again [=from above].   The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.  

Jn.3:5-8


That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.   He came unto his own, and his own received him not.   But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name:  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 

Jn.1:9-13


Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 

I Pet. 1:23


When God moves in a life He speaks and His creative word brings forth life into a soul. Peter describes it as being born again of the word of God. This word is incorruptible seed, it is a life that lives and abide (= remains)  for ever. Two stanzas from the famous Wesley hymn ' O for a thousand tongues'  speaks of this  perfectly.


He speaks; and listening to His voice,
New life the dead receive,
The mournful, broken hearts rejoice,
The humble poor believe



Hear him, ye deaf; his praise, ye dumb,
Your loosened tongues employ;
Ye blind, behold your Saviour come,
And leap, ye lame, for joy.


 5.d.i(d)  Let there be light


 And God said let there be light and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. 

Gen.1:3-5

In the original description of the waste and void earth it is said that darkness was upon the face of the deep. Then God spoke and there was light; God spoke and it was done says the Psalmist Ps.33:4-6.  In our unregenerated state we were  in darkness, and Paul goes further by saying we were darkness itself!

 

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 
Eph.5:8

Our condition was pitiful indeed, but God spoke and we became light! Paul gives us the spiritual application of Gen.1:3 in his second epistle to the Corinthians.

 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us
.  
II Cor.4:4-7


But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

I Pet.2:9

Those who don't believe have had their eyes blinded by the god of this world ( the devil) so that the light of Christ could not shine in them. But  when a person comes  to Christ God speaks the word  and Christ, the very image of God, shines into our hearts to give the knowledge of God in the face of Jesus Chrsit. Consequently we have the treasure of God placed into these earthen vessels, who is Christ in you the hope of Glory Col.1:27.

In the opening verses of John's gospel we have the declaration that the true light is Jesus Christ, the Word of God. Further into the prologue  John says that we beheld His glory the glory of the only begotten of the Father Jn.1:14.  It was the Son's purpose to show us the Father and it is only by Jesus we can know the Father Jn.14:6-9. we do indeed  have the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

5.d.i(e) As ye received Christ..


In Him was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehended it not (=did not overcome).
Jn.1:4-5

It is a remarkable fact that the opening of John's gospel parallels the opening account in Genesis and in the verses following the creation we have statements on light. In Genesis we have the physical light created, in John we have the true light.

Christ is the light, in fact it says that it is His life that is the light of men, and it is this life that He came to give us so that we would no longer be in darkness. In fact this is one of the main themes of this fourth gospel.

The Apostle continues that the darkness does not overcome it. The life of Christ can not be overcome by the powers of darkness! If Christ is in you then the enemy can not overcome.
 
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him.

Col.2:6

Linking this thought in with our studies in Colossians. We have seen that we have been translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son ( Col.1:13. And in the scripture quoted above, one which we have emphasised before, exhorts us to walk in Christ as we originally received Him.

The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.

Lk.11:34-36

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Jn.8:12


Having begun in light we must continue to walk in that light, and Jesus teaches much about this aspect of Christian living.

Jesus says  that if we follow Him we shall not walk in darkness Jn.8:12.  Jesus also tells us that if our eye is single then our whole being is full of light, but if evil then full of darkness Lk.11:34-36. 


In order to walk along the correct path we need light and that means having our eye single, fixed on Christ. In the context of Colossians this would mean having our eyes turned off from other things such as  philosophy,  legalism,  mysticism etc. By turning our eyes off Jesus and onto other things means that the light we have is darkness. 

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  if we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 

I Jn.1:5-7

He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.  He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
 
I Jn.2:9-10

John in his first epistle expounds being in the light further. In God there is no darkness and so fellowship with Him is dependent on us walking in the light . This means that we are to be loving one another, by loving the brethren there is no occasion  of stumbling in us. On the other hand hating our brothers means that we are in darkness.

In I Jn.1:11-16 we have the apostle using the incident of Cain and Abel to illustrate this truth. Cain murdered his brother because his deeds were evil and Abel's righteous. If we consider this we will note that according to Heb.11:4  Abel offered his sacrifice by faith, the implication is that Cain did not, hence Cain not being accepted. This resulted in hatred and murder. Cain was in darkness his lack of faith darkened his eyes, he could not see the truth even when God pleaded with him.


 

Having been born anew we must continue in that life,  walk as we begun. We need to continue walking in that light. By not walking in that light we do not have fellowship with Him. It is only as we walk in the light as He is  that we have fellowship and know the constant cleansing of the blood in our lives.

 

5d.i(f) Summary

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.....But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 

Heb.11:3-6

In the great chapter on faith the writer says that by faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, and that without faith it is impossible to please God.

It is the same in salvation, in fact in any transaction with God. It is all by faith. He speaks and we respond Rom.10:17. It is by grace through faith Eph.2:8, and not anything of ourselves. Have you reader received this salvation? if not then turn to the living God and respond to His speaking to you.

So from the account of creation we have seen that new birth, this baptism into Christ, brings forth the true light into the believer: God has shined into our hearts in the face of Jesus Christ, or in the words of Colossians:

Giving thanks unto the Father, which has made us partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light, Who has delivered us from the power of darkness and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son
Col.1:12-13
 
And as we begun so we must continue in that light.







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