Colossians

part 25


 

Second  danger & answer

5d. Baptised into Christ (14)

Summary of the types: the cross the power of God unto salvation




 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.  Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.  For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness
  

I Co.1:18-23

As we end this detour, of our brief look at the types that picture our baptism into Christ, we will summarise what we have seen. It will be remembered that  we said that we are complete, or filled up,  in Christ Col.2:10. The salvation Jesus has provided is all sufficient.

In this section Paul uses the metaphor of baptism. We are baptised by one Spirit into Christ I Cor.12:13. This language Jesus used concerning His death at Calvary, and said that His disciples would share it Mk.10:38-39. Paul in the NT, explains that on new birth the believer is baptised, or immersed into the body of Christ and that we are co-crucified with Him. This means that we partake of the benefits of His death and resurrection. Jesus identified Himself with our condition on the Cross so that we could be identified with Him II Cor.5:21.

5d. ix (a) summary of the types

We looked at eight types and here is a brief summary of of the lessons learnt. There are other lessons to be learnt from these types and the reader is encouraged to search the scriptures for him/ herself.

Firstly in creation. 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.

Secondly in the flood. We saw that  Jesus is our ark, or propitiation, it was He who bore in His own body our sins, the just for the unjust. For those who are baptised into Christ  are safe from the wrath of God. Consequently  we become a new creation, the old has passed away and all things become new. This results in a life that is fruitful for God.

Thirdly at the exodus.
We saw that  God through the redemption, that is in Christ Jesus, has set us free from Satan's dominion and his slavery; his works have been destroyed! The body of sin being crucified  we are now servants of righteousness. God has translated us to the kingdom of His dear Son. Because Christ is our Passover we have redemption in Him, and belong to the heavenly city. We have been cut off from this world's system and its springs, instead all our springs are in Jesus Ps.87:7.

Fourthly, the Laver in the Tabernacle. It has  a twofold application.

In the first place  it is a symbol of regeneration, the baptism into Christ. The Laver was used in the inauguration of the priests. This representing new birth and being clothed with the righteousness of Christ, who is made righteousness unto us.

Second, the Laver was the day to day wash basin whereat the priests would keep themselves clean from the defilement of their  duties This speaking of God's provision in His  salvation. The believer is  being kept constantly clean from the defilement of the world, as we walk with Him in the light.  

Fifthly, the entry into Canaan. This  typifies us entering into the rest of God; that is we cease from our own works of the flesh and rest in the finished work of God.   We are to  put on the Lord Jesus Christ making no provision for the flesh. Those that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh.

Sixthly Elisha receiving the mantle from on high. This type shows us that this baptism into Christ is to be clothed (endued) with power from on high. It brings us into the body of Christ and we become part of His house wherein He dwells. The impotence of self effort is done away with and we become witnesses unto Jesus. Also the removal of Elijah shows the necessity of Jesus' ascension into heaven so that He could send the Spirit for us to do the greater works on the earth.

Seventhly, the healing of Naaman. God's salvation is open to all, whether Jew or Gentile. However, one must come as a little child,  reject our own wisdom and natural thinking and submit to the wisdom of God, even though it may seem foolish to us.

Finally, we have  the sign of Jonah. This  is the  death and resurrection of Christ. It is by repentance towards God and faith in Jesus that it becomes efficacious to anyone once we turn to Him and abandon our ways and trust Him alone. I Cor.15:1-4.


5d.ix (b)  The cross is the power of God

In the Corinthian passage heading this article, we noted that Paul addresses the objections that both Jews and Gentiles give to the Cross.

The Greeks seek for wisdom. This is most apposite with our studies in Colossians. If we recall that in this second danger that Paul is warning of we are to;
 
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Col.2:8

 We examined this in some detail in study 12.

The Jews requires a sign. At the time of the NT the Jews were looking for a Messiah who would be warrior like, rid them of Roman occupation and restore the kingdom to Israel. (Is this what the Apostles were referring to in Acts 1:6 ?).

Paul makes it clear that these two attitudes to salvation are way off track. It is not found in Wisdom, secret knowledge or any philosophical  scheme of the Greeks/ gentiles. Nor is is found in the Jewish dreams of a warrior Messiah.

Instead salvation is found in the Cross. For the Cross is the Power of God. By it sin, Satan and the World are dealt a mortal blow. God took it upon Himself to redeem mankind. To us who believe it it the power of God because through this baptism into Christ, His death and resurrection,  all the benefits of Christ's sacrificial work become ours.

We become dead to sin, the Law and the world. We enter His resurrection life and are raised into heavenly places. We have been translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God. We become new creations and clothed with His righteousness. And the list goes on.

No wonder Paul says we are complete in Him! Let us adore Him and gaze upon His face worshipping the one who has done this for us. For He alone is worthy.



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