Study 23: Gal.
Baptised into Christ
after that faith is
come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the
children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as
have been baptised
have put on Christ. 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. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and
heirs according to the promise.
having brought us to
Christ, has served its purpose and so there is no further
the external Mosaic Law, for God's law is now written in
our hearts.( II
Cor. 3:3; Heb. 8:10) Up to the day of Pentecost many were
justified, as Abraham
was, by faith, but they were not born again, for the Spirit had not yet
been poured forth. As this third chapter has taught us
the blessing of Abraham was to come on to the Gentiles,
the coming of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
We shall examine what this baptism is and then link it
theme that we have been following throughout this
Here Paul moves to another thought: being baptised
being children of God. Before, when Paul spoke of those of faith he
refers to them as children of Abraham (Gal.3:7)
now when referring to being baptised into Christ they are
referred to as children ( or
correctly in the Greek: sons) of God.
The word baptism occurs in the NT testament quite
we first meet it it is to do with John the Baptist when he was
baptising in water in Jordan. But then Jesus comes along and we
are introduced to another baptism.
The next day John seeth Jesus
unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin
of the world.
This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred
before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not: but that
should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven
like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but
he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom
thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is He which baptizeth with
Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is
the Son of
God. Again the next day after John stood, and
his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith,
Behold the Lamb of God!
that Jesus had come
to give was not that of the external (carnal or Flesh) but an
internal one , a
spiritual baptism. And that was the baptism with the Holy
Ghost. John bore record that it was Jesus, the one who was to take away
the sins of the world, who was to do the baptising in the
The word baptism means to immerse. Its
root idea comes from dyeing cloths. The cloth would be
immersed into the dye and the dye would penetrate the cloth; the cloth
was then to be said to be baptised into the dye. When a person is
baptised in the Holy Spirit, they are penetrated by the
blessed third person of the Trinity. But for what purpose?
scriptures, one referring to the Lord and the others to those who are
But Jesus said unto them, Ye
what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptised
with the baptism that
I am baptised with? And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus
said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am
baptised withal shall ye be
cometh Jesus with
them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit
ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be
sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith
he unto them, My
soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here,
and watch with me. And he went a
little further, and
fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from
me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
that He had a baptism
to be baptised with and a cup to drink, and that His disciples were
going to drink of it too. From the incident in Gethsemane
where He asks for the cup, if it were possible, to be removed it is
clear that He was taking of His own death. On
cross Jesus was immersed into the death of deaths, there
for the whole human race He drunk deep the death that all of us should
have had. He tasted death for every man ( Heb 2:9-15)
He would destroy the devil and His is power. But just as the
cloth when dyed, is immersed into the dye, it is
up out of the solution, it doesn't remain there for ever, so
was brought from the dead, He was raised from the
resurrection life. This baptism of Jesus then was His death at Calvary
and His resurrection three days later.
2. Our baptism
But then Jesus goes on to say one more thing,
identified the cup and baptism as His death He says that the disciples
too were to drink of the same cup and be baptised with His
baptism! What could all this mean? How could they, and we
baptism? The answer lies in these two scriptures.
Therefore we are buried with
baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from
the glory of the
Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
wherein also ye are risen with him through
the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
Paul is talking of new birth and in the NT there are
of it, but here baptism is in view. We are shown that on new birth we
are baptised into Christ's death, and then raised to
newness of life. We become immersed into what Christ accomplished at
Calvary. That is the old sinful nature is crucified with Him and we
receive a new life - His life - so that we can live a life of in the
Spirit. Being born again means we move
from the fleshly life to the life of the Spirit.
But it is nothing we do it
is all of
God, it is His
work in us.
through faith in Him and not works of the flesh. This theme of being
baptised into Christ is an important truth that we
need to understand.
And were all baptised unto
Moses in the
cloud and in the sea;
one Spirit are we all baptised into one body, whether we
or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to
drink into one Spirit.
One Lord, one faith, one
Paul tells us that
Israel was baptised unto Moses at the crossing of the Red sea, and in
the cloud; it is not possible to give a full
in this article but in summary we can say that at the
crossing of the Red Sea: Israel was cut off fully and finally from the
Pharaoh. In typology this means on new birth we are cut off from
the world and the devil and their authority over us; we are
to live as God wants us to live. This is a type of
being baptised into Christ by the Holy
and His work in us that brings about new
Paul calls new birth a baptism into Christ's body, thus we are
identified with Christ in all things, His death, resurrection,
anointing, election and so forth. There is a unity: for all Christians,
whatever their ethnic or cultural origin, are baptised into by ONE spirit into ONE body. There is a
only one way into Christ, new birth, or baptism by the Spirit. Some
people think there is more than one baptism ( a baptism in
one into the body, a baptism of love, of fire etc... )but this
is to deny the truth of plain revelation. There is ONE and only ONE baptism;
baptism into the body of Christ by the Spirit at new birth.
baptism in the Spirit is this one baptism and new birth is this
baptism. This can not be water baptism, for Paul
passage that baptism into the body of Christ is by the
water is not mentioned at all.
3. Flesh or Spirit?
then we are
baptised in the Spirit, so that we are brought into the death
old nature and then into the resurrected life of Christ, which is
the Eternal life of God Himself - in other words: to
be partakers of His Divine nature ( II
The purpose is so that we can
thereafter walk in the spirit and not after the flesh.
came unto his own, and his own received him not.
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. And
the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory,
the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and
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.
not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 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
above scriptures we see
that flesh only give rise to flesh and Spirit to spirit. Now apply this
to the theme of Galatians: the works of the law,
of the flesh, can only give rise to fleshy things, and later in the
epistle we find a horrible list of the works of the flesh. So again we
ask the question; how can we do spiritual things by
going back to the works of the Law?
The only way to live the spiritual life is to be born of
the Spirit and and then continue to walk in the Spirit. Spirit gives
rise to spirit and flesh to flesh. The tree can only
reproduce after its own kind. Apple trees only give apples, and never
pears! A simple truth, but one often forgotten by Christians in the
things of God.
In the opening chapter of John's gospel account the writer mentions
who become sons of God do so by God's will, and not by any of
3.1 Bloods ( plural in the original)
The Jews boasted of their forebears, because they
Abraham. Both John the Baptist and Jesus had to rebuke them
. Sonship, in the
things of God, does not
come through natural birth
at all, it doesn't depend on what we are in the natural. Some regard
their physical descent as the key to salvation: ' I was born in a
Christian nation, family ' or whatever, but that has no place in the
New Covenant. Nor does it matter if one is born male
or female as Gal.
3 . It
has nothing to do with the flesh but it has everything to do
with God placing His
into a person, whatever their pedigree and blood line.
3.2 The will
Nor is it a choice of the flesh. That is: what work
accomplish, through its own powers and efforts. Whether it be a man
made scheme or even the external Mosaic Law of the OT, that
given by God.
The Jews thought that to be saved you had to be a Jew and that meant
circumcision, a work of the flesh if ever there had been one.
True one could not be in the OC without it, but that was
part of the temporary arrangement until Christ came. Being a
or a Gentile in the flesh has no bearing on whether or not
son of God.
will of man.
In some quarters one's social standing is
candidature for salvation. This is very much of man's will. Paul makes
it clear being a slave or free is of no consequence. Man made
divisions, whether social or religious makes no
in these realms. Salvation is open to all whatever
standing in life. As one hymn has it 'this
salvation's free to
glory, glory, glory!'
4. No distinction in
In Christ! That what this baptism brings about. On new
one is immersed into the body and life of Jesus Christ. And
puts us all on the same plane, true in the flesh of every day
living things there are differences, but in Christ there is no
difference. It is interesting to note that Paul mentions
no Jew or Greek, in I Cor 12:2.
Paul talks to the Corinthians as being Gentiles in the past! In other
words in Christ there are no ethnic differences at all:
are not Jews nor Gentiles nor any other nationality at all come to that!
of God is equal in his/her standing, no one is more important
than any other;
by faith we are Abraham's seed and heirs to the promise; we
share Abraham's inheritance and that is Christ!
Being in Christ means we are in the Spirit and not the flesh; the flesh
things are of blood, the will of the flesh or the
man and these have no place in Christ at all,
of 'initial' salvation nor in the day to day life