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1Corinthians 1:14-17 – Paul and water-baptism

08-11-2018 - Posted by Andre Piet

I am thanking God that I baptize not one of you except Crispus an Gaius, lest anyone maybe saying that you are baptized into my name. Yet I baptize the household of Stephanas also. Furthermore, I am not aware if I baptize any other. For Christ does not commission me to be baptizing, but to be bringing the evangel…

In his letters, Paul regularly speaks about the importance of baptism. But then he is not referring to a baptism in water but to a baptism in Christ. Paul knew the baptism in water only too well from his Jewish background. Ritual washing (mikwah) plays a major role in Judaism. In Paul’s day, “the baptism of John” had also been added. A new kind of baptism, in which one did not baptize him – or – herself, but in which one was baptized.

The ritual of water baptism always has to do with Israel. For example, Crispus, who is mentioned here, was the leader of the synagogue (Acts 18:8). Never do we read that a non-Israelite baptizes. Rituals don not play a part in Paul’s evangel. The only baptism that matters is a spiritual baptism (1 Cor. 12:13; Eph.4:6): the baptism in Christ. Being immersed in Him. Identification with the dead and resurrected Christ!

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