Archive for April 2016

Why Did Paul Baptize?

April 9, 2016

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Christ did not send me to baptize, but to proclaim good news (I Corinthians 1:17, Young’s).

Christ does not commission me to be baptizing, but to be bringing the evangel (Concordant).

Why did Paul baptize? He baptized for the same reason that he circumcised: “because of the Jews” (Acts 16:3, cf. :15, 33).

In the first half of Paul’s ministry (during the period covered by the Book of Acts and in his preparatory epistles) he labored as a priest to the nations (“Gentiles,” Romans 15:16) under a Jewish, prophetic economy (Romans 15:9-12). It was an era that was “to the Jew first” (Romans 1:16), and where the nations were made “partakers of their [Israel’s] spiritual things” (Romans 15:27) as “guests of the promise covenants” (Ephesians 2:12).

This is why so many Jewish things are a part of Paul’s early ministry (baptism, the Lord’s Supper (i.e., Passover), circumcision, purification, tongues, etc.).

However, once Israel was cast aside (Acts 28:28), Paul revealed in his perfection epistles the Secret Administration (Ephesians 3:2, 9; Colossians 1:25): the temporary setting aside of Israel’s earthly program, and the unveiling of our Celestial one, “according to the revelation of a sacred secret, which in past ages was kept secret” (Romans 16:25), where there is now but “one baptism” remaining (Ephesians 4:5) – that spiritual one that we have with Christ Jesus (Colossians 2:12).

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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For further study on the subject of baptism, see these articles from past issues of the Bible Student’s Notebooks:

Israel’s Baptisms by Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr. (#329)
Water Baptism by Richard Jordan (#185)
What About Ordinances? by I.T. Sidebottom (#184)
Paul and Water Baptism by Denis Durham (#307)
Should Water Baptism Be Practiced Today? by Kenneth J. Morgan (#535)

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