Summary: A study on an Old Testament illustration of water baptism.
Sermon Study # 233 – MOSES & WATER BAPTISM?
Old Testament examples of water representing cleansing from sin:
(1) Exodus 40:12-15 Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the tent of meeting, and shall wash them with water, and put upon Aaron the holy garments, and you shall anoint him and consecrate him, that he may serve me as priest. You shall bring his sons also and put coats on them, and anoint them, as you anointed their father, that they may serve me as priests: and their anointing shall admit them to a perpetual priesthood throughout their generations."
(2) Num 19:7 After that, the priest must wash his clothes and bathe himself with water. He may then come into the camp, but he will be ceremonially unclean till evening. Num 19:8 The man who burns it must also wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he too will be unclean till evening. Num 19:9 "A man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer and put them in a ceremonially clean place outside the camp. They shall be kept by the Israelite community for use in the water of cleansing; it is for purification from sin.
(3) Ezek 36:25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. Ezek 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezek 36:27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
Water baptism, in simplistic terms, represents the burial of the sinful life and the resurrection of the new life. The escape from Egypt for the Israelites represents an escape from the bondage of sin. Salvation was presented to them by a man named Moses. For he came to free them from their past. The walking through the waters at the Red Sea represents what happens after salvation. After salvation we must walk the process of being delivered from the past life. As I heard say, “The Israelites left Egypt in one day, but it took 40 years to get Egypt out of the Israelites.” Not only did the walking through the water represents the process after salvation, but the sign that the Egyptians all died in the water… represents how our old man will chase to get us back… but we must take the step of letting the “past life” die in the water. The act of water baptism is a response of obedience to biblical instructions. It is not necessary for heaven. The only necessity for heaven is the seal of the Holy Spirit and that is given when you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord. However, as we continue to walk and grow in our faith in God, we need to demonstrate in a public testimony that we have died and been born again. This is a significant act of worship, thus the Lord Jesus Himself was also baptized in the water. He did not begin His full-time ministry until He testified in a public way that He had “fulfilled all righteousness.” Mat 3:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. Mat 3:14 But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" Mat 3:15 Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented.