Summary: God has joined the ’what’ of salvation (the blood of Jesus) with the ’when’ of salvation (at immersion in water).

What God Has Joined, Let No One Separate

Blood and Water

Ephesians 1.7; Acts 22.16

I. What God Has Joined…

A. Blood (the what)

1. Atoning blood of the Old Testament

a. Mosaic: blood was sprinkled from the atoning sacrifice (Lev. 16; 17.11).

b. However, the blood of bulls and goats were only a shadow of the true Lamb of God (Heb. 9.11-13; 10.4).

2. Blood in the New Testament is connected with the atoning death of our Savior. Thus blood refers to the blood of Jesus.

a. Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

b. He is the propitiation for our sins (Rom. 3.25; 1 John 2.2).

c. His blood is was shed for many (Mt. 26.28; Ex. 24.8; Lk. 22.20)

d. His blood is the price paid for the church (Acts 20.28).

e. We are justified by His blood (Rom. 5.9).

f. We are redeemed by His blood (Eph. 1.7; Col. 1.20; 1 Pet. 1.19).

g. Christians are continually cleansed by His blood (1 Jh. 1.7).

h. We are washed from our sins by His blood (Rev. 1.7).

i. We are cleansed from an unclean conscience by His blood (Heb. 9.14).

B. Water (the when)

1. Water in the Old Testament was a symbol of

a. God’s blessing and spiritual refreshment (Ps. 23.2; 42.1; 63.1; Is. 32.2; 35.6-7; 41.18; Am. 8.11; Ez. 47.1-11 w/ Zc. 14.8; Fountain of living waters--Jer. 2.13; 17.13)

b. And of cleansing—

a. priests were washed at their consecration (Ex. 29.4)

b. Levites were sprinkled with water (Num. 8.7)

c. On the Day of Atonement (Lv. 16.4, 24,26)

d. Priests (Nu. 19.1-10)

e. Removal of ceremonial uncleanness (Lev. 11.40; 15.5ff; 17.15; 22.6; Dt. 23.11)

f. The laver in front of the tabernacle was a constant reminder of the need for cleansing in the approach to God (Ex. 30.18-21)

c. Also a symbol of God’s judgment

a. At the flood (1 Pet. 3.21)

b. Drowning of the Egyptians

c. Out of these came the escape from danger (Is. 43.2; 59.19; 1 Pet. 3.21).

2. Water in the New Testament

a. Water is also a symbol of refreshing in the New Testament (John 4.14; Rev. 7.17; 21.6; 22.1, 17

b. This symbol was the element into which believers would be immersed

a. Baptism of John (John 3.23

b. Baptism of the great commission (Matt. 28.19,20; Acts 8.36)

c. Esp. baptism John 3.5; Eph. 5.26; Heb. 10.22; 1 Pet. 3.21; Tit. 3.5

3. God has joined blood and water (baptism)

a. The blood is what saves us.

b. Baptism is when God saves us.

4. Baptism is not an arbitrary command from God. He has chosen it to be the element into which people must be immersed to receive the forgiveness of sin (Mk. 16.16; Mt. 28.19-20; Luke 24.47 w/ Acts 2.38; Acts 22.16; 1 Pet. 3.21

II. Let No One Separate:

A. Circumstances: People Have separated them.

1. Some want the blood and not the water. Objection:

Baptism is a work and we are not saved by works.

No, it is a work of faith and obedience, not merit. Just simply doing what God says to do, submitting, not meriting.

God does the forgiving. It is the work of God (Col. 2.12

ILL: Naaman (2 Kings)

Naaman was offered cleansing from leprosy (God’s grace)

Naaman did not deserve it. In fact, he fought against the command. Thus he did not merit it.

The water was not the cleasing element (Naaman wanted the cleaner waters nearby). God was the one to cleanse him of his leprosy.

But only when he submitted himself to God’s wishes. He did not merit the cleansing but he had to do something to receive the promise.

Only when Naaman submitted would he receive the promise of cleansing.

2. Some want the water but not the blood: i.e. baptized for any reason other than salvation by the blood of Jesus.

B. Consequences: deception and destruction (Mk. 16.16)

C. Cure: Let no one separate.

1. Understand the what and the when

2. Why did God choose baptism (Rom. 6.3, 4)

3. We must not substitute actions/obedience with words.


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