For Bible Study Nerds

For Bible Study Nerds


Matthew 3:1-12; John the Baptist Prepares the Way (Symbolism)

posted by Mike Nappa

John the Baptist identified three types of baptisms: By water, by the Holy Spirit, and by fire. But what do those mean?

In John’s use, water baptism was a symbol of repentance in the heart and mind of the person who was baptized. “The Jew who accepted baptism from John,” explains one Bible scholar, “confessed his sins and expressed determination to live a righteous life.” Christians later adapted John’s symbolic practice of water baptism. “Rather than symbolize repentance, Christian baptism symbolizes the union of the believer with Jesus in his death, burial, and resurrection.”

According to 1 Corinthians 12:13, Holy Spirit baptism is that unseen immersion that happens when a Christian is spiritually united with Jesus and, by extension, all others who have been united with Jesus through faith.

Baptism by fire has been thought to signify two things. First is as a reference God’s final, destructive judgment on those who refuse to repent and believe in Jesus (see Matthew 3:12). Second, for Christians, baptism by fire is seen as a symbolically purifying act whereby the Holy Spirit cleanses us from sin.

Flag of John the Baptist

Flag of John the Baptist

Works Cited:

[BAH, 267-68]

 

ΩΩΩ

About: For Bible Study Nerds™

About: Mike Nappa

Copyright © 2014 to present by Nappaland Communications Inc. All Rights Reserved.



Previous Posts

Matthew 5:1-12; The Beatitudes (Historical Backgrounds)
Jesus’ final beatitude (Matthew 5:11-12) differs from the earlier ones in its specificity and personal application. Up to this point, Jesus has used general pronouns as the object of blessing. For instance, “blessed are those…blessed are they…” Beginning in verse 11, though, his teaching s

posted 12:00:07pm Jul. 30, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 5:1-12; The Beatitudes (Symbolism)
In Matthew 5:3-9, Jesus describes seven characteristics of people who are blessed. According to theologian, Herschel Hobbs, those descriptions symbolized “the nature of the kingdom citizen.” He interpreted them as follows: The Poor in Spirit. “Those who recognize that they are sinners, who

posted 12:00:02pm Jul. 28, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 5:1-12; The Beatitudes (Word Study)
The longest recorded sermon of Jesus begins with a repetitive theme word: “Blessed.” “Blessed are the poor in spirit…Blessed are they that mourn…Blessed are the meek…” Historically, that word was understood to mean “happy”—or in the literal Hebrew translation, “how happy!

posted 12:00:52pm Jul. 25, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 4:23-25; Jesus Heals the Sick (Theological Commentary)
If we don’t count resurrections (there were three of those), Scripture records 23 specific, miraculous healings performed by Jesus. Among those healings were supposedly incurable diseases, such as blindness, leprosy, deafness, muteness, crippling lameness, withered or appendages, paralysis and mor

posted 12:00:53pm Jul. 23, 2014 | read full post »

Matthew 4:23-25; Jesus Heals the Sick (Geographical Background)
The Decapolis referenced in Matthew 4:25 was not a single city or country. Much as we collectively refer to the northeastern states of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut as “New England,” people in Jesus’ day used Decapolis as a collective reference

posted 12:00:01pm Jul. 21, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.