“and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea”
Have you ever wondered what Paul meant when he spoke of the Jewish people being “baptized into Moses” and the experience of the “cloud and the sea” in 1 Cor. 10:2? Many do wonder about this passage and it is very important text. The KJV renders this passage as: “And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea.”
Notice first the word “baptized” (baptizo) is the Greek term. This word describes an immersion, a dipping, plunging, submerging, etc. The Jews had been “baptized” (immersed) into Moses. That is, they did not have a slight association with Moses – the Hebrew people became disciples of Moses. M and the Jewish people were close to one another; there was a very strong sense of intimacy and togetherness. They were joined together. See Ex. 14 for illustrations of this point.
Today people are no longer baptized into Moses; the New Testament says people are “baptized into Christ.” Since “baptism” means “immersion,” the Bible tells us that proper baptism is by immersion. Just as there is only “one God” (Eph. 4:4-5), so these same verses say there is only “one baptism.” This one baptism is not to “join the church.” It is a baptism for the “forgiveness of sins” (Acts 2:38). It is a baptism that allows Jesus to add us to the church He built (Mt. 16:18; Acts 2:38-47). People are baptized “in order to become a Christian,” not “because they have become a Christian.” As the “baptism unto Moses” separated the Hebrew people from Egypt, so the baptism into to Jesus Christ separates people from their sins and gives them new life (Rom. 6:1-4).
Have you been baptized (immersed into Christ) for the forgiveness of your sins (Acts 22:16)?
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