And Moses brought Aaron and his sons and washed them with water
Leviticus 8: 6

Reading: Exodus 19: 10-11; Hebrews 6: 2

Since we started this study, we have looked at the 5 baptisms in the New Testament – baptism into Christ, into the Holy Spirit, into the church, into suffering and into fire. We now understand that the word ‘baptism’ is borrowed from the Greek word ‘baptidzo’ and means ‘to be fully immersed and involved with an activity.’ 

There are no half measures when it comes to baptisms.

We have also looked at the role that baptism plays in the maturing of God’s people. Today, before we move on to look at each individual, specific baptism in detail, I want to spend some time looking at what baptism, a God-ordained physical practice with far-reaching spiritual impact, achieves in general, apart from maturity. 

The meaning of baptism can be further obscured by the fact that several Bible translations, the NASB and EVB for example, have translated the word ‘baptismos’ as ‘washings’ rather than ‘baptisms’ in Hebrews 6: 2. They used the word ‘washings’ for a good reason. As we understand their reasoning, the effect and purpose of baptism, will become even clearer to us. 

As you have probably figured out, the New Testament letter, Hebrews, is so-called because it was written primarily to Jewish background believers in Jesus. They knew all about the Jewish ceremonial washings that were a big part of Old Testament practice and Judaism.

These washings, baptisms, were performed after God had initiated some kind of change of identity. In Judaism, for example, a widow will perform a ritual washing after her period of mourning is complete, indicating that she is moving from an identity of married woman, to an identity of widow/single woman. 

Think for a moment about your baptism into Christ as a change of state or identity. It is not a temporary change is it? It is permanent and eternal in value.


Lord, there is so much I still need to understand about how You work. Please open my heart and mind to comprehend. 

For the family

Watch this video together as a family for the next few days.