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Scripture Reading
1 Corinthians 10:1-14
Baptismal Service - sense of awe; excitement; anticipation; wonder at God's grace etc.
Who is Paul writing to?
1 Corinthians 1:2 (NIV84)
2 To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:
1 Corinthians 12:13 (NASB95)
13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:27 (NASB95)
27 Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.
Church was marked by pride, selfishness
Big Idea
Our baptism into Jesus Christ is a public declaration of our identification with him, which should be evidenced through a life of humble submission and obedience to Him, as we trust in God to enable us to live in this manner.
The Christian's Identification Through Baptism (vv.1-4)
A Picture of Baptism
1 For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea;
The picture here is one of deliverance
Paul is reminding the believers in Corinth of the deliverance of the Israelites
Theirs was a glorious deliverance
Beyond what any person could fathom, God took the Israelites out of bondage through miraculous means.
Plagues on the Egyptians
The Cloud that is referred to is the means by which God led the Israelites
He led them by a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night
2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
Notice that Paul deliberately brings in the aspect of baptism here
Why does he do this?
Clearly, he wants to point out that they were engaged in an experience of God's profound grace and kindness.
God enacted a great deliverance for this people
Used his servant Moses (Elaborate)
Exodus 14:31 (NIV84)
31 And when the Israelites saw the great power the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.
The point that Paul is drawing is that the Israelites recognised the one that God used in order to bring their deliverance, and they trusted in him as God's servant.
Beyond this... notice....
“The experiences of being ‘under the cloud’ and ‘passing through the sea’ both related to the identification of the children of Israel as a people now separated from Egypt, and under God’s protection.”
In short, by means of the cloud and the sea God separated to himself a people."
3 and all ate the same spiritual food;
Paul now speaks about the food and drink of the Israelites as they were delivered.
The food here is quite clearly a reference to the manna that God provided them in the wilderness.
The fact was that God was demonstrating a powerful work of his gracious provisions for them.
In the wilderness context, provisions of basic necessities of life was impossible apart from a miracle
And yet, God provided.
He was showing them that He was trustworthy, that He was a gracious provider of all that was needed, and that He would care for them, irrespective of how their circumstances may have looked.
4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.
Not only did Christ provide food for them, but he provided drink for them.
On two occasions, God provided water from a rock when the Israelites were thirsty.
Consider this - absolutely no water around... that precious resource that is essential for life...
Without God's provision in this manner, they would have died.
But God is faithful to His people.
This is the reality and the emphasis... God is a faithful God, and for those whom he has redeemed, he will provide for their every need.
Notice the emphasis on the "spiritual.."
Notice further in this verse the fact that Paul calls this a spiritual rock.
"The material substance of food, drink, and rock points to a spiritual source.
Through his Spirit, God actively engages in providing for the basic needs of his people.
As the elements of the Lord’s Supper point to the spiritual significance of the presence of Christ, so the elements which Paul describes with the word spiritual ultimately point to Christ."
The Link to Christian Baptism
Our Greater deliverance
We need to recognise that Paul is speaking here of a deliverance that was great indeed, but not nearly as glorious as our redemption from sin.
The Exodus from Egypt was a picture pointing forward to the glorious deliverance for believers out of bondage and slavery to sin
And sin is a far greater enemy than the Egyptians were.
The consequences of sin are eternal.
The redemption price is of incalculable value.
Our Baptism into Christ
For the Israelites, being “baptized into Moses” signified that they were members of the covenant which God had made with his people (Exod.
Moses served as mediator of that first covenant, which became obsolete, but Christ is the Mediator of the new covenant (Heb.
7:22; 8:6; 9:15).
Just as God’s people became a nation with Moses as its leader, so God’s people today are incorporated into Christ, who is their spiritual head (Eph.
5:23) [Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W.]
Our baptism into Christ is a declaration that we have come to know and experience this glorious redemption.
It is a profound and moving reality that God has chosen to deliver us, despite our utter unworthiness.
Elaborate on our salvation
Today's Baptisms
Those being baptised today are declaring an understanding of God's work in Christ.
They are declaring that God has miraculously delivered them.
They are declaring that God has shown them mercy, and that
To All believers...
Every member has been baptised...
This is our declaration.
2. The Christian's Submission and Obedience in Light of Baptism (vv.5-11)
God Not Pleased (v.5)
5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.
The argument here by Paul is that despite this glorious deliverance, and despite having been baptised into Moses, they failed to live in a particular manner.
Elaborate... what ought they to have done?
To show the extent of the seriousness..
In graphic terms, Paul writes that the bodies of the people were scattered over the desert floor (Num.
Funerals were the order of the day, and when pestilence struck, thousands perished (Num.
16:40; 25:9).
Taking the total number of men who were twenty years and older, 603,550 (Num.
1:46), and assuming that there were an equal number of women, we divide the total, 1,207,100, by 38 (the years Israel spent in the desert after the curse [Num.
We calculate an average of about 90 deaths per day for that entire period.
A grim and daily reminder of God’s anger!
Important Examples (v.6-11)
6 Now these things happened as examples for us....
Paul is explicit that the events that happened with the Israelites have relevance to Christians
These things happened as examples for us in the church.
The Israelites were delivered from bondage and slavery, underwent a type of baptism in Moses.
Because of the glorious working of God, they had responsibility upon them to trust in God, and walk in joyful obedience before Him.
To a far greater extent, given not only the glorious reality of our own deliverance, but also the fact that we are enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit, we as Christians are called to abstain from the cravings of evil things.
As we consider this, we need to recognise the weightiness of our declaration of union with Christ.
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