( HEBREWS 6:1-3 )
THEREFORE LEAVING THE PRINCIPLES OF THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST, LET US GO ON UNTO PERFECTION; NOT LAYING AGAIN THE FOUNDATION OF REPENTANCE FROM DEAD WORKS, AND OF FAITH TOWARD GOD, ( 2 ) OF THE DOCTRINE OF BAPTISMS, AND OF LAYING ON OF HANDS, AND OF RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD, AND ETERNAL JUDGMENT. ( 3 ) AND THIS WE WILL DO, IF GOD PERMIT.
We’ve been looking into these verses now for a few weeks to try and show the difference in the way that the Hebrew people viewed Jesus Christ while he walked with them and the transition that took place on the ( day of Pentecost ). We have discussed the ( repentance from dead works ) and are in ther process of trying to define the ( doctrine of Christ ) within all the things we see in these verses. We also considered ( faith toward God ) and the difference in the way we view that faith today verses how they did at that time.
As we continue; we will be seeing how all the things mentioned here were part of the doctrine of Christ and, that the doctrine we live by today as members of his body are not the same as it was when he walked on this earth. This is what the Apostle Paul is teaching his brothers and sisters in the flesh. ( the Hebrew children ).
Today, I’d like to look into what he means by the ( Doctrine of Baptism ). We have already said a few things about this however, I truly feel impressed to look into it in a more revealing way that we might see how it ties to the doctrines he speaks of. The word ( doctrine ) means or is a set of beliefs by a person or group of people. It’s what they teach or stand on. Therefore, today when we are baptized; we are establishing a standard that we believe that Jesus Christ lived, was crucified, died and rose again for our sins. We are saying in the picture of baptism that we are willing to die to ourselves and allow him to direct our lives and live through our bodies.
What I believe; is my doctrine. Most people, when they are baptized actually have no idea what they are being baptized into. I was the very same way when I was baptized. What I mean by that is that I knew very little about all that can be said about Jesus Christ and, the differences in all the doctrines we can see in scripture. I don’t look at that a being a bad thing. It’s simply a learning process! If we bring it down to a physical level, it would be like saying the day you were born, you knew very little about what you were being born into. We could say that you built ( your doctrine ) as you grew and matured.
As I make that statement; can you see how that, as you grew, one day being born again, you had to change the doctrine you lived by? Sometimes completely? This is to a very overwhelming degree what happened to the Hebrew Children, those that believed on the ( Day of Pentecost ). Let’s make an argument here. On the day Of Pentecost when the one hundred and twenty believers were ( filled ) with the Holy Ghost. How much did they understand about that ( baptism )? The day that you asked Jesus Christ to be your Savior, receiving that same Spirit, how much did you understand about that baptism? Look at this verse:
( Matthew 3:11 )
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Here, John the Baptist is making a distinction between his baptism and the baptism of Jesus Christ. Therefore, when John the Baptist was baptizing, what was the ( Doctrine of Baptism )? Let’s argue that all one hundred and twenty believers on the ( Day of Pentecost ) had been baptized by John the Baptist. When they were baptized they were simply standing on the doctrine that they believed that Jesus Christ was to coming Messiah. They believed the Jesus Christ was the rightful King of the Jews. As they went down into the water, let’s say in the river of Jordon, all the people that stood and watched, that heard from that day foward knew that they ( believed in ) the fact that ( Jesus Christ ) was who he said he was.
The Hebrew children when they were baptized were exactly like we are the day we get baptized. There is absolutely no change in any of us spiritually, it’s just an outward picture of an inward change. Actually, when we were baptized an actual change had ocurred within our hearts, the Holy Spirit had moved in. However, that didn’t happen when the Baptism of John took place, that is what he is saying.
When we consider the ( Doctrine of Baptism ) and, the Apostle Paul teaching ( not laying again ) of that doctrine, just how deep does that go? Listen to this phrase:
( REPENT FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND ).
( Matthew 3:2 )
What would be the difference in the ( Kingdom of Heaven ) and ( the Kingdom of God )? Within the understanding of those two phrases is hidden the whole concept of what the Apostle Paul is teaching in ( Hebrews 6 ) as concerning the ( Doctrine of Baptism ). Consider this: the Hebrew children were looking for the return of Jesus Christ in bodily form right after the ( Day of Pentecost ). Didn’t he actually return on the ( Day Of Pentecost )? You see, he ( Baptized each of them that day with ( the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and with fire ). From that moment on, ever time any person believed, that same spirit moved into their hearts.
When Jesus Christ walked upon this earth in a body of flesh, God’s Spirit ( the Holy Ghost ) lived within his body. He was ( God in Flesh ). When that self-same spirit lives within each of us, isn’t the ( Kingdom of God ) within us? The ( Kingdom of God ) is where God lives. The baptism of John the Baptist didn’t create that situation. The Baptism of the Holy Ghost did! This is the concept that the Jews struggled with.
I want to take you to a different place in scripture now.
( Acts 8:12 )
BUT WHEN THEY BELIEVED PHILIP PREACHING THE THINGS CONCERNING THE KINGDOM OF GOD, AND THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, THEY WERE BAPTIZED, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN.
Do you realize that this is the first mention of baptism as of in water since the ( Day of Pentecost )? However, what had just happened? We must read the next few verses to realize the whole situation.
( Acts 8:14-17 )
NOW WHEN THE APOSTLES WHICH WERE AT JERUSALEM HEARD THAT SAMARIA HAD RECEIVED THE WORD OF GOD, THEY SENT UNTO PETER AND JOHN: ( 15 ) WHO, WHEN THEY WERE COME DOWN, PRAYED FOR THEM, THAT THEY MIGHT RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST: ( 16 ) ( FOR AS YET HE WAS FALLEN UPON NONE OF THEM: ONLY THEY WERE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS. ) ( 17 ) THEN LAID THEY THEIR HANDS ON THEM, AND THEY RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST.
There’s actually a lot of things happening here. I feel that I must teach through them all. I missed ( verse 13 ) on purpose because in this study I’m more interssted in the teaching of baptism than I am teaching about Simon. The question we need to ask is this. When Philip here preached Jesus to these people at Samaria, why didn’t they automatically receive the Holy Ghost? Why did Peter and John have to come down and lay hands on them?
If you remember, I said that just because a person received the Holy Spirit did’t mean they understood all things concerning that Spirit. When Philip was preaching to these people he was still preaching the ( Baptism of John the Baptist ). ( Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand ). He was baptizing them into that belief; that Jesus was the coming Messiah.
Now. let’s take this a step farther. Look at this verse:
( Matthew 16:18-19 )
AND I SAY ALSO UNTO THEE, THAT THOU ART PETER, AND UPON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH; AND THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT. ( 19 ) AND I WILL GIVE UNTO THEE THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN: AND WHATSOEVER THOU SHALT BIND ON EARTH SHALL BE BOUND IN HEAVEN: AND WHATSOEVER THOU SHALT LOOSE ON EARTH SHALL BE LOOSED IN HEAVEN.
Also remember this:
( Acts 1:8 )
BUT YE SHALL RECEIVE POWER, AFTER THE HOLY GHOST IS COME UPON YOU: AND YE SHALL BE WITNESSES UNTO ME BOTH IN JERUSALEM, AND IN JUDAEA, AND IN SAMARIA, AND UNTO THE UTTERMOST PART OF THE EARTH.
We see in this verse that Jerusalem was first. We can also find this in other place in the gospels. What happened was that Jesus Christ was preached to the Jews first. On the ( Day of Pentecost ) the Apostle Peter used the first key to unlock to door of salvation to the Jews. In ( Acts 8 ) he used the second key to unlock the door of salvation unto Samaria. It took the Apostle Peter to unlock the truth, revealing the Holy Ghost to those that believed.. Up until this time it was only to the Jews, now we see that the gospel is spreading to Samaria, the second mentioned in ( Acts 1:8 ). We’ll see those keys used once more in ( Acts 10:34-48 ). As far as I know this is the only three times these keys were used. To the Jew first, to Samaria and then to the Gentiles.
On more thing here and I’ll close this lesson. If you will notice Philip here in ( Acts 8 ); we see where thse people are baptized. Look on down to ( Acts 8: 26-37 ) you will see where Philip was led by to Spirit to join a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch and he preached unto him. In verses ( 36-37 ) The eunuch want to know what hindered him from being baptized. Philip told him if he believed he could be baptized. They stopped the chariot at water and philip baptized him. This is the first time that any person was baptized the same way we are baptized today. The difference, we don’t see any mention of the Holy Spirit, it’s all about what is in a man’s heart and his willingness to be transformed by that Spirit.
Next week we’ll continue more about the ( LAYING ON OF HANDS ) and how it all related to the ministry of the Apostle Peter. My prayer is that you can see the difference in what is being said about the ( belief and baptisms ), the Jews,Samaria and so on. I’m the first to admit that it takes God’s Spirit within the believer to convince each believer of truth. In other words, he is your teacher, I’m only a vessel for his use!
2 Timothy 1:7