Baptized Into Moses

Baptized into Moses

"and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea," (1 Corinthians 10:2)

The word 'baptize' means literally to 'dip, plunge, immerse'. We are most familiar with it as the action Jesus demanded in becoming one of His disciples (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:16). Such 'dipping, plunging, immersing' is seen in likening it to be buried (Rom. 6:4 and Col. 2:12). It also is used as a figure when Jesus spoke of a 'baptism' in suffering that He would go through (    ).

Here they were 'dipped, plunged, immersed' in the cloud and in the sea with the cloud being above them and the sea on either side. They entered still being under the authority of Pharaoh and they arose on the other side under the leadership of Moses. They entered the sea still under bondage but arose on the other side delivered from bondage.  Hence they were baptized INTO Moses.

Lenski, in his commentary on 1 Corinthians, suggested that Israel’s passage through the sea “typifies our deliverance from the bondage of sin and of death through Christ by means of Christian baptism” (391).  Likewise, Kistemaker, a Baptist, acknowledges that “being baptized into Moses represents Israel’s redemption, much as being baptized into Christ entails the Christian’s incorporation into his fellowship” (323).

Similarly we are baptized INTO Christ (Gal. 3:26-27). We are buried with him and then raised to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:3-4). We were in bondage to sin and now we are free. As Paul stated it: "…you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed,  and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness"  (Romans 6:17-18).  Now Jesus is our head, our leader, our king. We now live by His teaching.

YET with most of THEM God was not well pleased (1 Cor. 10:5). They continued NOT in his covenant  (Heb. 8:9). They were unfaithful in the commitment to God. They desired evil. They were idolaters, sexually immoral, and ungrateful complainers against God (vs. 6-10). They instead were overthrown in the wilderness. They rebelled against God (Heb. 3:16) and thus fell in the wilderness (Heb. 3:17). Because of such disobedience and unbelief they were not allowed to receive the promise of God and did not enter into the land (Heb. 3:18-19).

Baptism is the beginning and not the end. Baptism ushers us into discipleship but it is NOT discipleship.  The Hebrew writer exhorts: "Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:12-13).