What is the relationship of this baptism to the ministry of Jesus, and how is it related to the baptism practiced after a profession of faith in Acts?
closed as not a real question by Mark Trapp, wax eagle, swasheck, Kazark, Jon Ericson♦ Sep 25 '12 at 16:25
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The Baptism of John was clearly a baptism of repentance as indicated in Mark 1:4, Luke 3:3, Acts 13:24, and Acts 19:4. I believe the question is getting at the reference in Acts 19:4 when Paul came to Ephesus and baptized a bunch of people in the name of Jesus Christ, even though they had already been baptized into John's baptism of repentance. What Luke appears to be doing here is identifying to Theophilus that there is indeed a distinction between John's Baptism and the Baptism into Christ, but that those who followed John's baptism inevitably were all baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, when they learned what Paul had to teach them about Christ.
John's baptism required a change from the way people used to live their lives, but John simply prepared the way for these people to understand the message that Jesus came to bring. John brought a message of repentance, Jesus brought a message of Salvation.
Of course repentance is included in Jesus message but the point I am trying to make is that Jesus brought so much more that Paul felt it necessary to re-baptize those who did not understand the message of Christ.
Background for the answer:
The first purpose of sensus plenior was to teach Jesus who he was and what he was to do so that he need not use omniscience, which would give him an advantage over us in resisting temptation.
As Jesus began his ministry, he did what he did because it was prophesied in the sensus plenior.
He did not use extraordinary methods to communicate with the Father. As the prophets were commanded to live out 'dinner theater' as a way of communicating their messages, Jesus saw the dinner theater as pictures of the cross and what he learned in sensus plenior in play, and actively participated in them to show the Father that he was understanding his call and willing to do it.
In return the Father responded with miracles and signs completing the 'dinner theater'.
The answer: Jesus understood that the firmament of Genesis 1 was a shadow of him. God separated the revelation of Himself into Holiness/law and Love/mercy, since we cannot understand them when they are all mixed up. If a judge gives mercy to a criminal, we say there was no justice for the victim.
Jesus understood that he would reconcile Holiness and Grace on the cross. He would perform the dinner theater of being the firmament. The firmament is discerned to be an icy firm thing. Ice is the symbol of rejection, and being firm suggests the rigor mortis of death. So he takes the step of faith that he understands the symbol and offers himself to be rejected by God in death as he is submerged in the deep.
The Father responds with a literal word (which is represented by water) and the picture of the firmament is complete with Jesus between two waters (the literal water and the word). The reconciliation in the dinner theater is complete with the statement of the Father.
Jesus was not baptised into John's baptism. Everyone else was baptised for repentence, but Jesus was baptised to 'fulfill all righteousness', that is to complete the prophetic picture of the firmament.
But Jesus did not do this on his understanding of the firmament only, for every word must be established by two or three witnesses.
He understood that Noah's ark was a shadow of him. Again he was between two waters, the flood below and the rain above...and the dove found rest.
He understood that Elijah and Elisha were a shadow of John and Jesus. That as the prophets shared one garment, John and Jesus would share one work. As Elijah introduced Elisha, John prepared the way for Jesus. As such Jesus went into the water with John because Elijah and Elisha went through the river together. Afterward Elisha had the spirit of Elijah and the Father gave Jesus the Spirit descending like a dove. John had the Spirit previously, since it was given to him in the womb.
John's baptism was a baptism of repentance just as Elijah represented the Holiness/law of God, while Jesus had been prefigured by Elisha representing his grace.
The baptism after the cross is an invitation to us to live a dinner theater of Christ and the cross. We participate in the picture as Christ had, not for salvation, but to fulfill all righteousness. We are committing to take up our crosses and follow him since he has made us the righteousness of God. Everything we do is done in remembrance of him. And we are rewarded with His Spirit.
We have other dinner theaters that we are invited to participate in offered by the sacraments and traditions of the church. And if we see dinner theater's already in play before us, we are invited to participate in them in our daily lives.
Peter did this when he was released from prison (Acts 12).