Household Baptisms by Pouring and Immersion (you may be in for a surprise)

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(“Crossing of the Red Sea” by Domenico Ghirlandaio, Cosimo Rosselli or Biagio d’Antonio, 1481–1482)

1 CORINTHIANS 10:1-2

Baptism of Whole Households, Including Infants
For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were BAPTIZED into Moses in the cloud and in the sea
(1 Corinthians 10:1-2).

Baptism by Pouring, not Immersion
When the waters saw you, O God, when the waters saw you, they were afraid; indeed, the deep trembled. The clouds POURED OUT water; the skies gave forth thunder; your arrows flashed on every side… You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron
(Psalm 77:16-17, 20).

Exodus repeatedly reminds us that Moses and the Israelites went through “on dry ground” (See Exodus 14:16, 22; 15:19; Psalm 66:6; Hebrews 11:29). Paul explicitly makes the point that Israel was “baptized in the sea” and yet it was dry baptism. The only ones immersed were Pharaoh’s armies. It would seem, in the Israelite mind, that to be immersed would constitute an identification not with the God of the Exodus, but Pharaoh. This would hardly be appropriate for Christian baptism.1

1 PETER 3:20-21

Baptism by Immerson
20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared,

Baptism by Pouring
in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.
21 BAPTISM, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Peter compares God’s judgment-flood to baptism. In the case of Noah’s baptism, who were dry and who were immersed? The flood was a foreshadow of the baptism of those who were saved through the ark, a type of Christ. God poured out water on Noah and his family, while he immersed unbelievers.

Baptism by Pouring and Immersion
He led them in safety, so that they were not afraid, but the sea overwhelmed their ENEMIES (Psalm 78:53).

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ENDNOTES

  1. R. Scott Clark, “A Contemporary Reformed Defense of Infant Baptism,” 1988, http://rscottclark.org/2012/09/a-contemporary-reformed-defense-of-infant-baptism/. Accessed 9/9/2018.

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