Grace Bible Church
Pastor Teacher
Robert R. McLaughlin
Friday, July 11, 2014

“The Doctrine of the Substitutionary Spiritual Death of Jesus Christ.”

Point The Categories of Spiritual Death.

a.  Real spiritual death, which is separation from God in a state of sin which applies to all mankind with the exception of TLJC.

b.  Substitutionary spiritual death, which is separation from God in a state of perfection and impeccability.  This applies only to our Lord Jesus Christ.

If we are ever going to understand why our Lord had to die a spiritual death upon the cross, which means separation from God, then we need to understand what spiritual death means to us.

The interruption was well timed, and the Lord Jesus Christ comes right to the point and He pulled no punches.

Without a human spirit, our friends, family and relations are incapable of understanding spiritual phenomena.

The exception to this is when God the Holy Spirit acts as a human spirit and makes gospel information known to the unbeliever, this is reccorded in 1CO 2:9-14.

JER 49:16, “The arrogance of your heart has deceived you,”

He knew that Nicodemus was truly searching for the truth and was not being sarcastic.

He also knew that someday Nicodemus would be a pallbearer at His funeral, John 19:39.

To prove to Nicodemus that He was not talking about physical birth but spiritual birth, Jesus used a frame of reference which would be meaningful to a Jewish religious leader, — He used water.

In the spiritual realm, it really has nothing to do with water as much as it has to do with the word identification.

1.  An actual identification is called a real baptism.   2.  A representative identification is called a ritual baptism; it uses water.

There are four real baptisms, meaning something is really identified with something else.

a. In 1CO 10:1-12, the apostle Paul presents the baptism of Moses.

Notice that they passed through the sea or the waters which is known as a real baptism.

This was a real identification in which Moses was identified with the open path through the Red Sea and the Jews were identified with Moses.

Only the unbelievers, the Egypitians, were immersed in the water as a means of death.

Moses was identified with the cloud or with Jesus Christ, and the people were identified with Moses.

b. There was the baptism of the cross which is found in Mark 10:38‑39.

This refers to the judicial imputation of personal sins to Jesus Christ on the cross when Jesus Christ was identified with our personal sins and judged for them, so that Christ became our Savior.

As sinners, none of those to whom Christ spoke were qualified to be baptized with sin on the Cross.

c. The baptism of the Holy Spirit which occurs at the moment of salvation for Church-Age believers only, 1CO 12:13.

1CO 12:13  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.

This baptism is the means of forming the royal family of God and of breaking the back of the old sin nature as the ruler of human life.
We are identified with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection, EPH 4:5; Acts 1:5.

The Holy Spirit enters us into union with Christ at the right hand of the Father, making us positionally higher than angels.

d. There is the fourth baptism, The baptism of fire is taught in MAT 3:11; LUK 3:16, REV 20:14-15.

The Tribulational unbeliever is identified with the defeat of Satan.

LUK 3:16, John answered and said to them all, “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

There are also Three ritual baptisms.

They are representative identifications in which water is used as a training aid to represent some principle of doctrine.

The person going into the water must have knowledge of the meaning of the ritual.

1. First, there was the baptism of John which is found in MAT 3:1‑10; JOH 1:25‑33.

The water represented the kingdom of God.

Putting a person in the water showed that he was identified with that kingdom and the King forever.

It was an encouragement and means of relating doctrine to the fact the kingdom was being offered during the First Advent.

The kingdom was postponed, but this did not change the significance of John’s baptism.

The Messiah would go to the cross to die for his sins, recognizing that because he accepted Christ as Savior before He died and accepted Him as King, he was saved and identified in the Jewish kingdom forever.

2. There was the baptism of Jesus Christ which was unique.  This is when John recognized Jesus Christ’s impeccability and refused to baptize Him.

Jesus told him the water represented something new, i.e., the Father’s plan and will for His public ministry to go to the cross and receive the personal sins of mankind and be judged.
In the water, Jesus was saying He would go to the Cross, Mat 3:13‑17.

Jesus recognized that when He completed the plan of the Father by being judged for our sins and then dying physically, He would be resurrected, followed by His ascension and session.

3. There was Christian water baptism which was the ritual testimony of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

When the elements are being passed out there ought to be a sacred time of fulfilling what 1CO 11:24 says, a time of remembrance of Him.

This means no talking or laughling or moving around but total concentration upon Him, and a fulillment of ECC 5:1 Guard your steps as you go to the house of God, and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools.

So, from the beginning of the Church Age until the completion of the Canon, water baptism was necessary to teach the principle of the baptism of the Holy Spirit at salvation.

The purpose of Jesus Christ on the cross, His resurrection, ascension and session, and the beginning of a new Church Age had to be portrayed with ritual until the Canon was completed.

Water baptism was used as a training aid for new believers, just as certain temporary spiritual gifts were used to teach until the
Canon was completed.

In the water, the believer recognized that he was identified with Jesus Christ in His spiritual death, physical death, and burial, i.e., retroactive positional truth.

Identification with His spiritual death meant rejection of good and evil.

Identification with His physical death and burial meant separation from good and evil.

The coming out of the water was recognition of being identified with Christ as He is now seated at the right hand of the Father, i.e., current positional truth.

This is another reason why the apostle Paul tells the Corinthians he stopped using water baptism because it was a means of dividing believers, 1Co 1.

Water baptism was used to represent what had happened at salvation to those who did not yet have the completed Canon of scripture.

For even today many Christians quote verses like ACT 2:38 and say you have to baptized, misquoting and fogetting 1Pe3, WHERE THOSE WHO WERE baptized or WET, DIED.

ACT 2:38  And Peter {said} to them, “Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

MAT 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,


Nicodemus was a man who was trying to go on before he started.

Our Lord makes it crystal clear in John 3:3 to the religious person that unless a man be born again he cannot even see the kingdom of God, let alone enter it!

You can’t begin to grow and discover what is necessary to stimulate growth and development unless the seed of life has been planted within you.

A monk was one who took a religious vow of poverty, a religious hermit.

He came to that critical understanding that he had been taught wrongly and that the just shall live by faith.

His great problem was that of justification, he thought it was sanctification.

1. Religion  basis our justification on our sanctification. 2. The other basis our sanctification upon our justification.
Christianity is a new birth!   Christianity is a new life!

It is not an informed mind but a transformed mind.

Scroll to Top