Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Imagination, Creativity & Memory


C. S. Lewis says about imagination in "Bluspels and Flalansferes", "...reason is the natural organ of truth; imagination is the natural organ of meaning". He makes these two statements equal, syntactically as well as semantically. It is not enough, Lewis is claiming, to have reason; we also need imagination, for without it we do not have a clue as to what truth means. Imagination is part of our Imago Dei, we imagine because God imagined, we create because God created, we create because it is within our nature to imagine. The capacities of the mind enable us to envision and project into the future, to play out scenarios, to construct new and unique paradigms of reality, to cast...

There is within imagination the opportunity for fear or faith. Life without risk does not exist, we can make decisions based on faith, imagination exercised towards a belief in God; [Psalm 3:3"...but You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head." Psalm 94:14 "For the Lord will not cast off His people, nor will He forsake His inheritance." Eccles. 11:1 "Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days."] or we can make decisions based on fear, imagining the worst case scenario, envisioning the possible negative consequences of our actions, and in this activity as well determining via imagination our concept of God and the subsequent expectations of His reaction and provision. Imagination is creative, however creativity is limited by the viewpoint of the individual, the perception, the range of vision, the differing and varied angles of observation predetermined by memory.

It is in this aspect that memory and imagination have there link. What is it that you see? How do you see God? What expectations do you have of relationship? What does result; resolve; effort; reward; look like?


Normal human experiences would not exist were it not for memory. There would exist no past and from that there would exist a very restricted present. Memory serves as "the storehouse of the imagination", empowering and/or enslaving.

Memory can grip life with reality remembered, it can possess the soul with fears relived, it can grasp the heart with recollections of abandonment, abuse and loss. In imagination enslaving memory taints and colors future prospects with monotones and shades of gray, lack of color is predominant because the vibrant hues of life are shadowed by the darkening effects of recall.

Memory holds in its grasp redemption, rescue and recovery. Subsequent to the previous paragraph redemptive memory becomes the process of the change of memory from that which enslaves to that which liberates. "Imaginative memory not only stores for us the passing moments of perception; it also transfigures, distances, vivifies, defangs—reshapes formed impressions, turns oppressive immediacies into wide vistas . . ." This description sounds like the work of the healing, life-giving, life-transforming God who makes no mistakes, has no castoffs or leftovers among people. The elemental construction and perception of life is formed by experience and the subsequent associated memory. Most of us have no sense of the immensity of this construction, or the development of our perception, these experiences are performed seamlessly, unconsciously, thousands of times every day, at a glance or without conscious thought as to the memory formed.



Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations."
Psalm 22:9-10 But You are He who took Me out of the womb; You made Me trust while on My mother's breasts. I was cast upon You from birth. From My mother's womb You have been My God.
Psalm 71:6 By You I have been upheld from birth; You are He who took me out of my mother's womb. My praise shall be continually of You.
Job 31:15 Did not He who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same One fashion us in the womb?
Psalm 139:13-14 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb.I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.
Eccles. 11:5 As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know the works of God who makes everything.

Life involves risk and opportunity, fear and faith, hope and pain, love and loss, we have no guarantees, the consequences of life are not within our power to determine, they are within our power to accept. We can choose our reactions and the succeeding decisions.

Our paradigm of God must include one overriding, distinguishing, characteristic -LOVE- and with this characteristic of God fully understood, in knowledge, in heart and in spirit; replete with acceptance of the polarized shift from the safety of coagulated thinking to a radical memory that must be captivated, transported, transfigured, converted in order that it will be able to handle the new, imaginative system of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a released and liberated way of viewing reality.

LOVE 1 John 4:7-12 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. The truth is, love gives life meaning. The memory of pain and suffering must be replaced by a memory of God,a vision of the Father, who is unable to do or act apart from love. In this lies hope and condemnation, in that the ability to love is a prerequisite to the knowledge of God, regardless of what prior circumstance, situation or relationship has critically, censoriously or exactingly shaped our outlook towards God. A dysfunctional life existence makes it difficult to believe, based on memory, that there is a possibility to live life loved, to understand a love that is free, unconditional, astonishing; to understand a love overwhelming and engulfing; to be free to be swept into the depths of a love of simplicity and purity without regard for merit, reciprocity, or fear of reprisal. There is no claw-back with God, only the deepening relationship of a father, who loves his children with a love and devotion unfathomably profound.
1Co 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Water Wick


The tensile strength of water enables capillary action which results in water being able to 'climb' or 'wick' (to transmit liquid by capillary action). This is what enables trees to pull water from the ground up its trunk. The narrowness of the tree's vascular bundles allow for the transportation of tons of water hundreds of feet up into a tree's trunk. Water is central to photosynthesis and respiration. Photosynthetic cells use the sun's energy to split off water's hydrogen from oxygen. Hydrogen is combined with CO2 (absorbed from air or water) to form glucose and release oxygen. All living cells use such fuels and oxidize the hydrogen and carbon to capture the sun's energy and reform water and CO2 in the process (cellular respiration). All life depends on water.


Psalms 1:1-3 "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper."



Jeremiah 17:8 "For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit."


The trees ability to survive is dependant upon the quality and quantity of the water resource available. Trees are culturally symbolic of blessing, strength, stability, and prosperity because of the understanding by man of the trees ability to draw upon hidden resources: the trees ability to appropriate the adequate resources needed for productivity; and the trees ability with that resource at hand to survive drought, wind and storm.


Water is the source of life for a tree and its ability to tap into that source is a requirement for its survival. It strives and focuses all its efforts in attaining a reliable water source, constantly tapping into the earth, drawing upon any nourishment it can find. In this we find the strength of the analogy. Christian man is to find root, not in himself, but in a sustaining, adequate source for the supply; the essence; the revelation; the foundation; the groundwork; the inner manifestation of the man denoting the quality of his existence; the worth of life able to stand against the storms of life, the droughts and famines both physical and spiritual, the winds of misfortune, the barren wilderness of life's circumstances relying upon the grace of the water of life flowing from God. Life itself is at stake, both the productive, vibrant, complete life in the living world and the eternal life in the next. These waters are the waters supplied by God in an abundance and quality which means that we "shall neither hunger nor thirst, neither heat nor sun shall strike us; for He who has mercy on us will lead us, even by the springs of water He will guide us." (Isaiah 49:10) These are the living waters, the Spirit of God, raining down, being absorbed into the ground like rain, being wicked into our lives through the roots of our spiritual life, transforming itself into the awakening of the powers of God in our lives, leading us to the light, repentance, faith, fear, love, desires after God, hope, sincerity, and what else is necessary for the making of the man a saint; these things, are the fruits and effects of this Spirit which is the river of water of life. This is why the Spirit is called the Spirit of faith, the Spirit of love, and the Spirit of a sound mind. (2 Cor 4:13; Gal 5:22; 2 Tim 1:7).


Psalm 65:9 "You visit the earth and water it, You greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; You provide their grain, for so You have prepared it."


Isaiah 27:3 "I, the Lord, keep it, I water it every moment; lest any hurt it, I keep it night and day.



Isaiah 58:11 "The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail."



Hosea 14:5-7 "I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall grow like the lily, and lengthen his roots like (a mountain). His branches shall spread; his beauty shall be like an olive tree, and his fragrance like (cedars and spices). Those who dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall be revived like grain, and grow like a vine. Their scent shall be like the wine, (fragrant, lasting, holding its splendour).



Isaiah 25:6 "...and in this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all people a feast of choice pieces, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of well-refined wines on the lees.



Song 7:9-10 "...and the roof of your mouth like the best wine. The wine goes down smoothly for my beloved, moving gently the lips of sleepers. I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me.

Throughout the scriptures there lies the theme of love, beauty, wholeness, delight, the pictures used are words communicating God, the Spirit and Jesus through the analogies of water, trees, wine, etc.. Within those analogies there is relationship, it is essential, foundational, it contains and holds all of life and what is critical for the fullness of life to be experienced. The beauty of the communication is found in the musing and meditation on the thoughts that are formed by the pictures modeled through the examples. It is not within my ability to expound or extrapolate those pictures, images and visions for you, I struggle with the depth of the communication to my own heart. The previous verses were all verses that spoke of a depth of communion; they speak of the relationship which lies in the forefront of my life; they speak of consequential growth in holiness and beauty; they speak to me of richness, vibrancy, endearment; "the communion of the Holy Ghost" (2 Cor 13:14). There is a warming of the spirit, an unbinding, an enlightening; a reviving, cherishing, quickening, strengthening in grace; renewed assurances, bringing old comforts to mind, weakening lusts, emboldening and raising a spirit of faith, of love, of hope, of prayer, and making the Word a blessing. Without this water of life, communion is weak, flat, cold, dead, fruitless, lifeless; there is nothing seen, felt, heard, or understood in a spiritual and heart-quickening way.

"This drink also revives us when tempted, when sick, when persecuted, when in the dark, and when we faint for thirst. The life of religion is this water of life: where that runs, where that is received, and where things are done in this spirit, there all things are well." John Bunyan

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Strollin' on the Water


It is amazing that a vessel weighing 35,000 tons can float. I believe our scientific understanding of displacement (the weight of the displaced liquid being equal to that of the displacing body), buoyancy (Archimedes' principle, or the law of upthrust, is: "a body immersed in a fluid is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the displaced fluid"), and density (A ship floats because although it is made of steel, which is more dense than water, it encloses a volume of air and the resulting shape has an average density less than that of the water) taints our perception of the miracle embodied in God's created masterpiece with all of its workings and wonders.

*It must be added that the miracle of God's revealed genius in creation also extends to our abilities as 'Imago Dei' to comprehend and analyze creation, understanding properties, characteristics and laws governing, limiting and enabling the development of the sciences, technological advancements, architecture, etc. Truly, creativity is as an amazing a miracle in man as any other exhibition of God's expressive design.



Job 9:8 "He alone spreads out the heavens, and treads on the waves of the sea;..."Matthew 14:24-25 "...but the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea." The tensile strength of water is unable due to the displacement of a man's body in relation to his mass or density to make buoyancy possible while walking upright. Creation declares its parameters and borders. Things are so tidy when we can package them into little boxes, where under scrutiny and observation they perform in predictable, manageable and undisturbed ways. How phenomenal was the sight of Jesus strollin' on the water, what fears were wrought in the heart of the disciples, when what is not possible becomes reality. Eyes are now opened to possibilities before unheard of, unimaginable, unfathomable, defying reason; the laws of governance of nature never having been questioned are now challenged with new evidence before their eyes. There exists now capability, probability, potential, blessing and power, because the vision before them was Jesus whom they knew. A life was available to them beyond the everyday, a life forsaking the confines of the rudimentary laws of nature, the explainable outcomes of cause and effect, the expected. There is the invitation to join with Jesus in a life of victory over the circumstances of life, an invitation to undertake in a bold fashion a life lived above the tides, waves and currents of life, a life surpassing, high and over, unfettered by its nature of careless and reckless abandonment to a call, perilous and wild. There is a departure from the known, the elements of life which seemingly are secure and safe. There is a stepping out for a 'stroll on the water', with depths unknown, dangers unidentifiable beneath an obscure, fluid, vacillating, and tempestuous surface. There is a learning curve for faith involving, fear, a calling out, an intense focus, distraction, storms, trials, failure, forgotten grace and the absence of strength as reliance upon God is turned by life's situations. There is a 'cry' and an answer, the grace and power of God in action, unchanging, outstretched, available, sustaining and able to save. Strength for today and grace for tomorrow.

Is it really such a miracle?, is walking on the water that great a feat?, or is a greater miracle the mind of God conceiving a plan by which he would redeem me/you, God who would deem me/you, to be of value, such value that he would walk on water to get my attention as to the possibilities for a life of such fullness that my heart and mind could not contain.

Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe. Voltaire

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Untitled


A man died this week. There is nothing remarkable about that statement, men die and are buried regularly. There was really nothing marked by noteriety or significance about the life that was lived, the jobs that were held, the holidays that were taken, the family that was raised, or the legacy that was left.

There was a small, simple funeral and internment attended by, the small immediate family, a few of the extended family group consisting of a couple of the nephews, a brother, some in-laws and a few family friends. There was not much the family could say in terms of the significance of the man's life, the impact his life had on his community, the value that could be placed on the time he gave to his family and friends, there was no credit given for achievement, success, initiative, entrepenurial spirit or a life lived in fullness and appreciation of the greater and more noble pursuits of life. There were none of those to be spoken of... in that there was little sadness felt, remorse is a foreign feeling, being that nothing was ventured therefore nothing was lost; even regret is an alien emotion, the decisions made in the life lived were not those of the attendants of the funeral. There was no regret, the time for that emotion had come and passed with death, there is no regret for what was withheld by the one with the power to give. Regret expended for the loss of opportunity is now wasted effort,being the sole possession of the deceased, no chance to verbalize or change is available.

There were no statements made to the son like; 'your Dad was a good man'; 'if your half the man your father was, you'll be one hell'of'a'man'; 'I'll miss your Dad, he was a good friend'; 'your Dad will be sorely missed'; 'it will be tough for you now that your Dad is gone'; 'you've got big shoes to fill';...

There is danger lurking in the shadows of those statements not made and in the subsequent thoughts and feelings of that son that are associated with his relationship to his father. There is opportunity for the essence of those emotional experiences to be worn like a badge of passage, to become a shield, an excuse, a facade, to take the place of the emotional response normally awarded such events. There is a kind of pain yet possible to be manifested, a pain of questionable origin and undetermined destination, unexplainable, lingering and illusive, and yet maybe never having to be experienced. There should be a sense of loss, not misplaced pride at a lack of emotion; there should be a cry for lost circumstances, not relief that forgiveness was never discussed; there should have been remorse for the failed relationship, not an easing of the spirit from accountability and responsibility; there should have been a release from a burden, a removal of shackles, a freedom from the tyranny, not just the chance for advancement and progress by attrition rather than with permision. There should have been a bedside conversation, perhaps a conveyance of some sort, a word, a spoken thought, not just an open casket, and yet that may have been the best, it is indicative of an empty life and unfulfilled promise and provides the answer to the question raised as to why so little emotion is invested? because facing the reality of life and the consequences of decisions made is sometimes best not faced, no confrontation, no resolution, no reconciliation, just nothing at all.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Kingdom Clouds


The hydrologic cycle is water in movement, the water cycle describes the continuous movement of water on, above, and below the surface of the Earth. The water cycle is truly a "cycle," there is no beginning or end. Water can change states among liquid, vapour, and ice at various places in the water cycle, with these processes happening in the blink of an eye. The most vivid image of this is in the evaporation of water from the ocean, which forms clouds. These clouds drift over the land and produce rain. The rainwater flows into lakes, rivers, or aquifers. The water in lakes, rivers, and aquifers then either evaporates back to the atmosphere or eventually flows back to the ocean, completing a cycle. Job 26:8 "He binds up the water in His thick clouds, yet the clouds are not broken under it." Job 37:11 "Also with moisture He saturates the thick clouds; He scatters His bright clouds."

The most poignant of cloud images is contained in the story of the people of Israel traveling from Egypt to the Promised Land. Exodus 13:21-22 "...and the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people." Exodus 40:36-38 "Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journeys. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys." The cloud was indicative of God's provision, protection and assurance of His presence throughout their travels. It was their guidance for the times and places of their travel.

The cloud was also a indicator of God's personal presence, His Spirit dwelling in and resting upon those whom He chose to lead His people. Numbers 11:25 "Then the Lord came down in the cloud, and spoke to him (Moses), and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and placed the same upon the seventy elders; and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied,..." This is called the 'shechinah' glory, the 'place of God's abode', the cloud is unlike any other cloud, it would not have created shade, being it held the Glory of God, however its depth or darkness was sufficient to conceal or protect from observers the fullness of that Glory. It would have been rolling, unfurling, constantly unfolding as it constrained the awesome power and revelation of God's Glory, a fire, God withholding Himself, yet desiring to reveal His fullness, His love, His grace, His mercy.
Matthew 17:5 "...behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!"

Matthew 16:2-3 "He (Jesus)answered and said to them, "When it is evening you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red'; and in the morning, 'It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.' Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times." Living on the Prairies allows the enjoyment of watching clouds, they can appear ominous and threatening, they can be of varieties having expectations of refreshment and renewal, they tell of events happening in other locations, they are harbingers of future weather in the day or night. They bring with them hope and disaster, they can dispel the heat and they can destroy the harvest with their content. They are amazing in their height and breadth, towering, immense, containing both beauty and dread. They are the scenery of the sky, the landscape of the vast expanse of the heavens, the mountains, lakes, streams and rivers of the firmament. Luke 12:54 "Then He also said to the multitudes, "Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, 'A shower is coming'; and so it is."

A prairie storm is an event of epic proportions, being foretold by the clouds, having an intense, foreboding, and perilous power unique in nature. Luke 21:27 "Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." Daniel 7:13-14 "I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed." The divine authority of the Son of Man exists, His sovereingty is not diminished by His physical absence. His Spirit granting wisdom, discernment; creating patience, fortitude, perseverance; providing courage, faith, hope; pointing to God's lovingkindness, grace, love, provision and protection; encouraging the maintaining, preservation and possession of our souls in holiness; as clouds gather. So many clouded times have passed and deliverance has been the byword of the faithful. The events have been examples of the heavenly and spiritual realities of life lived in unmeasured time, the indicators of the Kingdom of God lived in a physical world under the governance of an apostate ruler. The stressful and distressing times exemplifying the faithfulness of God through all generations, bestowing renewed trust to each succeeding progeny. The clouds will always rise on the horizon, it is part of the cycle, we will always be watchful and take note of the darkness.

Let us be witnesses of the day.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Water Soluble


Water appears in the Bible as one of the first elements of creation. Genesis 1:2 "The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters."

Before the seas and this terrestrial ball,
And heaven’s high canopy that covers all,
One was the face of nature, if a face;
Rather, a rude and indigested mass;
A lifeless lump, unfashion’d and unframed,
Of jarring seeds, and justly Chaos named.
Dryden.



The heavens and the earth existed, aesthetically and fundamentally pleasing to the Creator. The Spirit of God hovered or tremulously brooded over the face of the waters, imparting to it, its unique characteristics. Deut. 32:11 As an eagle stirs up its nest, hovers over its young, spreading out its wings, taking them up, carrying them on its wings,..." Job 38:9 When I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band;.."

  • They were created from nothing, John 1:3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.,
  • they were created new, never having existed before,
  • they were created as a revelation of the mind of God to man. Romans 1:19-20 "...because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,..." Acts 17:24-29 "God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men's hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.' Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man's devising."

The brooding Spirit of God gave water distinct and extraordinary distinguishing features, unreplicated in the other elements. The four unique properties of water are its ability to dissolve nearly any substance, enabling those substances to be incorporated back into the life cycle; its ability to evaporate at low temperatures as part of the hydrologic cycle, without which life would not be possible; its unique molecular structure providing unusually high surface tension, enabling ships to float and trees to pull water via the capillary action created by water's tensile strength; and the rarest and most powerful of qualities, it expands when frozen creating less density and allowing ice to float.

Matthew 27:24 "When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it."

Although almost all elements are dissoluble in water, water is unable to dissolve the conscience or wash away the guilt of our actions. The term 'I wash myself' contains the essence of the Greek middle voice used by Pilate in proclaiming his innocence, his desire to be absolved from the injustice being perpetrated and absolution from his abdication as a just judge, from his calling as a magistate to act in a manner protecting the innocent. It is also a reflexive statement symbolizing an ability to cleanse the hands and body, and from that an assumption that the sufficiency and capability exists within to be free from the tyranny of the penalty, guilt and blame for sin. Psalm 26:6 "I will wash my hands in innocence; So I will go about Your altar, O Lord,..." The Jews marked their day and held in high regard the washing of their hands and feet as a declaration of piety and freedom from wrongdoing. Pilate's action and those washings by which there is a declaration protesting innocence or remission from any sin is an attempt to deal with our human condition and the weight of our existent alienation from God and the subsequent disturbing thoughts on the meaning, purpose and end of life. The striving to appease, placate or vindicate ourselves to the inherent power all people believe exists as a supreme, sovereign authority and judge of intents and actions lies unresolved in the actions of cleanliness.

The true cleansing is not from the soil of the day. 1 Peter 3:21 "There is also an antitype which now saves us--baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,..." Baptism is the earthly expression of a spiritual principle or truth through an immersing and raising up from the water, analogous of the Ark coming safely through the flood and the burial, death and resurrection of ourselves to the newness of life. Romans 6:4 "Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."

"the answer of a good conscience toward God", the answer refers to an interrogation, the " avowal of consecration to God after inquiry, having repented and turned to God and now making this public proclamation of that fact by means of baptism (the symbol of the previous inward change of heart)." The picture of the reality of life lived in the knowledge of Christ's substitutionary death and propitiation (satisfactory sacrifice) so that you and I may be freed from the human condition with all its anxieties, fears, and doubts and live. Jesus declared, "...I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."