Yet again it is remarkable how many connections there are in the Bible and here is another one with 3000 people dying in the wilderness under the law and 3000 people being saved (and in fact, they died too) on the day of Pentecost…
First of all, we read the story in Exodus 32 while Moses was on the mount receiving the 10 commandments and Joshua was waiting at the foot of the mountain for him that the rest of Israel had grown impatient and were even doubting if Moses would ever return – assuming something has happened to him.
- Verse 1 – And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.
Quite remarkable really that after being mightily delivered by God out of Egypt – having seen the plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, and so on that now they wanted gods made like the impotent Egyptians had.
Even more amazing was how Aaron so easily went along with it and made the golden calf.
Then the people made sacrifices to the golden calf, declared it to be the god who delivered them out of Egypt, and “corrupted themselves” with partying and all sorts of debauchery.
- Long story short in verse 28… and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.
3000 Died When The Law Was Given But 3000 Are Saved When The Holy Spirit Is Given!
Fast forward to the day of Pentecost and we see the contrast between the law and the Spirit. Whereas 3000 died at the giving of the law we now see 3000 saved with the giving of the Spirit. Pentecost was the exact same day!
- Acts 2:41 – Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
But they also died!
- For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. (Mat 16:25)
- Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death… (Roms 6:4)
- Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (Rom 6:6)
- Buried with him in baptism… (Col 2:12)
- Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. (Roms 6:8)
- Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ. (Rom 7:4)
- For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. (Col 3:3)
- Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Cor 5:17)
So in effect, they also died on the day of Pentecost by burying their old life in the waters of baptism and becoming new creatures in Christ.
Finally, it says that they who GLADLY received God’s word were baptized. What a shame most of modern Christianity downplay baptism or neglect it altogether.
So many arguments about baptism demonstrate to me they are NOT happy – if you refuse to get baptized and have to argue about what it says in order to justify that decision – you obviously not happy with what it says.
Further study: Grace, Law Kills, Spirit Gives Life
- For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (John 1:17)
- Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. (Roms 3:24)
- Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight. (Roms 3:20)
- Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. (Roms 3:28)
- Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. (Roms 3:31)
- For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (Roms 8:2)
- Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. (2 Cor 3:6)
In summary, 3000 died when the law was given and it could be said that 3000 died when the Spirit was given. That day they got baptized and died to themselves and became dead to the law and alive in Christ.
Paul summed it up when he said in Galatians 2:20
- I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
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