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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 7328 ceremonies
7328 ceremonies

7328 ceremonies

Formal outward practices and rituals symbolising or marking events of importance or spiritual significance. Although they had their place in biblical cultural life, they may become empty and hypocritical, losing their deep spiritual meaning. Ceremonies thus become symbolic of empty legalism which should be rejected.

Ceremonies marking important events

Different stages in life Ge 50:7,10-11; Ex 13:2; Jdg 14:10; Jer 34:5; Jn 2:1-2; Jn 20:4

Temple worship Ne 13:9 See also 1Ki 9:25; 1Ch 16:40; 2Ch 8:13; 2Ch 29:15 Some psalms include excerpts from temple liturgy relating to parts of temple-based worship ceremonies: Ps 5:7; Ps 118:19-20; Ps 138:2
Ac 3:1

Appointing leaders Ac 13:2-3 See also Lev 8:30; 1Sa 16:13; 1Ki 1:39; Ac 6:5-6; Ac 9:17; 1Ti 4:14

Historical events Ru 4:7-8 See also Ge 35:14; Ex 12:14; Ex 13:9; Jos 4:4-9; 1Sa 7:12; Lk 22:19 pp 1Co 11:24-25

Ceremonies as spiritual symbols of God’s presence

Mt 18:20 There is a sense in which any gathering of believers is ceremonially symbolic of God’s presence. See also Ex 30:25-29; Nu 4:4; Nu 10:35-36 The ark of the covenant was a symbol of God’s presence among his people. It, and its location, the tabernacle and later, the Most Holy Place, were therefore centres of the most elaborate ceremonies; 1Ki 8:3-6 pp 2Ch 5:4-7; 1Ki 8:29 pp 2Ch 6:20; 1Ch 6:49; Heb 9:1-7

Initiation ceremonies

Circumcision Lev 12:3 See also Ge 17:10; Jos 5:2; Lk 2:21-24

Baptism Mt 28:19 See also Ac 2:38; Ac 16:33-34; 1Pe 3:21

Ceremonies relating to ritual cleansing

Ex 30:18-20 See also Lev 14:14-18; Lev 16:26; Lev 22:6; Nu 19:7; Heb 9:10 Many aspects of ritual activity were added to the biblical ones in Jewish laws and regulations.

Ceremonies relating to atonement

Lev 17:11 See also Lev 4:20; Lev 8:30-35; Lev 16:10; Heb 5:1

Ceremonies conveying spiritual realities

Passover: a ceremony symbolising salvation history Lk 22:15-16 See also 2Ki 23:21-22; Ezr 6:21-22; Mt 26:17 pp Mk 14:12 pp Lk 22:7-9

Baptism: a ceremony symbolising new birth Jn 3:5 See also Ac 10:48; Ac 22:16; Gal 3:27; Col 2:12

Marriage: a ceremony symbolising faithful partnership Mt 19:6 pp Mk 10:9; Eph 5:25-28; Heb 13:4; Rev 19:7

Ceremonies which lapsed into hypocrisy

Washing ceremonies without accompanying inner cleanliness Mt 23:25 See also Mt 23:27-28; Mk 7:4

Sacrificial ceremonies without inner repentance Am 5:21-22 See also 1Sa 15:22; Ps 51:16-17; Isa 1:11-17; Hos 8:11-13; Mal 1:8

Initiation ceremonies without real commitment 1Co 7:19 See also Ac 15:1,8-10; Ro 2:28-29; Gal 5:6

Jesus Christ brings freedom from meaningless ceremonies

Gal 5:1 See also Gal 4:8-10; Eph 2:14-18; Col 2:13-23; Heb 7:18-19

See also

5173outward appearance
8784nominal religion

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