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Synopsis 013c            Preaching of John the Baptizer – Baptism part 2

[Matthew 3:1-12]

For the last few weeks, we’ve been studying the preaching of John.  One of the things he preached was the Kingdom.  He didn’t spend a lot of time preaching salvation.  That was something that was old hat with the Jews.

He also came preaching a baptism or repentance.  Baptism has to do with our entrance into the coming Kingdom and not our salvation.  Obviously, if you are not saved, then you’re not a candidate for entrance into the coming Kingdom.  If you’re born from above, you can see the Kingdom, but if you are interested in doing the will of the father, then you can enter the Kingdom.  It’s through much tribulation that we enter the Kingdom.  So, if you’re doing the will of the father, then you’re going to encounter opposition.  Not necessarily the lions and gladiators today, but you can expect opposition; people aren’t interested in being around those who are interested in living a life pleasing to God; not many people want to be around someone who is living a holy and separated life.  Why it that?  Because it causes them to be convicted of their lifestyle.  So there is opposition and rejection, and if you want to rule and to reign, then you just need to be ready for opposition and rejection, even by those who call themselves Christians.

In Matthew 16:19, Jesus says to Peter, “I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of the Heavens”.  The Kingdom of the Heavens has a lock on the door, and there are some people who are shut out; they don’t have a key.

We looked at several instances in which Peter used these keys.  The first instance was in Acts 2, in which Peter used them with Israel.  He used them in Acts 8 with the Samaritans.  Then, in Acts 10, he used them with the Gentiles.  In Acts 16, he used them with Lydia.  Now, I want us to look at another event.

[Acts 8:27-39]  The first thing we need to realize is that this Ethiopian eunuch was not a lost man.  He was one who worshipped the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  This was before the time that you had to believe on Jesus; the Jews were saved by worshipping the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The Philippian jailer is different; there is no indication that he was a Jew.  He was Roman; he was a Gentile.  He had to believe on the Lord Jesus in order to be saved.

Here, we find a Jew who is serving in the court of Candace.  He had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and the Lord had him reading from the Bible in Isaiah 53.  Philip wasn’t running through the entourage.  There was an entourage with the Ethiopian eunuch.  He wasn’t traveling alone.  Camels, chariots, people, etc.  He was a man of state; he was a VIP.  Philip wasn’t running by every chariot and throwing in a tract.  He was led of the Lord to speak to this eunuch, because God was dealing with him concerning what?  The Kingdom.  God had Philip go to him because he was a man who God had called unto his Kingdom and glory.

Philip went to a man whom God had chosen, and whom God had given ears to hear and eyes to see, and this man had questions about what he was reading.  Apparently, Isaiah was the salt he needed for him to ask, who is this talking about?  And Philip preached what unto him?  Jesus.

[Isaiah 53; mark this passage]  He was reading [Isaiah 53:6-7; him – Jesus].  I’m sure Philip could have simply quoted what John the Baptizer had said, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world”, because he was referring to Jesus Christ.  The Eunuch would appreciate the fact that the Lamb of God being a Jew.

Then, he read in [Isaiah 53:10].  There is a wealth of information in that verse that should make you ask questions, about what Isaiah was speaking about, that would allow the eunuch to be taken from where he was, to being baptized and entering the Kingdom.

Philip obviously told the eunuch about Jesus Christ being the Son of God.  That’s significant to someone who wants to rule and reign.  The Lord bruised him, put him to grief, and he offered his soul as an offering for sin.  Obviously, Jesus Christ died for the sins of the whole world.

But, it says, “He shall see his seed”.  The seed has to do with the nation of Israel and those who have been called unto his Kingdom and glory.  Actually, it’s referring to the seed of Abraham.  Hebrews 2:16 says, “He took on the seed of Abraham”.  We know in Galatians 3:7 that we are all the children of Abraham, if we are living by faith.  That’s not an exact quote, but that’s what it says.  If you are living by faith, then you are pleasing God; if you are pleasing God, you are of the seed (sons literally) of Abraham.

We see in Isaiah 53, the Lord saw the seed of Abraham, and he remembers their inheritance in the land’ he also remembers that the Kingdom of the Heavens pertains to our inheritance in the heavenlies.

It also says, “And he shall prolong his days”.  Actually, when he died on the cross and he said, “It is finished”, that was the first phase of his ministry that was over.  When God raised him from the dead and placed him at his right hand, that was the beginning of a new phase of his ministry.

What is his ministry today?  Obviously, he isn’t dying daily for the sins of the world, he did that once.  Today, he is hour high priest.  He is our go-between between us and the father.  He is at the right hand of the father.  He knows how to speak to the father, and we know how to speak to him, and he knows how to listen because he has experienced the things we have experienced.  He experienced heartache at the death of a friend of his.  He wept at the funeral.  He knew what it felt like to be hungry.  He knew what it meant to be tested of the devil in the wilderness.  Jesus can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities.  He is our high priest.

“He shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.”  Jesus told his disciples it is the father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.  He will take you from where you are and bring you in to rule in the Kingdom, if you will let him.

[Hebrews 5:5]  This had to do with his resurrection.  He had been begotten before when he came into the world.  The Bible calls him the only begotten son, and here we find him begotten again into his new ministry, which is the high priest.

[Hebrews 4:14] says, “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God…”  Philip preached to the eunuch about the Son of God.  Philip preached the resurrection of Jesus Christ to the position of the high priest, and we need to think of that when we think of the Son of God;  high priest.

Then the writer of Hebrews goes on to say, “Let us hold fast our profession”, our confidence.  Our testimonies.  Don’t shake in this concept of Jesus being our high priest and the Son of God.  Don’t waver.  Continue believing; present tense.  That’s why Philip asked the eunuch, “Do you believe?”  Present tense.  And the eunuch says, “I believe” present tense that Jesus is the Son of God.

[Hebrews 4:15-16]  Mercy has to do with cleansing and forgiveness.  The grace of God has to do with service.  It’s the grace of God that is the power of Christ that is to rest upon us.  It’s the grace of God that gives us peace.  We need to go to the throne of grace.  Who is to be in charge?  God.  Grace is his power.

[Hebrews 12:28] says, “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved…”  The rules for entering the Kingdom are established; you have to do the will of the father if you expect to enter in.  To see the Kingdom, you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.  You have to be born from above.  If you are born into the family, you will see it.

Obedience is essential if you hope to enter in.  Faithful living is necessary, if you want to rule and reign.

“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:”  If you want to serve God and have him approve your service, you need to have his grace.  You need to do it in his power and strength, not yours.  If you serve God in the flesh, you will of the flesh receive what?  Corruption; ruin; burned up wood, hay, and stubble.  If you serve the Lord by his grace, you’re going to have gold, silver, and precious stones.

[Hebrews 9:11] says, “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come…”  What are the good things to come?  The good things to come have to do with his coming Kingdom and Glory.

[Isaiah 53:11]  Here we find justification of many.  That “many” has to do with the many who are called to his coming Kingdom and glory.  This justification here does not mean that he will save many; it means that he will allow many to stand in his presence approved.  Justification has to do with approval.

In 1 Thessalonians 2:12, it says, “That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.”  The many have been called unto his kingdom and glory.  They have been called to enter into it.

[Romans 8:29]  Here we find foreknowledge; God knows who is going to be in the family, therefore he knows whom he can call.  Therefore he can predestinate whom he has called to be transformed into his image.

God is in charge; he is in control.  Jeremiah 17:14 says, “Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.”  The Lord can heal and the Lord can save, if he so chooses to do that for us.  The Lord is in charge and he can choose who he wants.  [Romans 8:30; Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called [the many]: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”  They will rule and reign.

[Isaiah 53:12a; Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death:]  Pouring out his soul unto death simply means that his will became active.  A man’s last will and testament doesn’t mean anything.  It is simply a piece of paper with some writing on it.  But, the minute you pass away, that is a legal document.  The death of Jesus Christ on the cross made the NT will a legal document.  He’s going to divide his inheritance (his spoil).

What is his spoil?  [Colossians 2:15; it – his resurrection]  He’s going to divide up his spoils.  With whom?  With those who have been strong; those who have kept the faith; those who have fought the good fight; those who have finished the course.  You find that in 2 Timothy 4:7, then verse 8 says, “there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.”

Think about David defeating an enemy in Ramah.  David went down to Ramah and he took the king’s crown of solid gold.  He took it off the king’s head and he put it on his own.  He also spoiled the city of Ramah and took the loot of that city for himself.  He shared that with others, just like the Lord Jesus will do in his coming Kingdom.

[Acts 8:36]  Apparently, Philip had talked about the significance of baptism.  You know what the eunuch was anticipating?  He was looking for water.  He wasn’t looking for the canteen that Philip was carrying, or the water jar that the entourage was carrying.  If he had been a good Catholic, Philip would have taken a little water out of the canteen and he would have thrown it on the eunuch.

He was looking for a place of water to dip the eunuch in.  Not for a place to sprinkle, and they both didn’t walk down into the water so he could take a pail and pour it on him.  He was looking for a place to dip him.  The word “baptize” means to dip; to immerse and to bring up.

He says, “What does hinder me to be baptized?”  I told you last week that there were two things that were necessary for him to be baptized.  The first thing that could hinder him would be lack of water.  The second thing that could hinder him was his testimony.  [Acts 8:37a; And Philip said, If thou believest [present, active] with all thine heart, thou mayest.]  The eunuch knew exactly what Philip was talking about because he responded to what he was supposed to believe in the present tense.  [And he answered and said, I believe [present, active] that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.]  I am believing; durative action.

He could stop believing that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and you and I can do that too.  And if we stop believing, there’s a price to pay.

It’s interesting to note that in Acts 9:20, after Paul’s encounter on the road to Damascus that Paul was in Damascus and he was preaching.  Know what he was preaching?  That Jesus Christ was the Son of God.  He was preaching that Jesus was the Son of God.

In Romans 1:4, Paul wrote that Jesus Christ was declared the Son of God with power and with authority in his resurrection.  In Ephesians 1:19-20, Paul was desiring that those in Ephesus would know, “what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe [are believing], according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.]  “According to the working of his mighty power.”  That’s doing the will of the father; that’s his working; that’s what Jesus Christ did on the earth.  Right now, he’s working his mighty power to accomplish the same thing (the will of the father) in our lives.

[1 John 5:5] says, “Who is he that overcometh?”  Who is he that is victorious in his walk with the Lord?  “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth [present, active] that Jesus is the Son of God?”

You have to believe in the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and what he is at his right hand for.  [1 John 3:8] says, “He that committeth sin [present, active; the sin.]  He’s talking about a particular sin, not sins in general.  If you look back in verse 4, you will see that it is the sin of lawlessness.  [Literal translation:  Everyone *who is doing *sin is doing *lawlessness also, and *sin is *lawlessness.]  Lawlessness is simply saying, “I have a right to do what I want to and God has no rights to call any shots in my life”.  If I want to be disobedient, I can do that.  God allows you to do that.

Even though he’s sovereign in your life, he will let you run headlong into disobedience.  But, that’s not his purpose.  He knows that the devil wants you to do that.  In fact, it says, “He that committeh the sin is of the devil [he’s being influenced by Satan]; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”

What are the works of the devil?  The works of the devil in our life are that we might become lawless and disobedient children of God.  Lawlessness is addressed in Hebrews 10:28-29a says, “He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God…”  If you practice lawlessness, you’re walking on the Son of God.  You’re trampling under your feet the son of almighty God.  That’s what lawlessness produces.

[Matthew 5]  This will help us understand this better.  [Matthew 5:13]  When you become lawless, what are you saying to the Son of God?  You say, “You’re good for nothing.  I don’t need you.  You’re not in charge”.  That’s what trodding the Son of God underfoot says.  That’s the danger of teaching a license to sin.  Our salvation is secure and cannot be lost or taken away, but we still have accountability.  “The power of the resurrection is not effective in my life; I can live in my own wisdom and power; I don’t need you; I don’t need mercy; I don’t need grace.  I’m in charge and you’re out. 

[Hebrews 6:6]  “If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance…”  Here, you have people who have been baptized and have grown in the knowledge of the truth pertaining to the coming Kingdom, and it says, “They crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”  I’ve always associated that with Moses striking the rock the second time, but there’s a verse in John that reflects what we just read in Hebrews.  Hebrews 6:6 says they crucify the Son of God afresh.  That means he is talking to those who crucified him the first time.  In John 19:15, what did they cry when they crucified him?  “Away with him!”  I don’t need him any more.  That’s what it amounts to.

What happened to those at Kadesh Barnea that tried to go into the land when God told them not to?  “We don’t need you!  We can go in on our own strength.”  What happened?  Their enemies chased them like hornets.  What do you do when hornets chase you?  You run; you hide; you look for a place with deep water.  If a hive of bees loses a queen, what happens?  If it goes down, another hive will rob it.  So, they were in there robbing them, and they were stinging and attacking anybody.

What happens when you trod the Son of God underfoot?  You’re telling him, “You’re good for nothing”.  What are you saying when you crucify the Son of God afresh?  “Away with him!”  I can do it on my own.

If you live like that, your baptism doesn’t mean anything.  Your newness of life has stopped.  John 20:31 says, “But these are written, that ye might believe [present, active] that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God…”  Don’t stop believing that and it will change your life.  You will not live a lawless and disobedient life, and you will be pleasing unto him.

The rest of that verse says, “And that believing [present] ye might have [esteem] life through his name.”  What do we want to do in this life?  We want to have a high regard for entering the Kingdom of the Heavens.  If we don’t do that, we’re going to lower our defenses, we’re going to misbehave, we’re not going to live by faith, and we’re not going to please him!  We need to have a high esteem for that.

In [1 John 5:12-13], it says, “He that hath [regards; esteems] the Son hath [regards; esteems] the life [not salvation; life in the coming Kingdom]; and he that hath [regards; esteems] not the Son of God hath [regards; esteems] not life.”  If you don’t have a high esteem for the Son of God, then you’re not interested in entering the Kingdom.  If you don’t have a high esteem of entering the Kingdom, then you’re not going to live like you should to enter it.

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have [regards; esteems] eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”  You need to put your confidence and trust in his power; in his wisdom. He’s at the right hand of God the father; God put him there, that we might be victorious in our life.  If Christ be not risen, our faith is vain and we will perish just like Moses and all the fathers that left Egypt did in the wilderness.  Joshua and Caleb were the only ones who didn’t perish, along with those who were under 20 years old.

May the Lord help us to value the Kingdom and help us to enter the Kingdom by doing those things that please him.  And one of those things has to do with baptism.