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The Baptism of Jesus part 2
With our chronological studies that we’ve been doing,
last week, we started studying the baptism of Jesus, and we started looking at
how the things in this passage could apply to candidates for baptism, and what
their attitudes should be. There
are many hymns that we could apply to baptism.
The first one that comes to my mind is, “Take My Life and Let It Be”,
consecrated Lord to thee; it talks about consecration or commitment to the Lord.
“I’ll Live for Him”; baptism is a starting point for living for the
[Matthew 3:13-15; bookmark it.]
We see Jesus Christ coming to be baptized of John.
Jesus was coming for baptism that he might accomplish or complete all
righteousness. Tradition today
teaches that baptism is associated with salvation; people teach that baptism is
an outward expression of the inward reality of your salvation.
But the testimony of Jesus Christ being baptized does not give that
impression, because obviously, Jesus Christ wasn’t saved; he was God manifest
in the flesh.
Baptism is not an outward
expression of your salvation; it’s an outward expression of your commitment to
God. It’s symbolic of your total
commitment to the Lord.
Another thing we notice a little
later is that Jesus was about 30 years old when he was baptized.
There are no references in the NT of any child being baptized, only
adults. I think the Scriptures show
us that baptism is a commitment that children really can’t make.
Children are more interested in their own wants and desires.
They’re basically selfish little creatures, which is normal.
They come into the world and they want something to eat.
When do they want it? Now!
That’s not the way a person
behaves who is living for the Lord. If
you are living for the Lord, then you know you’re not going to get what you
want now. You have to be patient
and endure, and Jesus Christ is an example of one who has been enduring and
waiting for his coming Kingdom. He’s
not ruling and reigning today; today, he’s our high priest.
Jesus Christ came to John to be baptized of him to accomplish or complete
all righteousness. In [Philippians 3:9] we see an example of fulfilling all
righteousness. To fulfill all
righteousness you must live by faith.
There is a righteousness, which is of the law, and it’s
an acceptable righteousness. You
need that righteousness if you expect to live by faith.
In Hebrews 10:38 we are told, “Now the just shall
live by faith: but if
any man he
draws back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”
“The just shall live by
faith.” The just are those who
are completing the righteousness, which is of the law. This doesn’t mean the ceremonial law, this is the
commandments of thou shalt not… In
other words, there are commandments that God has given us to abide by.
How many commandments are there?
John 13:34 says, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one
another.” We need to know what
God is expecting of us. If there is
a new commandment, we need to know it so we can abide by it.
Last week, we saw that Paul had
the righteousness of the law, but he wanted more. He wanted the righteousness that comes when a man walks by
faith. When we are walking by
faith, what are we doing? We are
pleasing God. Without faith, it is
impossible to please him.
We see what “accomplishing righteousness” means.
If you’re not being obedient to God’s commandments, it’s impossible
to live by faith. Paul was doing that. He
said, “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.”
One thing that we notice about baptism is that John was
baptizing only the nation of Israel. In
Acts 13:24, it says, “When John had first preached before his coming the
baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.” Baptism was a message only to the Jews, and it wasn’t to
lost Jews, but saved Jews who weren’t living for God. When John came preaching, Israel had forgotten God; they
weren’t in fellowship with him. One
reason was the Roman government. One
reason the Roman government was over them was because of their sins. God had put them in bondage to the Romans.
John came preaching the baptism of repentance.
To be living a life that is not pleasing to God, you don’t have to be
stealing, or cheating on your wife, or anything like that; you simply have to be
out of fellowship with God. You’re
not reading your Bible; you’re not praying; you’re not going to church to be
held accountable. That’s what
church is for! Church is for
fellowship; it’s for submitting yourself to others to hold yourself
accountable for living for the Lord. John
was saying, “It’s time now to change your life; it’s
time to repent of your sins; it’s time to turn back to the Lord”.
[Matthew 3:2] Another
message associated with baptism is the Kingdom of the Heavens.
What is the Kingdom of the Heavens?
It’s the rule of the heavens over the Earth.
One day, the Lord is going to return and he will be the King of Kings and
Lord of Lords, and he will rule over the world.
Those who have repented; those who have committed their lives to the
Lord; those who have pleased the Lord by living by faith, will rule and reign
with him. If you have not changed
your life, and you continue to be out of fellowship, you will not rule and
There are a lot of people, who believe that if you are
saved, then you’re going to rule and reign with Christ, and that simply is not
true! Salvation does not guarantee
positions of honor. If you don’t
honor him now, he won’t honor you with positions of responsibility then.
If he can’t count on you now, he’s not going to count on you then.
Baptism is associated with preparation to rule and reign.
This is why it says, “Repent ye, for the Kingdom of the Heavens is at
hand.” For the Jews to be
baptized, John required evidence. [Matthew
3:8] Evidence. I want
to see some change in your life; I want some activity to prove you have made
In Luke 3:10-11, there were some who asked, “What shall
we do then? [How do we prove this?] He answereth and saith unto them, He that
hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let
him do likewise.” The simple
truth is that a child doesn’t behave that way.
If a child has two, how many does he want?
He wants more. If he has two
candy bars, he’s not going to share it with someone else.
The point that I want to bring out is this:
The Lord wants us to be selfless. Be
generous with what you have. There
were examples of evidences given in the lives of those who were coming.
If you’re a tax collector, don’t cheat people.
The publicans were always trying to get ahead. We’re told to “Render unto Caesar”, and they’re going
to seize your all. If you’re a
soldier, be just. Love your
neighbor as yourself.
Jesus was baptized, and we have a continued reference to
that in [Matthew 13-15], then in Luke 3:23, we’re told, “And Jesus himself
began to be about thirty years of age…” when he was baptized.
There is the testimony that Jesus had at his baptism, and
we should have the same kind of testimony.
[Matthew 3:17] Notice that
he calls him a son. A son is one
who is mature; behaving himself in a mature fashion.
A son is one who is “Well pleasing”.
One who is doing things that God likes.
Jesus had that testimony.
[Luke 2:43] Here
is Jesus Christ at 12 years old and when Mary and Joseph went to Jerusalem, as
they were required to do three times a year, Jesus was referred to as a child.
This word “child” was not a very good translation of the Greek word
“pais”; “pais” is one who can bear children.
So, Jesus was one who was referred to as one who could bear children.
A twelve year old may not be in that position, but he was referred to in
that position. I think it’s
equivalent to our expression, “Young man”.
[Luke 2:48] This
is a different word, but it’s still the same level of maturity, just from the
perspective of the parent. He’s
referred to as a mature young man in this passage. So, we see at twelve years old, Jesus was prepared for
ministry. In fact, we’re told in
[Luke 2:49]. “Don’t you know
that I am to be about my father’s business?”
At 12, he was prepared to do what his father had sent him to do.
[Luke 2:51] Jesus
subjected himself to his parents. You
know what he was doing? He was
denying himself. We have to do that
if we want to live a dedicated life for the Lord.
We’re going to have to deny ourselves the things that we want, in order
to do the things that he wants. Jesus
was prepared for the ministry, but he delayed his ministry for 18 years.
That’s a substantial period of time; from the time he was 12 until he
was 30. He subjected himself.
Can you imagine a 25-year-old son subjecting himself to his parents? That’s what he did.
I don’t think this is saying that you have to be at least
30 years old to be baptized, but I do think that it’s telling us that you need
to be mature enough to understand the implications of baptism and repentance and
commitment to the things of the Lord in order to be baptized.
[John 12:24-26] We
are kernels of corn, or grains of wheat. If
we expect to multiply ourselves, we have to be willing to die.
With a bag of wheat, you can make loaf of bread for yourself, and die, or
lose your life, or you can plant that bag of wheat and have a thousand loaves,
from the fruits thereof.
God wants us to be willing to sacrifice our life, so we can
bear more fruit than just one grain. One
grain, or one bag of grain, won’t satisfy for very long, but if we die to
self, many others will benefit.
The Lord says, “If you love your life, you’re not going
to fall into the ground and die and you won’t bear any fruit; but if you give
up your life and do what I want you to do, you’re going to bear much fruit,
and you’re going to glorify the father.”
What are we here for? We’re
here to glorify the father. John
15:8 says, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall
ye be my disciples.”
But, fruit bearing is for the benefit of others.
We are to be fruit bearers, and we have to die to self in order to do
Matthew 4:17 says, “From that time Jesus began to preach,
and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
When Jesus was baptized, he began his ministry; he began fruit-bearing;
he began blessing those around him by encouraging them in their walks with God.
Jesus was walking with his father like he was supposed to, and he was
encouraging the saved Jews around him to do the same thing.
[Mark 10, but stop on your way at:
Mark 1:4] Jesus preached it
and John preached it, and it was the baptism of repentance for the remission of
sins. Do you know what
“remission” means? Do you know
how it’s translated elsewhere? It’s translated as “deliverance: or “liberty”.
If you’re serving sin, you’re bearing fruit that needs to be burned.
You need to be delivered from the bondage of a sinful life, if you expect
to rule and reign with Christ.
That’s what John was preaching, and that’s what Jesus
was preaching, and it’s all for preparation for ruling and reigning with him
in his coming Kingdom. The Lord has
given us incentives to live for him in this life, and that is the promise of a
We can have an earthly inheritance.
The Jews have been guaranteed an earthly inheritance, but he was offering
to some of them a heavenly inheritance. Some
of them chose that or believed that. Their
inheritances will be in heaven and not on Earth where God promised Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob an inheritance. Those
who pay the price will have an inheritance in the heavenlies.
They’re the ones who died to self.
You do bury dead people.
You do bury grains of wheat in the ground.
Baptism is symbolic of burying a person who has died to self, but the act
of baptism doesn’t accomplish a thing. You
can be baptized and not be dead.
Do you know what a “dead ringer” is?
In the past, people found out they had buried people alive.
They dug up caskets, for whatever reasons, and they found scratches
inside. To prevent that, they
started burying people with a bell on the ground, and a string in the casket,
and if they rang the bell, the gravedigger could dig them up.
There are people who are buried alive in baptism, and they go on their
way thinking they’ve accomplished something.
Baptism doesn’t mean anything if you’re not dead.
Baptism is a burying, but it’s also
a resurrection. The word
“baptizo” actually means, “to dip”.
It means to put it down and bring it up.
To bury it and raise it again to newness of life.
You have to change your life and live it for the Lord.
That’s what baptism is.
A lot of people think that if you baptize a child, then the
child is safe. There are people
that teach that if you’re not baptized, you’re going to hell.
There are denominations that believe that if you’re not baptized by their
preacher, you’re going to hell. That’s
not what baptism is for at all.
[Mark 10] One
thing that I want us to look at is that there is another baptism that we need to
understand. Here, we find James and
John, the sons of Zebedee coming up to Jesus, and [Mark 10:37; glory – Kingdom
of the Heavens]. John said, “We
know you’re the president, but we want to be 1st & 2nd
VP; we want to be your right and left hand men”.
[Mark 10:38] Do you know
what baptism he’s talking about here? He’s
talking about a baptism of suffering. The
Lord told his disciples that in the world, you will have
tribulation and suffering.
There are people who tell you, “If you get saved, all
your troubles are over”. That’s
not true. That’s not what God
said. All your troubles for the
rest of eternity may be over, but in life, we’re promised tribulation and
Jesus received troubles and tribulations, and you think that we, as his
servants are going to be greater than our Lord? No! Jesus
suffered at the hands of those to whom he ministered, and eventually, they
crucified him. Of course, Jesus
told them, [Mark 10:39b-40]; those places are prepared for prepared people.
[Philippians 1:29; believe – present, active, infinitive
– faithful life; suffer – present, active, infinitive.] Believing is essential!
Faithfulness on our part, and suffering on our part is essential for us
to rule and reign with Christ. They’re
essential if we want to have a heavenly inheritance.
[1 Peter 4:1] Do
you know what suffering will help us to do? It will help us to refrain from or leave a sin filled life.
Discipline in our life from God helps us to mature and change our way of
living. We need to cease from
living in sin.
That’s why the message is “repent ye for the
Kingdom of the Heavens is at hand”. If
you want to rule and reign, you have to stop living in sin, and once you stop
living in sin, you have to start living a life that is pleasing to God.
[1 Peter 4:2] That’s
the bottom line; living for the will of God.
Suffering helps us to live according to the will of God.
[2 Timothy 2:11; I want us to close with this.]
To be dead with him means we have lost our life and have been buried and
we’ve become fruitful servants of the Lord.
If we die to self, we will rule and reign.
[2 Timothy 2:12; suffer – endure]
Let me tell you, you can deny the Lord and escape suffering.
Peter is a prime example of that. Peter
denied the Lord. Why did he do
that? His hide was too precious to
him. He denied the Lord so they
wouldn’t crucify him too. He
didn’t want to have four crosses at that hill, only three.
So, Peter denied him, and by denying him, he didn’t have to suffer.
He denied him in a way to make sure.
He started using expletives, and getting pretty excited, and really gave
them what for. He started bringing
forth fruit to prove that he wasn’t one of them.
The Lord wants us to bring forth fruit to prove that we are
one of his.
[2 Timothy 2:13; believe not – present, active -
Paul told the Philippian jailer how to be saved.
Why did he do that? Because
the jailer asked him. What was the
answer? “Believe on the Lord
Jesus”, and what else? Nothing
else. Why is there nothing else
given in that passage to be saved? Because
salvation is received by believing on the finished work of the Lord Jesus on the
Baptism has to do with lifestyle. It has to do with living your life for the Lord. May the Lord help us all to appreciate what baptism is all about. Baptism is not something you do when you get saved. Baptism is something you do when you are committed to the Lord and you’re dead to self. Baptism is something you do so you can be buried and brought up again unto a new lifestyle for Christ.