Sermons

Sun, Oct 28, 2018

The Power Of Baptism!

At the time of John’s ministry the Romans have subdued the nation of Israel. The Pharisee’s and the Saducee’s are the ruling religious leaders at this time. The Sadducees did not believe that man would experience resurrection after physical death. They only embraced the Torah, nor did they believe in angels or spirits. The Pharisees believed that God would send the Jews a messiah who would bring peace to the world and rule from Jerusalem. They also believed that all circumstances that affected the lives of Jews were divinely ordained. John came to tell the people to get ready for their Messiah was coming!
Series:Matthew
Duration:1 hr 1 mins 24 secs

Series: Fulfilled

Text: Matthew 3:4-17

Title: The Power of Baptism

 

John the Baptist

 

Matthew 3:4-17 

 

4  And John himself was clothed in camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. 

5  Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him 

6  and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. 

7  But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 

8  Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, 

9  and do not think to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 

10  And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 

11  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 

12  His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." 

13  Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 

14  And John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?" 

15  But Jesus answered and said to him, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed Him. 

16  When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 

17  And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." 

 

 

At the time of John’s ministry the Romans have subdued the nation of Israel. The Pharisee’s and the Saducee’s are the ruling religious leaders at this time. 

 

The Sadducees did not believe that man would experience resurrection after physical death. They only embraced the Torah, nor did they believe in angels or spirits. The Pharisees believed that God would send the Jews a messiah who would bring peace to the world and rule from Jerusalem. They also believed that all circumstances that affected the lives of Jews were divinely ordained. John came to tell the people to get ready for their Messiah was coming! 

 

Timing is everything… When John comes on the scene there is a power struggle within the religious order in Israel as many saw the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and Saducees. We either live in submission to the authority of God or we seek to be the authority over everyone else in the absence of God’s presence.  

 

John the Baptist is crying out in the wilderness… not armed or attempting to bring about political change… John was crying out for purity… the Pharisee’s and Saducee’s , the Roman’s, the Jews, all the common people are being called to repent.

 

The entire message of all the Old Testament prophets can be summarized in one word: repent. 

 

When John the Baptist came onto the scene it had been 400 years since there had been a prophet preaching repentance in Israel. In fact, four hundred years earlier God had spoken through the prophet Malachi that He would send Elijah again to preach repentance, and Jesus identified John the Baptist as fulfilling this prophesy (Malachi 4:5 and Matthew 11:14). 

 


Verse 4: And John himself was clothed in camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. 

 

Just so you know, John ate a vegan diet. 

 

John’s dress and diet were not an accident.

In Malachi 4 the Old Testament closes with a prophecy of the end times and the coming of Messiah. It also predicts Elijah’s appearance before His coming...This is why John dressed like Elijah. 2 Kings 1:8 says, Elijah “was a hairy man, and wore a leather belt around his waist.”

 

When the angel told Zechariah of the birth of his son, he said John would come “in the spirit and power of Elijah.” God associated John with Elijah, as both men had very fiery personalities and a zeal for God.

 

The area where John preached was also near the site the fiery chariot picked up Elijah, and took him to heaven. Since the Jews associate the Messiah with the Prophet Elijah, John went to great lengths to be associated with Elijah.

 

Verses 5-6: 5 Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him 6 and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. 

 

Not everyone but many came out to hear John and were baptized. 

 

And were baptized by him: With baptism, John offered a ceremonial washing that confessed sin and did something to demonstrate repentance. Before we can gain the kingdom of heaven, we must recognize our poverty of spirit (Matthew 5:3, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven”). This type of awareness of sin is the foundation for most revivals and awakenings. 

 

Confessing their sins:  Spurgeon writes, “The ‘Confessing their sins’ which went with baptism in the Jordan gave it its meaning. Apart from the acknowledgement of guilt, it would have been a mere bathing of the person without spiritual significance.” 

 

You cant have Good News without Bad News. 

 

Water Baptism: More on water baptism next week…Water Baptism is a visual and symbolic demonstration, an outward sign of an inward change, representing a person’s union with Christ in both the likeness of Jesus death and His resurrection. Baptism signifies that our former way of life has been put to death as we go in the new life we have in Christ baptism represents our release from sins control, as well as its penalty and its power over our lives. 

 

Romans 6:3-11 

3  Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 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. 5  For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6  knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7  For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8  Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9  knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10  For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11  Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

 

There is power in our baptism! 

 

Revelation 12:11, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” 

 

 

Verse 7:  But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

 

I don’t think John had read the book, “How to make friends and influence people” as he draws a correlation between the religious leaders in Israel and “Brood of vipers” which translated means, “children of the snake.” Snake? The serpent in Genesis 3. 

 

John is asking them, who warned you to flee the wrath that was coming?

 

God’s wrath cannot be stood against; the only way to survive is to successfully flee from it.

 

Verse 8:  Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, 

 

Baptism doesn’t save you John is saying, if you are truly saved your life will bear fruit. 

 

This is exactly what the Lord wants to see, fruit that demonstrates that the sin has been not only renounced, but forsaken.

 

Verse 9:  and do not think to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 

 

Just because you were a child of Abraham didn’t make you a child of God.

 

“With regard to heaven it’s not what you know but who you know”… For the religious jews they thought they were saved simply by being the offspring of Abraham, the Father of faith. 

 

John is saying repentance is urgent. It is not food for thought or something to consider at a later time. It is a life and death issue that calls for immediate action. When the Pharisees and Sadducees came to John, his message was urgent:

 

Our message needs to be urgent too! 

 

Verse 10:  And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  

 

Fruits fitting for repentance… 

 

The axe is being laid… in John’s day it’s taking place. Its in present tense. 

 

There is evidence of salvation. 

 

Paul would say in 2 Timothy 2:19, “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity." 

 

Remember, To repent is to make a u-turn of the entire direction of one’s life.

 

There are two sides to repentance: First, turning away from what is wrong and Second, turning to God, as the Apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: “You turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God” (I Thessalonians 1:9). “To serve a living and true God”.

 

Sandy Adams writes, “Understand repentance is more than remorse – simply feeling sorry for my sin. Repentance is more than tears. True repentance is the desire to change. It’s the willingness to rearrange my life in ways that prevent me from sinning again.

True repentance involves renewing my commitment, re- acquiring God’s power, restructuring my time, renewing my thoughts, re-arranging my schedule, reassessing my friends, recruiting some accountability. There’ll be tangible evidence of sincere repentance. Repentance bears fruit.”

 

 

Verse 11:  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

 

John is speaking of water baptism.

 

John showed people their need to change, but John was powerless to effect those changes in peoples lives. Water baptism is the symbol of the change not its source. The change agent is the Holy Spirit.

John baptized with water, but only Jesus can baptize with the Holy Spirit. John paved the way, but John was not the way. Jesus is the Way! We need the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus offers. 

 

John baptized with repentance… unto repentance… it was preparing them for genuine repentance.

 

We have even greater revelation than these coming to John had or even what the disciples had.

 

Our repentance is in response to the love of God in Jesus Christ. In his classic devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers describes this: “It is not repentance that saves me; repentance is the sign that I realize what God has done in Christ Jesus... Is it my obedience that puts me right with God? Never! I am put right with God because prior to all else, Christ died. When I turn to God and by belief accept what God reveals, instantly the stupendous atonement of Jesus Christ rushes me into a right relationship with God. By the miracle of God's grace I stand justified, not because of anything I have done, but because of what Jesus has done” (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest). 

 

John is 3 months older than Jesus but John recognizes Jesus divine origin. 

 

John is saying Jesus will do more than baptize you in water. He who is coming after John, He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit… “by means of the Spirit”. 

 

“Holy Ghost” speaks of Pentecost, and the baptism of the Spirit. The Spirit baptizes us into the body of Christ… One Lord one faith one baptism, 

 

Jesus will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire… Baptism with the Spirit by Jesus is “unto power!” The power to do the work God has called us to do.

 

Baptize you with the Holy Spirit: This is the promised out-pouring of the Spirit promised with the New Covenant, Ezekiel 37:14, “I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it," says the LORD.' " 

 

 

Many people want the power of the Spirit, but they are not interested in the fire, the purity. Acts chapter 8 tells of a man named Simon, a guy who practiced magic to entertain the people. When he saw the disciples walking in the power of the Holy Spirit he asked how he could buy this power. He was met with a strong rebuke and warning. 

 

This anointing looked like fire… defined in verse 12

 

Verse 12:  His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." 

 

The Jewish leaders thought that the Messiah would come with judgment, but only against Israel’s enemies. They were blind in their self-righteous confidence that only others needed to get right with God. Many today have the same idea

 

Jesus is coming to divide the wheat from the chaff. The threshing floor… The wood sled used in the threshing of wheat was called the “Tribulum”, a tribulum was a Roman tool used for threshing wheat and was probably pulled by oxen. It’s where we get our word “tribulation”. 

 

I find it interesting that Jesus used tribulation to purify our lives. 

 

John didn’t bend for anybody… Even soldiers were baptized. 

 

Judgment is coming…. Johns picture is limited to this point… John will see the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus… and he will receive greater revelation. 

 

John will recognize Jesus as sacrificial. In the Gospel of John, John 1:33, “I would have not have known Him if not the one who sent Him”. John was saying there was nothing about Jesus that set Him apart… He didn’t fly, there was no fire was coming from His mouth when he spoke. 

 

John says I wouldn’t have known Jesus unless the Holy Spirit descend upon and abide upon… In the form of a dove…

 

Isaiah 53… Now John sees Him as not the one who is going to judge…but rather… Isaiah 53:2-5, “2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. 3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.” 

 

John then saw Jesus as “The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” 

 

We read of the birth of Jesus in Matthew and Luke’s Gospel and there is little detail of Jesus life until He is about 12 years old… Luke 2:41-52. 

 

Luke 2:41-52, “41  His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42  And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. 43  When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; 44  but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day's journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45  So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. 46  Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47  And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. 48  So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, "Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously." 49  And He said to them, "Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?" 50  But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them. 51  Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. 52  And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” 

 

Verse 51: Jesus went with His parents and was subject to them… Fast forward now… there is an 18 year gap…

 

“Then comes Jesus” from Nazareth to the Jordan to be baptized by John after 18 years…

 

 

Verses 13-15: “13  Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14  And John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?" 15  But Jesus answered and said to him, "Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he allowed Him.” 

 

John has no idea what Jesus is doing here. What John knows when he sees Jesus is his own inadequacy. John understands that Jesus has a holiness about Him that John is aware of and senses the need to be baptized by Jesus. They were cousins and had grown up around each other. 

 

Jesus tells John… 

 

It is the way its supposed to be John… let it be permitted to glorify the Father and to fulfill His purposes. 

 

1. Jesus affirms John’s ministry for the Lord. Jesus message will be the same as John’s. Repent!

2. Jesus baptism identifies with us as He has called us to be baptism. Jesus meets us in baptism. He who knew no sin became sin for us. 

3. Jesus baptism was a declaration of His submission to the Father’s plan. Jesus was born to die. Baptism is a picture of death and burial. Romans 6 shows us this. Jesus submitted to the Father’s plan. Baptism is also a picture of the power of God. Jesus will rise again!

4. Jesus baptism illustrates the reality of the Trinity… The Son, being baptized, the Spirit descending upon Jesus and the Father expressing His pleasure from heaven. 

 

This is our role… Psalm 40:1-9, “1 I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. 2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. 3 He has put a new song in my mouth-- Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the LORD. 4 Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust, And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. 5 Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works Which You have done; And Your thoughts toward us Cannot be recounted to You in order; If I would declare and speak of them, They are more than can be numbered. 6 Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; My ears You have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require. 7 Then I said, "Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me. 8 I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart." 9 I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness In the great assembly; Indeed, I do not restrain my lips, O LORD, You Yourself know.” 

 

 

 

Isaiah 53:1-5, “1  Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2  For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. 3  He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4  Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5  But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.” 

 

There is an interaction between Jesus and John… Jesus doesn’t need to be baptized. John didn’t know yet that Jesus was the one… 

 

All John knows is that Jesus doesn’t need to be baptized unto repentance… Just being in Jesus presence John is aware something is different.

 

It is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness: Jesus understood why this seemed strange to John, but it was nevertheless necessary to fulfill all righteousness. It wasn’t that this one act in itself fulfilled all righteousness, but it was another important step in the overall mission of Jesus to identify with fallen and sinful man, a mission that would only finally be fulfilled at the cross.

 

 Then he allowed Him: The purpose was for Jesus to completely identify Himself with sinful man. This is exactly what He did in His birth, His upbringing, and His death. So here, as John allowed Him to be, Jesus stood in the place of sinful man. “Christ’s baptism might create misunderstanding, just as His associating with publicans and sinners did. Jesus was content to be misunderstood.” 

 

Verses 16-17: “16  When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17  And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." 

 

When Jesus was baptized the heavens were opened up and John saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove. The son, the Spirit, the Father… The trinity… All three active… 

 

The son being baptized…

The Spirit descending in the form of a dove… 

The Father speaking…

 

“This is My beloved son, with who I am already well pleased.” 

 

Matthew 13:54-58 
54 And when He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, "Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works?
55 Is this not the carpenter's son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?" 57 So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house." 58 Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief. 

 

The people respond in verse 55… Is this not the carpenter? 

 

The people recognized Jesus, the son of a carpenter 

 

Where was Jesus preparing for ministry? In a carpenters shop.

 

Jesus relates to where you are. He worked, he sweat, he got splinters, he dealt with pushy customers. He was physically tired at the end of the day.

 

Yet Jesus was content…  

 

Know this today church! Wherever you are is the mission field. Your family and friends, your neighbors and co workers are your mission field. 

 

Jesus was tempted in every way but without sin…

 

The Father said, “in whom I am already well pleased”

 

The Spirit was upon Him Luke says when He went into the wilderness. 

 

Jesus baptism in many ways was His coming out party for its after His baptism that His public ministry begins. 

 

Luke’s Gospel tells us the Spirit is upon Jesus to preach the Gospel, to heal, to preach, to set at liberty

 

Luke 4:16-21 (NKJV) 

16  So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 

 

What we can gather from the text is Jesus grew up in Nazareth and He went to Synagogue on the Sabbath. That was regular for Him to do growing up. 

17  And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: 

 

In Luke 4:18-21, quoting Isaiah the prophet Jesus says, 

 

18  "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 

19  To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD." 

20  Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 

21  And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." 

 

 

Why was the Spirit  upon Him? 

 

Like us, Jesus was born of the Spirit but He didn’t enter into ministry until He was “filled with the Spirit”, until the Holy Spirit “came upon Him”. Can we afford to desire any less?

 

We cant serve Jesus in the flesh. 

 

The anointing of the Spirit is to teach the good news… If Jesus needed it, how much more do we need it?

 

The anointing is to reach the lost… We need fresh anointing, a fresh filling of His Holy Spirit. 

 

Jesus is prepared for ministry now… 

 

Luke 2:51-52:  “Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. 52  And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”

 

Jesus went down to Nazareth. Jesus was subject to His parents, this is the will of God… honor your mother and father. To submit to His parents. 

 

Don’t waste the years of obscurity. Learn the lessons God is teaching you there. 

 

Learning to be naturally supernatural. Be filled and be led of the Holy Spirit. It is the most exciting life we can live. 

 

Jesus was being prepared for public ministry. His success was His submission to the Father’s will. 

 

Our success in this life will be enjoyed the same way!

 

Bruce writes, “There is also a sense in which this was an important new beginning for Jesus; not in the sense of turning from sin, but in making a break with His previous life. “In accordance with the symbolic significance of the rite as denoting death to an old life and rising to a new, Jesus came to be baptized in the sense of dying to the old natural relations to parents, neighbors, and earthly calling, and devoting Himself henceforth to His public Messianic vocation.”  

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