Proclaimed in Baptism
Whom do you trust? Or should I say in what do you trust? As a preacher I must not only say we must trust in God I must believe it too!
Let’s pray… Father, we have not lived up to Your Standard, we have gone our own way, we have not done as we should; therefore, have mercy. ‘O Lord, have mercy. In Jesus name. Amen.
Please go with me in your Bibles to Matthew chapter three. Four hundred years of silence has gone by until now. God has sent John the Baptist to prepare the way for his Son.
Matthew 3 (NLT)
3 In those days John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began preaching. His message was, 2 “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.*” 3 The prophet Isaiah was speaking about John when he said,
“He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the LORD’s coming!
Clear the road for him!’ ”*
4 John’s clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey. 5 People from Jerusalem and from all of Judea and all over the Jordan Valley went out to see and hear John. 6 And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.
7 But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to watch him baptize,* he denounced them. “You brood of snakes!” he exclaimed. “Who warned you to flee God’s coming wrath? 8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. 9 Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. 10 Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.
11 “I baptize with water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.”
The Baptism of Jesus
13 Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?”
15 But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.*” So John agreed to baptize him.
16 After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened* and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”
Preaching a message of repentance was the purpose of John the Baptist (Matthew 3:2). Go with me to Matthew 4:17 and see that Jesus preached a message of repentance too.
Because our sin will always find us out; therefore, our need to repent never goes away.
Galatians 6:7-10 (NLT)
7 Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. 9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.
Everyone of us is a sinner (Romans 3:23; 6:23); therefore, everyone of us needs to be sorrowful for our sin (Psalm 32:1ff; 51ff).
If David of whom it was said was a man after God’s own heart could and did fall into temptation what about you and me…
As we have thought about David I would like now to turn our attention to Christ.
When we realize that all humanity (all including you and me) is responsible for Christ’ sufferings on the cross; therefore, making us right in God’s sight we must also realize that we are in desperate need. Need of what? We are in need of God’s mercy! How do we attain this mercy? We attain it by and through Christ; therefore, what does Christ ask of us? We are asked to repent and be baptized (Acts 2:38).
This is what the people to whom Peter was preaching asked (Acts 2:37). In Jesus’ day it was the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 3:7ff.) that thought they were attaining salvation through their ethnicity. They could not be farther from the truth. Who was John the Baptist? Where or what were his roots? In other words where did John come from? John was born into a priestly family (Zac & Beth); therefore, I would imagine that he would have or could have just about anything he wanted. Some might of thought of John that having the “right” parents had sealed his entrance into heaven; however, John choose to go another route. John’s route was one of an ascetic. His monastic behavior I think showed the people of his day as well as to us here that we are not born saved, and that there is nothing we can do to earn our salvation. Let me say that again. John’s behavior emphases that salvation does not happen because of whom one is born to or anything like that; rather, salvation is found rather through repentance and Christian baptism.
So how does this relate to us today? The Good News is that we have been forgiven; however, we are not simply forgiven so that we can sin again (Galatians 6:7-8). Rather we are forgiven to be made right in God’s sight (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Just what is repentance? I have often described this as turning and going another direction. For some of us this means giving our allegiance to Christ and not the fed. For those of you that are Bible scholars then you have heard the term Baal. Over and over again God’s people were not to worship Baal. I am afraid that we have replaced Baal with fed. Do you know what I mean by fed? Allow me to illustrate. For a season while an undergrad student at Ozark Christian College I worked as a part time post master at the Arcadia post office. Out of all the mail we received there was a certain kind of mail that trumped all other pieces. Do you know what the most important pieces of mail were that I received? They were fed checks.
Please take a piece of currency out of your pocket, purse, or wallet and tell me what one phrase is on all our currency.
“IN GOD WE TRUST.”
Our forefathers were pretty smart. In 2009 due to economic turmoil our currency became very shaky to say the least and some became unsure of its future. In 2010 let’s take the advice of our forefathers and trust in God rather than in our currency.
Can I be perfectly honest with you? I have lived off student loans for the last almost seven years! I am afraid that I have grown dependent upon student loans rather then being wholly dependent upon.
Chances are I am not the only one that has trusted in someone or something else rather then in trusting in God. If this is so if you have put something in place of God then will you join me in a prayer of repentance?
Father, how wise our founding fathers are for example stamping on our currency, “In God we trust.” Yes, in Jesus’ name and above all others we trust! Amen.