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The Distinctly Beautiful Picture of Baptism

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The Distinctly Beautiful Picture of Baptism

Introduction - A Picture Represents Reality...
Main Idea - Baptism Pictures the Reality of your Relationship with God!
Matthew 3:13–17 ESV
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
There is a great deal we can learn from these five verses about Baptism...
1. Biblical Baptism is Necessary (vs. 13)
Jesus thought it necessary to be baptized by John...
Matthew 3:13 ESV
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.
Apparently, baptism wasn’t some strange activity that John the Baptist made up and forced people to participate in. It was at least an activity that was familiar enough with the Jews that they saw a need to participate in it.
John baptism was one of preparation. It prepared the people for the coming of the Messiah! More on this in point 2...
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Milah or Circumcision - A recognition that Sin is at the core of human reproduction. We are sinful people from even our conception.
And then, one day, while John was baptizing droves of people, Jesus showed up.
Tebula or Immersion into water - A picture of the washing away of the old, gentile life. And being cleansed for the new life as a Jew.
Corbin or Animal Sacrifice - The blood of the sacrificed animal was sprinkled on the Proselyte as a symbol of a cleansing from His daily sins.
John 1:29 ESV
29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
As we continue through this text, you will see why Jesus was baptized. But for now, just let the thought that He was, sink in.
There are many Christians today who look at baptism as optional. As something that is a nice thing to do, but not necessary.
Folks, allow me to be blunt. For the Christian, BAPTISM is NECESSARY! It is a command of God!
Matthew 28:19 ESV
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Jesus thought it necessary to be baptized - What is stopping you?
2. Biblical Baptism Requires Repentance (vs. 14)
John’s Baptism was one of repentance and, as I said, one of preparation.
Matt
Matthew 3:14 ESV
14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
They had long awaited the arrival of the Messiah and at last He was here! It was John’s responsibility to prepare the way of the Lord. And so He did! And baptism was an outward symbol of repentance for the Jews as they prepared their hearts for the arrival of the Messiah.
Baptism was not a new concept, but it was mostly reserved for the Gentile when they became a Jew. In order for a gentile to become a Jew, not nationally, but spiritually, they would need to go through a process. They were referred to as a proselyte and they would need to do three things. Milah, Tebula and Corbin.
Baptism was not a new concept. In order for a gentile to become a Jew, not nationally, but spiritually, they would need to go through a process. They were referred to as a proselyte and they would need to do three things. Milah, Tebula and Corbin.
Milah or Circumcision - A recognition that Sin is at the core of human reproduction. We are sinful people from even our conception.
Tebula or Immersion into water - A picture of the washing away of the old, gentile life. And being cleansed for the new life as a Jew.
Corbin or Animal Sacrifice - The blood of the sacrificed animal was sprinkled on the Proselyte as a symbol of a cleansing from His daily sins.
Now remember, this was for the gentile to become a Jew. John was not baptizing Jews, he was baptizing Jews who recognized they had been living contrary to God and His plan. This is a huge deal!!! The fact that a Jew would humble himself or herself and be baptised like a Gentile?
They were not prepared for the arrival of the Messiah. They were convicted by John’s straight forward preaching, repented and then were baptized as an outward sign of a changed and repentant heart!
This is Johns attitude when Jesus shows up. “You want me to baptize you? No, you should be baptizing me! But Jesus’ Baptism wasn’t about His change of heart! More on this in a moment...
John’s baptism was one of repentance.
Acts 9:14 ESV
14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.”
Acts 19:4 ESV
4 And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.”
This is true for today as well. One must first, by faith, repent of ones sins in order to be saved! Baptism is the beautiful picture of the repentant heart...
What about you?
Biblical Baptism is Necessary
Biblical Baptism Requires Repentance...
3. Biblical Baptism Reflects Righteousness (vs. 15)
Jesus’ answer tells us why He was baptized -
Matthew 3:15 ESV
15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented.
Jesus’ answer tells us why He is to be baptised. He didn’t need to repent. He was not a sinner that had been redeemed. So why is Jesus baptized? Because “it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” What does this mean? John MacArthur is very helpful with this...
Let me ask you a question. How did Jesus fulfill the righteousness of God? Well, you could say He lived a perfect life. That didn’t fulfill it. How did He fulfill the requirement of the righteousness of God? How? By dying on a cross. So whatever Jesus’ baptism means, it is somehow connected to His fulfilling all righteousness, and therefore it is somehow connected to the act in which He did that when in righteous wrath, God poured out vengeance on the Lord Jesus Christ, and in His perfect sacrifice and sin-bearing death, all righteousness was then fulfilled, and a righteous God was satisfied and able to impute righteousness to believing people. All righteousness has to be fulfilled at the cross; therefore, the baptism of Jesus Christ is somehow connected to the cross. I think so. I believe that’s right. And I believe that baptism was a symbol of His death and resurrection.
Many other places in the Scriptures, baptism is associated with death...
Luke 12:50 ESV
50 I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished!
Mark 10:38 ESV
38 Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”
Mark
Jesus’ water baptism is a precursor to his baptism in death, burial and resurrection. And we too, when we are baptized in water we are picturing our spiritual death, burial and resurrection.
Romans 6:1–4 ESV
1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
Jesus’ baptism was a picture of His death, burial and resurrection. This is true of our baptism as well. When you step in the waters of baptism, there is nothing magical or mystical that happens. What does happen, however, is that you demonstrate to a watching world that you are now declared righteous based solely on Christ’s righteous, sacrificial work on the cross for you.
Biblical Baptism is Necessary
Biblical Baptism Requires Repentance...
Biblical Baptism Reflects Righteousness
4. Biblical Baptism has a Particular Mode (vs. 16a)
Jesus’ Baptism Demonstrates the mode (vs. 16a)
Matthew 3:16a ESV
16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him;
Baptism means to immerse, dip, or submerge every-time.
There is a reason John baptized at the Jordon. It was not convenient!
John 3:23 ESV
23 John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized
And by the way, this particular mode is very purposeful. The Lord has us do this for a reason. Much water enables us to picture the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus...
Baptism means to immerse. Have you been immersed for the Lord. He was! He went down into and came up from the water. So should you. Be obedient to the simple commands of the scriptures and God will bless you with more opportunities to serve and obey Him.
Biblical Baptism is Necessary
5. Biblical Baptism is about Your Public Allegiance (vs 16b)
Biblical Baptism Requires Repentance
Biblical Baptism Reflects Righteousness
Biblical Baptism has a Particular Mode
5. Biblical Baptism is about Your Public Allegiance (vs 16b)
Jesus’ Baptism Proves He is King
Matthew 3:16 ESV
16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him;
Matt
The Holy Spirit came to rest on Him. This is called the Theocratic anointing...
King Saul had it. King David had it. King Solomon had it and now, fast forward to the time of Jesus - now He has it! Why is this significant?
2 Samuel 7:12–16 ESV
12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, 15 but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. 16 And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’ ”
2 sam 7
Jesus is publically identifying himself as the Son of David. The Messiah (King). His baptism is the coronation of His earthly ministry. The King has arrived and He is claiming His rightful title. And those that desire to be a subject of the King must follow Him in the waters of baptism...
Jesus publically identified Himself as King. You must publically identify yourself as a subject of the King!
Biblical Baptism is Necessary
Biblical Baptism Requires Repentance
Biblical Baptism Reflects Righteousness
Biblical Baptism has a Particular Mode
Biblical Baptism is about Your Public Allegiance
6. Biblical Baptism Publicly Connects you with the Beloved Son (vs. 17)
Matthew 3:17 ESV
17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
Can you imagine this scene? Can you hear the voice of God utter these profound words?
God the Father says He is WELL PLEASED with His son. Can the Father say this about you?
In and of yourself, He cannot! That is not a judgmental statement on my part. It is simply raw, biblical fact because you are a sinner.
Romans 3:23 ESV
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
And God, instead of being pleased with you, must punish you because you have broken His law over and over again. And this is an eternal punishment.
Malachi 4:1 ESV
1 “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.
But God has another way, because of His great love for you...
Romans 5:8 ESV
8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
And it was His death on the cross that satisfies the wrath of God on your behalf.
How do I obtain this you ask? By faith!
John 3:16 ESV
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
And when someone truly repents of their sin and places their faith in Christ alone, they are saved from God’s eternal wrath!
The next logical, beautiful and biblical step is water baptism. Not because it saves, but because it paints an clear and distinct picture of what God, through Christ has done in and through you.
Titus 3:5–6 ESV
5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
Are you connected to Christ through His glorious grace? Have you declared it publically through the waters of baptism? This is God’s desire for all Christians.
Biblical Baptism is Necessary
Biblical Baptism Requires Repentance
Biblical Baptism Reflects Righteousness
Biblical Baptism has a Particular Mode
Biblical Baptism is about Your Public Allegiance
Biblical Baptism Publicly Connects you with the Beloved Son
Conclusion
Dr. MacArthur posits the question - Perhaps the church in America is weak because she has forgotten to follow the command of Baptism. If we can easily ignore His first command then it becomes easy for us to minimize the rest.
Baptism is a picture that you, as an individual Christian get to paint. And the image you have the privilege of crafting before the world is that of God’s saving work in your heart. What an honor!
Are you a Christian? Are you a baptised Christian? What is stopping you from publically painting this gorgeous rendering of God’s sacrificial love?
Today we have five that will be baptized...
Galatians 2:20 ESV
20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Connection Group Questions
What are you rejoicing in?
What are you challenged by?
What have you learned about God from this passage?
What do we learn about Jesus from this passage?
What have you learned about mankind from this passage?
What will I do this week based on this passage?
With whom will you share what you learned this week?
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