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The Battle and Baptism

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Mark’s Gospel may lack a volume of verbiage but it contains much volume in its verbiage. Mark points out peculiar particulars that Matthew, Luke, and John omit. Mark is painting his portrait inspired by the Spirit as Peter recounts His time with Christ.
The four gospels were written to cover four aspects of the life and ministry of Jesus. Each gospel writer wrote from a different perspective to a different audience. They each looked at the character of Jesus from different angles.
Each author is presenting a different aspect of Jesus’ character. In Matthew Jesus is the king; in Mark; He is the servant; in Luke; He is the perfect man; in John, He is God. This is because each writer addressed a different type of audience.
The Gospels are not intended to be a history or biography of the life of Christ in the modern sense of the term. Each author is selective in what he portrays. Jesus did many more things than the Gospels record as John testified.
When the Gospels are compared with each other we get an overall portrait of Jesus. He was God from all eternity who came down to earth as the perfect man. He was the Messiah of Israel, the King of the Jews, the one who did the job that God sent Him to do. This is the testimony of the four Gospels.
Mark wants his audience to know that good news has come; Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He demonstrates this through the foretelling of Isaiah the prophet. He illustrates this good news through the forerunner of John the Baptist.
Each Gospel writers aim is to show that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
In today’s text Jesus makes his first appearance in Mark’s Gospel. This appearance, like all of Mark’s Gospel, is explosive and without much explanation.
In today’s text

Jesus will show us the reason for baptism and the requirements for battle.

Baptism is debated within church circles as to its method and meaning.

Method - Immersion

Let’s first discuss method from this text. The word “baptized” in verse 9 means to immerse or put under. Mark goes on to say this happened “in the Jordan”. This word in means to go into. This further supports immersion. If it meant something different Mark could have said; he was baptized by John from the Jordan. Notice how verse 10 closes this baptismal scene; “and when he came up out of the water”. This too support immersion as the method of baptism.
I’m not saying those that sprinkle are wrong or misguided I just believe they missing a robust spiritual experience. And this leads me to its meaning.
Before we answer the question of meaning we must ask the question; why it was mandatory? If Jesus was the sinless Son of God the why does he need to participate in a baptism which according to was a baptism of repentance.
Mark’s text does not tell us it was mandatory but Matthew’s Gospel does
Matthew 3:13–16 ESV
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 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;
Jesus baptism was mandatory because of its meaning.

Meaning - Identification

In His baptism Jesus identifies himself as the Savior of Sinners.

Jesus was not baptized for the forgiveness of sin to fulfill all righteousness.

Jesus identifies with us in baptism and now we are baptized to identify with him.

Jesus baptism was an act of obedience required for our salvation our baptism is an act of obedience revealing our salvation.

Romans 6:1–4 ESV
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 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.
Is baptism mandatory for salvation? No. However, baptism is mandatory for spiritual growth. How can you grow spiritually when you are not being obedient to Christ command to be baptized?
Notice what takes place immediately after Jesus emerges from the water. The Father and The Spirit show up. What does this mean? Simply,

obedience results in the Father’s pleasure and the Spirit’s power.

There is not a baptism of water and then a separate baptism of the Spirit. We are baptized spiritually by the Spirit, or indwelt, at the moment of salvation according to
Titus 3:5 ESV
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,
We are baptized physically after this spiritual baptism to demonstrate outwardly what has happened inwardly.
Water baptism will not redeem you but it serves to remind you. There will be a need in your life to remember what baptism represents; the new birth. Your enemy will attack as we are about to see with Christ. He will come with blame and shame and when he does you tell Him to go measure the distance from east to west.
Baptism was a monumental moment for Christ. It is the only time outside of where we see the entire Trinity together.
Baptism was a monumental moment for Christ. It is the only time outside of where we see the entire Trinity together. This is an apex moment but apex moments are always followed by attacks. Triumph is as followed by testing.
Notice the expediency of transition. Immediately we go from the Father’s Affirmation to Satanic Assault. Immediately, we go from the Spirit’s Annionting to Evil Entanglements. Immediately, we go from Trinitirian Delight to a Duel with Devil in a Desolate place.
Notice the explanation for the transition; “The Spirit”. Why is the Spirit driving him into the wilderness?

To instruct and insure us in our battle against sin and Satan.

Those who are led by the Spirit of God are led into warfare. We are not redeemed to rest but wrestle against spiritual wickedness in high places. Jesus shows us that spiritual muscle is not built by resting but by resisting.
Don’t miss what I’m saying. I have preached a great deal on waiting but this is not being passively lazy. We daily wait on the Lord and wrestle with spiritual forces. We must find our rest in the Lord while we resist demonic allurements.
Jesus shows us how Satan is to be resisted and how to rest.
The word tempted in verse 13 is in the present tense. This means that Christ did not endure 3 temptations as recorded in Matthew and Luke but an onslaught of temptation for 40 days. Many scholars believe, and I agree, that those temptations in Matthew and Luke were repackaged over and over during that time.
It is not a sin to be tempted. Temptation is a solicitation to sin, an enticement to evil, an invitation to iniquity, and a tantalization to transgression. Sin is giving in to the temptation.
Jesus was tempted so that he could, as in his baptism, fully identify with us.
Hebrews 2:15 ESV
and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
Hebrews 2:14–15 ESV
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.

In his battle, Jesus instructs sinners in their struggle against sin and Satan.


Hebrews 2:17 ESV
Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
Hebrews 4:15 ESV
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

In His battle, Jesus insures sinners that their victory over sin and Satan is sure.

1 Corinthians 15:
1 Corinthians 15:45–48 ESV
Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.
The first Adam encountered temptation while the second Adam endured an onslaught of temptation.
The first Adam was tempted in an oasis while the second Adam was tempted in an outback.
The first Adam was tempted while feasting while the second Adam was tempted while fasting.
The first Adam was surrounded by Eden’s comfort while the second Adam was surrounded by the Earth’s curse.
The first Adam believed the Serpent while the second Adam believed the Scripture.
Let’s bring this to a close by remembering our atmosphere and author. Mark is writing based on Peter’s testimony of Jesus. Peter, the one who confessed Christ but who was also called Satan by Christ. Peter, the one who would die for Christ but ended up denying him not once, not twice, but three times. Peter, the one whom Satan sifted became the one Jesus used to strengthen.
1 Peter 5:8–10 ESV
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
1 Peter 5
Peter had fought his own battles against Satan and experienced many falterings. However, he never ultimately failed for Christ had prayed for him and thus he persevered and prevailed.
John 21:15–17 ESV
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
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