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2019-02-10-John & Jesus at Jordan

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Ponder the Picture of Baptism

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Pre-Introduction:
At this time, we invite any children who desire to join my dear wife for a children’s service to follow her where you can hear a wonderful bible lesson and sing some uplifting songs about Jesus.
For those joining us outside this gathering, you’re listening to the Services of the Broomfield Baptist Church. This is the Pastor bringing the Sunday Morning message entitled “John & Jesus at Jordan.” We invite you to follow along with us in your Bible in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 3, and verses 13-17. I draw you attention particularly to verse number 15.
For our guests and church family gathering with us today, I don’t want it to catch you off-guard, but in about 35mins or so, I’m going to ask you to do something. I’ll be asking you to make a decision based on the information in today’s sermon. At the end of the service, I’ll invite you to come if you will and kneel if you’re able at the front as a token of God working in your life. Those who are able to counsel at the altar, I ask you to be attentive to the needs that might present, and be ready to help if needed at that time.

Introduction:

[Start Low]
Matthew 3:15 KJV 1900
And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
A. Get Attention-
Pre-qualification- This sermon is not intended to be a discourse on what Believer’s Baptism is, for further help understanding that aspect of the Christian walk, please see one of our Discipler’s for a more in-depth treatment of what that is. Please do not confuse Jesus’ Baptism by John here with Believer’s Baptism as administered by Jesus’ duly ordained ministers within His local churches, while there are many similarities, there are some nuances unique to each that serve different capacities of identification. Also, allow me to state up front that as a church, we believe and teach that Baptism is a picture, and in no means was ever meant to carry sacramental power, namely of washing sin away; the only way to have your sins forgiven and washed away before God is by grace through faith in Jesus’ substitutionary death for you on the cross.
B. Raise Need-
Illustration- May I see your I.D. Please? Baptism was Christ’s Identification. Baptism is now the Christian’s Identification.
C. State Purpose- to exhort identification with Jesus
D. Orient Theme- The Baptism of Jesus fulfilled all righteousness, anointed Him for ministry, and found favor with God.
Main Thought: When the fuller picture of Christ’s baptism comes into focus in all of its facets, it moves you to admire His wonderful love and power to save, and inspires you to disdain the old life in the flesh, to then step out in faith to follow Him fully.
Sub-introduction: Give the context of the Baptism of John, and how it related to fruit meet for repentance for some that had come.
“And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.” Too often in our days the ax is laid to the fruit of the tree. But it is the root that is wrong. There must be a new man if there would be fruit for God. To lay the ax to the root of the tree implies the utter condemnation of the natural man and suggests the positive need of new birth. [H. A. Ironside, Expository Notes on the Gospel of Matthew. (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1948), 28.]
Body:

I. Moving Toward the Baptismal Waters (Matt. 3:13-15)

[Go Slow]
Note - Jesus Presents Himself for John's Baptism

A. Hindrances to Baptism (Matt. 13:13-14)

Note - Jesus' Arrival to the Jordan River from Galilee (Mt. 3:13) Brings An Understandable Hindrance (Mt. 3:14)
Matthew 3:13–14 KJV 1900
Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
Note - Describe the geography of Jordan and what it would have taken Jesus to get there, on purpose.
Note - “forbad”
John contrasts himself with Jesus (the emphatic pronouns I and you bring this out). There is a certain irony in John’s difficulty baptizing the leaders because they were not worthy of baptism, while here he has difficulty allowing Jesus to be baptized because John is not worthy of him.5 [5 Carson, “Matthew,” 107.] [Grant R. Osborne, Matthew, vol. 1, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 122.]

B. Helps for the Candidate (Mt. 3:15)

Note - Jesus' Answer to John's Concern Puts Forth An Imperative Allowance (Mt. 3:15)
Matthew 3:15 KJV 1900
And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
Note - “Suffer” is imperative, from the root meaning “forgive” and has the sense of “to allow” or “to permit” here.
Note - “now”
God’s will for the present is for Jesus to begin his messianic ministry with baptism. The time is “now,” not later. [Osborne, 123.]
Note - “Fulfill all righteousness” (cf. Mt. 5:17, to fulfill…)
An important prerequisite to understanding Jesus’ words is an understanding of the meaning of “righteousness.” Matthew’s use of this word is different from Paul’s. Paul used it mainly to describe a right standing before God, positional righteousness. Matthew used it to describe conformity to God’s will, ethical righteousness.165 Ethical righteousness is the display of conduct in one’s actions that is right in God’s eyes. It does not deal with getting saved but responding to God’s grace. In Matthew a righteous person is one who lives in harmony with the will of God (cf. 1:19). Ethical righteousness is a major theme of the Old Testament, and it was a matter that concerned the Jews in Jesus’ day, especially the Pharisees. [165 165. Benno Przybylski, Righteousness in Matthew and His World of Thought, pp. 91–94.] [Tom Constable, Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible (Galaxie Software, 2003), Mt 3:15.]
Righteousness from God
I. Jesus fulfilled all righteousness. 3:15.
II. Believers should thirst after righteousness. 5:6.
III. Being persecuted for righteousness is blessed. 5:10.
IV. Believers’ righteousness must exceed that of Pharisees. 5:20.
V. Righteous deeds should be done for God alone. 6:1.
VI. Believers should seek God’s righteousness. 6:33.
VII. John came in the way of righteousness. 21:32. [Stewart Custer, The Gospel of the King : A Commentary on Matthew (Greenville, S.C.: BJU Press, 2005), 43.]
Note - “Then he suffered him”
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21, KJV 1900)
1 Peter 2:22 KJV 1900
Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
He was baptized that he might assume the sinner’s guilt, standing with him and for him and identifying himself with his lot. Then he was anointed by the Spirit, and attested by the Father’s voice. [F. B. Meyer, Through the Bible Day by Day: A Devotional Commentary, vol. 5 (Philadelphia: American Sunday-School Union, 1914–1918), 17.]
Application: Sometimes, even well-meaning, we can also be hindered from following the Lord in Baptism. For me, it was many years after my profession of salvation that I came to fully confess Christ openly and identify with Him fully in Baptism. Think of your own experience, what all had to occur in your life to move you toward those baptismal waters? Jesus went out of His way for us in so many aspects, have you moved toward Him yet? are you helping others move toward Him for salvation and then baptism?
Setting aside the traditions of religion and the reasonings of men, leaving the practices of various Christian denominations, forgetting about the influence of personal feelings and family background or ties, and basing our decision entirely within the context of Scripture, the only honest conclusion concerning baptism is that baptism is the one time rite or act of immersion in water exclusively intended for the believer, the child or God, whereby that believer personally and publicly identifies himself or herself with both his or her Lord and Saviour and with the local New Testament church by whose authority the baptism was administered.
THE ONE QUESTION FACING ALL BELIEVERS.
Have you been baptized since you were saved?
Yes_____ No_____
If your answer is yes, you may skip over this next question; but if your answer is "no," please read this next passage slowly and carefully.
THE ONE QUESTION FOR THOSE WHO ARE SAVED, BUT WHO HAVE NOT BEEN BAPTIZED
Why is it that you have not followed the Lord Jesus in believer's baptism in obedience to His command?
Maybe you did not know you were supposed to be baptized.
Maybe you have not had an opportunity.
Maybe you have never before been shown the truth about baptism.
Maybe you realize that you listened to some person rather than the Lord.
Maybe you were misguided or even taught wrongly about baptism.
Maybe you been embarrassed or ashamed to take a public stand for the One Who died for your sins.
Maybe you have been fearful about being baptized.
Maybe you considered baptism too lightly.
Whatever the reason, if you are physically able to do so and yet refuse to be baptized, what possible answer will you give to your Saviour
[Jerald L. Manley, Please, Avoid My Mistakes - Some Suggestions for Doing So (The Heritage Baptist Church of Pensacola, FL, 2006).]
Transition: We’ve considered how we, like Jesus need to move toward those waters of baptism for identification, now let’s look closer at...

II. The Message at the Baptismal Waters (Matt. 3:16-17)

[Climb Higher]
Note - John Preforms Jesus' Baptism in the Jordan

A. Finding Identity in the Son (Matt. 3:16a)

Note - The Son Ascending
Matthew 3:16 KJV 1900
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
Note - “went up” that is, ascended.
Note - Luke tells us that the heavens were opened when Jesus was praying, having been baptized
Luke 3:21–22 KJV 1900
Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

B. Filled with the Spirit for Service (Matt. 3:16b)

[Take Fire]
Note - The Spirit Descending
Matthew 3:16 KJV 1900
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
Note - While Luke informs us of the “bodily shape” of the dove-like descent, from what I can gather, there is good reason to think that only Jesus and John were privy to this vision and voice, and yet, all who come to the Scripture believing are privy to it since the days of the apostles themselves.
John 1:32 KJV 1900
And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
What God chooses, He cleanses.
What God cleanses, He molds.
What God molds, He fills.
What God fills, He uses.
~J. S. Baxter662
A. J. Gordon, one of the founders of Gordon Conwell Divinity School, told of being out walking and looking across a field at a house. There beside the house was what looked like a man pumping furiously at one of those hand pumps. As Gordon watched, the man continued to pump at a tremendous rate; he seemed absolutely tireless, pumping on and on, up and down, without ever slowing in the slightest, much less stopping.
Truly it was a remarkable sight, so Gordon started to walk toward it. As he got closer, he could see it was not a man at the pump, but a wooden figure painted to look like a man. The arm that was pumping so rapidly was hinged at the elbow and the hand was wired to the pump handle. The water was pouring forth, but not because the figure was pumping it. You see, it was an artesian well, and the water was pumping the man!
When you see a man who is at work for God and producing results, recognize that it is the Holy Spirit working through him, not the man’s efforts that are giving results. All he has to do—and all you have to do—is keep your hand on the handle.663 [Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 190.]
Application - The Spirit of God empowered the Lord Jesus (v. 16); we need His power as well. “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16b). ~Custer

C. Finding Favor in the Father’s Will (Matt. 3:17)

Note - The Father Commending
Matthew 3:17 KJV 1900
And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Note - “My Beloved Son”
“He did not become Son of God at His baptism, as certain heretical teachers in the early Church maintained; but it was then that He was appointed to a work which He alone could perform, because of His unique relationship with His Father.”175 …173. Kingsbury, p. 44. In a footnote to this statement the writer added, “To illustrate this, notice how the words Satan speaks in 4:3, 6 (‘If you are the Son of God . . .’) pick up directly on the declaration God makes in the baptismal pericope (‘This is my beloved Son . . .’).” [175 175. Tasker, p. 50.] [Constable]
Note - See also:
Behold my servant, whom I uphold; Mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.” (Isaiah 42:1, KJV 1900)
Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.” (Matthew 12:18, KJV 1900)
To please God even a little is infinitely greater than to have the acclamations of all our race throughout the centuries. 2100.454 [Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Exploring the Mind and Heart of the Prince of Preachers: Five-Thousand Illustrations Selected from the Works of Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Oswego, IL: Fox River Press, 2005), 351.]
God—Love of
All things that are on earth shall wholly pass away,
Except the love of God, which shall live and last for aye.
The forms of men shall be as they had never been;
The blasted groves shall lose their fresh and tender green;
The birds of the thicket shall end their pleasant song,
And the nightingale shall cease to chant the evening long;
The kine of the pasture shall feel the dart that kills,
And all the fair white flocks shall perish from the hills;
The goat and antlered stag, the wolf and the fox,
The wild boar of the wood, and the chamois of the rocks,
And the strong and fearless bear, in the trodden dust shall lie;
And the dolphin of the sea, and the mighty whale shall die,
And realms shall be dissolved, and empires be no more;
And they shall bow to death, who ruled from shore to shore;
And the great globe itself (so the holy writings tell),
With the rolling firmament, where the starry armies dwell,
Shall melt with fervent heat—they shall all pass away,
Except the love of God, which shall live and last for aye.
~William Cullen Bryant.
[C. H. Spurgeon, Feathers for Arrows (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1870), 89–90.]
Application: We, too, ought to live to please the Father (v. 17). “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27). ~Custer
I end with these questions: Do you love Jesus? And are you well pleased with him? The Father certainly is; that is what these words state clearly. If the Father is pleased with Jesus, shouldn’t you be? If you are not, you are far from being a true Christian. If you are, surely you will want to follow Jesus in faithful obedience and point others to him, as John the Baptist did. [James Montgomery Boice, The Gospel of Matthew (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2001), 51.]
Our Lord and King is now fully before us. He has been preceded, predicted, and pointed out by John the Baptist; he has been dedicated to his work in baptism; he has been anointed by the Spirit, and confessed by the Father; and therefore he has fairly entered upon his royal work. May none of us in the service of the Lord run before our time, or go forward without a sense of the Father’s approval, and without that spiritual unction which is from above!
O my Lord, let me be anointed and approved in my measure, even as thou wast in thine. In order to this, I would behold thine anointing of the Spirit with the full belief that I am anointed in thee, as the body receives unction in the anointing of the Head. [C. H. Spurgeon, The Gospel of the Kingdom: A Commentary on the Book of Matthew (London: Passmore and Alabaster, 1893), 14.]

Conclusion:

A. Call to Act/Summary of Message/Application:
Are you saved? "Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?” If you are saved, have you been baptized to follow Jesus? Mt. 28:18 is still His command today. Will you obey the still small voice of the Holy Spirit nudging you towards obedience to Christ?
B. Gospel Invitation:
In just a moment, we are going to have an invitation for you to respond to what you've heard about the Lord today. The love of God sent Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, to die on the cross for all your sins. Won't you come and ask Jesus to come into your life and save you? Simply acknowledge that you have sinned against God, believe that Jesus died to take your sins, and call upon His name to save you; the Bible promises He will.
Friend, if God’s Word has shown you something about yourself, an area where you might be weak in faith, or something that He is wanting you to obey Him in, or just simply if the Lord is working in your life right now, your greatest need is to be right with Him. While the piano plays, don’t wait another moment. Now is the time to acknowledge that God is moving toward you, and you are moving toward Him. Step out, and come and kneel at the front somewhere, pray to God, and tell Him what’s on your heart. If you need to be saved, come and we’ll have someone, men with men and ladies with ladies, show you from the Bible how you can be saved today. If you need to be baptized, come and let us help you with that. If you would step out and decide to follow Jesus today, then why not come and tell Him so?
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