Summary: Why should we be baptized?
MARK 1:2 It is written in Isaiah the prophet: "I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way"— 3"a voice of one calling in the desert, ’Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ " 4And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7And this was his message: "After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."9At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased." 12At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert, 13and he was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
If we are going to talk about baptism this morning, I thought it best to look to our example.....Christ. Why in the world would Christ need to be baptised? He was the only perfect being to walk this earth....literally "God on earth". So why was it necessary for Him? And why is it given as an ordinance for us today? Why should we be baptized with water after we have accepted Christ into our lives? A couple of things I would like to point out to you about Jesus’s baptism.
1. John the Baptist was baptizing in the river Jordan. He was NOT sprinkling anybody or simply speaking a few words over them. He was immersing them into the river. I won’t say anything bad about the way other denominations baptize, but here at LWF we take the Bible as Gods infallible Word, and take it literally as well. If it was good enough for Christ (our example) to be submersed, then it’s good enough for me! By the way, the Greek word for baptize (baptizo) means to fully immerse something in a fluid.
2. This is the very FIRST thing that Christ did before beginning His ministry. He was about to set out on three very volatile years of ministry, which would cultimate in His death upon the cross. The first step in Christianity is repentance....Christ knew no sin, but even He recognized the need for His water baptism...the symbolism of "washing away" our "old man" and coming up with the "new life" in Christ.
3. After His baptism, what happened? Vs 10 tells us that heaven was "torn open and the Spirit descended upon Him". WOW! I believe with all my heart that when we baptize tonight, heaven will be split open and God, Christ , and all of His creatures will be watching in sheer joy! Praise God! These are some of the moments that Pastors live for! John said that he (John) baptized with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." Folks, we can’t make this journey, this new life without the power of the Holy Spirit. I can’t emphasize that enough. Jesus had to have water baptism AND the Holy Spirit to begin His journey, and we do too! Just as Jesus was suddenly whisked away to the wilderness as soon as He was baptized and received the Holy Spirit, we must ALL realize that on this earth, we Christians are in the "wilderness" and need the power of the living God to keep us going.