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Summary: Jesus submits to the Father in baptism, although as John pointed out, he had no need to be baptized (he was without sin). However, Jesus is righteous by doing what is "right" and sets the example and standard for us.

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1. [Cannonball Baptism on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3CDhJZSKmY

2. Baptism is a hot topic in Christian circles

a. [There is a story of an early Restoration preacher who would ride the train to many of his appointments. Whenever possible, he would seek out a Methodist preacher and a Baptist preacher. He would begin a discussion on baptism -- immersion or sprinkling? Once he got the debate going he would slip away and let them argue.

b. Baptize is an Anglicized word that means "immerse."

3. Matthew 3.1-17

I. John: The Opening Act -- Preparing the Way for the LORD (as Isaiah 40.3)

A. John's Preparation was for the LORD -- Luke 1.76-80

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;

for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,

77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people

in the forgiveness of their sins,

78 because of the tender mercy of our God,

whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high

79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,

to guide our feet into the way of peace."

80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

1. In the wilderness (desert)

2. LORD = YHWH; therefore, Jesus is LORD, God

B. Purposes of Jewish Baptisms (Hebrews 6)

A little girl wanted to get baptized but her mother wanted her to attend some classes to make sure she knew what she was committing herself to. After one of the classes, her mother asked, "Honey, what does baptism mean?"

Thinking hard, the little girl the finally said, "Well, it isn't the water that makes you clean ..." she began.

The mother thought, "Yes, she understands."

Then smiling brightly, her daughter quickly added, "...It's the soap."

We know -- 1 Peter 3.21

1. Conversion of a Gentile -- "Born Again" (Nicodemus' confusion in John 3)

2. Ceremonial Cleansing of Priests -- Leviticus 8.6; and Anointing in 8.12

3. Ceremonial Cleansing of the People -- Prior to entrance into the temple

4. A Baptism of Repentance and Remission of Sins by John --

And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Luke 3.3

a. Baptism Deals with Sin

b. And Judgment -- Matthew 3.5-10

C. Places of Jewish Baptisms -- Living Water

* River [Baptism @ Jordan River + Traditional site

* Lakes as the Sea of Galilee [Pic of Sea of Galilee

* Mediterranean Sea (Ethiopian in Acts 8) [Pic of Mediterranean Sea

* Mikveh via Aqueducts (as in Qumran and the Essene Community) [Mikveh at Qumran

* Self-immersion with a witness

II. Jesus: The Main Attraction

A. John to Decrease; Jesus to Increase -- John 3.30

B. Why Was Jesus Baptized?

1. He had no sin; was not a Levitical priest; was not a convert; not told it was for ritual purity

2. He was beginning his ministry -- Mark 1.1

Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, Luke 3.23

a. Sanctification for service as Aaron -- Not Levitical Priest but THE High Priest

b. Anointing followed -- oil was a representation of the HS; Jesus received HS

c. Age 30 -- (Luke 3.23) -- Mishnah: Enter into vigor of one's occupation at 30.

d. He was doing the right thing --

"I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. John 5.30

1) For John and For Jesus

2) Acted "NOW" -- Matthew 3.15

3. A Matter of Identification as Messiah

a. Out of Egypt -- Hosea 11.1 cf. Matthew 2.15

b. Red Sea Baptism as a new birth for the Nation -- 1 Corinthians 10.1-5

c. Into the Wilderness -- 40 years/40 days

d. Declaration of Witnesses -- Father and HS

* My Son -- Psalm 2.7

* Beloved -- Genesis 22.2

* Well-Pleased -- Isaiah 42.1

1. Applications for us

a. Follow the Example of Jesus -- do the will of the Father -- always the right thing to do

b. Identify with Jesus

c. Be set apart for service

d. Receive Remission of Sins (Acts 2.38)

2. It was late October and about 9:00 PM. Preacher, Rick Stacy had been talking with Myron and his wife about following Jesus and sealing that decision with baptism. Myron was hesitant for a long time and then finally said, "Yes, I want to accept Jesus -- and I want to be baptized tonight -- right now in Lake Superior. In case you don't know Lake Superior is cold. The average temperature (year round) is about 38 degrees. This was late October and the gales of November (remember the Edmund Fitzgerald) had come early. The waves were running 3 feet high.

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