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Summary: Exegetical, evangelistic, expository sermon on the prupose and meaning of Christian baptism as practiced by John the Baptist and Jesus.

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2 weeks ago I played baptism down, saying it was not needed for salvation. That is still true, but you need to see the importance of baptism. John the Baptist was baptizing, and Jesus’ disciples were baptizing under Jesus’ authority.

1) A jealous arguement. John’s disciples wanted John to be over Jesus, because he was before Jesus: he baptized first, he preached first.

· His disciples were baptizing lots of people. “Everyone” was coming to Jesus for baptism. Have you done that? Have you been baptized because of your faith?

· This is not a competition, except it is a competition for possession of your very soul and where you will spend eternity. Where will you spend eternity?

2) John’s answer: I already told you this.

· ’I am not the Christ.’ Jesus is the Christ, Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus is the Savior. John knew Jesus for who he really is. Do you understand who Jesus really is?

· “I’m just the best man, the friend of the bridegroom,” at the wedding feast. John was a good witness to Jesus, and he was a soul winner, telling others about Jesus. Are you a good witness to Jesus?

3) He must increase. The life and work of Jesus were increasing, and He was becoming more and more famous.

· John said he himself must decrease. As long as we promote ourselves we will never be what Jesus wants us to be. We will always be frustrated & tired, burned out.

· Jesus will increase with or without you. You get in on what God is doing by joining the work of His church. Will you do that?

· You can increase with Jesus or without Him. One way is righteous, the other is nothing other than simple sin and pride.

4) He who comes from heaven is above all. Understand who Jesus really is, He is the son of God our Father. How great He is beyond what we can think or imagine.

· Is Jesus your older brother, your Savior? He should be.

· The preaching of Jesus was only what He knew first hand, what God had told Him. His claims on your life are no less that they were for John the Baptist. John died for his witness. What are you living for and what are you willing to die for?

INVITATION: Are you willing to be Jesus’ best man? Bride’s maid? Are you willing to do what John did and point people to Jesus? If not, why not?


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