Summary: This is message one from a series dealing with chapter 3, verse 16 of each New Testament letter.
I. Over the next few months we are going to embark on a journey.
A. For me this journey began as I was considering the next sermon series.
1. I thought about asking you to write down what your favorite verse of scripture was, and preaching on those.
a. But I decided that would be too dangerous.
b. If I taught something you disagreed with concerning your favorite scripture, you would just get mad at me.
2. Then I considered what some of the more well known passages of scripture were, and considered preaching on them.
B. That brought me to John 3:16,
1. The gospel in a nutshell; some call it.
2. At least a few years ago, almost everyone knew at least a portion of John 3:16.
3. Ask someone what their favorite verse from the Bible was, and even if they had never cracked a page, they would say, John 3:16.
C. That verse caused me to wonder what the other 3:16’s of the Bible taught.
II. As I looked at the gospels, I thought it was pretty cool how God had taken the four gospels, and at least with the 3:16’s, they kind of outline the earthly ministry of Christ.
A. Check it out
1. Matthew 3:16, which we will look at this morning speaks of the Baptism of Christ, or the “Beginning of” Christ official “Ministry.”
2. Mark 3:16, relates Jesus appointing the 12 apostles to live and learn from, and eventually begin the ministry of the church.
3. Luke 3:16 speaks to John the Baptist, baptizing multitudes of people that were drawn to a message of repentance, and then
4. John 3:16 is the “gospel in a nutshell.”
B. A few more
1. Acts 3:16 - Forgiveness of for sin is offered to all.
2. Rom. 3:16 - We all need that forgiveness
3. 1 Cor. 3:16 - You are a temple of God.
4. 2 Cor. 3:16 - Be proud of who you are.
III. On and on through the New Testament, it seems like the 3:16’s build on one another to offer hope for forgiveness from sin; the power for Godly living, and the expectation of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.
IV. I can’t wait to delve into these passages deeper.
Baptism Marks The Time Has Come
13 Then Jesus *arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him.
I. “Then” when?
A. John the Baptist, the one who was to prepare the way for the coming Lord was at work doing that which God had charged him to do.
B. Up to this point in the life of Christ, the scriptures are basically silent,
1. We know of his birth,
2. We know Joseph was forced to take his family to Egypt, in order to spare Jesus’ life from Herod
3. We know that they returned and lived,
4. But this event of the baptism of Christ essentially marks His entry into public ministry.
A. When the ordained time of God the Father arrived,
B. Then, when there was a new openness to the things of God.
III. All four gospels speak of the ministry of John the Baptist,
A. John the Baptist,
1. He looked funny
2. He dressed funny
3. He ate funny,
4. He seemed odd and out of place, YET
5. But the message of John the Baptist was clear.
B. John the Baptist proclaimed that man needed to confess his sins, stop sinning, and be baptized as a demonstration of his commitment to God.
C. And lo and behold, there must have thousands of people that responded.
1. The Bible states that “all Judea” and “all Jerusalem” came to confess and be baptized.
2. Then, while people were open to a fresh movement of God, Jesus came to be baptized.
IV. People coming to be baptized were marking a change of life,
A. They were recognizing that they were not in a right relationship with God.
B. Confessing, repenting (stopping of sin) and Marking a new beginning in life with baptism.
V. Jesus was marking a change as well.
A. A change from basically a private life,
B. To a change to public ministry.
VI. People will ask, “Why should I be baptized?” to which one answer is, has your relationship; your commitment to God undergone a change.
A. The act of baptism does not in itself make you right with God.
B. Baptism does not bring about any kind of salvation.
C. However, if you have come to faith in Jesus Christ as your personal savior, Baptism is the next step.
1. Baptism is a public profession of your confidence in Jesus Christ.
2. Baptism is a point in time, where we can look to and say, “I belong to God, only because of my faith in Jesus Christ.”