Sermon for 3/17/2002
The 3:16’s of the Bible
A. I have no been smooth with all of my baptisms. Water too cold, too hot, bugs, can get you down until you bubble, etc.
B. One lady wanted to know what she would feel when she was baptized. Minister didn’t know how to answer, varied responses. When he put her under, her body stiffened and her eyes popped open. The look on her face was a mixture of excitement and surprise. And all he could think was "Hey, Lord, How come I didn’t get that!" As he pulled her up from the water, she put her hand on the back of her head; only then did he realize what had happened. He had moved toward one end of the baptistery, and when he had lowered her into the water, he had smacked the back of her head onto the baptistery steps!
A. In our study of the 3:16’s of the Bible, we come to a section on Jesus’ baptism.
B. Introduction of Matthew.
1. First book of the New Testament.
2. One of the gospels. It gives accounts of Jesus life.
3. Matthew was one of the 12. He was a tax collector.
4. Emphasis of Matthew is that Jesus is the Messiah foretold by the Old Testament Prophets. Writing to mainly Jewish readers.
C. Lots of debate about baptism. Most controversial issue. However, we need to get back to the Biblical view.
Thesis: We can begin to understand more about baptism by thinking of it in three ways as illustrated from Matthew 3:13-17.
I. Baptism is about beginning anew.
A. John’s baptism was a resolution to begin anew. Forsake sins. As they were baptized they were confessing their sins.
B. Heard John preach on sin and Wanted to make a change so they came and were baptized of John in the Jordan.
C. We make a resolution to change and we seal it in baptism and God comes and gives us a new life.
D. (2 Cor 5:17 NIV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone the new has come!
E. The Scriptures says that we put on a new self. We are the same but we are beginning anew.
F. It is like a dry erase board. We draw horrible things on this board and God comes along through faith in baptism and erases those horrible things so that we can begin anew.
G. Two different ways that people view baptism in the church:
1. Baptism is the saving moment in which the person being baptized accepts the love and forgiveness of God. This person is saved. May grow in faith through the years, but nothing that this person will experience after their baptism is as important as the baptism. This person will always be able to recall their baptism as the time when their life was changed. We have no problem with this. However, this approach views baptism as the climax of a life and anything after the climax is not as important.
2. Next view does not disagree with this but just adds more to it. Baptism is the time of God’s love and forgiveness upon a soul. Baptism is a time of change. However, where the first approach isolates the act of baptism as the most important moment, the second approach understands baptism more as a beginning. While it is true that in the waters of baptism God laid claim on our lives, it is also true that we spend the rest of our lives trying to figure out what that means. The first understanding often overlooks the journey that follows baptism. Baptism is the beginning of the journey and the climax of a life, of a soul, is when we reach the end of the journey and when we stand before the throne and Jesus Christ saves us on that day. This is the climax. Baptism is not the climax but only the beginning of a great journey of faith.
H. Baptism too frequently carries the connotation of having arrived. I often hear it from people; "I want to be baptized and be a part of the church as soon as I get my life in order." Of course, if that is what any of us are waiting on, we will never be baptized. None of us will ever have our lives sufficiently in order to be baptized. Baptism is not something we earn, nor is it a sign that we have found all the answers. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I. Baptism is a beginning. It is the desire to see the world differently, to see each other differently, and even to see ourselves differently. Baptism is a fresh start, not a destination. Baptism is not a trial-free membership, but a rite of initiation into a way of life in which Jesus promised there would be trials.
J. Baptism is like the gun that goes off at the beginning of a race. Until the gun goes off we cannot begin the contest. Baptism is just the beginning of a pilgrimage, or a quest to understand God and understand the gospel and apply these things to our lives.
K. We see this in the life of Jesus. Right after his baptism, he is lead into the desert and after 40 days the devil comes and tempts him. Baptism for him was just the beginning of a long and hard journeys not the end. If it was the end or if Jesus had arrived, then the devil would not have tempted him for the most important event had already happened.
L. Plan of salvation. Hear, believe, repent, confess, and be baptized. That’s it. No that is not it.
M. However, we have to start the journey. Cannot start without baptism.
II. The second part of baptism is the good news that we have been included.
A. When John was baptizing, it was just the Jewish believers who came out. Praise God that we Gentiles are now included.
B. Where did John get the idea to baptize? From the Old Testament. All of the instruments used in temple had to be baptized in water to make them ceremonially clean. Various regulations from the Old Testament command that a person be washed with water and only after this will they be ceremonially clean.
C. Many Gentiles wanted to be part of the Jewish faith and so the priests commanded that the Gentile men be circumcised and both the women and men observe a ceremonial washing, a baptism to make them ceremonially clean. Then they were part of the Jewish faith.
D. What made the Pharisees and religious leaders so upset about these baptisms was that they were all performed on Jewish people. It was unnecessary in their minds.
E. John was foreshadowing that it is necessary for everyone.
F. Also, John’s baptism was just a baptism of repentance. There was no assurance of God forgiving sin; it was just a statement of wanting to change. There also was not promise of God coming into lives and living there through the Holy Spirit.
G. Vs. 11
H. Jesus baptism foreshadows our own. We come with repentance and when we are washed in baptism it is a sign that God has forgiven our sins and then the gift of the Holy Spirit is given to us.
I. Peter on the day of Pentecost.
J. Why was Jesus baptized? He had no sin.
1. To fulfill all righteousness: To be consecrated to God and approved by God.
2. Identification with human sin and identification of himself with the movement toward God.
3. To be an example to his followers. No one is excluded. For all have sinned and fallen short. Jesus did not sin, but He is the great example for us. I do not want to be baptized. If you are a follower of Jesus, you better be baptized. I like what one preacher said, "Baptism is a sign that all of us have screwed up and that all of us are on the same plane. No one better than any other. Men come in with Armoni Suits and when they are baptized they wear just a simple robe. Women come in with $100 hairdos and they come out with a mess just like everybody else." Baptism is to be a source of unity. Mankind has screwed it up.
4. The public announcement of the arrival of the Messiah and the beginning of his ministry. It is the same way with us. Next point.
III. The third part of baptism is ordination. With baptism comes the Spirit, and with the Spirit come gifts to be used in the service of God.
A. We have the preacher to preach the sermons, call on guests and the sick, and do the work of the ministry. We pay him to be good and to do the work of the church. How messed up this thinking really is.
B. Hey Preacher, You are ordained.
C. Ordained = to invest with ministerial or priestly authority; confer holy orders upon.
D. I have a dilemma, what do I call the service when elders and deacons are new? Installation, Set apart, ordination service.
E. I have thought about it. The first two are Biblical and good. The last one is unbiblical. Why? Because all of us have been ordained.
F. What do you mean all of us have been ordained? We have not been approved by some group of people to preach and teach and to work in the ministry. Neither was Jesus but he was ordained.
G. When we are baptized this is the ordination service for us all to go out and minister. We are authorized by God Almighty and Jesus Christ to go out and to minister.
H. Minister = A person serving as an agent for another by carrying out specified orders or functions. We all serve as agents for Jesus Christ. Jesus is our Savior and Lord. We are his. Therefore, we are serving as an agent for Jesus Christ to help others.
I. (1 Tim 4:6 NIV) If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.
J. Priest = Person who served in the temple. We are the temples of the Holy Spirit. (1 Pet 2:5 NIV) you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
K. What are our holy orders? Go and make disciples of all nations… This is for everyone.
L. (1 Cor 12:7 NIV) Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. (1 Cor 12:13 NIV) For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
M. If you have the Holy Spirit, you have a gift from the Spirit to use for the Kingdom! If you do not have the Spirit, you are not a Christian!
N. We get this confused. The preacher is ordained. No, we all are ordained at our baptism.
O. In the Bible didn’t they pray over people and ordain them for the work of the ministry. Paul and Barnabas, Timothy, others. Yes, they did but this was not called an ordination service. They were set apart for a specific service. Missionaries, elders, evangelists, etc. However, they were not ordained because all of us are ordained.
P. (Eph 2:10 KJV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Q. I had an ordination service. Why? Because of the law. Probably need to change the law.
R. I have no special grace or privileges above you. I am a sinner saved by grace.
S. No mention of clergy and laity in the Bible. All are one in Christ Jesus.
T. What should we call you, minister, evangelist, pastor, preacher, or reverend? All of these are Biblical except Reverend. We are to reverence or revere, worship and honor God, not men. You can just call me Davon Huss. There is only one Davon Huss in the world and I am it.
U. We are saved, sanctified, and sent at our baptism.
V. Vs. 17- Well pleased. Is the Lord pleased with your ministry?
A. Without Jesus Christ, baptism makes no sense.
B. Death, burial and resurrection are portrayed in baptism.
C. Are you going to be saved, sanctified and sent today?