Summary: A sermon showing the necessity of baptism and how it affects your walk as a Christian. Power Point and audio will be placed at:

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There was a church that met at a river one day to baptize some of its members. While they were there, the town drunk stumbled by and ended up being the next in line to be baptized.

The preacher dipped him under and brought him up, asking him if he had found Jesus yet. The drunk said, “No.’ So the preacher dunked him again and held him down a little longer. When he brought him up again, he asked if he had found Jesus yet. Again the drunk answered, ‘No.’

Then the preacher put him under again and held him down even longer. When he brought the man up, he asked him for the third time, “Have you found Jesus yet?” and the man, spitting water out of his mouth stuttered, “Are you sure this is where you lost him?”

Today, we will be baptizing 15 people in the water at Snake Creek. The water will be very cold today, but I am more than willing to endure it because of the reason you have for doing it there.

You have told me that you not only want baptized, but you want baptized the way Jesus was baptized – outdoors in a stream or river. That desire means more than you might realize. See, our entire walk as a Christian is wrapped around doing things the way Jesus did them. And your baptism should be no different.

But before we receive baptism today, I want to talk to you about it. I want you to understand what it is; why we do it; and what it means to our walk as Christians. I want you to fully understand why you desire it in the first place.

Turn with me, if you would, to MATTHEW 3:13-17

‘Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. But John didn’t want to baptize Him. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by You,” John told Jesus, “so why are you coming to me?”

’But Jesus said, “It must be done, because we must do everything that is right.” So John baptized Him.

’After His baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on Him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, and I am fully pleased with Him.”

Here we are, at the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry. John the Baptist had already been preaching about repentance and the need to be baptized. But now, something amazing occurs. Something unexpected. Jesus comes to the Jordan river and asks John to baptize Him.

Why would Jesus ask John to baptize Him? Here He is, the Son of God, without sin, sent to die for the sins of humanity - why would He, in the form man, seek baptism?

When John hesitated to baptize Him, Jesus said, “It must be done, because we must do everything that is right.”

Christians always seem to amaze me. Did you know that -

· a full 20% of all girls who get an abortion go to church every Sunday and consider themselves to be born-again through Jesus Christ?

· 92% of evangelical pastors claim they are not comfortable with talking about salvation to a lost person they do not know?

· many people who consider themselves to be saved through Christ who see no need whatsoever of being baptized?

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