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?

Christians are supposed to be different than those in the world around us, yet too many times, we cannot tell the difference in how the unsaved acts and how a Christian acts.

Why would somebody who claims to be a follower of Jesus refuse to do the things that Jesus did and commanded us to do? In MATTHEW 28:19, Jesus gave us something called the GREAT COMMISSION. It tells us to go everywhere and make disciples and baptize them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

The Son of God Himself, the one person without any sin, requested to be baptized because it was the right thing to do. If it meant that much to Jesus, don’t you think He meant it to be that important to us, too? If we are to follow the example of Jesus in everything we do, why would we not also want to follow in the example of baptism?

Throughout the New Testament, we see evidence of the importance in being baptized, but we also see something else. Every time baptism is written about, it is written for believers in Jesus Christ. It was never meant for the unbelievers. If an unbeliever got baptized, it would be nothing more than a quick dip in water – that’s all. And if a person got baptized with the wrong heart, it would mean the same thing. Only when it is done with a heart that yearns for Jesus, will it mean what it was meant to mean.

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