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Summary: Jesus who was without sin, got baptized to identify with all sinners that He came to save. He was tempted just as we are. Jesus is the lamb of God who came to take away our sin (John 1:29). Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). Without Jesus we cannot be right with God.

Matthew 3:13-17  Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him.  (14)  John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”  (15)  But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented.  (16)  And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him;  (17)  and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

THE NEED TO BE BAPTIZED

Text: Matthew 3: 13 - 17

Years ago at a continuing education gathering for a group I was in we started talking about baptism. While we were talking about it one of my good friends brought up the lyrics to a song I did not know about. Let me share some of the lyrics to that song by Randy Travis.

Everybody gathered where the river runs wider

At the edge of town

To see if that Eddie Lee Vaughn baptism

Was really gonna go down

Folks bet their hard earned money that water wouldn't change a thing

They set the odds at a hundred to one his soul wouldn't never come clean

Then the preacher said, "People take a moment or two

There's something we need to do, pray for the fish"

They won't know what's comin'

When the sin starts rolling off the like's of him

Lord, be with 'em, they ain't done nothin'

Please, won't you leave them just a little bit of room to swim?

Pray for the fish.

We find humor in stories like these. As long as the story is about someone else we can be amused by it. But, when it comes to baptism some people might think that they don’t need to be baptized. What are the reasons for that? Either they don’t believe in God or they see themselves as error free. But we all need to be baptized if we are going to be right with God!

Why did Jesus who was without sin need to be baptized? Jesus who was without sin, got baptized to identify with all sinners that He came to save. He was tempted just as we are. Jesus is the lamb of God who came to take away our sin (John 1:29). Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). Without Jesus we cannot be right with God.

Today we want to explore sin, repentance and fruit.

SIN

Do you believe that sin is destructive?

1) Acronym: What could you do to make an acronym out of the word sin? You could make the “s” stand for subtle; you could make the “I” stand for invading; you could make the “n” stand for nullifying.

2) Grammar: Grammar gives us the rules of language---punctuation and meaning. One of the rules of grammar is the personal pronoun. Personal pronouns are I, me, we, he, she, they, them, us and it. Though sin may involve all the pronouns in this list, we have to remember the grammar rule of sin---- the letter “I” aka a pronoun is in the middle between the “s” and the “n”.

3) Blame: We might be happy to refer to all the other pronouns that exclude us as to where we place blame. But, when it comes to sin, we have to say its personal because the “I” that points to us individually. In Randy Travis’s song “Pray for the Fish” everybody seemed happy to focus on the sins of Eddie Lee Vaughn while neglecting that they were sinners themselves.

What would you say is the biggest danger of sin? One answer that comes to mind is denial. The late Billy Graham tells the story about some people who were in denial about the reality of sin. “Many years ago a distinguished Methodist minister was preaching on sin. Some deacons approached him afterwards and said, “We don’t want you to talk so plainly about sin; if you do, our people will become sinners. Call their mistakes if you will, but do not call their mistakes sin.”

The minister picked up a bottle and showed it to the group of deacons. The bottle was clearly marked Poison.

“Would you like me to change the label?” the minister asked. “I can mark that this bottle of strychnine is the essence of peppermint to make you feel better, but if you take it [drink it] you will still die. Don’t you see that the milder you make the label, the more dangerous you make the poison?” Talking about sin does not make someone a sinner.” (Billy Graham. The Reason For My Hope. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc. 2013, p. 36). Isaiah_53:6  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Rom_6:23  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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