Summary: God's Word helps us understand: 1. the method of baptism. 2. the meaning of baptism. 3. the motive for baptism.
What God's Word Tells Us about Baptism
The Book of Acts - Part 65
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - July 13, 2016
*Here's a serious question that may sound silly: Was John the Baptist a Baptist? The answer is that in a way he was, but certainly not like we are today.
*You see, John the Baptist was the last prophet before Jesus came. In fact, John was one of the greatest prophets of all time. As Jesus said in Luke 7:28, "Among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist. . ."
*But we have to understand that although John's story is told in the New Testament, he was in a way the last Old Testament prophet. That's why in John 3:28-30, John the Baptist said:
28. "You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, 'I am not the Christ,' but, 'I have been sent before Him.'
29. He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled.
30. He must increase, but I must decrease."
*In these verses, the bride is the New Testament Church, the bridegroom is Jesus, and the friend was John the Baptist. John the Baptist called himself "the friend of the bridegroom." In other words, John was saying: "When it comes to this heavenly wedding, I am just one of His friends. And I am helping to prepare the wedding, because that's what friends do."
*But Church: The Bible calls us the Bride of Christ! God's Word makes this truth clear in places like Ephesians 5. There Paul compared earthly marriage to the eternal marriage between the Lord and His Church. And in Ephesians 5:22-33, the Apostle said:
22. Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
23. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
24. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
25. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it,
26. that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27. that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.
29. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
30. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.
31. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.''
32. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
*Then in Revelation 19:6-9, the Apostle John said:
6. . . I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, "Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!
7. Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.''
8. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
9. Then he said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!' '' And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God.''
*Church: We are the Bride of Christ! This is part of the astounding difference between the Old Testament and the New. It's also why John's baptism was very different from baptism today.
*One of the best places to see this truth is in the Book of Acts. So, please stand in honor of God's Word, as we read Acts 18:24-19:5.
*There at the end of Acts 18, Apollos knew a whole lot about the Lord from the Old Testament Scriptures. But the only thing he knew about baptism was the Baptism of John the Baptist. And John's baptism of repentance was replaced by the baptism Jesus gave us in His Great Commission
*This is the baptism we see in Matthew 28:18-20: