Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: The two fold commission of Christ to His disciples. Evangelize and Baptize.


A. Lets begin by reading Matthew 28:16 - 20

Matthew 28:16-20 (NKJV)

Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. {17} When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. {18} And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. {19} "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, {20} "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

1. The first two verses are basically information

a. The disciples obeyed the words of the angel and Jesus, “Go to Galilee, and there you will see Jesus the Lord”

b. The 18th verse assures the disciples of the authority Jesus is passing onto them

c. But, there is much to learn from verses 19 & 20

B. This message was first preached in 1997.

1. I include this because it is the last message in the Gospel of Matthew.

a. Thrust of this passage is two fold

(1) Evangelism

(2) And the first step of obedience as a Christian, baptism

2. This story comes from Focus On the Family Magazine and it is about a time in the life of a preacher's family. It went something like this: "As a minister, I conduct many baptismal services. My denomination baptizes in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. One Sunday, my family and I went to a friend's home in the country. Our four children went outside to play with the others. After a short while, we heard only silence and wondered what the children were up to. We found them behind a barn quietly playing "church." Our 4-year-old daughter Susan was conducting the baptismal service. She held a cat over a barrel of water. Trying to be as solemn as her father, she repeated the phrase she had heard many times: "I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and in the hole you go!"

3. As I look at the world and all the things God created; I believe, with all my heart, that our God has a wonderful sense of humor.

a. I would like to think that God just roared with laughter at this incident

b. Let's turn to Matthew 3:1 - 7

C. Baptism is a ritual that has been practiced for over 2,000 years

1. In the 2nd Century BC the Jews practiced baptism for those gentiles who converted to Judaism

a. After the individual had healed from his circumcision, he would be brought to the place of baptism and there place in the water. While he stood in the water, the Scribes would instruct the candidate in the weightier and lighter parts of the Mosaic LAW. Then the candidate would submerge himself and when he came up out of the water he was considered to be an Israelite in every way.

Matthew 3:1-7 (NKJV)

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, {2} and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" {3} For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.'" {4} And John himself was clothed in camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. {5} Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him {6} and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins. {7} But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

b. John the Baptist took baptism another step. Those who came to him would receive the baptism of repentance.

(1) Repentance means turning around and going in the opposite direction. Those who were weighted down by the burden of sin and rebellion in their lives would come to John to be baptized.

(2) This for a Jew was a humbling experience. After all, it was gentiles, who were baptized into the religion of the Jews.

(3) But, a person had to humble himself before God and before himself and admit that they were actually no better than the gentiles who were converting to Judaism.

(4) John the Baptist's message of repentance was the same as that of God's earlier prophets. John announced the nearness of God's kingdom, called for ethical fruit in keeping with repentance, and baptized in water as a sign of that repentance.

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