What Water Baptism is All About

Matthew 3:13-17

Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”

But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.

When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Jesus came to John to be baptized. 

  • He identified with John’s message:  Repentance is necessary.
  • He identified with John’s message:  Take a stand for what is right.
  • He identified with John’s message:  Live a life of repentance and righteousness.
  • He came to be baptized:  To give us an example.
  • He came to be baptized:  In the form of sinful flesh.
  • He came to be baptized:  To fulfill all righteousness.
  • He came to be baptized:  To show humility.
  • He came to be baptized:  To show need.
  • He came to be baptized:  To show submission.

In this passage of Scripture there is an example of two baptisms.

  • John’s Baptism – repentance/water
  • Jesus’ Baptism – power & authority/Holy Spirit & fire

Historical significance

  • Washing with water
  • Anointing with oil

Exodus 29:4-7 – And Aaron and his sons you shall bring to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and you shall wash them with water. Then you shall take the garments, put the tunic on Aaron, and the robe of the ephod, the ephod, and the breastplate, and gird him with the intricately woven band of the ephod. You shall put the turban on his head, and put the holy crown on the turban. And you shall take the anointing oil, pour it on his head, and anoint him.

Lessons from Jesus’ Baptism

  • Need of repentance and a life of righteousness.  Every man should repent and live the life of righteousness, and every man should proclaim such a life to other men.        

Acts 8:22 – Repent of these evil thoughts and ask God to forgive you.

Isaiah 55:7 – Give up your crooked ways and your evil thoughts.  Return to the LORD our God.  He will be merciful and forgive your sins.

1 Corinthians 15:34 – Be sensible and stop sinning.  You should be embarrassed that some people still don’t know about God.

1 John 1:3 – We are telling you what we have seen and heard, so that you may share in this life with us.  And we share in it with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.

  • Righteousness.  Every man must determine to “fulfill all righteousness” just as Christ did.  God’s commands must be fulfilled in the life of each believer.

1 John 3:23 – And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another.

  • Sacrifice.  Every believer should be willing to give of himself for the cause of Christ – even to the point of death.

Romans 12:1-2 – I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world; but transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Luke 9:23 – And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me.

  • Humility.  Every believer should show a willingness to serve others. 

1 Peter 5:5 – All of you younger people should obey your elders.  In fact, everyone should be humble toward everyone else.  The Scriptures say:  ‘God opposes proud people; but he helps everyone who is humble.’

  • Identification.  Every believer should be as one with others, excluding no one from his life or from his service.

Romans 15:1 – We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not please ourselves.

Galatians 6:2 – Bear you one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Hebrews 4:15 – For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

  • Ministry.  Every believer should minister to others.

Luke 10:36-37 – Then Jesus asked, ‘Which one of these three people was a real neighbor to the man who was beaten up by robbers?’  The teacher answered, ‘The one who showed pity.’  Jesus said, ‘God and do the same!’

John 13:14 – If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another’s feet.

Galatians 6:10 – As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all amen, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

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