Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Baptism of our Lord

Father in heaven, at the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River You proclaimed  Jesus Your beloved Son and anointed Him with the Holy Spirit. Make all who are baptized in His name faithful in their calling as Your children and inheritors with Him of everlasting life;

For Jesus His Baptism was a real personal experience. According to Mark, only Jesus saw the dove and heard the voice. For some, Baptism may be a “spiritual” affair, which they do not understand. They may go through the “ritual” and experience nothing. In Jesus’ experience, baptism was as real as the things we can see, feel, and hear. Your baptism is the real thing – it’s the real deal!

How real is your baptism? It’s as real as the water you feel. It is as real as the dove we see.  It is as real as the voice we hear.

1.       River – as real as the water we feel – V.9 “At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan

A.            Why did Jesus submit Himself to a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins? Matthew recounts John's reluctance to baptize Jesus and Jesus' reply:   "But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”  Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness" Matthew 3:14-15

                John's baptism signified repentance and confession of sin.

B.            In His baptism, Jesus is identifying with a sinful race. When Jesus was baptized, the work of man’s redemption began. “Could Jesus forgive my sin?” you might ask. Jesus knows you, “warts and all”. Furthermore, He made it His business to forgive you by identifying with you in His baptism. He was baptized for you! When He was baptized, Jesus became your substitute. He took your place.

C.            Jesus had to identify Himself with sinful humanity at the very beginning of His ministry. This He did by submitting to the Father’s will in His baptism. St. Paul put it this way, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 

D.            Christ is treated by His Father as if He were a sinner. Christ became the object of God's wrath and bore the penalty and guilt of sin. So complete was the identification of the sinless Christ with the sin of the sinners, including its dire guilt and its dread consequence of separation from God, that Paul could say, "God made him . . . to be sin for us." – 2 Corinthians 5:21

Transition: How real is this baptism? It’s as real as the water you feel. It is as real as the dove we see.
2.            Dove – as real as the dove we see – V.10 “As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.”

A.            Jesus is now anointed by the Spirit for ministry. In His first sermon in the synagogue at Nazareth, Jesus would say to His hearers "The Spirit of the Lord is on me" -Luke 4:18. Jesus Himself claimed this anointing was the Father’s own doing. All that Jesus will teach us in this New Year comes from the Father. 

1. Acts 10:38 “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”

2. Luke 4:42-44 At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. But he said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

B.            Not so with the antagonists. They will claim that Jesus has a false spirit, an evil spirit; one which is from the prince of demons. “I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honor my Father and you dishonor me.”  John8:49

Transition: How real is this baptism? It’s as real as the water you feel. It is as real as the dove we see.  It is as real as the voice we hear.

3.            Voice – as real as the voice we hear – V.11 “And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased’.”

A.            We are encouraged to purchase those products only, which have Good Housekeeping’s TM stamp of approval. At His baptism, Jesus receives the Father’s stamp of approval!   God the Father confesses Jesus as His Son and witnesses to His approval of His Son. The Father is well pleased by sending His own Son but He is well pleased in what He was sent to do, to redeem the world of sin and death. Jesus will make all things new. He goes to the cross and breaks free from the tomb.

B.            The Father knows the unique mission He has given to His Son and states His confidence in Him. Will Jesus be able to accomplish His mission? The Father has placed all of His confidence in Jesus. Jesus is able to accomplish all that the Father has asked Him to do. If the Father has complete confidence in His Son, why should you tremble or doubt?

How real is your baptism? It’s as real as the water you feel. It is as real as the dove we see.  It is as real as the voice we hear.

Words – 442
Passive Sentences – 9%
Reading Ease – 881%

Reading Level – 5.1
Image by Ed Rioja © Higher Things

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