Hello folks and welcome to Wednesday's study of Matthew 3.
John the Baptist preached repentance over sin followed by baptism as an outward sign to the unsaved that we have been saved from sin, that we have turned away from those things that would grieve the Lord and that now, with His help, we aim to live a life that is pleasing to our heavenly Father. For a long time after I was saved I didn't see the need to be baptized. I knew, and my friends and family knew too, that I was saved so why the need to be baptized? But then I heard a minister preaching on baptism and the fact that it is one of only two sacraments ordained by the Lord Jesus Christ (the other being the Lord's Supper). The Westminster Confession of Faith states that baptism for the Christian is
"...a sign and seal of the covenant of grace, of his ingrafting into Christ, of regeneration, of remission of sins, and of his giving up unto God through Jesus Christ, to walk in newness of life. Which sacrament is, by Christ's own appointment, to be continued in His Church until the end of the world."
I didn't need to know anything more than that Christ ordained it, so I must be in obedience to His will. That was enough for me! I just want to obey my Saviour.
When the Lord Jesus came to John to be baptized, John was shocked to think that the Lamb of God would be baptized by him, instead of the other way round. But the Saviour told him that it was a necessary part of God's plan. After Christ's baptism, He was given the full approval of God the Father in the hearing of all those people who were gathered by the river Jordan. What was God so pleased with? OBEDIENCE! His Son didn't need to be baptized because He was sinless and had no need to 'repent and be baptized', but as Christ Himself said in verse 15, it had to be done because it was in obedience to God's holy will. He has set a perfect example to us.
All that God requires of us is full obedience. He is not looking for great deeds to be done by us, or for us to try to work our way into God's good books. He simply wants us to obey Him - 1 Samuel 15:22. Baptism is for the saved person, not something that we do to gain salvation. Remember, it's 'Repent' first then 'be baptized'.
- If you have not yet been baptized, ask the Lord to reveal His will to you regarding this matter and then to give you the grace to obey Him
- Ask the Lord for the grace and humility to live in obedience to Him in EVERY part of your life
Hugs Karen x