Read: John 1: 29 - 34
It is amazing that Jesus Himself was also baptized. The reason for this was due to the fact that Jesus could enter into His kingdom only through the sacrifice of Himself on the cross for the sins of His people.
When Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan River, God gave two wonderful signs. There was a voice from God the Father which said, “This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.” The second amazing thing that took place was the descending of the Spirit of God upon the Lord Jesus under the visible sign of a dove. Both of these signs had great meaning. The baptism of Jesus marked the beginning of His public ministry. From the very beginning of His public ministry, Jesus had the testimony of God that He is the beloved Son of God. Jesus, the Son of God in our human nature, performed all of His work by the Spirit of God that came upon Him.
Jesus Himself made baptism a sacrament when He gave the great commission to His disciples after His resurrection, and just before His ascension into heaven.
The Lord commanded His disciples to preach the gospel to all nations of the world after His ascension. (See Matt 28: 19 - 20) The disciples were commanded to teach men all the things which He had taught them during the whole of His earthly ministry. By learning the truth of the Lord, men and women from all nations would themselves become disciples, followers of Jesus. Then He commanded His disciples to baptize whoever believed.
No one could be baptized until they first had heard the gospel preached to them. The Lord sent His disciples to preach. He continues to command the church today to preach the gospel. The preaching of the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Through instruction in the truth, the elect of God become the disciples of Jesus.
The preaching of the gospel continues to equip God’s people for Christian living. The preaching of the gospel equips God’s people to be the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Word of God must be their guide and encouragement in their lives. So the church must preach extensively and continually all that Christ commanded. We must hear the Word of Christ over and over again and learn it more and more deeply.
We are also to be encouraged in our faith by our baptism. Our baptism is a sign that we belong to the Lord Jesus Christ and that He will be with us to the end of the world. See Matt 28:20.
It is clear from the book of Acts that the apostles of Jesus clearly understood the Lord’s commission to preach and to baptize. On the day of Pentecost, 3000 came to the knowledge of the truth of Jesus Christ and were baptized, and then were added to the church. In the book of Acts, there are numerous examples of baptism following the preaching. When the gospel was explained to the Ethiopian eunuch by Philip the Evangelist, God worked faith in his heart.
When Philip and the Ethiopian came to a body of water, this man earnestly asked, “See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?” And Philip said, “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.” See the amazing account of this in Acts 8. More such amazing accounts followed in the book of Acts.
Rev. Arie denHartog (Wife: Sherry)
Ordained: October 1974
Pastorates: Wyckoff, NJ - 1974; Foreign Missionary, Singapore - 1979; Randolph, WI - 1987; Redlands, CA - 1990; Minister-on-Loan, Singapore - 2001; Southwest, Grandville, MI - 2005Website: www.southwestprc.org/
Address4895 Ivanrest Ave. SW
State or ProvinceMichigan
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