In my last post called, First Question of the Bible Was Not God, we discussed how the devil’s mission was to have you question whether you have the Word of God! We will go into further detail via my YouTube channel real soon. So while you are reading this series please consider subscribing to my blog and subscribing to my YouTube Channel. Thank you, I greatly appreciate it.
In this post, we are going to break out the first words of Jesus, and what He said first out the the four Gospels of the Bible, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. We will be just going over the book of Matthew at this time.
The first words of Jesus in Matthew talks about baptism. Baptism is one of the most misunderstood and most talked about ordinances of the local church. I will be adding additional other verses to clarify the context of what Jesus meant, and I will be referencing other parts of the Bible that will clarify the misunderstanding of Baptism. Are you ready? Let’s dig in!
Matthew 3:13-15 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. (14) But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? (15) And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
Jesus’ soul mission in Matthew 3 was to be baptized. Why? Was it because He needed to be saved? No, of course not. Jesus was sinless from the beginning! There are people and churches that take verses and passages out of context such as Acts 2:38. Baptism is NOT required for salvation, but it IS required for spiritual growth! If baptism was required for salvation then the thief on the cross, who asked Jesus to remember him, would have when to hell. Jesus would have said, “Since you are pinned to that cross and can’t get baptized you are not going with me!” Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? Jesus said these words. Once again I will add a few other verses to clarify. It is very important to get the context of scripture we are trying to understand!
Luke 23:39-43 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. (40) But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? (41) And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. (42) And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. (43) And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
Notice one of the malefactors (or thief) had the fear of God in his heart and understood who Jesus was? He acknowledged Jesus by name and deity. The malefactor realized his sin and repented and asked Jesus to save him! Jesus said, “Today you are coming with me.” He did not get baptized.
We need to be very careful and rightly divide the Word (2 Timothy 2:15)! We need to understand that salvation comes by GRACE alone, through FAITH alone and NOT of your works (Ephesians 2:8-9)! Baptism is something you physically have to do. It is a “work”. If we needed works to save us, then Christ died in vain! A salvation so simple, so basic, and so easy, yet man has the tendency to complicate things!
Now that we have the topic of Baptism understood. Lets get back to those first words of Jesus. Jesus said he needed to be baptized. Why? Because He said He had to fulfill ALL righteousness. In other words if we are supposed to be following Jesus we need to follow Him because it is RIGHT not because we will be saved or to KEEP our salvation! We get baptized in a church because it is the first act of obedience AFTER becoming born-again! It is a public testimony before the church that says I am saved so I am going to be obedient and follow Jesus. Baptism is important for spiritual growth! If we have not been baptized God will not instill any more responsibility on us, nor will He allow us to grow any more in our walk!
Baptism is necessary and it must be fully immersed! Baptism is a picture of the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. You cannot be buried by sprinkling let alone you cannot be buried by sprinkling dirt on your grave site! You have to be under the water!
Jesus was under the water when He was baptized!
Matthew 3:16-17 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: (17) And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
The Ethiopian Eunuch was saved first, and was baptized AFTER. When the Ethiopian was baptized he was UNDER the water.
Acts 8:26-39 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. (27) And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, (28) Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. (29) Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. (30) And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? (31) And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. (32) The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: (33) In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. (34) And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? (35) Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. (36) And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? (37) And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (38) And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. (39) And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
Baptism is very clear in the Word of God. We need to dig into it for ourselves and ask the Holy Spirit of God to help us understand this ordinance. The Holy Spirit is ultimately our teacher of the Word of God! The Word of God should be our final authority of all matters of faith and practice because God said it, that settles it!
I pray that this topic of baptism makes things clear for you from the first Words of Christ in the Gospel of Matthew. If you are encouraged by this post please share it with others so that they can be encouraged as well. If you have been caught up with the false teachings of Baptism please do not hesitate to shoot me an email or private message me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or email me.