Focus on God's Word

Is Baptism Really Necessary?

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Geoff Youlden


Series Code: FGW

Program Code: FGW000012

00:27 I don't know whether you've ever stood by the bedside of someone
00:31 who is about to die
00:34 and you know that this will be
00:36 the last time that you have
00:37 any communication with that person.
00:39 Now anyone who's been through an experience like that
00:43 knows that that is a very precious time, isn't it?
00:45 Obviously, if you know that this is the last time that you are
00:49 having an opportunity to talk to that person
00:52 you don't talk about the weather, do you?
00:55 You don't talk about trivial things, you talk about
00:58 things that really are important between you and that
01:01 particular person. Now it's interesting that the last
01:05 conversation that Jesus ever had with His disciples
01:09 I wonder what subject he talked to them about.
01:12 That would be interesting, wouldn't it?
01:14 The last thing that Jesus ever said to the disciples before He
01:17 went back to heaven... at least that we know that He said
01:20 to the disciples before He went back to heaven.
01:22 That would be interesting.
01:24 Well, the Bible does record that
01:27 and I want you to notice with me.
01:28 Come over to Matthew chapter 28, the last chapter in Matthew,
01:32 and it's recorded the last conversation that Jesus had.
01:36 Notice what it concerns.
01:39 Matthew chapter 28 and verse 18.
01:42 And you'll notice that most of these verses are in red
01:46 because they're the words of Jesus.
01:47 Matthew 28 and verse 18:
02:18 Now obviously, if this was the last opportunity that Jesus
02:23 had to talk to the disciples,
02:25 He would be talking about something that mattered
02:28 very importantly, isn't that right?
02:30 He wouldn't be talking about things that are not very
02:34 important. And it's interesting that Jesus chose
02:38 to remind the disciples, the last thing that's recorded here
02:42 before He went back to heaven, the last subject
02:46 that He spoke about concerned baptism.
02:49 That to my mind would suggest that baptism is very, very
02:54 important... extremely so.
02:57 In fact, it's interesting that the very first thing that Jesus
02:59 ever did to begin His ministry concerned baptism.
03:03 He was baptized Himself in the river Jordan.
03:06 And the last thing that's recorded concerned baptism.
03:12 So baptism rates very, very highly in the mind of Jesus
03:17 and I believe it ought to rate very, very highly
03:20 in our thinking, too.
03:21 And that's why I'm glad to be talking to you about it
03:23 this morning and that we have the privilege of witnessing
03:26 this beautiful ceremony. Now when we notice these verses
03:30 here when Jesus spoke to the disciples, He said
03:33 "I want you to go into all the world and I want you to make
03:37 disciples of everybody. "
03:39 That is, everybody that would listen.
03:42 And He said: "I want you to teach them... "
03:46 "Go into all the world baptizing them and then teaching them... "
03:50 And not only teaching them about the things of God
03:53 but teaching them to... what's the next word that the
03:55 Bible gives here? "Teaching them to observe
04:00 all things that I have shown you. "
04:02 Because, you see, baptism comes
04:06 after a person has learned about the truth of God
04:10 and then it comes after a person has observed.
04:15 That is, they have taken into their lifestyle the changes
04:18 that are necessary when we become a Christian.
04:21 Because obviously it's not just an intellectual understanding
04:26 that God wants. He wants us to observe
04:30 all things that "I have taught you. "
04:41 Now that's the reason why you will not see babies
04:44 being baptized this morning.
04:47 Because the Bible never teaches anywhere
04:51 to baptize a baby.
04:55 Now that may be very different to what some of us have been
04:58 brought up to believe. I'll tell you about my experience
05:00 a little bit later because I was not brought up to
05:03 understand what I'm sharing with you this morning.
05:07 And most of us have come from churches and backgrounds
05:11 in which we have been led to believe
05:14 that babies are to be baptized.
05:17 But like many things that we have been noticing
05:20 as we have been studying the Bible
05:23 the devil has counterfeited and changed even baptism
05:28 so that baptism has been taught so that people baptize
05:34 little babies instead of baptizing people who are
05:37 old enough to understand and old enough to observe.
05:40 Because remember the Bible says not only are you to teach
05:44 the people but you're to teach them to observe.
05:48 That's what Jesus taught.
05:50 And you can't teach a baby anything and you certainly
05:53 can't teach a baby to observe anything, isn't that right?
05:56 Far too young.
06:01 In fact, the church has not only altered and changed the teaching
06:04 of the Bible on this matter
06:06 but what they've done is they've done it in reverse.
06:09 Because when a child is born
06:12 the Bible says we ought to follow the example of Jesus
06:15 and His parents brought Him along to the church,
06:18 and the minister there dedicated Him when He was 8 days old.
06:25 And then Jesus was baptized at a later time.
06:28 We're going to read about what age He was in a moment.
06:30 Now the church has reversed that.
06:34 They say we baptize them first and then we catechize them
06:38 a bit later...
06:40 which is the exact reverse of what the Bible teaches.
06:43 See how mankind has changed everything?
06:47 And Jesus said a person is to go...
06:49 to be taught and taught to observe.
06:51 The Bible says in another place that before we are baptized
06:54 we are to repent. Well a baby can't repent.
06:57 Baby's got nothing to repent of.
07:00 Doesn't understand to repent.
07:02 The Bible says that we are to confess our sins.
07:05 A baby can't do that.
07:07 A baby can't believe because the Bible says
07:09 before you're baptized you're to believe.
07:12 None of those things fit into a baby.
07:16 And so Jesus here clearly teaches that, um,
07:20 baptism is very important.
07:22 Come over to Mark the 16th chapter, which is the next book.
07:24 And this is Mark's recording of the same conversation.
07:29 Mark 16 and verse 16.
07:31 And obviously all that Jesus said was not recorded
07:35 by Matthew but Mark adds something here in verse 16.
07:39 Mark 16 verse 16.
07:47 So would you suggest, then, that baptism is important?
07:50 If Jesus says "he that believes and is baptized
07:52 will be saved, " is baptism important?
07:55 Absolutely!
07:57 Very important... very, very important.
08:02 Now I know that many people have been brought up to believe
08:08 as we said that baptism comes when you are small.
08:13 In fact, sometimes people say to me:
08:14 "Well what age should a person be when they are baptized? "
08:17 Well that's a good question.
08:19 Actually the Bible does not specify an age
08:23 because it's not so much our physical age that's important
08:26 as our spiritual age. That's what's important.
08:29 Because a person could be as old as Methuselah
08:31 and still not be ready for baptism.
08:34 And when a person understands the claims of Jesus
08:38 upon their heart, then they are old enough to be baptized.
08:41 But not until then.
08:43 Now what age was Jesus when He was baptized?
08:46 Come over to Luke chapter 3.
08:47 This will give us a major clue: Luke chapter 3 and verse 21.
08:51 Right down the bottom right-hand corner of the page.
08:54 Luke chapter 3 and verse 21 says:
09:19 Now notice the next verse:
09:21 "Now Jesus Himself was just a baby... "
09:25 Is that what it says?
09:31 So Jesus was an adult when He was baptized.
09:34 He wasn't a baby at all.
09:37 Now there's a particular reason why Jesus was baptized at 30.
09:42 I don't think the Bible is saying there that a person
09:44 can only be baptized at 30.
09:46 Otherwise that would be hard for some of us, wouldn't it?
09:50 No, the point that the Bible is making here is that Jesus
09:54 was an adult... He was a mature person when He was baptized.
09:57 And there's a particular reason why Jesus began His ministry
10:01 at 30... which we will study about as we continue to study
10:05 the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation.
10:07 But Jesus was an adult.
10:10 He was a mature person.
10:12 In fact it's interesting to notice what Saint Peter
10:15 himself said over here in the Bible.
10:18 Come over to II Peter
10:22 chapter 2... Or is it I Peter?
10:27 I Peter chapter 2 and verse 21. Yes.
10:30 I Peter chapter 2 and verse 21.
10:48 You see, the reason why Jesus came onto this earth
10:51 was to do more than die and be resurrected for us...
10:56 although that's the foundation of the Christian message.
10:58 Nothing's more important than that, but Jesus came
11:01 to do even more than that.
11:02 Because if Jesus came to die for us only
11:06 and to be resurrected for us
11:08 He could have come down Thursday afternoon
11:10 and gone back to heaven Sunday morning, couldn't He?
11:12 If that's all He came to do.
11:15 But He came to do more than that.
11:17 He also came to show us how to live.
11:20 And that's why Peter - who had spent so much time with Jesus -
11:24 recognized that Jesus came as an example for you and for me.
11:29 And as a Christian we are to look to Jesus as our example
11:34 in everything.
11:37 Because He lived on this earth. He was born as a baby.
11:40 He grew up as a young child.
11:42 He grew up into the teenage years.
11:44 He grew up into mature years.
11:47 Because He came to live as an example for you and for me.
11:53 And if we take the example of Jesus,
11:55 I tell you, it makes it very, very simple.
11:58 Because, you see, Jesus is called the Word of God.
12:04 That's an interesting expression, isn't it?
12:06 Jesus is called The Word in John 1:1.
12:08 "But, " you say, "isn't the Bible the Word of God? "
12:11 Yes it is! Both are the Word of God.
12:14 With the Bible we have the written Word of God;
12:18 in Jesus we have the living Word of God.
12:20 Get the thought? And it doesn't matter
12:23 very much as whether we look at the Bible
12:26 to find out what is right or we look at the life of Jesus
12:29 to find out what is right because both say the same thing.
12:37 So we study the Bible. That helps us to understand
12:40 God's will for us. Or we look at the life of Jesus
12:43 and that tells us what God's will for us
12:46 because He lived it as an example.
12:48 And I want to say something this morning.
12:51 If we take the example of Jesus,
12:54 tell me, what day will be go to church on?
12:58 I tell you you'll never go on Sunday
13:00 because Jesus never went to church in His entire life
13:03 on Sunday. Is that right?
13:06 And as I've often said, if there was no other Sabbath keeper
13:11 in the entire world but Jesus that would satisfy me.
13:14 That's all I need because Jesus is our example.
13:18 And when we study the Bible we've got to make sure
13:20 that we don't misinterpret the Bible to make the Bible
13:23 say something that's different from the life of Jesus.
13:25 Can you see the point?
13:27 Because both go together... one supplements the other.
13:30 One helps to explain the other.
13:35 He's the Living Word; the Bible is the written Word.
13:39 And when we take the example of Jesus, we will be baptized
13:43 like Jesus was baptized.
13:46 Because obviously Jesus wasn't baptized for the reasons
13:50 that our six candidates need to be baptized today
13:53 or any of us have ever been baptized.
13:56 Because we need to be baptized to wash away our sin.
14:00 But Jesus wasn't baptized to wash away His sins, was He?
14:05 In Him was no sin.
14:07 Well then, why was Jesus baptized?
14:10 If He didn't sin, why was He baptized?
14:15 As an example to show us what is important as a Christian.
14:21 So we look at the life of Jesus and that's why I come back
14:24 to this matter of the Sabbath that we've been studying
14:26 which is a big difference in Christianity today.
14:29 When we take the example of Jesus it simply answers the
14:34 question as simple as A-B-C.
14:36 There is no more dispute
14:39 because Jesus' life totally agrees with what the Bible says.
14:44 And He is our example in everything.
14:47 He's certainly our example when it comes to baptism.
14:50 And it's much easier to follow an example than it is
14:55 just a theory. That's why following the example of Jesus
14:58 is so helpful. For example, if I said to you:
15:01 "Look, I want a podium made. I want it so high,
15:04 so wide, so deep. I want it black and so forth. "
15:07 And if I wrote out my instructions clearly
15:10 and drew them up, plan and elevation and so forth correctly
15:13 you would be able if you could follow and read plans
15:16 you would be able to make a desk exactly like this one.
15:18 But if I said to you: "Look,
15:20 I want a desk just like this one. "
15:24 That's much easier, isn't it? Because - ah-hah - I can see
15:27 the way. I can see the rounded edges.
15:29 I can see it's black. I can see the way it's done.
15:34 I can measure it and it's easy because I've got an example
15:37 to follow. That's why Jesus lived on this earth
15:42 for 33 years: as an example to show us how to live.
15:49 Now the Christian is often asked: "How should a person
15:52 be baptized? "
15:56 Come over to the book of Ephesians toward the back
15:58 of the Bible... Ephesians the 4th chapter.
16:02 We come over past Romans, Corinthians, and then Ephesians
16:05 the 4th chapter and verse 5.
16:09 Because there are four basic methods of baptism
16:13 that are used in the Christian church today.
16:20 Have a look at chapter 4 and verse 5. It says there is:
16:32 You see, just as there is only one God
16:37 and there's only one faith in spite of the fact
16:40 that many Christians have the concept that all churches
16:43 are just different roads leading to heaven.
16:46 You can go the Anglican way or you can go the Catholic way
16:49 or you can go this way or that way.
16:51 It doesn't really matter... they all finish up in the same place.
16:55 Now the Bible does not teach it like that at all.
16:58 Because the Bible says there is one Lord,
17:00 there is one faith that is correct,
17:03 and there's one baptism that is correct.
17:05 That's why it's up to us to study the Bible to find out
17:08 which faith is correct, which baptism is correct,
17:11 and which God is correct.
17:13 And there's only one way to do that, and that's
17:15 to study the Word.
17:16 To look at the life of Jesus.
17:20 So if you go into the Christian church around here
17:24 you will find there are four different methods.
17:25 There will be one method where you go along to the church
17:28 and they will get some water and they usually sprinkle it
17:31 on you. Mostly it's a baby but not in every case.
17:36 Another church will take a cup of water
17:38 and they'll pour it on a person's head.
17:40 Mostly it's babies but sometimes it's even adults.
17:43 Another church will baptize you three times face downward.
17:48 They call this triune baptism.
17:50 Once in the name of the Father, once in the name of the Son,
17:52 once in the name of the Holy Spirit.
17:55 They usually give you a little time to breathe in between.
17:58 Three times. See?
18:00 Then there is the method that you are going to see
18:03 this morning which I believe is the correct Biblical method -
18:07 and I'm going to explain why that is so in just a moment -
18:09 where a person is laid down once underneath the water
18:13 face upwards and lifted back.
18:16 Now there's a very good reason why the method that you are
18:20 going to see this morning is the correct Biblical way.
18:23 And I want to explain that because it's very important
18:27 that we understand what we're going to see.
18:29 That's why I wanted to talk to you before we had the baptism
18:31 so that you will understand what you are witnessing.
18:34 Because the method of baptism is what is important.
18:38 And the church has changed that, too.
18:45 In fact, let me read you how Jesus was baptized.
18:49 Come back to Mark... just back a few books.
18:52 Mark chapter 1 and verse 9.
18:55 Mark the 1st chapter and verse 9.
19:00 Mark 1 and verse 9. Halfway down it says here:
19:25 You know they tell me that when they filmed that film
19:29 The King of Kings... It's an oldie, it's been around
19:32 for many years now, but usually it's recycled on television
19:35 around about the time of Easter...
19:37 and they have Jesus being baptized.
19:40 Interesting. And He's down by the river Jordan
19:43 standing on the side of the river
19:46 and there is John the Baptist with Him.
19:49 And along side both of them there is a bucket of water.
19:52 And John the Baptist has an oyster shell.
19:55 And he dips the oyster shell into the bucket of water
19:59 and then pours it on the head of Jesus.
20:01 Tell me: is that what we just read how Jesus was baptized?
20:05 With a bucket of water and an oyster shell?
20:07 No. You know, people say to me: "You ought to go along
20:10 and look at those religious films. You learn so much
20:11 about the Bible. "
20:13 I want to tell you, if you want to learn about the Bible
20:15 don't waste your time watching those.
20:17 Because the theology of films like that are dictated
20:20 usually by the religion of the director.
20:25 And in this particular case, he was a Catholic
20:27 and so forth, and so that idea comes through.
20:32 But we go to the Bible to find out what is the truth.
20:35 And when Jesus was baptized it says He went down
20:37 into the river Jordan.
20:39 And after His baptism He came up out of the river Jordan.
20:46 And you'll see why that's important.
20:48 Come over to John now the third chapter.
20:50 Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John chapter 3 and verse 23.
20:56 John 3 verse 23.
20:58 And it explains here why John was baptizing
21:02 at Aenon near Salim. Have a look at verse 23. It says:
21:17 So the baptism that Jesus was baptized with requires
21:21 a lot of water. That's the first big clue.
21:24 Requires a lot of water.
21:26 You see, if it's an oyster shell a buck of water goes a long way.
21:30 But Jesus' baptism wasn't like that.
21:33 He requires lots of water.
21:37 So that helps us.
21:39 Now we have an illustration in the New Testament
21:41 in the book of Acts, if you come over to the 8th chapter of Acts,
21:45 of how the apostles actually baptized.
21:48 It's recorded there. Acts 8 and we'll pick up the story
21:52 here about the Ethiopian eunuch.
21:54 He was on his way... In fact, he was
21:57 studying the scriptures, the Old Testament.
21:59 In fact, he was reading Isaiah chapter 53
22:02 and he couldn't work out who this was talking about...
22:06 this servant who was wounded for our transgressions,
22:11 bruised for our iniquities.
22:13 And the chastisement of His peace was upon us.
22:16 The poor Ethiopian couldn't work out what that was all about.
22:21 And he happened to spy Philip.
22:25 And Philip saw him reading and he went up to him
22:28 and he says... Philip said to him...
22:31 the eunuch said to Philip:
22:32 "Who is this man that's being referred to here?
22:36 Is he talking about himself or someone else? "
22:39 Well we'll read from verse 34:
23:27 So this wonderful black man from Africa
23:32 studying Isaiah 53 became convinced that this was about
23:37 Jesus as Philip explained it to him.
23:39 And as soon as he was convicted in his heart about Jesus
23:43 he wanted to be baptized.
23:45 And the Bible says when Philip baptized him they both went down
23:50 into the water. And after the baptism they both came up
23:54 out of the water because it's the story of
23:58 baptism by immersion.
24:00 Because when the apostles baptized, both got wet.
24:04 That is: the person doing the baptism
24:07 as well as the person being baptized.
24:10 Both got wet!
24:12 Because they both went down into the water
24:15 and they both came up out of the water.
24:19 Now when we understand the significance and the meaning
24:23 of baptism it really settles the method of baptism
24:26 once and for all. Just come over to the book of Romans...
24:29 Romans chapter 6 and we'll notice here verse 3.
24:35 Romans 6 and verse 3
24:37 where Paul now is explaining the meaning of baptism.
24:40 He says this in verse 3:
24:52 So the first thing that baptism reminds us of
24:56 is the death of Jesus.
24:58 It reminds us of a death. All right, let's read on. Verse 4:
25:16 So you see baptism reminds us of the three essentials
25:22 of the Christian message.
25:23 It reminds us of the death of Jesus.
25:26 It reminds us of the burial of Jesus.
25:30 And it reminds us of the resurrection of Jesus.
25:33 That's what baptism is all about.
25:35 That's what the symbol means.
25:38 Now when we bury someone... when someone dies
25:41 what do we do? Do we go out to the cemetery
25:44 and we get a bit of dirt and we sprinkle it on their heads?
25:47 We don't even get a cup of dirt and pour it on their head do we?
25:51 And we certainly don't lay them down three times face downward
25:55 or face upward.
25:57 There's only one way a person is buried, and that is
26:00 they are laid in the ground once face upwards.
26:02 And the Bible says that death, burial, and resurrection
26:07 is symbolized by the method of baptism.
26:12 And as you see the candidates baptized today
26:17 you will notice that they are going to be laid down
26:19 under the water because they are saying to you
26:23 that they have died to their former life.
26:27 Then they will be buried underneath the water.
26:32 And so for that swift moment their life - their old life
26:35 so to speak - is buried underneath the water.
26:39 Then they are raised - just like Christ was raised
26:45 from the dead - they are raised from the water indicating
26:49 that the power of God has come into their life
26:53 to enable them to now live a new life...
26:55 a resurrected life. Get the thought?
26:57 That's what the symbol of baptism is all about.
27:00 That's what it means!
27:03 And just as the pastor raises them from the grave
27:08 by a power outside themselves so they are recognizing
27:12 that they are going to live the Christian life now
27:15 by a power outside themselves.
27:17 That's what it's all about.
27:20 Now when the devil came along, of course he didn't want people
27:23 to understand that truth so he has counterfeited that
27:27 and changed it.
27:29 And what he has done... He has put the emphasis
27:33 on the water making it holy water
27:37 with no emphasis on the methodology
27:40 because the methodology's not important.
27:42 Sprinkling a bit of water on a person or a baby's head
27:46 doesn't symbolize anything.
27:49 In fact, that comes from paganism.
27:51 That's what they do in the pagan religions.
27:53 When I was over in Egypt I saw all the Egyptians.
27:57 When they were born they were sprinkled with water on their
28:00 head by the sun-worshiping priest.
28:03 That's where they got it from.
28:04 They just didn't make it up I can tell you.
28:06 Because they didn't get it from the Bible. They copied it
28:08 from the pagans. They brought it into the church
28:11 and called it baptism.
28:13 That's what we've been saying through the week.
28:15 They have renamed everything, and because the name baptism
28:18 is associated with sprinkling people think that it must
28:21 be of God, it must be from the Bible, and it must be Christian.
28:24 It's got nothing to do with Christianity at all...
28:26 it's pagan!
28:27 But the method that God has is altogether different.
28:31 It places no emphasis on the water whatsoever.
28:34 The water's not holy; it's just ordinary water out of the tap.
28:39 What is holy is the method of baptism.
28:44 Because as you see the candidates lowered down
28:47 this morning, they are saying to you that they have accepted
28:50 Jesus' death, His burial, and His resurrection for them.
28:54 That's what they are declaring publicly.
28:56 Because baptism is a public declaration of our commitment
29:00 to Jesus. It's like marriage.
29:03 You can't get married in private nor can you get baptized
29:07 in private because it is a public witness.
29:10 it's a public declaration of our commitment to Christ
29:15 the same as marriage is a public declaration
29:17 of our love for our partner.
29:21 And so the two things are important for us to understand.
29:26 Now you see, unfortunately as time went on
29:32 there was more and more emphasis put on the idea
29:37 that babies need to be baptized.
29:40 You see, I was baptized as a baby.
29:43 Now I don't remember anything about it
29:44 because obviously I was very young.
29:47 But I do know about it because my parents
29:50 kept an album of my... first part of my life.
29:57 A very detailed one, in fact.
29:59 And some years ago they bequeathed to me
30:03 this album... this picture album.
30:06 And when you open it up you can see on the right-hand page
30:10 Geoff - 1 day old Geoff - 2 days old
30:13 Geoff - 3 days old Geoff - 4 days old
30:15 You turn the page: Geoff - 5 days old and so forth.
30:18 I'm not going to bore you with all this, but I've got
30:20 this in my library at home... big thick album.
30:23 And because, you know, when you're the first born
30:27 in the family parents get excited about the first baby.
30:30 I guess they're still excited about the others,
30:32 but they're not quite so camera happy as time goes on.
30:37 But they are on the first one, and I happened to be
30:39 the first one... so there's lots of pictures.
30:42 Now on the album when you open it up
30:45 on the left-hand side there is only one picture.
30:48 In my mother's most neat handwriting she has written
30:51 Geoff's christening day in a half circle.
30:54 Geoff's christening day. There is a picture - 1 picture
30:57 on the page. And if you can imagine what I looked like
31:01 in a white frilly frock,
31:03 then you've got a picture of me
31:05 being baptized.
31:07 Now I want to tell you this:
31:08 that's the only time I've worn a frock and I'm not planning
31:11 to wear another one. See?
31:13 But that's what my parents believed was the right thing.
31:19 But friend, when I started to study the Bible
31:22 and I found that God wants us to be baptized the correct way
31:26 by immersion then I was baptized that way.
31:29 And I want to encourage all of us
31:33 because baptism is very important.
31:38 Now sometimes people say to me: "What? I've been baptized
31:41 that way. " And thank God there are some churches that
31:43 teach that still... the way you're going to see baptism
31:46 this morning. And I'm very glad that there are.
31:50 But sometimes those people come to me and they say:
31:52 "Well I don't need to be baptized again. "
31:54 Just come over to the book of Acts. Let me read you
31:56 Acts 19. And here is the experience that the apostle
32:02 Paul had on one occasion
32:05 when he went down to Corinth
32:08 with Apollos. In chapter 19 it says verse 1:
32:50 Tell me: how many times were these disciples baptized?
32:55 Twice. They were first of all baptized by John's baptism.
33:00 Was that a good baptism?
33:02 Absolutely. Why do we know that it was a good baptism,
33:05 there was nothing wrong with it?
33:07 Jesus was baptized by John... so there's nothing wrong with it.
33:10 But what was the problem with these disciples who were
33:13 baptized by John the Baptist. There was a major problem,
33:16 and what was the problem?
33:19 As you read down here, what hadn't they been instructed in?
33:24 The teaching of the Holy Spirit.
33:26 They knew nothing about the Holy Spirit.
33:28 And so when Paul came along and Apollos
33:31 they instructed them about the Holy Spirit.
33:34 And so when they heard about the Holy Spirit -
33:37 such a major teaching as the Holy Spirit -
33:39 they then said: "We've got to be baptized into the full truth. "
33:43 And I believe that that's like some of us who are coming
33:46 from Sunday-keeping churches.
33:48 That we have not understood all of the truth.
33:52 You did the right thing when you were being baptized.
33:54 I want to applaud you for doing that.
33:56 But it is not wrong to be re- baptized into God's complete
34:00 truth because now you're learning new major truths.
34:06 I mean a major truth is the Sabbath.
34:08 The prophecies of Daniel and Revelation... they will open up
34:11 to you major truths that you've never heard before.
34:18 What we studied about today in health...
34:22 I'll guarantee that most of you have never heard that before
34:26 and it requires big changes in our thinking and our lifestyle.
34:31 And I believe that we do the right thing in being baptized
34:35 into God's complete truth.
34:36 We're not denying our first baptism... it was meaningful.
34:40 But God wants us to take another step with Him
34:43 and we're baptized into God's complete truth
34:46 for these last days.
34:47 And we have Biblical examples to support that.
34:50 Now sometimes people say to me: "Well, Geoff, my problem is
34:54 I just don't feel good enough yet to be baptized. "
34:57 You know, that's the trouble with many of us.
34:59 We feel that we've got to graduate to a certain standard
35:02 before we can be baptized. The Bible doesn't teach that at all.
35:05 The Bible says that we ought to be baptized as soon
35:08 as we hear about it... as soon as we understand
35:11 and are able to get our life in harmony with what God wants us
35:14 to do we ought to be in a hurry to be baptized.
35:16 We ought not to put it off
35:19 because baptism is not a graduation.
35:22 Baptism is the beginning of the Christian life.
35:26 And when we are baptized...
35:27 The candidates this morning are not saying to us
35:29 they've arrived. I'm sure they'll tell you that.
35:33 They don't feel that they've arrived at all.
35:36 But what they are saying is they're like babes...
35:38 we are beginning the Christian life.
35:40 And we are beginning the Christian life just to mark...
35:44 our baptism marks that. It's like marriage.
35:46 When you get married there's an awful lot of water
35:49 going to go under the bridge in the future, isn't there?
35:51 Huh? True.
35:54 And I guess if we knew all the water that was going to go
35:57 under the bridge maybe we wouldn't be so anxious
35:59 to get married so quickly perhaps.
36:01 But we make a pledge together.
36:05 And so it is with baptism.
36:09 We make a pledge with God: by God's grace we're going to
36:12 live in harmony with what God wants us to do.
36:15 And so baptism comes when we've made that decision,
36:19 not when we've arrived.
36:21 Because the truth is: we'll never arrive.
36:24 Because the closer you get to Jesus the more you will sense
36:28 your need of Jesus. Get the idea?
36:29 And the more you will not want to talk about your
36:35 achievements... you'll want to talk about Jesus.
36:37 That's the closer you get to Jesus.
36:39 The further you are away from Jesus the more you talk about
36:42 you know you pay 100 cents on the dollar.
36:44 You never do your neighbor a bad turn.
36:45 You live a good life; you don't need to go to church.
36:47 You don't need God. You know how people talk.
36:49 That shows that a person's a long way away from Jesus.
36:52 But when you get close to Jesus you don't talk about that
36:54 at all. You begin to talk about Jesus
36:57 and you talk and recognize your own sinfulness
37:00 because you're coming up close to the light.
37:02 Let me read you a verse over here in... in Galatians 3.
37:08 Galatians at the back of the Bible.
37:11 Galatians chapter 3 and verse 27.
37:15 Galatians 3 and verse 27.
37:21 And this is what it says:
37:28 So we put on Christ when we're baptized.
37:33 When I am married, I take unto myself a wife
37:36 or a husband if you're a woman.
37:37 So that's... when we're baptized we take Christ.
37:41 That's why we are a Christian. We're all brothers and sisters
37:44 in the church. And I love... In the Adventist church
37:46 we often refer to one another as brother and sister
37:49 because we are indicating that we're a part of God's family.
37:54 No matter where you go, whether your skin is black
37:56 or white or yellow or in between
37:59 it makes no difference because we are all brothers and sisters
38:03 in Christ. Because when I am baptized
38:06 my name is Geoffrey Earl Youlden Christian.
38:09 When you're baptized your name is that: Christian.
38:12 So we're all related; we all have the same surname.
38:14 That's why we're brothers and sisters
38:17 within the family of God
38:20 and we have Christ as our Helper.
38:23 One last verse: I want to read I John chapter 2 and verse 6.
38:27 I John chapter 2 and verse 6 where it says this:
38:43 See, the plan for a Christian is that we walk exactly
38:47 as Jesus walked. And you can never make a mistake.
38:50 You can never get confused. If you simply make Jesus as your
38:54 example it just about finishes every dispute.
38:57 There are no more disputes if you look to Jesus
39:00 as our example. We walk as He walked.
39:03 No more dispute over the commandments.
39:05 No more dispute over the Sabbath.
39:07 No more dispute about any of those things
39:09 because we simply follow Jesus.
39:10 That's what the Bible keeps emphasizing.
39:12 Peter says He's our example;
39:14 John says we walk just as He walked.
39:18 And if God is going to say I'm wrong then Jesus is wrong.
39:22 Because if my life is patterned on Him
39:25 I can't be wrong because Jesus is my example.
39:30 And I want to tell you this, friends...
39:31 I want to tell you the best part of the story
39:33 is that when you ask Jesus to come into your life
39:36 He gives you the power and the strength to be able to do
39:38 all that God wants you to do.
39:39 You know, sometimes people say: "Well you can't keep all
39:41 the commandments. " That's a half truth.
39:43 You can't keep the commandments in your own strength
39:45 but when you have Jesus in your heart you're able
39:47 to be able to do everything God wants you to do.
39:50 And that's the exciting thing: that when we link our life up
39:53 with Jesus all power in heaven and on earth is ours.
39:58 Everything. Every angel in heaven will come to my side
40:02 if I need it in a situation.
40:05 That's why we can be so excited about being a Christian.
40:09 And the candidates this morning as they are baptized
40:13 are saying that we are linking our life with Jesus.
40:17 And when we link our life with Jesus, all power is ours.
40:21 Let's just bow our heads together in prayer.
40:24 Our Father in heaven, I just want to thank you
40:26 this morning again for the power that is in the gospel.
40:30 Thank you that the power is to change our lives.
40:33 And I thank you for these dear candidates today
40:35 who have indicated their desire to start the Christian life,
40:39 to start to walk with You. Bless them we pray
40:41 and strengthen them day by day. May they always
40:44 feel Your presence with them. I pray for Christ's sake, Amen.


Revised 2014-12-17