Jesus is King: Water Baptism and Salvation

under water with sun reflection

As I continue my teaching series this week before Resurrection Sunday, I would like to teach on Jesus’ baptism and how it impacts us.   Before looking into the baptism of Jesus, I would like to discuss one important person and that is John the Baptist. There was a false teaching back in those days where people believed that John the Baptist would be greater than or equal to Jesus Christ. This false teaching or heresy was addressed in The Gospel of John. John 1:6-8 (NKJV) tells us, “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.  This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.  He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.”. Jesus is the true Light, and John the Baptist is a forerunner for Jesus. John the Baptist baptized people with water for the remission of sins, however, we know that Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit. Matthew 3:13-14 (NKJV) says, “Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?””. John the Baptist wanted Jesus to baptize him because he knew who Jesus was. However, we will find out that Jesus wanted to be baptized by John the Baptist. We will also find out why Jesus got baptized by him.

So why did Jesus wanted to be baptized by John the Baptist? Jesus was clearly without sin so why was it necessary? Matthew 3:15 tells us, “But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.”. Jesus got baptized so He could be identified with sinners. 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV) says, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”.  Reading further into the passage in Matthew, verse 16 goes on to say, “When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.”. John the Baptist witnessed the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus, it appeared to be like a dove. John 1:32 (NKJV) says, “And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him.” The Holy Spirit remained on Jesus during His earthly ministry, and we know that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to the disciples after His ascension as you would read in the Book of Acts. John the Baptist also got confirmation from heaven that Jesus is the Son of God, Matthews 3:17 (NKJV) tells us, “And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.””.

So now that we know about what took place during the baptism of Jesus, let’s look at two key Old Testament scriptures. There are many Messianic scriptures found in the Old Testament that often get overlooked. First Isaiah 42:1 (NKJV) says, “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.”. Jesus is God’s Elect One, who He sent His Spirit upon. Matthew 3:17 is also confirmed in the Old Testament, look at Psalm 2:7 (NKJV) which says, ““I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.”.

Now that we have a background on the story of Jesus’ baptism and why He got baptized let’s look at the difference between water baptism and salvation. First, salvation needs to come before water baptism. Romans 10:9-10 (NKJV) instructs us, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation.”.  Salvation is what is required of us to make it to Heaven when we die.  If water baptism was the way to heaven then we would be saying we are saved by works, which we know is false teaching. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV) tells us, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,  not of works, lest anyone should boast.”. This would also cancel out the largely popular tradition of newly born babies being baptized in water. Pouring water over a newborn baby in a church is no greater than giving your baby a bath at home, except you don’t invite the whole family to watch your baby get a bath at home. Also, we cannot be forgiven by anyone except Jesus, and we can go directly to Jesus in prayer. We don’t need any priest, bishop, or pope to go to Jesus, simply come as you are to Him. 2 Timothy 2:5 (NKJV) says, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,”. Once we are truly saved at salvation, water baptism is an outward expression of the old man dying and the new man coming forth. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”. I encourage you this week to reflect on the following questions:

  1. Think about how this scripture impacts your specifically: 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV) says, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”. 
  2. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17. Describe the transformation that took place in your life after your salvation?

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