JOHN THE BAPTIST


  1. INTRODUCTION:

    1. PURPOSE OF THIS STUDY: To present the Biblical facts about John the Baptist.

    2. SCRIPTURE READING: [Matthew 3:1-17] Note: [Matthew 3:3] "For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, the voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." (This was recorded in Isaiah 40:3.)

      1. This verse states very clearly the work of John: He was to introduce Christ to Israel.
      2. John was called "the Baptist" because that was what his work was, to baptize many people including Jesus. He was known "the Baptist" NOT "a Baptist". 
        COMMENT:
        Many years ago (around 1929) in an area close to Valdosta, GA., and later in Jacksonville, FL. Few people knew my dad by just his name Julius, but when they put with that what he did everyone knew who they were talking about. Dad was an auto mechanic and was known as "Julius the mechanic".
      3. John’s baptism was one of immersion.
      4. His over-all work was to prepare the way for the Lord.

  2. DISCUSSION:

    1. JOHN’S BAPTISM WAS A BAPTISM OF REPENTANCE:

      1. Baptism has always been for the remission of sins.

      • Mark 1:4 "John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins."
      • Luke 3:3 "And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins."
      • Acts 2:38 "Then Peter said unto them, repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."

      1. There was a difference in the baptism of John and his disciples and that of Jesus and His disciples.

        1. John’s baptism looked forward to the price Christ would pay for our sins by His death on the cross.
        2. The baptism of Christ’s disciples looked back to the price Christ had paid.
          1. Jesus had not paid the price for the sins of man while John was baptizing. 

            NOTE:
            Herod the tetrarch had John beheaded at the urging of Herodias and Jesus was told of John’s death by his disciples [Matthew 14:1-12]. Matthew 14:10-12 "And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison. And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother. And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus."

          2. Scripture:
          • Hebrews 9:22-26 "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood: and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; for then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."
          • I Peter 1:18-19 "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."

      2. A closer look at the differences between John’s baptism and that of Jesus:

        1. Apollos after Christ death was still using John’s baptism. Acts 18:24-28 ""And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, and eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord. knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.
        2. Twelve men that were found in Ephesus, by the Apostle Paul had been baptized with John’s baptism after the death of Christ, and were commanded to be baptized in the name of Jesus.

          NOTE:
          The valid period of John’s baptism had ended. Acts 19:1-7 "And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, he said unto them. Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, we have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were a bout twelve."

        3. NOTE: The Holy Ghost given by Paul through the laying on of his hands was the various gifts recorded in I Corinthians chapter 12. The gift of the Holy Ghost given to all that are baptized according to the Word of God, is the gift of eternal life. [See John 6:63 and II Corinthians 3:6.]

        4. The difference:
          1. Matthew 3:6 "And were baptized on him in Jordan, confessing their sins." This tells us that those baptized by John in the Jordan did so confessing their sins. Mark 1:5 "And there went out unto him all the land of Judea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins."
          2. The baptism of Jesus (after His death) was confessing Jesus to be the Son of God. 
            [Read Acts 8:26-38, concerning the Ethiopian eunuch and Philip.] Acts 8:36-38 "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? And Philip said, if thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answer and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 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."
          3. There is yet another difference in that under John’s baptism, those baptized were not baptized in the name of any one. Yet under Christ’s baptism, He told His disciples to baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Matthew 28:19-20 "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

      1. The baptism of John was not to last very long.

    • John 3:30 "He must increase, but I must decrease."
    • Matthew 3:11 "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire."

    1. JOHN BAPTIZES JESUS – WHY?

      1. Those baptized by John confessed their sins - Jesus was without sin. Hebrews 4:14-16 "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
      2. Why then was Jesus baptized? Let’s let Jesus Himself answer the question: Matthew 3:13-15 "Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 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."

        1. The answer "to fulfill all righteousness".
        2. Jesus was baptized in obedience to His Father.

          1. The psalmist David wrote Psalms 119:172 "All thy commandments are righteousness."
          2. John writes in I John 2:29 "If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him."
          3. Baptism is one of the commands [Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16].

        3. Jesus was God’s Son, but he was also a man – What kind of example would He be to us, if He was not baptized. When we are to follow his example. I Peter 2:21 "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:"
        4. Jesus was baptized to obey His Father in righteousness and God was well pleased with Jesus, for God said at Christ’s baptism, Matthew 3:17 "… This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

          1. Luke records in Luke 7:29-30 "And all the people heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him."
          2. Will you too reject the counsel (commandments) of God?
          3. Baptism has always been in obedience to God’s Commandment. Jesus was not baptized for the remission of sins, nor because of the remission of sins. He was baptized to fulfill the commandment of God.

    2. WHERE THE APOSTLES BAPTIZED?
    • [John 1:35-37]  "Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples: and looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus
    • [John 1: 40] "One of the two which head John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother."

      1. Two of the Lord’s disciples were baptized under John’s baptism, as were probably the others as Christ was.
      2. The probable baptism of all the apostles was part of the preparation for the coming kingdom – church.

      • I Corinthians 12:28 "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues."
      • John 4:1-2 "When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples)."

      COMMENT: The fact that Jesus’ disciples baptized, while John’s baptism was valid, his baptism was used. It would be safe to conclude that all of the apostles were baptized.

    1. JOHN THE BAPTIST ESTABLISHED NO CHURCH -- NOR WAS HE EVER A PART OF [MEMBER OF] THE LORD’S CHURCH.

      1. Matthew 14:10 "And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison." John was put to death before the Church was established on Pentecost in Acts chapter two.
      2. Jesus said, sometime after the death of John the Baptist, while speaking of the church yet in the future tense. Matthew 16:18 "And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
      3. Just previous to the above statement, Christ said in Matthew 11:11 "Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: not withstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."

  3. CONCLUSION:

    1. JOHN BAPTISM WAS AUTHORIZED BUT FOR A SHORT DURATION OF TIME.

    2. JOHN WAS "THE BAPTIST" DESCRIBING HIS WORK; NOT "A BAPTIST".

    3. JOHN NEVER ESTABLISHED A CHURCH -- NOR WAS HE EVER A PART OF ONE.

    4. JOHN PREPARED THE WAY FOR THE LORD -- JESUS CHRIST.

    5. JESUS PREPARED THE WAY FOR US IN BEING BAPTIZED OF JOHN TO FULFILL ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS.

    6. WILL YOU BE BAPTIZED TO FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF CHRIST?

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