Sermon #21 Luke Sermons
Title: Lessons From The Master’s
Baptism and Genealogy
Text: Luke 3:21-38
Subject: Christ’s Baptism
Date: Sunday Evening - January 9, 2000
Tape # V-64b
Readings: Office: Rex Bartley Auditorium: Merle Hart
We know virtually nothing about the childhood, youth, teenage years, and early adulthood of our Savior. We know he was born at Bethlehem, -- that Joseph and Mary fled with him to Egypt when he was about 2 years old, -- and that he was found in the temple conversing with the religious leaders of the temple worship when he was 12. We know nothing else about our Lord’s earthly existence until he was 30 years old. All three of the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), begin to describe our Lord’s life and ministry as a man in exactly the same way – at his baptism. That fact alone makes his baptism and ours a matter of tremendous importance. So, tonight, as we look at these last verses of Luke 3, I want to show you four important Lessons From The Master’s Baptism And Genealogy.
I. A Lesson about Baptism and Faith
In the Word of God, baptism and faith always go together (Acts 8:36-38). Baptism is distinctly an ordinance of the New Testament. It is a distinctly gospel ordinance. There was nothing like it in the Old Testament, and nothing pointing to it.
Many have the notion that John’s baptism was somehow different from the baptism practiced by our Lord, his disciples and us. But there is not a shred of evidence for that notion.
· There is no evidence that any of our Lord’s disciples were baptized by anyone, except John.
· John’s baptism, like ours, was the baptism of repentance because of the remission of sins (v. 3).
· John’s baptism, like ours, was the symbolic fulfillment of righteousness (Matt. 3:13-17). It was a picture of redemption, a picture of the gospel. – Not of Cleansing, but of Ransom! -- Not of Regeneration, but of Redemption!
· John’s baptism, like ours, was an act by which men and women publicly renounced their former religion and publicly identified themselves with Christ and his people.
Our Lord treated this blessed ordinance of the gospel as a matter of highest esteem, giving it great honor, and placing great importance upon it. He walked all the way from Galilee to the Jordan River in order to be baptized.
Baptism must not be regarded by us as a point of indifference, or of slight importance. This is the ordinance of Christ, an ordinance of divine worship, which our Master commands us to keep.
I will say no more about this blessed ordinance tonight than is here specifically spelled out by God the Holy Spirit. I have no creed to defend, no denomination to uphold, no tradition to maintain. I make no effort to mold the Scriptures to a confession of faith. Believers mold their faith, their doctrine, and their practices to the Word of God.
A. Baptism is an ordinance of worship, not a sacrament. – Our Lord’s baptism conferred no grace upon him. – It washed away no sin from him.
B. Baptism is immersion. – Immersion is not a mode, or even the mode of baptism. Immersion is baptism. That is the word means. Without immersion, there is no baptism.
C. Baptism is for adults only. – Our Lord was 30 years old when he came to be baptized by John.
D. Baptism is for believers only. -- The necessary prerequisite to baptism is faith (Acts 8:36-38). We are specifically told that our Savior was praying when he was baptized.
The practice of sprinkling, of pouring, and of infant baptism, is as foreign to the Scriptures as rosary beads. If we would worship God, we must not add to his Word, or alter his ordinance.
E. Our baptism as believers, as followers of Christ, is a reflection of our Lord’s baptism (Rom. 6:3-6).
II. A Lesson About The Trinity and Redemption
· 1 John 5:7
When our Lord Jesus was baptized, all three Persons in the Godhead displayed a manifest concern in the affair of our redemption.
· God the Son was baptized.
· God the Spirit descended upon him.
· God the Father spoke from heaven.
Throughout the New Testament, we see the fact of the Holy Trinity and of the involvement of all three of the divine Persons in the work of grace.
· The Baptismal Formula
· The Benedictions of Grace (2 Cor. 13:14)
· The Purpose of God
III. A Lesson About Grace and Mediation
We have before us a marvelous display of our Lord’s covenant office as our God-man Mediator. The voice which spoke from heaven said this. – “Thou art my beloved Son. In thee I am well pleased.”
The only way God almighty can or will save fallen, guilty sinners is through a Mediator. And the Lord Jesus Christ is the Mediator, the only Mediator there is, between God and men (1 Tim. 2:5).
· Everything God has for sinners, everything God requires of sinners, and everything God gives to sinners is “IN HIM,” in Christ.
A. He who is Mediator between God and men must be both God and man.
B. He who is our Mediator must be one in whom God is well pleased.
· Well pleased with his nature.
· Well pleased with his life.
· Well pleased with his death.
· Well pleased with his merit, the infinite merit of his obedience as our Substitute.
C. God almighty is well pleased with his people in his Son.
Bold shall I stand in that great day,
For who aught to my charge shall lay,
While through Christ’s blood absolved I am,
From sin’s tremendous curse and blame!
IV. A Lesson About Humanity and Death
In verses 23-38 we have a long list of names. Here we are given the names of 75 people. Were it not for the fact that their names are in this genealogical record, most of the names would have long ago gone into oblivion. Who remembers them? Who cares who they were, where they lived, what they did, or what they had? No one! What frail, dying creatures we are!
A. Like us, these men all once lived upon the earth. – They had the same joys we have, the same sorrows, the same griefs, the same troubles.
B. As we all soon must, all these men died and are buried in the earth.
C. Each one has now gone to his own place, as soon we must.
Yes, we too are passing away and soon must be gone. Let us forever bless God and give thanks to him that in this dying world we have a living Savior! Let us make it our one great concern to be joined to him who is the resurrection and the life.
May God give us grace to live day by day as dying men and women.
 All who read the Scriptures with care know that there is some difficulty reconciling the records of our Lord'’ genealogy. If we compare Matthew's account with Luke’s account, there appears to be an obvious conflict in the recorded names given between David and Joseph. Between David and Abraham, Matthew’s record and Luke’s agree. But between David and Joseph, they appear to be two different family trees. In all likelihood they are. It appears that Luke was inspired to give us our Lord’s maternal genealogy, while Matthew and Mark give us his paternal genealogy. Heli, being Mary’s father, would have been Joseph’s father-in-law, his father by marriage. He would have been listed as such in the maternal genealogy of the family.