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



Luke 3:21-38

21  Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,

22  And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

23  And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,

24  Which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Janna, which was the son of Joseph,

25  Which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Amos, which was the son of Naum, which was the son of Esli, which was the son of Nagge,

26  Which was the son of Maath, which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Semei, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Juda,

27  Which was the son of Joanna, which was the son of Rhesa, which was the son of Zorobabel, which was the son of Salathiel, which was the son of Neri,

28  Which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Addi, which was the son of Cosam, which was the son of Elmodam, which was the son of Er,

29  Which was the son of Jose, which was the son of Eliezer, which was the son of Jorim, which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi,

30  Which was the son of Simeon, which was the son of Juda, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Jonan, which was the son of Eliakim,

31  Which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David,

32  Which was the son of Jesse, which was the son of Obed, which was the son of Booz, which was the son of Salmon, which was the son of Naasson,

33  Which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Phares, which was the son of Juda,

34  Which was the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac, which was the son of Abraham, which was the son of Thara, which was the son of Nachor,

35  Which was the son of Saruch, which was the son of Ragau, which was the son of Phalec, which was the son of Heber, which was the son of Sala,

36  Which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Sem, which was the son of Noe, which was the son of Lamech,

37  Which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan,

38  Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.


          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!


(Matthew 3:13-17)  "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. 16 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."


·        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).


(Romans 6:3-6)  "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin."


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)


(2 Corinthians 13:14)  "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen."


·        The Purpose of God


(Ephesians 1:3-14)  "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."


(2 Thessalonians 2:13-14)  "But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ."


(1 Peter 1:2)  "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied."


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.


(Numbers 23:21)  "He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them."


(Psalms 32:1-2)  " Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile."


(Romans 4:8)  "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin."


(Jeremiah 50:20)  "In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve."


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[1], 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.


(John 14:1-3)  "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."


          May God give us grace to live day by day as dying men and women.



[1] 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.