Sermon: Full Gospel, Pt. 3

Written by Timothy

The Full Gospel, Part 3

This lesson will conclude “The Full Gospel” series and will help us understand what we will be declaring to people. The first thing we need to realize is Jesus Christ did not tell us to go save people. The whole church is trying to save individuals, but Jesus Christ told us to go make disciples.

Matthew 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.

In every case we find that individuals who worship Jesus Christ and love him are referred to as disciples. Notice Jesus Christ tells them to go a particular mountain. There are a lot of people who ask me, “Do I have to join Sound Doctrine Church to go to heaven?” I always tell them, “Well, you might have to, but that does not mean someone else has to.” Each person has to be at the mountain where Jesus Christ has called them to be. We need to understand that when we preach the gospel there is a cross and a place where Jesus Christ tells us to be for him to glorify his name. If they were at some other mountain they would have totally missed Jesus Christ ascending into heaven.

Matthew 28:17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.

Jesus Christ is being raised from the dead and going into heaven and some didn’t believe! How interesting that they can see the power of the resurrection and see Jesus Christ exalted, but still doubt. He is right there in front of them, and they are unable to believe and partake of what is going on. There are a lot of people in that position with the message of the cross. They see the power and see it happening in other people’s lives, but they cannot simply believe it is for real.

Matthew 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”

When we make disciples we make individuals who are saved, but we are not called to save people.

Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

If we have the attitude that we are just out to save individuals then the concept of real obedience becomes null and void. Instead, we should have the mindset that we are to make disciples. When one is a disciple they are in a learning and teaching process, and they follow Jesus Christ on a daily basis.

Matthew 28:20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

We are only assured that Jesus Christ is going to be with us if we become disciples who are learning to obey everything that he commanded, leaving nothing out.

Acts 11:25-26 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.

It is interesting to note that the Christians only refer to themselves as disciples. It was other individuals who called them Christians. We see again the teaching process in making individuals disciples. Look at what it says in the following passage.

Acts 11:26 The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.

Jesus Christ has called us to go make disciples, yet we like to run around with a label that says, “I am a Christian,” rather than saying, “I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.” Discipleship involves learning every day from Jesus Christ about everything he commanded us to do. Let us go make disciples rather than go make Christians. Titus 3:3 reminds us that we are saved by the washing of rebirth through water baptism.

Titus 3:3-7 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.

Look at how this mercy and life of faith comes out. If water baptism was just a matter of going into the water, why would we find so much objection to it? It is a powerful and holy thing, so there is hostility among all kinds of individuals, because it does mean something. It does have power, it is the mercy and grace of God.

Titus 3:5 He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,

He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, by being reborn of the water and Spirit. It is there in water baptism that the power takes place. A man is washed of his sins, cleansed and becomes a disciple. Everything comes together at this point.

Titus 3:5 and renewal by the Holy Spirit,

We see again that we are preaching a full message of the water, the blood, and the Spirit.

Titus 3:6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior

All of this is tied together, it is a full message.

Titus 3:7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

This is fully the grace of God. This is not legalism or salvation by works. This is how God has chosen to manifest his grace and mercy among us, through the washing of rebirth. When individuals become Christians today they are saved, but as a disciple I have the hope of eternal salvation and this is why I move into obedience in following Jesus Christ. I will never let go of him.

Titus 3:8 This is a trustworthy saying.

Let us underline it, highlight it, put it in our hearts, this is trustworthy.

Titus 3:8 And I want you to stress these things,

This is what we are to remind each other about. This is what we should stress as a body and take our stand on. We should remind each other that this is very important in Jesus Christ. Everyone else gets off on all these other things.

Titus 3:8 And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good.

Again, we see that attitude of obedience, in everything.

Titus 3:8 These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

What was excellent and profitable? We just saw it. Reminding them that they were saved by the mercy of God, and were washed in renewal by water baptism. They were saved by his mercy.

Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.

There are all kinds of things that we can discuss and declare as Christians. This is what people get all caught up in, but no one just says, “Are we being obedient? Are we disciples? Are we washed in the word and learning new things in Jesus Christ? Are we walking with him daily?” We want to be on all these other topics, because it does not cost us our life. Men like to talk religion all the time with all the different viewpoints and discussions, yet nobody does anything. We are talking about a life of obedience and these are the things we should stress and find to be our joy.

Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.

Just walk away from them. When you are in a discussion like that, move away from it and get back to what you need to do in Jesus Christ. Ask the Lord what a disciple should be doing and then begin to declare that to them. Keep your conversation at the level of, “What are we doing in Jesus Christ? How are we following him?”

Titus 3:9 because these are unprofitable and useless.

In our discussions about God and Jesus Christ ask yourself if what you are discussing is profitable, leading to greater obedience or just mere talk. Is this really something useful in Jesus Christ? Is it really going to lead to some action in an individual’s life? Is this going to lead to a purer heart or is this just a bunch of talk? We can be talking about a lot of things in Jesus Christ, but if it doesn’t lead to purity and holiness in terms of actions and change, then it is useless conversation. It is a waste of time. Indeed, you know what it usually does is give you a false sense of being holy, because you are talking about religious things.

It is interesting that Jesus Christ talks to individuals who have faith in him and who believe in what he is saying. But he reminds and stresses something of importance to them.

John 8:30 Even as he spoke, many put their faith in him.

So these are technically believers aren’t they? These are not atheists, new agers, or people who do not believe in Jesus Christ. These are individuals who understand who Jesus Christ is. They understand he is the Son of God and actually believe in what he has to say. So Jesus is speaking to people who actually do believe in him.

John 8:31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.”

How easy it is to let go of the teachings of Jesus Christ. We say we have faith and believe, but we let go of what he has to say.

John 8:32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

People fool themselves by thinking they believe in Jesus Christ, but they are not holding to the teachings of Jesus Christ. They think they are a religious people who understand who Jesus Christ is, but they are not holding on to his teaching and following him. They are not being taught to obey everything. They are not disciples of Jesus Christ. Jesus says, “Look, if you believe in me and let go of my teachings then you do not belong to me.”

John 8:32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Jesus Christ teaches in such a way that we have to grab hold of that truth and not let go, in order to be set free. When Jesus Christ preaches a tough cross and begins to crucify us we are tempted to let go of it and find something else. It requires perseverance for a man to lay hold of the cross and not let go of it in order to find the freedom that is in Jesus Christ. Jesus says it is by persevering that we bear a crop.

John 8:33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”

You need to ask yourself a question, “Am I a slave in the household of God or am I a Son of God?” Isn’t this mostly the attitude of people who claim to be Christians today? They say, “I am not a slave to sin. I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe what he taught.” I have even had people say they believe the message of the cross and agree with everything but they do not like the application. This means they are not holding to it and not being obedient. There are a lot of individuals who will say they are not slaves to sin. They have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, but it is not a reality in their life, even though they are claiming Abraham as their father, the father of faith. They are saying they belong to Jesus Christ, but they are not permanently in the household. Look at what Jesus Christ had to say in verse 34.

John 8:34-35 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.”

Everyone who is a Christian needs to ask themselves if they are a slave or a son. A slave hears the voice of God, doesn’t he? A slave knows the master’s will and lives in the household of God. A slave moves among those who fellowship with the Father. A slave is in intimate contact with the family. A slave knows every aspect of what goes on and understands the will of the Father. He serves the Father. He does good deeds. He does everything, except he is not a son. There are a lot of individuals that are just slaves of God and they think that they are in the household of God. They believe they have a permanent place with God, but they are not obedient disciples to Jesus Christ. They understand what God is about and what Abraham represents, they also understand the aspects of faith. They are a people serving Jesus Christ: tithing, working, laboring, and passing out tracts. There are probably plenty of preachers who are preaching the gospel who are not sons, but slaves of God. They are used of God and they can say they have answered prayer. They can also say that God is using and moving them in a lot of ways and point to how God moved them to do certain things. You have to say that it is all true. But we don’t ever back up and ask are they a son or a slave of God. That is a serious question for everyone to ask because there is a fine line between the two.

John 8:35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.

They are in the household of God for a short period of time. I know some individuals right now who are meeting some needs in Jesus Christ and they are in fellowship with me, but I have a deep sense they are just slaves and will not be permanently be found in heaven.

John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

This is the key. There is a freedom they know nothing about. They continue on in the same sins over and over again and do not sense the victory. They don’t have this lasting power that is found in him. They cannot say, “I am free indeed.” There is not this tremendous overcoming power to deal with sin in their life and to grow in the humility and grace of God, to allow the cross to do its work. They have not found the freedom, power, and victory that just stands up and says, “I am indeed free in Jesus Christ.” The slave partakes a little bit of the food, he is in the household, he takes on the joy of other people, but he does not have it himself. The slave sees other people sitting around the table partaking of the food that is in Jesus Christ, but they are not sitting at the table themselves. They are experiencing the joy that belongs to other individuals. They are leaching off other people who are sons of God. Jesus Christ sets us free indeed so that we are sitting down at the table as sons and daughters of God.

John 8:37 I know you are Abraham’s descendants.

I know that you have this heritage and can claim this religion, but look at what he says.

John 8:37 Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word.

Believers who are ready to kill Jesus Christ! These are people who have faith in him, however, they are ready to kill him. See how subtle our enemies become among those who claim to be Christians. There are believers who are ready to kill the message. You can’t even begin to talk about the full message. The minute you talk about water baptism, what happens? Everybody wants to kill that message. “I know you are Abraham’s descendants. I know you have this heritage, we do not deny that fact, yet you are ready to kill Jesus Christ. Why are you ready to kill Jesus Christ? Because you have no room for his word.” A man has his opinion and his life, and the word of God can’t get in to conform this man. Ask yourself, of all of the things you do all day long, how much are you quoting scripture in your heart about what you are doing? There is a lot of time as I go about my daily life, I hear scripture coming to mind and moving me in a certain direction, telling me what needs to be done, or asking me why I am doing what I’m doing.

Sometimes scripture tells me I shouldn’t do something. You have no room for the Word of God in your heart, because your heart has all kinds of other things that crowd it out. Whether it be the activities you want to do or your opinion, or religion, you have no room for his word in your heart, because you want to kill him. Where do we find the liveliest debates going on? It is when we quote scripture and then all hell breaks loose. All you have to do is stand up and quote a scripture. Just say, “We need to live that.” Then other people around you who have no room for his word, are going to seek to shut you up, to qualify it, to quantify it, to say we don’t need to live it. Just stand in a crowd sometime and say, “You know, we need to repent and be baptized every single one of us.” Just watch the conversation rage. Why? Because the word has no room there. We cannot even get on to more serious and joyful things in Jesus Christ because we are debating the elementary things of Jesus Christ. That is why Jesus Christ said, “If you hold to my teaching and hold on to my word and apply it in a real way allowing the Holy Spirit to do the work, then you are a son.” Let us wake up and see there are a lot of individuals who have faith, yet are ready to kill Jesus Christ. They just have not been pushed far enough. The word of God just has not come against them strong enough for them to react. When everybody else is in the realm of opinion and discussion of their own ideas, why get hostile? It is Pharisee against Sadducee.

We are talking about a grand freedom. I can’t wait until we move out of the elementary things we are looking at, because we are going to get into some really good stuff. Things like loving one another deeply from heart and seeing God work in a lot of ways that are rich and deep in our hearts, once we get past these basic things.

Acts 9:18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again.

Now I want you to look at the result of this. This was a man who was persecuting Jesus Christ and putting Christians in jail. Look at how the power that water baptism, baptism in Jesus Christ and baptism in the Holy Spirit, work together in this man’s life.

Acts 9:18-19 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus.

Now look at what it says in verse 20.

Acts 9:20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.

At once he goes from being an enemy of Jesus Christ and killing disciples to preaching for the gospel of Jesus Christ and understanding who it is about. It is an instantaneous kind of change, isn’t it? This is the power of being washed by the blood of Jesus Christ and being reborn again. On the one hand a man is totally darkened as to who he is. He thinks he is fine in Jesus Christ, a child of Abraham and everything is OK. Yet when he partakes of the teaching of Jesus Christ, the washing of rebirth, he is immediately preaching and saying everything that he did back there was vile and in opposition to Jesus Christ and this is the truth. It is an instantaneous transformation of the man. It does not happen because he is taught certain doctrines, or he got it intellectually. His heart has changed. Something deep within the man has changed.

Acts 9:20 At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.

What was he doing just days before this? He was going around preaching that Jesus Christ was from the pit of hell and putting Christians in jail. Now he is standing up in the synagogue and saying, “No! He is the Son of God!” Verse 21 is probably an understatement.

Acts 9:21-22 All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?” Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.

If we will partake of this kind of power we will baffle those around us. There is nothing like a changed life. There is nothing like being free indeed to baffle those who want to debate and argue all day long. They can’t argue against a man who is born blind and can now see as he stands before the Sanhedrin. They don’t know what to do with it. They will seek to kill it, but they can’t out argue it. Saul is able to baffle them because of the change in his character, not the logic of his argument. It is our changed lives that are being rewashed.

Acts 9:23-26 After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him, but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall. When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple.

Let us see that it is the blood, the grace, the mercy, the power and the water that allows us to draw close to God. It is part of the full message.

Hebrews 10:19-24 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith,

Now do you hear a talk of faith, life, and the blood of Jesus Christ? You do not hear anything about the works of man or making this salvation by works, do you? This is totally by faith, the blood, and the work that Jesus Christ did.

Hebrews 10:22 having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

The water is as powerful as the blood and as powerful as the Spirit. Every aspect of a man needs to be cleansed. His heart needs to be cleansed, which is done by the blood of Jesus Christ. His body needs to be purified.

Hebrew 10:23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

The water is powerful and holy. So what about 1 Corinthians 1:17? This is the one everyone likes to throw out there to counteract everything we have been looking at for the last three weeks.

1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power

People try to say, “See Paul didn’t even baptize! It is not part of the message or the gospel.” So why does Paul write and say in 1 Corinthians 1:17, “For Christ did not send me to baptize.” For the same reason that Jesus Christ did not baptize. Jesus Christ did not baptize anyone, but he taught his disciples to baptize.

John 4:1-2 The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.

So why didn’t Jesus Christ baptize? If it is so important and so crucial and he commands us in Matthew 28 to go do it, why didn’t he do it? Why didn’t Paul baptize? Paul tells us why he didn’t baptize and why he was glad that he didn’t baptize. This also explains why Jesus Christ didn’t baptize anyone. It has to do with who man is in his sinful nature. There is a subtlety of pride that creeps into a man that aligns him with certain individuals to boast that he belongs to them or is their disciple. There is this superiority that man tries to get. What was one of the constant conversations among the disciples when they were with Jesus Christ? Who is the greatest? The reason Paul didn’t baptize anyone, nor Jesus Christ, is so people couldn’t say, “Oh, I was baptized by Jesus Christ, but you were only baptized by Peter.” There was not this special kind of lifting up of one man over another man.

1 Corinthians 1:12-17 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

They were making Jesus Christ himself a source of division because of the pride of man.

1 Corinthians 1:13-14 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius,

Verse 15 is the answer to why Paul said he did not baptize anyone. It is the answer as to why Jesus Christ himself did not personally baptize anybody.

1 Corinthians 1:15 so no one can say that you were baptized into my name.

The arrogance and debate of man cannot go running wild. Can you imagine in our arrogance if Jesus Christ had personally baptized us what would subtly set in our hearts? We would feel a little bit superior and that a little bit of special attention had been given to us. So Jesus Christ in all of his wisdom instructed his disciples to baptize.

1 Corinthians 9:27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Paul is saying he can be a religious man and still be a slave of God. There are a lot of preachers who are slaves of God, but they have no permanent place in the household. Think about it, they declare the freedom, mercy and grace of God and watch other people partake of that. God’s Holy Spirit even speaks to the slave and gives the slave words, but he himself is not going to be in the household. A scary thing to contemplate. What does Paul say?

1 Corinthians 9:27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

If you had a slave, you might say to the slave, “Here’s a message I want you to take.” The slave obeys you, but he is not your son or daughter.

1 Corinthians 10:1-4 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.

He is referring to baptism again in this passage. When the Israelites came out of Egypt, how were they delivered, what was the crossing point when they went through the Red Sea? They had water on both sides and the cloud, which of course is the water above them. They were baptized into Moses. This whole issue goes all the way back to our original example in the old law. This is what we want to look at. The Israelites’ salvation from the Egyptians began with water. What does the name Moses mean? What is God pointing us to?

Exodus 2:10 When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”

Jesus Christ did not come by blood and Spirit only, but also by water. Moses, who is our example and the beginning lesson of what it means to come to Jesus Christ, came from water. It was the whole cleansing process. It is one part of the whole gospel. Let us look at this deliverance. Do you remember Jesus said he came to baptize with fire, the Holy Spirit, and water? All of these elements came together.

Exodus 14:21-22 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.

We have already seen that when God begins to give us details, we should pay attention. They are being baptized into Moses. He whose name correlates with water is also leading the Israelites to be delivered from the Egyptians by a baptism. They are going to see the destruction of Egypt washed away from their life as they pass through this water. How many men want to say they have been washed and delivered, but they have never gone through this? Can you imagine some of the different denominations standing on the threshold there? The waters have parted and I can just see the Baptists saying, “Oh, you are making this a salvation by works. I am not going down there and walking across.” I would say, “Then fine, stand there. You are going to have all of Pharaoh’s army on your back in just a few minutes.” Or somebody says, “Oh, you are making this salvation by works. Why did we have to come out of Egypt and walk all this way? How come God doesn’t just deliver us and put us in the Promised Land?” Some people say, “I want to be saved, but I don’t want to be a disciple. I don’t want to go walking in the desert to learn my lessons. I want to get all the way to the Promised Land today.” They are going to be destroyed and totally wiped out.

Exodus 14:23 The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea.

Do you understand that when Satan sees you getting on the verge of passing through that baptism water, everything he has is marshaled against you? If it is of no significance or value, then why all the hostility? Why the entire objection by men and all the physical manifestation? All of Satan’s horses and Pharaoh and all the leaders are all coming to get you, because the last thing they want you to do is pass through that water.

Exodus 14:24 During the last watch of the night the LORD looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion.

The sins that had enslaved you, the Pharaoh that had controlled and influenced your life are now being thrown into confusion. The sin that had confused and tormented you is now being tossed about and beginning to go through the dying process. The cloud is there, the baptism of fire is there and God is looking down at the last watch of the night. The darkest part of the night, when you think God doesn’t care anymore and everything is at its worst moment, that is when God says, “Go and get cleansed, be purified and pass through.” God looks down and they are passing through on the other side and he begins to throw Pharaoh’s army into confusion. Do you want God to look down on your life and deliver you from Egypt? Where did they have to be in order for God to look down on them and say, “I will deliver these people?” They had to be passing through the water and going to the other side. They had to be going through what God commanded them to go through. If someone wanted to go some other way, it is not going to happen. If we want God to look down on people, then we have to get them to a place where they realize they have to pass through the water and move on. They have to see the power and significance of it.

Exodus 14:25-27 He made the wheels of their chariots come off so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The LORD is fighting for them against Egypt.” Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the LORD swept them into the sea.

Everything here has to do with cleansing by water. Moses was drawn from the water and then he was being led out not only by the Red Sea, but also into the sea where there was even more water. For somebody to turn at this point and say, “Oh, it doesn’t mean anything and the water is of no significance,” would be completely idiotic and foolish.

Exodus 14:28 The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.

Every sin is washed away.

Exodus 14:29-30 But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. That day the LORD saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore.

Why is God repeating the significance of the water? Here we have the whole concept of salvation and being saved? If you were to ask an Israelite how they were saved from the Egyptians, what would they have said? “When we passed through the Red Sea and the waters divided, the clouds were above us. When the fire was there we saw their bodies scattered on the shoreline as they were swept out to sea. That’s how we were saved.” They were born again by water and Spirit, the washing of rebirth, the pledge of a good conscience toward God.

Exodus 14:30 That day the LORD saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore

I love this passage. I want to see my sins dead on the shore. I want to see the enemies of God dead on the shores. I have to begin to be obedient to what he has to say and make room in my heart for his word. And this is the stand we must take.

Exodus 14:31 And when the Israelites saw the great power the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.

Had they not obeyed and been in this place, their faith would not have grown. How many people do we know who come to Jesus Christ in the way the church sets down and their faith never grows. It never goes beyond that elementary faith that the slaves have. The people who say they belong to Abraham have a rudimentary concept of Jesus Christ, the Christian life, and the cross. They have the words down but they don’t have their trust in him, it’s not a growing thing.

Matthew 13:51 tells us that we are to take the old things of the law and bring them in to the new things. We are to combine the two and look at them, because the law is a treasure to examine. It is good to see how it applies to grace and works in our life, not in terms of legalism. We just need to ignore that whole argument and get on with finding some joyful obedience in Jesus Christ. It’s just an attempt to keep you from doing something in God.

Matthew 13:51 “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked. “Yes,” they replied. He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”

When we look at Moses back in the Old Testament, we are looking at a small lesson about water baptism. When we go clear back to Noah, we are seeing the same thing. We are to bring all these things together under the grace of the Holy Spirit and learn what they mean. They are all rich treasures.

Matthew 13:53 When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there.

Let us understand that Jesus wants to move us from some of these basic things. When we get one treasure in Jesus Christ, we sometimes hold on to it and we think it is ours to contain. There are whole rooms full of treasures. In the Psalms it says I’ll run through your law, for it gives me freedom. There is just one room, after another room to discover all these hidden treasures in Jesus Christ. Let’s look at an old treasure, right now.

Numbers 19:9 A man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer and put them in a ceremonially clean place outside the camp. They shall be kept by the Israelite community for use in the water of cleansing; it is for purification from sin.

This is an old treasure and old gem. It points to Jesus Christ. This is one more thing I can look at and ask, “What does the water mean? And how does it hold significance for me in Jesus Christ? If God took all this time to teach the Israelites way back then, he is trying to point to something richer and grander in Jesus Christ. So we bring out both old and new treasures and ask, “How do I surpass the law? How do I fulfill the law? How do I become an individual who can find and discover this water of cleansing in Jesus Christ? We have already seen how. Look at what it says in verse 20 about a man who will not participate in this water and purification, and then try to tell me that it is not significant or important.

Numbers 19:20 But if a person who is unclean does not purify himself, he must be cut off from the community, because he has defiled the sanctuary of the LORD. The water of cleansing has not been sprinkled on him, and he is unclean.

When we read that Jesus Christ says unless a man is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God, it takes on a whole new significance, doesn’t it? A man who refuses to participate in the cleansing of the water when he needs to be cleansed, must be cut off from the community. He has defiled the sanctuary of the Lord. He has defiled the church and gospel. He has added impurities into it and ignored certain things. There are all kinds of preaching that leave out the water and the power, and people are left helpless. Pharaoh still has not been washed away. His army is still fully intact, pursuing them but they keep running and running and running because no one has told them to get down into the water and pass on through. If you allow this to take place Pharaoh will vanish from your life. You will sense the death throes as he begins to die out. You will see the bodies washed up on the shore and washed out to sea. You will never find them again. They will rot and decay from your life.

Numbers 19:20 The water of cleansing has not been sprinkled on him, and he is unclean.

Now this is just the old treasure. This is just a small sample of wisdom about the old treasure. We now come to the New Testament and it begins to talk about baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is not something that we are optioned to leave out. This is what we take our stand on in the temple courts. In church we say, “In order for the church to be sanctified, in order for a man to be clean and holy, he must participate in this baptism in Jesus Christ. Otherwise he has defiled the sanctuary. He has made the church unholy by his presence. He is a slave and not a son.”

John 19:31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down.

If we’re talking to an individual and they say, “Well I don’t believe in the blood of Jesus Christ.” we would call them a heretic, and rightly so. I just found out that when the Mormons take the Lord’s Supper, they don’t call it the Lord’s Supper. They call it, “the sacraments.” It’s bread and water. They totally remove the blood of Jesus Christ! Nobody considers them to be Christians, except themselves. We all look at them and say, “There’s something wrong. They’re missing the truth.” Many churches stand up and say, “Well we don’t think water baptism really means anything, we just do it on the spur of the moment. We schedule it and it’s just a tradition for joining the church.” We don’t put it on the same level as the blood and say, “What is the matter with you? You’re defiling the sanctuary.” When we read John 19, we see Jesus Christ crucified for us, we see him coming in the Spirit and we see his body broken for us. This reminds us of the water and the blood that was shed for us.

John 19:31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath.

How holy people are! These guys are so religious they’re killing Jesus Christ and yet they’re concerned about some minor aspects of a special Sabbath. There are a lot of religious people, killing Jesus Christ who are concerned about preliminaries. He’s dying on the cross and they’re totally missing the grace of God.

John 19:31 …Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down.

You have to look at the subtlety of hatred in a man’s life. He comes in all of his religiosity. He comes in all of his air of concern for God. But what he’s asking for is the men’s legs that are being crucified to be broken so that somehow he can feel better for the day. There is no compassion for the men being crucified. Nor is there a thought of saying, “Well let’s show mercy and take them down off the cross.” Their whole idea of love is so convoluted and changed around, they don’t realize how much it’s just really hatred. How much love is going on in the body of Jesus Christ and it’s nothing but hatred, a people breaking one another’s bones for their own convenience. We use people for what we can get from them and we flatter one another so we can feel better about ourselves. We will use anybody! If someone is being crucified, we just want their legs broken so that we can get on with a religious holiday or whatever it is that we want to do in God! It’s an amazing thing! That’s why it says in scripture, “We were at one time a people who hated and despised one another. We were vile.” I mean look at the things listed there, it has to do with fellowship, doesn’t it?

John 19:32-34 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.

Are we to leave out the water of Jesus Christ and think we’re saved? Of course not! Then are we to leave out the blood of Jesus Christ and think we’re saved? Both were shed on the cross, weren’t they?

John 19:34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.

It gushed out. It brought forth the cleansing and the purification, the finished blow, the final thing. That sealing thing that said, “This man is dead.” Jesus Christ has died for our sins. I can give you all the medical reasons. They tell us that when a body dies and the heart quits pumping, the water and the blood settle in, so when he was stabbed it was a sign that he was dead at that point. There was no life left in him at all. Is that what God wants us to understand? Is that really all the significance? No, it has to do with the blood and the water that was poured out for us to be cleansed.

John 19:35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe.

Now where did we hear that before? He knows that he tells the truth and he testifies so that you also may believe. Believe what? That Jesus Christ died on the cross and when the spear was put in his side, a sudden flow of water and blood burst forth. Let’s look again at 1 John 5. This is the same John who gave testimony to this and wrote to us about his execution and crucifixion. Let’s read it again because this is where we started this whole series and it’s what the full message is about.

1 John 5:5 Who is it that overcomes the world?

Good question. Does the New Ager overcome the world? A hearty amen, nobody says they do! If I want to be popular, I’ll just talk about all those groups out there. I’d be very popular. So who is it that overcomes the world and has the victory? Well, only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. How do I know that I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God? Even the Pharisees believed in Jesus! Well verse six tells us:

1 John 5:6 Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.

So to believe in Jesus Christ is to believe that he came by water and blood. That is what it means to believe in Jesus Christ. When I say that I believe in him as Lord and Savior, I am testifying that I believe in the blood and the water. I believe in the manner in which he came. I believe that God sent him down in this fashion, and this is what it means to follow Jesus Christ. This is what it means to obey, and this is what it means to be a disciple. This is what it means to believe!

1 John 5:6 This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood.

In this passage, the water almost holds more significance in the way he words things than the blood, doesn’t it? It’s like he’s saying, “He didn’t just come by water! He also came by blood! We’ve got two aspects of this we can look at.”

1 John 5:6 –8 And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.

We accept man’s testimony and what did John write?

1 John 5:9 We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son.

He said, “I testify to you that these things are true. This is how he died. This is the way he was crucified. This is what the spirit did. We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God.” What has God said? God has said his son came by blood and water. He said it in the old law; he said it when he flooded the earth in Noah’s day. He said it from the very beginning that this is how his son would come!

1 John 5:10 Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart.

Everything we just looked at; is the testimony in their hearts. This is what they would declare. This is what they would say is the good news. This is what they would testify is the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

1 John 5:10 …Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.

So let us change it a little bit and prove God to be a liar, if we think we can. This would be like an Israelite saying, “Oh I was delivered from the Egyptians, but I didn’t pass through the Red Sea.” We would think there was something mentally deranged about this guy. We need to have the same attitude. It needs to be written in our hearts. There’s a mystery here with all of this. Second Peter 3:5 tells us something that the scientists tell us is totally the opposite.

2 Peter 3:5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.

It is so clear and plain that a man has to say, “I will forget what I just heard. I just won’t do it.”

2 Peter 3:5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.

Scientists tell us that there was a big bang and some big molten thing that took place. I don’t know all the particulars, but I do know God said it was formed by water and out of water. So the water holds some real power and cleansing. It is something that we can go before God with and say, “Teach me, what all does this mean?”

2 Peter 3:6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.

The same waters that destroyed the world rescued Noah from the world. The same waters that were in the world delivered Noah and his family from the world and killed the worldly. Water baptism is so powerful, that it separates the worldly from those who are being delivered from the world! It does so if it’s taught in the power of the Spirit and by God’s grace. This is what we take our stand in the temple courts with. This is what our lives should declare.

Let’s go to Romans 6, because this is very clear. This is what a man can choose to read and then deliberately forget or he can be obedient to it.

Romans 6:4 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.

It is the rebirth and new life. A man can choose to ignore it, but he will have to use some determination to do so. That’s how simple and clear it is. So don’t ever let a man fool you when he says, “I just don’t understand.” That’s a lie. This is not that complicated to understand. When somebody says, “I just can’t figure it out,” that’s not true. How hard is it to figure out? Therefore go into all the world, making disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. How hard is that to understand? I can draw stick figures to explain that one. So a man has to choose not to believe it, not to understand it and argue against it. Let us be a people that rejoice in it, run to it, and find it to be the grandest freedom. The refreshing of water, the newness of life, the blood of Jesus Christ, the cost, and the Spirit and all together is so grand! Let us learn to run in and discover some new aspect of it every single day, calling upon his name.

Let’s pray:

Father, we do thank you for your truth that set our hearts free. For where the Son sets us free, we are free indeed. Give us courage, Father, to take our stand in the temple courts, relying on you to draw all people to you, Father, not upon our skills to preach or to teach or to share. Glorify your name, oh Lord. Deliver many people from the power of Pharaoh and from the sins in their life. We pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

This transcription has been edited to a reader friendly format. Every effort has been made to be true to the speaker’s original message. Any mistranslations are unintentional.


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Host of The Consider Podcast
Examining today’s wisdom, madness, and folly.