“[v.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: [v.17] And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:16-17)
1. The Biblical mode of baptism is immersion.
2. The believer who submitted to baptism was always brought to the waters and not the other way around.
a. Matt. 3:6a “And where baptized of him in Jordan…”
b. Mk. 1:5b “…and where all baptized of him in the river Jordan…”
c. Jn. 3:23a “And John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there
was much water there.”
d. Acts 8:36 “…See, here is water:”
e. Acts 8:38 “into the water…”
3. The Trinity revealed.
a. God the Father is revealed as “a voice from Heaven.”
b. God the Son is fulfilling His Father’s will in getting baptized.
c. God the Holy Spirit descends “like a dove.”
4. Lessons from the text:
a. God the Father has something to say: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I
am well pleased.” The Lord Jesus Christ is always pleasing God. Everyone who takes up the name of Christ(i.e. Christians) should follow His example, and in doing so become well pleasing unto the Father. The obedience demonstrated in baptism is pleasing to God.
b. The Holy Spirit is said to be “like a dove.” Perhaps in a form of a dove, but more importantly, the Holy Spirit is sensitive and can easily be quenched or grieved. We must be sensitive not to hinder His work in our lives.
What is interesting is that the word baptizo is defined in Greek lexicons as to wash, purify or dip. I am not so sure it is as definitive as most baptists would like it to be.
Granted, I agree with immersion, I'm just not willing to say that the text locks it in as nicely as we want it to.
First, dip or immerse is mostly used. Washing is not the predominant word, nor the Scriptural example. Second, immersion is the only adequate mode that captures the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Third, we know that historically immersion was the primitive mode, and that washings did not take place until A.D. 250.
I think mode is an important issue because we have a pattern given to us when the Lord Himself was baptized. We want to follow Him. Deviating from the pattern (for the sake of convenience, or for any other reason) is disobedience.
Thank you for taking the time to read and offer your feedback.
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