Gospel Insights

by Michael Smith

 

Chapter Fifteen

BAPTISM

Please read Mark 1:9-13

 

At the baptism of the Lord Jesus, God the Father spoke, proclaiming  Jesus to be His beloved Son in whom He was well pleased.  Jesus was then empowered by God the Holy Spirit to start His public ministry as Saviour of the world; healing the sick, preaching and teaching in a way He hadn't done hitherto, and setting the captives of sin free from their bonds.

Before He did so, the Lord went into the wilderness for forty days where He prayed and fasted in order to seek His Father's will concerning the carrying out of His ministry.  At the end of this period alone with His Father, the devil came to Jesus to tempt Him away from doing God's perfect will by sowing doubts about God's Word - just as he had done to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden - and instead suggesting to Christ that there might be an easier way to save mankind than the horrors of the crucifixion which Jesus knew eventually awaited Him.

Adam and Eve had had everything perfectly provided by God in the beauty and bounty of the Garden of Eden - there was no sickness, no hardship, no hunger, no sin, no death; yet they fell nonetheless, desiring what was offered them by Satan and succumbing to his temptation, instead of being satisfied with the abundance from their Creator and obeying what He had commanded them.

In contrast to Adam and Eve, the Lord Jesus had no comforts during His forty days in the wilderness, and by the end of that time was extremely tired and hungry, yet He stood firm and was victorious over Satan, not yielding to the enemy's wiles in any way whatsoever.

Our baptism is meant to be an outward sign that we have already asked God to save us from our sins and become a Christian; i.e. a daily follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, and when we are baptised we are publicly renouncing all the ways of 'the world, the flesh, and the devil' which can keep us from a close relationship with God.

In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul the Apostle reminds us, "...if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature [a new person inside]: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new", so we may think of baptism as leaving behind for good a country in which we once lived, subject to all its worldly customs and laws, and its greed and love of mammon, together with all our own self-centred desires and wrong ways of thinking and living, and moving away to live in another land; one governed by God's light, and His laws of truth, love, and selflessness.

Giving up those habits and sinful ways that hinder us from a daily walk with Jesus, we are to spend time each day in reading His Word, and in prayer and worship of Him in order to grow and mature in our knowledge of God and in our relationship with Him.  It can also be very helpful to 'take stock' at least once a year by asking ourselves how much have we grown spiritually over the last twelve months?  Do we know, trust, depend on, and cling to, the Lord more than in the past?

 

 

 

Chapter Fourteen   |   Chapter Sixteen   |   Back to Contents

 

 

Michael Smith 2013