Ephesians 4:3-6; One baptism, part 11. John’s baptism and Jesus’ baptism.
length: 86:26 - taught on May, 30 2021
Sunday May 30,2021
Introduction: Memorial Day.
Introduction: Memorial Day.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
November 19, 1863
Republican Dan Crenshaw represents the 2nd Congressional District of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives. He served as a Navy SEAL for a decade, achieving the rank of lieutenant commander. After being wounded in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan in 2012, he lost his right eye and required surgery to save the vision in his left. He earned two Bronze Star Medals, one with Valor, the Purple Heart, and the Navy Commendation Medal with Valor. Retiring from the military in 2016, Crenshaw earned a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in 2017. He was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018. He lives with his wife, Tara and two dogs, Joey and Luna, in Houston.
Article by Dan Crenshaw for Memorial Day 2021:
She wakes up from a pleasant dream, for once. Usually, they are nightmares. He was in it this time, as if nothing was wrong and life was just as it was. Boring. Perfectly boring. They were laughing about something, watching TV together just as they used to. For a split second she is still in the dream as she reaches her hand across the bed to touch him. .
She remembers now. And with that realization comes the gut-wrenching wave of grief that she is all too familiar with. Tears well up. She squeezes her eyes shut and clutches her fists tightly in front of her face. She wants to scream but she knows from experience it doesn’t really help, and it scares her son, who is still too young to understand what’s going on. His dad was a year ago, when he was just 2 years old. He misses him, she can tell, but it’s obvious he doesn’t know how to process death yet.
By now, the calls and friendly check-ins have mostly stopped. It was amazing at first, when the community pulled together in the most incredible of ways. She was grateful. She truly didn’t have to worry about anything, whether it was groceries or work or even money. What the didn’t provide was made up for by his fellow SEALs and their wives.
But eventually people move on. They don’t forget, per se, but they go back to their routines. They come over and try to make conversation. She isn’t good at conversation anymore, so she tells them that she’s doing fine, even though she isn’t. They figure they should come by less and less. Only a couple still check in occasionally. She used to be close with his family, but grief does strange things to people, and they don’t talk much anymore except to arrange visits with her son.
To miss someone profoundly is to wonder what life would be like if they were still there. To know that every moment would be better if they were back in your arms. Every morning would be normal, instead of a crushing blow to the soul. Every evening would be full of laughter, instead of just … empty. Even some marital bickering would be welcome. What she would give, even for a fight over the obnoxious way he loaded the dishwasher.
For those of us who have lost our brothers to war, we grieve. We miss them. We never forget. But we are not broken by it. We know this is the life we chose, to be on the front lines, to serve in the most dangerous of ways. Crazy, maybe, but true nonetheless.
But for the Gold Star widow, she never pursued war. She was asked by her husband and her country to remain behind and remain strong, often not knowing whether or not her soulmate was even in danger. She learned to get through the nights while he was on deployment by imagining what he was doing, picturing him bored and playing Call of Duty instead of prepping for a mission. She had practice, given they had been through four deployments together.
But now, his brothers in arms have moved on to the next deployment, and she is the only one that wakes up alone each morning. She gets no reprieve, no rest from the grief. She is the one who must endure.
Another year goes by. She begins to function better and starts a foundation in her husband’s name. He was passionate about horses, growing up on a ranch, so she raises money to get disabled vets and special needs kids trained to ride. It helps a little, and it keeps her busy. It keeps him alive, in a small way. Being around the horses reminds her of him in a pleasant kind of way. She finds herself searching the horse’s gaze for some kind of sign from him, as if he might speak through them somehow. She still hasn’t cleaned out his closet. The smell of his clothes is all she has left.
This is the real Memorial Day. It is the day that never goes away, with no real beginning and no end. It isn’t one day a year, but a constant ache deep down in the soul of those who understand what real sacrifice is. For everyone else it is only once a year, a time to recall that these sacrifices happened at all and that we should remember them. For too many, it’s just a day off work, a day to slash prices, a day to throw a party.
For the Gold Star families, it’s a day they observe with a mix of gratitude and dread: grateful the country remembers, grateful for the opportunity to speak openly about their loss without getting an awkward look, but dreading the culmination of emotion the day brings with it.
On this Memorial Day, may we hope that more Americans will remember, and understand what this day means for those who can’t ever forget.
The baptism of water and the Holy Spirit are distinguished from one another. The former is a picture or type of the real cleansing and union with Christ.
Remember that the two baptisms (water and the Holy Spirit) were also clearly distinguished by John at the Jordan and the Lord just before His ascension.
That John’s baptism was a means of preparing Israel to accept their Messiah is shown by Jesus when He asks the religious leaders about it.
And when He had come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him as He was teaching, and said, "By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?" 24 And Jesus answered and said to them, "I will ask you one thing too, which if you tell Me, I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 "The baptism of John was from what source, from heaven or from men?" And they began reasoning among themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From heaven,' He will say to us, 'Then why did you not believe him?' 26 "But if we say, 'From men,' we fear the multitude; for they all hold John to be a prophet." 27 And answering Jesus, they said, "We do not know." He also said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
"But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go work today in the vineyard.' 29 "And he answered and said, 'I will, sir'; and he did not go. [Pharisees and Sadducees] 30 "And he came to the second and said the same thing. But he answered and said, 'I will not'; yet he afterward regretted it and went. [the repentant in Israel through John’s message] 31 "Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said, "The latter." Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you that the tax-gatherers and harlots will get into the kingdom of God before you. 32 "For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax-gatherers and harlots did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.
This message and the accompanying ritual was unique to Israel and could only be at this time.
Israel had one chance in history to accept His coming. At His second coming, they will pray for Him to come, but His coming then will be very different than His first coming.
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. 38 "Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! 39 "For I say to you, from now on you shall not see Me until you say, ' Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!'"
In Mat 25 Jesus tells the parable of the ten virgins in which five were prudent, meaning that they were ready and watching for the bridegroom. The believers in the Tribulation, who survive it, will be watching and ready for the coming Messiah, for the prophesies make the day of His return clear.
For the sons of Israel will remain for many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, and without ephod or household idols. 5 Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the Lord and to His goodness in the last days.
I will go away and return to My place
Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face;
In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.
And the Lord said to me, "Faithless Israel has proved herself more righteous than treacherous Judah. 12 "Go, and proclaim these words toward the north and say,
'Return, faithless Israel,' declares the Lord;
'I will not look upon you in anger.
For I am gracious,' declares the Lord;
'I will not be angry forever.
13 'Only acknowledge your iniquity,
That you have transgressed against the Lord your God
And have scattered your favors to the strangers under every green tree,
And you have not obeyed My voice,' declares the Lord.
14 'Return, O faithless sons,' declares the Lord;'
For I am a master to you,
And I will take you one from a city and two from a family,
And I will bring you to Zion.'
John’s baptism was a conversion baptism; its premise was repentance, and its purpose was the forgiveness of sins. It was like Christian baptism in its being a one-time administered immersion.
John’s baptism differed from the church’s in being accompanied by a confession of sins rather than a confession of faith.
'And now why do you delay? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.'
That Saul of Tarsus would be publicly baptized was crucial as he was to become the preeminent apostle - messenger of God. He could not hide his faith to avoid persecution. He had already become widely known as the persecutor of the church, and it would then become widely known that he was baptized by a Christian in the name of the Lord Jesus.
In the church, baptism would be in the name of Jesus to one who had already believed in Christ, having received all that went with that faith.
In Luke’s account we hear John’s warning of impending judgement, instructing the people to graciously give and to be just.
He therefore began saying to the multitudes who were going out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 "Therefore bring forth fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father,' for I say to you that God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 9 "And also the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." 10 And the multitudes were questioning him, saying, "Then what shall we do?" 11 And he would answer and say to them, "Let the man who has two tunics share with him who has none; and let him who has food do likewise." 12 And some tax-gatherers also came to be baptized, and they said to him, "Teacher, what shall we do?" 13 And he said to them, "Collect no more than what you have been ordered to." 14 And some soldiers were questioning him, saying, "And what about us, what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages."