Complimentary Baptisms John 3:22-36

Text:  “After these things came Jesus and His disciples into the land of Judaea; and there He tarried with them, and baptized.  And John (the Baptist) also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there; and they (the faithful) came, and were baptized.”
                                                                                                         John 3:22-23.

Good morning, confused Christian!  You study the Scriptures of the New Testament and sometimes become slightly confused concerning the concept of Christian baptism.  Well, join the club, my friend.  Many faithful believers get similarly confused on this subject.  But God’s Word enlightens us all.

“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”  (Psalm 119:105)

Definition of Complimentary:  completing; together making up a whole.  (Chambers Dictionary p. 336)

Our Bible passage for today shows us Christ Jesus baptising new Spiritual converts in Judaea.  At the same time, John the Baptist baptized others that were faithfully awaiting the coming of the prophesied Messiah, in Aenon, near to Salim - because there was much water there, I.e. by total immersion.

We learn from this Gospel account that the Baptisms of John were conducted by total immersion as were the Baptisms of the Lord Jesus Himself - but that is where the similarity ends. 

These two baptisms were complimentary, but entirely different in Spiritual significance.  Read on and learn why.       

The Baptism of John the Baptist: (Matthew 3:1-6)  John the Baptist was the ‘...messenger...’ of God prophesied by both Isaiah and Malachi hundreds of years prior to his appearing ‘...preaching in the wilderness...’ around the region of the river Jordan.  God teaches us:

“For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight...’”.  (Matthew 3:1-3) (Isaiah 40:1-5) (Luke 3:4-6)

John’s mission was to ‘...prepare the way...’ before Christ’s sudden coming to the Jewish Nation as their long-awaited Messiah.  (Malachi 3:1)

In John’s role as ‘...the messenger...’ of God, he brought with him a method by which sinners could show, publicly, their desire to receive the long-awaited Messiah; i.e. the people showed sincere repentance of their sins, and signified their sincere soul’s preparation, by an act of public water baptism; an outer show of commitment to later receive the Christ when He appeared in their midst.   To this end they were, baptized of John in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

The insincere Pharisees and Sadducees  were immediately rebuked of John for not showing any signs of true soul preparation (i.e. no, ‘...fruits meet {fit} for repentance...’). (Matthew 3:7-8) 

Neither the sincere nor the insincere were SAVED at this point in time by the mere act of John’s water baptism!  Why?  Because Jesus, ‘...the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world...’ had not yet appeared unto those who were preparing for His coming by receiving John’s water baptism! Read how the Holy Spirit Himself records these facts! (John 1:25-34) (Hebrews 9:12;22)

Spiritual Baptism: (Matthew 3:11-12)  The only baptism that really counts Eternally therefore, is the Spiritual baptism that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God Himself, can ALONE grant sinners.  As John the Baptist testifies:

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance; but He (Christ Jesus) that cometh after me is mightier than I...He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.”  Praise God for His grace!

All those that the Lord Jesus ‘baptized’ with the Holy Ghost were Spiritually regenerated into His Body the Church - by grace though faith - and Eternally saved.  Christ declares: ‘…nothing can pluck them out of My hand...’  Hallelujah!  We are Eternally secure!   (John 10:27-30) (Ephesians 2:8-9)

“For as the Body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one Body, being many, are one Body; so also is Christ.  For by one Spirit are we all baptized (Spiritual Baptism!) into one Body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.  For the Body (Christ’s Church) is not one member, but many.” (1 Corinthians 12:12-14)          

On the other hand, all those whom Christ Jesus baptizes with ‘’ will burn in Hell for Eternity, like ‘...chaff with unquenchable fire.’  (Matthew 3:11-12)

Complimentary Baptisms:  Now, this concept of two distinct types of baptism seems very clear to me. John’s water baptism, which was to prepare the people to receive their Messiah Jesus; and Spiritual Baptism (i.e. Spiritual regeneration), which Christ Jesus alone can bring, were complimentary.

We can recognize no other Gospel and no other ‘way’ of Eternal Salvation.  We are Eternally saved by God’s grace, through His gift of faith in Christ Jesus.                

All the water in the world cannot save an immortal soul. (Galatians 1:6-12) (Acts 1:12) (Ephesians 2:8-9)

I sincerely trust that, by God’s grace, I have been able to make the Scriptural doctrine clear to all who study this lesson.  For at the end of the day, dear friend, only ONE BAPTISM will really count in Eternity.  We must be ‘...born again...’; baptised by God the Spirit, into the Body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:4-7)

Thought:  Let’s make sure that our baptism is the ONE that counts!

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