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Sermon Notes: 1/14/24

"Follow The Leader"

Pastor Albert Almore


”One day when the crowds were being baptized, Jesus himself was baptized. As he was praying, the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit, in bodily form, descended on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”“

‭‭Luke‬ ‭3‬:‭21‬-‭22‬ ‭NLT‬‬


I want to speak to you from this subject today…


FOLLOW THE LEADER


When it comes to baptism….FOLLOW THE LEADER.


WHAT IS BAPTISM?


📝 Baptism is an outward DISPLAY of an inward DECISION.


What decision? The Romans 10:9 decision…

”If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and BELIEVE IN YOUR HEARTthat God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.“

‭‭Romans‬ ‭10‬:‭9‬ ‭NIV‬‬


Let’s clear the air real fast….


📝 WE’RE SAVED BY GRACE, NOT BY BAPTISM.

GOD SAVED YOU BY HIS GRACE WHEN YOU BELIEVED. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.“

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2‬:‭8‬-‭9‬ ‭NLT‬‬


📝 SAVED FIRST. THEN BAPTISM.


”So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”“

‭‭Acts‬ ‭8‬:‭30‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


”And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.“

‭‭Acts‬ ‭8‬:‭31‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


”Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, PREACHED JESUS TO HIM.“

‭‭Acts‬ ‭8‬:‭35‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


”Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. WHAT HINDERS ME FROM BEING BAPTIZED?”“

‭‭Acts‬ ‭8‬:‭36‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


”Then Philip said, “If you BELIEVE WITH ALL YOUR HEART, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”“

‭‭Acts‬ ‭8‬:‭37‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


”So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, AND HE BAPTIZED HIM.“

‭‭Acts‬ ‭8‬:‭38‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


SAVED FIRST. THEN BAPTISM.


WHY BAPTISM?


📝 JESUS HIMSELF WAS BAPTIZED.

”One day when the crowds were being baptized, JESUS HIMSELF WAS BAPTIZED...”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭3‬:‭21‬ ‭NLT‬‬


”Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.“

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭3‬:‭13‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


”And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”“

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭3‬:‭14‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


”But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us TO FULFILL all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.”

Matthew‬ ‭3‬:‭15‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


This moment was also about FULFILLING something.


Baptism (from the Greek word baptize, which means “to immerse”) was a way for a person to identify with another person or group. It signified that the person being baptized was connected to the baptizer. In its simplest form, it was Jesus’s way of telling the public, I’m connected to John, and John is connected to me. It was Jesus’s way of saying that John The Baptist’s ministry is authentic, AND SO AM I. It was Jesus’s way of saying that everything that John The Baptist said is true, and I’M THE ONE THAT HE’S BEEN TALKING ABOUT.



And if that wasn’t clear of enough, Matthew 3:17 seals it by saying,

”And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “THIS IS MY BELOVED SON, in whom I am well pleased.”“

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭3‬:‭17‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


This moment was also about FULFILLING something.

”and the Holy Spirit, in bodily form, descended on him LIKE A DOVE.“

‭‭Luke‬ ‭3‬:‭22‬ ‭NLT‬‬


The Holy Spirit came down like a dove—a sign that Jesus was pure, innocent, and beautiful and that he would be the sacrifice for poor sinners, just like poor Mary and Joseph brought a dove to the temple for their sacrifice. Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭22‬-‭23‬ says,

”When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”),"

Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭22‬-‭23‬ ‭NIV‬‬


”and TO OFFER A SACRIFICE in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “A PAIR OF DOVES or two young pigeons.”“

‭‭Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭24‬ ‭NIV‬‬


This option was given if a family could not afford a lamb, but heaven declared in this moment THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE LAMB THAT JOHN TALKED ABOUT IT IN John 1:29,

”The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! THE LAMB OF GOD who takes away the sin of the world!“

‭‭John‬ ‭1‬:‭29‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


WHY BAPTISM?


📝 Jesus COMMANDS us to be baptized.


"And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. GO therefore and MAKE DISCIPLES of all the nations, BAPTIZING THEM in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,“

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭28‬:‭18‬-‭19‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


WHY BAPTISM?


📝 Baptism is the place of CONNECTION.


Similar to a phone charger, along with the cord and the power source plugged into the wall. You can have the phone, you can have the power source in the wall, but if you don’t have that cord….


Baptism is the cord in your Christian walk. Baptism is the place of connection. This is why Romans‬ ‭6‬:‭4‬ says,

”Therefore we were buried with Him THROUGH BAPTISM into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.“

‭‭Romans‬ ‭6‬:‭4‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


”For you were buried with Christ WHEN YOU WERE BAPTIZED. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.“

‭‭Colossians‬ ‭2‬:‭12‬ ‭NLT‬‬


📝 "For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been UNITED with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.“

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭3‬:‭26‬-‭27‬ ‭NLT‬‬


THROUGH BAPTISM…


Baptism is one of God’s ways of connecting you to Jesus.


Let’s sum up today’s message like this…


📝 • Baptism is PERSONAL.


Baptism is a personal decision, that one makes after personally deciding to make Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior. The good news is this…WHOSOEVER can make this decision!


”For WHOSOEVER shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.“

‭‭Romans‬ ‭10‬:‭13‬ ‭KJV‬‬


📝 • Baptism is PUBLIC.


Baptism is about going public with your faith. Luke‬ ‭3‬:‭21‬…

”One day when the crowds were being baptized, Jesus himself was baptized…”

‭‭Luke‬ ‭3‬:‭21‬ ‭NLT‬‬


📝 Our faith is PERSONAL, but not PRIVATE.


”But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless SOMEONE tells them?“

‭‭Romans‬ ‭10‬:‭14‬ ‭NLT‬‬


For someone to watch you take your personal relationship with Jesus Christ public through baptism, may be one of the greatest messages you’ll ever share. It conveys to them, that change is possible. It conveys to them, that if God can do it for you, then certainly God can do it for them!


📝 • Baptism is the PRELIMINARIES.


Baptism isn’t the END of the story. Baptism is the BEGINNING of the story. Baptism isn’t THE DESTINATION. Baptism is just THE DOOR. 1 Corinthians 2:9 says it’s best,

”But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”“

‭‭I Corinthians‬ ‭2‬:‭9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


Baptism is just the door! Don’t you want to see ALL that God has for you?! Don’t you want to experience all God has for you?! Two things…


DON’T GET STUCK AT THE DOOR!


Next…

I know you ran to the water! I know you left it in the water! But if you want to see ALL that God has for you. If you want to experience all God has for you. After you run to the water. And leave it in the water….


STAY AWAY FROM THE WATER!!!


DON’T GO BACK TO THE WATER, FISHING OUT WHAT YOU LEFT IN THE WATER.


📝 WHATEVER YOU SURRENDERED IN BAPTISM, LEAVE IT SURRENDERED.


After Galatians‬ ‭2‬:‭20‬ does say,

”I have been crucified with Christ; IT IS NO LONGER I WHO LIVE, but CHRIST LIVES IN ME; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.“

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭2‬:‭20‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


SINCE CHRIST NOW LIVES IN ME, let’s not forget what was declared from heaven, the second time God spoke from heaven, according to Matthew’s gospel. Matthew‬ ‭17‬:‭5‬ says,

”While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. LISTEN TO HIM!”“

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭17‬:‭5‬ ‭NIV‬‬


Since you left the old you in the water, when it comes to how you treat others—LISTEN TO HIM! Since you left the old you in the water, when it comes to loving others —LISTEN TO HIM! Since you left the old you in the water, when it comes to releasing grudges—LISTEN TO HIM! Since you left the old you in the water, when it comes to forgiving others—LISTEN TO HIM! Since you left the old you in the water, when it comes to what you do when nobody is watching—LISTEN TO HIM. FOLLOW THE LEADER!


HAVE YOU BEEN TO THE WATER?


WHAT DID YOU TAKE BACK OUT OF THE WATER?


📝 Don’t give anything or anyone that much power, to cause you to UNDECIDE what you once DECIDED.


Once you decided to forgive, forgive. Once you decided to love, love. Once you decided to let it go, let it go. Once you decided to change, change! Don’t give anything or anyone that much power, to cause you to UNDECIDE what you once DECIDED. No turning back, no turning back.

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