Who baptized you-John or Jesus?
JANUARY 3, 2023
Who baptized you-John or Jesus? Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
That was Steve Brown. He’s an author, seminary professor, and our teacher on Key Life, a program all about God’s radical grace. We’re committed to bringing you Bible teaching that’s honest, straight-forward, and street-smart. Keep listening to hear truth, that’ll make you free.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible open to the 19th chapter of Acts as we continue with our study in Acts. We’re looking at the first seven verses, where Paul comes into Ephesus and meets some Christians who had been baptized in the baptism of John, and that was the baptism of repentance, meaning, I’m sorry. But he said, let me tell you about Jesus, and a different kind of baptism, which is a baptism of grace. And so, where were you baptized by John or Jesus? The problem with many of us in the church is that we, is that we’re living in the baptism of John. You know, it’s important that you recognize you’re a sinner. It’s important that you express your guilt. It’s important that you repent, but if that’s all you’re doing, you’re weird, you’re neurotic, there’s something wrong with you. You’ve got to be baptized and the baptism of Jesus because bad doctrine leads to a knowledge problem. And a knowledge problem always leads to a grace problem. I think I’ve told you before about my late friend Rusty Anderson. He is one who adds a great attraction to heaven. He was sitting in his living room one time and his granddaughter, a little girl at that time, did something that disappointed Rusty, and he said, honey, don’t do that again. And she said, I’m sorry granddaddy. And then he went back to reading his paper and she went back to doing it again. And he said, again, honey, I told you don’t do that. And she said, I’m sorry granddaddy. And he went back to his paper and she did it a third time. And he said, did you not listen to what I said to you? And she said, I’m sorry granddaddy. And he said, sorry, is not enough. And then he told me later he heard Jesus say to him, funny, that was enough for me. What was he talking about? The baptism of Jesus. John’s baptism was one of repentance, but in the text it says he pointed and asked for people to believe in the one who was coming, and that was Jesus. Now, I don’t believe in two baptisms and that for a lot of reasons, if you’ve been baptized, you only have to do it once, either as an infant where the promises are claimed for you or as an adult where you claim the promises for yourself, but in this one instance, there needs to be two baptisms. If your baptism was only a baptism of John, you need to go through another one, the baptism of Jesus, where you say, I’m sorry, and Jesus says, that’s enough. Now, there’s one other thing I want to show you, maybe a couple, but at least one. When Paul went to Ephesus and he met these Christians who had an incomplete knowledge of the truth that had been revealed in Christ, they had a knowledge problem. And that’s a dangerous place to be because it leads to a grace problem, but a grace problem doesn’t stop there, that leads to a power problem, Acts 19:5 through 6.
On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
Listen, there’s an energy crisis among Christians that makes the energy crisis of the nation look like a dead battery in a toy train, Acts 1:8.
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.
May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit, you may abound in hope.
I Corinthians 4:20
The Kingdom of God does not consist of talk but of power.
II Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control.
There’s a power problem going on. And when they were baptized in the name of Jesus, when they got the truth right, when they understood it, the Holy Spirit came and supernatural things began to happen. We had a German Shepherd when I was serving a church in the Boston area. Uh, his name was Barnabas. He was, and we’ve had a number of German Shepherds and all of them, as I’ve told you before, are in heaven. Well, one not, he was too dumb to understand the gospel, but the rest of them are all in heaven. And Barnabas was particularly so. He was a gentle, when he was gentle dog and he was mean when he was a mean dog. He was highly protective of our family. He was a strong, we lived in the church itself while they were building a new manse, on the third floor, on the educational wing and at night to make sure that things were locked and closed, I would walk down the halls of the church and Barnabas would go into each of the rooms to make sure. I remember when a friend came up to visit us and surprised Barnabus and Barnabas went after him. And the only thing that saved his life was that Barnabas was slipping on the slick floor and couldn’t get to him before he slammed the door, end of that. But on the other side, the kids in our neighborhood after a snowfall, I couldn’t find Barnabas anywhere. And I started looking for him and they’d put a big red ribbon around his neck and put him on a snow sled and he was loving, sliding down the hills behind our house, that was Barnabas. And he hated motorcycles. And we had a director of Christian education who had a motorcycle and he took delight in coming into the parking lot, where the fence was that led to our manse, the pastor’s house and Barnabas would go nuts. I mean, he would growl and bark and go at that fence and my director of Christian education would laugh and then he would go on home feeling manly. What he didn’t know and what I knew, but didn’t tell Barnabas was, is that I had seen Barnabas jump higher than the fence in our backyard. In other words, he didn’t know it, but if he had wanted to, he could have jumped that fence. And I was glad he didn’t because I really liked the director of Christian education in that particular church, but he had the power and he didn’t know that he had the power. Frankly, if he had jumped the fence and had caught the motorcycle, I don’t know what he would’ve done with it. He couldn’t ride a motorcycle, but he wanted to get to it in the worst possible way. The illustration is obvious. A lot of Christians have the power to jump the fence and they don’t know it. A lot of Christians have the power to make a difference with their friends, but they don’t know it. A lot of Christians, Jesus said.
All authority is given to me with the implication that I’m giving it to you.
A lot of Christians have the power to make a difference in a thousand areas, and they don’t know it. And so, you’ll never be able to say, I didn’t tell you, cause I’m telling you right now. Say, God, let me see what you’ve given me the way you did those believers in Ephesus. Let me know the power of God’s Spirit in my life and let everybody else know it too. I have been reading Eric, my friend Eric Metaxas’ new book. And I would suggest you get it. Doesn’t mean I agree with everything in it, but man, it is a very good book. A Letter to the American Church. And in that book, Eric Metaxas compares what happened in Germany under Hitler to what’s happening in America. And the point he makes is that we have remained silent and the people in Germany, the pastors remained silent too. And look where it led. And one of the things that Eric says is that we don’t have to be silent. God has given us a power and a might and an authority. And it is so important that we speak truth and that we speak it clearly. And that we live it. You think about that. Amen.
And thank you Steve. That was Steve Brown continuing to dig deep into Acts 19 and teach us about the baptism of John and the baptism of Jesus. And about a dumb, lovable dog named Barnabas. More to come tomorrow, hope you will join us then. Well, you probably know about our other show. It’s a talk radio show called Steve Brown Etc. And recently we had on one of our favorite guests, Dr. Hugh Ross. In that conversation, Dr. Ross told us about some exciting new scientific evidence that strongly points to the idea of a finely tuned universe, a universe created by a loving God. It’s heavy stuff, but Dr. Ross has this gift of making it all approachable to the layperson. We would love for you to hear it, so we put that episode on a CD and we would be happy to ship it to you, for free. Just call us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. And if you would like to mail your request just go to Keylife.org/contact to find our mailing addresses. Just ask for your free copy of the CD featuring Hugh Ross. And finally in question, have you ever considered partnering in the work of Key Life through your giving? Giving is easy. You can charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or just pick up your phone in text Key Life to 28950 to give safely and securely. That’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter. Text that at 28950. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.