Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Baptized by Water

Seeing the Light:
"In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.... Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him,... and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.... But he said to them...Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.... (for) Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. " Matthew 3: 1-10.

God had been silent since the prophet Malachi, some 330+ years, and now a new man is on the scene, John the Baptist. John not only proclaimed a new gospel, but instituted "baptism" by water, by those who accepted the doctrine of confession and repentance of their sins. He was telling the people to come, confess their sins and be baptized with water. Repent means to turn from, making an about face, turning to something new.
The Pharisees and Sadducees were coming for baptism, but were not sincere in their faith. In other words they had not truly repented for their conversion had not made any difference in the way they were living their lives. John illustrates this point by saying that a tree bears good fruit and those trees that are not producing the fruit that the tree claims to produce is cut down. 

There are many who have been baptized with water. They say they believe. Even Satan and those possessed by demons believe. Our belief will move us to confession and repentance of our sin. It is healing to confess our sin but confession alone is not enough. If we do not turn from the sin and go in a different direction, we will continue in that sin or some other sin. To repent means that we choose a different way. The Bible contrast defines two ways; one that includes life, light, and good, versus the the other which includes death, dark, and evil. 

If we want a new life absent of death, dark and things associated with evil then we must confess our sin and turn from those things and choose the new life. Confession and repentance is the first step to a new life that includes the giver of life -  Jesus. Evidence of true confession and repentance is how we live our life or as John said, we will bear "good fruit." 

We planted a plum tree but when it produced it's fruit it was not a plum. The fruit was about the size of a pinto with a seed the size of a pea. We cut the tree down carried it to the dump. 

Application: Has Christ made a difference in the way you live? If you have not allowed Christ to made a difference in your life I would challenge you to repent from those things in your life that do not represent Jesus.  If you have never known Christ, confess and repent and live for him. Either way - Turn and choose Jesus today.

How do you understand confession and repentance? 
Dear God, thank you for providing a way for me to restore my relationship with you through confession and repentance.  We all have the human desire to satisfy our own needs but convict me of my wrong doings so that I will turn from sin before I allow sin to take my thoughts captive. Convict and forgive me for my sin and help me to choose you in every area of my life. Keep me from the evil one that would lead me into temptation. Holy Spirit come. Holy Spirit come. To you Father in the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.