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November 28, 2021 12:01 am
John the Baptist called sinners to a baptism of repentance. Why, then, did the sinless Jesus come to baptized by John? Today, R.C. Sproul continues his expositional series in the gospel of Luke to underscore the eternal significance of Christ's baptism on behalf of His people.
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Why was Jesus baptized at all, wasn't the baptism of John the Baptist. A baptism for repentance of sin wasn't the very ritual itself a cleansing rights and Jesus had no sins to repent of.
We consider our baptism and what it signifies is a bit puzzling that Jesus himself was baptized.
Indeed, he insisted on it.
There is a perfectly good explanation for this aspect of our Savior's life and ministry.
One that helps us realize that Jesus left no stone unturned when it comes to our salvation is Dr. RC Sproul with a sermon from the gospel of Luke.
My guess would be this morning that there would be several reps many in this congregation, but they never heard of the idea of the perfect active obedience of Christ, and yet it is extremely important doctrine in Christian theology with distinction is made historically between the active obedience of Jesus and the passive obedience of Jesus. The distinction is this the passive obedience of Jesus refers to his willingness to acquiesce to the fathers mandate that he offered himself as a sacrifice and as an atonement for the sins of his people on the cross, Jesus did not resist his executioners. He told them you have no power over me, but I lay down my life for my sheep. He was passive in his reception of the penalty for sin as our sin bearer and in contrast to that action or activity which really wasn't actually when I was a passive active we have what we call the active obedience of Jesus, which refers to his whole life of living under the law. In total subjection to the father actively and willingly obeying everything that the Lord God commanded him to do. It was said of him that is made in this drink was to do the will of the father and seal for his father's house consumed him and so this is directly related to the text we read this morning about the baptism of Jesus as many people are perplexed with the question, why was Jesus baptized at all, wasn't the baptism of John the Baptist, a baptism for repentance of sin wasn't the very ritual itself a cleansing rights in which John the Baptist commanded people to come to be clean and to repent of their sins and Jesus had no sins to repent of pay was the Lamb without blemish pay so far in his life that already live the life of perfect active obedience without sin no if were perplexed by why Jesus submitted to baptism, we have to say that nobody in the earth was more perplexed about it. Then John the Baptist you have the paperwork asking questions among themselves with reference to Jonathan is John Christ. Is he the Messiah to come and he put those rumors to rest. He said no and and and and I said there's one coming after me mightier than I am, I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire and he must increase in I must decrease. I'm not even worthy to loosen the straps on his sandal and so he pointed people towards Jesus and in that day that Jesus came through the crowd and up to the river and presented himself to John to be baptized. John, shaking his head. What you doing up and announcing to the people that you are the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
I can't baptize you.
You should be baptizing me and so John begins to protest and tries to engage Jesus and theological argument about this procedure and finally Jesus cut some shortcuts.
The Gordian knot nieces John Locke.
I don't have all day to engage you in a theological discussion we can cover these matters later on. If you'd like, but suffer it now. Just do it has to be done, it's necessary. John to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus could have, and maybe even dead since we don't get all the dialogue for us but when we speculate for second that Jesus could've said to John the Baptist on look this is just a covenant ritual ever going on here in no harm no foul.
You just go ahead and baptize me in. I'll explain it later, we could've said that, or he could've looked John in the eye and so John you need to do this because this is a matter of life and death know we have no record that Jesus ever said that the John, I just made that up.
But the concept that I just made up is completely sound because whatever else Jesus baptism was.
It was a matter of life and death will how why why think to understand that we have to understand something about Jesus's role in his earthly ministry as the new Adam for as Paul calls him sometimes. The second Adam the one who comes after the first Adam, the father of the human race who was we are told, a type of the one who was to come. The greater Adam that would come to bring salvation to the human race.
Let me just briefly read a portion of Paul's teaching on this matter. In the fifth chapter of the book of Romans. He also covers the same material in first Corinthians 15, but briefly he writes to the Romans. These were, therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because all sin. For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of him who was to come.
And now the contrast but the free gift is not like the offense. For if by one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many figures on the say of four by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ. It was a matter of life and death through Adams offense original Adam's transgression. The whole world was plunged into ruin and death came upon the entire human race. In contrast, by one man's obedience comes life now without the obedience of Jesus without his perfect active obedience. He would not have done for us what Adam failed so miserably to accomplish not understand this, we have to go back to the Old Testament and look at it in the context of covenant.
There are covenants all through the Bible, but we have the covenant with Noah. The covenant with Abraham a covenant with Moses. The new covenant that we have with Jesus in the New Testament we have covenants all the way through the Scriptures, but the first covenant made with human beings was made with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and we call that the covenant of creation and the word Adam Dom means man. He represented the entire human race, so the one God entered into a covenant with Adam. He was entering into a covenant with every human being that whatever live and he promised the benefit and the blessing of this covenant of creation of eternal life if Adam obeys the provisions and the stipulations of that covenant, but the negative sanction was this if you disobey the terms of this covenant will die and not only will you die, but the day and what you eat of that fruit you will surely die you know the story.
The serpent came into the garden and came first to E with a subtle crafty leaving question. Did God say that you're not allowed to eat of any of the trees in the garden. Of course God didn't say that Satan knew perfectly well that God is never said that the subtle crafty implications. You might as well add every put any restriction on you you're really free, but initially he fights for the Angels and she said no God and say that he gives this wonderful garden use of all these trees in the garden we could freely but there's this one tree over the knowledge of good and able when a lot of touch that one or hold a high now the direct assault services on you won't die, and God knows you won't die.
God doesn't want you to touch that tree because he knows that if you eat from that tree will be like him, knowing good and evil in saying that the fruit appeared beautiful. Eve ate the fruit from the tree and then encouraged her husband to join her in this rebellion. Now, you would expect that the moment they put that fruit in their mouth and tasted it that they would've dropped dead right there, but I did drop dead right there spiritually but not physically. That was postponed and God heard his judgment with mercy and grace. Remember the first experience of Adam and Eve had when they ate of the forbidden fruit was they suddenly became aware of their nakedness and they were ashamed and they went and hid themselves so that when the Lord God came in the cool of the evening except where are you discovered that they were hiding from why God were shameful. Why you should that you eat from the tree board were naked. I made you naked and when I meet you naked your machine didn't have any guilt. Why all of a sudden do you feel like it.
What you spill exposed.
Why do you want to hide from me.
So, in his first act of redemption, God condescended to fashion clothes for Adam and Eve to cover their nakedness and their shame. And he made a promise to them, even by the same time he's cursing the serpent.
He's promising that the seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent and in that promise. What God was saying is that there will come another Adam, a new Adam who will do what you failed to do who bring life rather than death. Now in recent years there's been a movement among professing evangelical Christians to reject the doctrine of the perfect active obedience of Jesus, so why would they want to do that while the reason is they reject the idea of this first covenant that we call the covenant of works we distinguish between the covenant that God makes with Adam and call that covenant. The covenant of works and then every covenant after that is the covenant of grace in these enemies of the IDSA will listen any covenant that God gives to human beings as an act of grace. They don't deserve to be in a covenant relation but nobody argues that point the one we distinguish historically between the covenant of works in the covenant of grace. We know that God never was required to make any comments with us all. We will argue that point. But those covenants that he did make differ on how the benefits would be receive, and in the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were on trial they run a period of probation if they obey and keep the faith they get life if they disobey they get death in other words if their works are righteous. They live if their works are evil. They perish well if there's anyone in this world.
I don't know who has labored more in our day in behalf of the reformed doctrine of justification by faith alone than I have speak as a fool, but as much as I believe in the doctrine of justification by faith alone. I tell people room number at the end of the day. There's only one way to be justified in the sight of God. And that's my works so how can you say that you believe justification by faith alone and then turn around and say at the end of the day, but if you been drinking at the end of the day so that you say now justification is by works, and also because the covenant of works that God gave to Adam and Eve is still in effect and the only way to satisfy the demands of God is through good works. Nothing less will do with the reason why the covenant of grace is called the covenant of grace is because now God is saying it's not by your good works that he will be saved but by somebody else's good works. You perished because of the first Adam's bad works will be saved by the perfect righteousness of the new Adam whose works are without blemish and which works are given to you if you put your trust in him.
Now I know that there people in this room today who still are believing that their good deeds and they're trying to live a good life is going to get them in the heavens. If you walked into this church going this morning with that belief in your head. Let me give this morning to leave it here and forget because you have no chance. Only one person was ever satisfied the law of God and that's Jesus and that's why his submission to the baptism of John the Baptist was a matter of life and death, God required its of everyone and is the new Adam entering into corporate solidarity with his people.
He submitted to that requirement of the law so that his acts of righteousness may be perfect I'm saying is you justified by works, but not your own works but by the works of Jesus.
He is our righteousness and a few weeks ago I was in another church in from performing a funeral memorial service and before the service. The pastor was leading me back to his office where I could get ready for the service invested was with me up to the door and just as I was ready to go in. She said to me I'll be here afterwhile darling boy and the ministered target recent darling boy was that I said that's just one of those terms of endearment that Vesta uses for me. Don't we all have terms of endearment for our spouses. I hope so. That's just one of many, but I think her favorite term of endearment I'm not really short-term endearment for me that many of you have never heard of use. She calls a spot not named after the dog and Dick and Jane and see spot run in Alaska and other other better reasons for calling me spot because he spot because I use blood thinners and every time I bump my arm against the wall or my dog scratches me and my bleed like a stuck Dragon I'm spots all over my arms as though she's cozy spot for that.
But that's not the only reason, or even the chief reason we got to eat this as I know this is embarrassing but would you please put your napkin on your caller like the Godfather in an Italian restaurant and then she sits lovingly spot because I don't put that thing there come home with spots all over my shirt all over my tie is I make a mess of myself and she has to clean these spots in the cc those blemishes with there's no napkin in the world to come. Hide the spots on my soul. The blemishes that are there and would be there indelibly.
Unless the covenant of grace and the righteousness of Jesus the lamb without blemish could remove those spots from my soul and from your house and so Jesus went into the water and was baptized by John and this marked the beginning of his earthly public ministry. The moment where he was anointed and became the Christos Messiah. When the heavens over them. The Holy Spirit descended on him like a dove to empower him for his redemptive mission in this one who had only known obedience and act of obedience.
A perfect act of obedience.
In his entire life heard the voice from heaven.
This is my beloved son in whom I am well please. And it is because of the father's pleasure that we ever escape from the consequences of the sin of Adam, who plunged us into ruin the new Adam, the second Adam is the only one who can help you if you have ever seen. There is no other name under heaven, through which men may be saved. The name of Jesus is now. I hope you understand which aggression nation was saying to his colleagues with his telegram grateful for the perfect active obedience of Christ. Grateful he was restricted by space and obviously wide vocabulary became great, don't you sleep right for the perfect active obedience of Christ. For without it. Without it we have no hope because of Jesus. Perfect life is passive and active obedience. His sacrifice was sufficient for all who believe we will hear better news all day will be glad you joined us for this Lords. The addition of Renewing Your Mind, Dr. RC Sproul is taking us through the entire Gospel of Luke and eventually we will make our way through each verse in this book, the careful study we hear from Dr. scroll each week you're in the program can also be found in his commentary on Luke's Gospel. Contact us today with a donation of any amount and we will be happy to provide you with a digital download of this nearly 600 page commentary or offices are closed. Of course on this Lord's day, but you can give your gift and make a request online and Renewing Your Mind can't work our desire here at later ministries is to come alongside Christians like you and help you in your study of God's word.
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All of it available for free to search for Liggett here in your app store well in the next section of lukewarm about the genealogy of Jesus will understand why it's important to know who his great great grandparents were RC will tackle that passage from Luke's gospel next Sunday and we hope you'll join us for Renewing Your Mind