Tag Archives: John the Baptist

Thankful in All Things

Thankfulness in Scripture is resplendent throughout, shining back towards the Savior. In many instances those who were about to suffer great loss were given much to be thankful for as the Father provided His provision to each.

Abraham on Mt. Moriah was thankful for the ram caught in the thicket, sparing his son, Isaac, from being the sacrifice that was to be offered.

Noah was thankful for the rainbow shining in the sky, the symbol of God’s promise never to flood the entire earth again each time it appears.

John the Baptist was thankful for the day the Savior came towards him from afar off, wanting to be baptized in the River Jordan by John which began His earthly ministry of healing the sick, feeding the hungry, and dying for the sins of the world, rising again as the only Conqueror over death.

Paul was thankful for the bright Light that shone down upon him striking him blind as he journeyed to Damascus, forever changing his life from Saul, the accuser of the brethren, to Paul, the Great Apostle who would go to his death proclaiming the Good News of the Gospel.

The Apostle John was very thankful for his time of walking with the Savior for three and a half years, for he tells us in I John chapter 1, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us.)”

“In every thing give thanks:

For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus

concerning you.”

I Thessalonians 5:18

 

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Baptism – Identifying with Christ

Times were changing. The old was being replaced by the new. No longer would bulls and goats need to be sacrificed in the Temple as described in the Old Testament (Hebrews 10). As the New Testament opens John the Baptist declares while baptizing Jewish converts in the River Jordan, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” as Jesus made His way to the banks of the river. Although John requested Jesus baptize him, Jesus insisted John baptize Him to fulfill all righteousness. In this way Jesus was identifying with sinners who were trusting in Him for salvation.

As Jesus entered the water He demonstrated His death, burial and resurrection which was to come by being placed under the water and “straightway coming up out of the water (Mark 1:10). There was no just splashing Him with water or sprinkling a few drops on Him. It was total immersion signifying dying to self, being buried with Christ and being risen again to walk in newness of life. Peter tells us in I Peter 3:21 baptism is not the putting away of the filth of the flesh,in other words the water is not for the washing away of sin, for only the blood of Jesus Christ is pure enough to do that. Baptism is a picture of identifying with Christ.

Just as the Jewish converts from Judaism who trusted Christ as the Promised Messiah took a bold step in following the Lord in believer’s baptism in spite of the pronouncements of the Temple rulers that those who did so would no longer be welcome in its synagogues, believers today upon placing their total faith and trust in Christ boldly identify with Him by dying to self, being buried in the baptismal waters, and coming up out of the water to walk with Him wherever He leads, just as Jesus portrayed for us.