Baptism: The Work of The Deity (Trinity)

By: Tonya Parrott Segura

Matthew 3

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”

John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan.Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

11 I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

The Baptism of Jesus

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

**Verses 16-17 show the Deity.

 

THE WORK OF THE DEITY (TRINITY)

1. GOD

God draws the sinner to repentance.

Romans 2:4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

John 6:44 “No one can come to me [Jesus] unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

2.  JESUS

Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.

After Jesus’ death and burial but before his resurrection, He was in the heart of the earth for 3 days.

Matthew 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

This is when Jesus got the keys to death and hades and bridged the gap between being lost for eternity and the kingdom of God for us.

Revelation 1:18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

Matthew 16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

At this time, Jesus also sanctified all of the believers who had died under the Old Covenant, fulfilling it and making it obsolete. This is why Jesus was baptized in Matthew 3:15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. (This could also explain the time frame of Pentecost before the Holy Spirit is sent in Acts 2.)

Mark 1:14-15 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Notice the words ‘come near’ in verse 15.  The hearer would have still been under the Old Covenant coming into the New Covenant, as Jesus is speaking.  The New Covenant was not yet implemented until after the baptism of the Holy Spirit in Acts chapter 2. John preached a baptism of repentance via water. Under the New Covenant, a new commandment is added to the believer. Repentance AND baptism (water and Holy Spirit) is preached.

Acts 19:1-7
While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”  They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”  3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”
“John’s baptism,” they replied.
4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.7 There were about twelve men in all.

Being baptized for repentance and forgiveness of sins (John’s baptism) was done while Jesus was on earth before he defeated death.  After he ascended to the Father and sent the Holy Spirit to us, we are now baptized into Christ. We literally die to self in this baptism, are filled with the Holy Spirit and are resurrected into life through the Spirit and become a new creature in Christ. This is the sign of the New Covenant.

3.  HOLY SPIRIT

Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 3:11 states also and fire. I believe the fire is in reference to the kingdom of God that comes to live within you. Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.  Hebrews 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.)

In Luke 17:21, it was speaking of the fulfillment of the New Covenant that was in the near future, when the kingdom of God dwells ‘within you’ via the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, we receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit after we repent, our old self dies, is buried in a water baptism and we emerge (resurrect) from the water. We then become part of the kingdom of God and are a new creature in Christ.

John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.  **Others have tried to use Nicodemus’ encounter with Jesus later in this chapter to refute that the water mentioned in verse 5 could not be in reference to baptism because this meeting happened under the Old Covenant. However, they fail to take into account that Nicodemus more than likely died after Jesus’ crucifixion/Pentecost, meaning Nicodemus died under the New Covenant.

 

The following verse shows this change coming with the implementation of the New Covenant:

Luke 24:46-47 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  

According to Acts 2:38, we must repent AND be baptized, and in Luke 24:47 (above), baptism is represented by ‘remission of sins.’  Therefore, you receive sanctification at the moment your sins are washed away in baptism and receive the Holy Spirit and become a new creature in Christ.

II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Baptism is therefore how we get ‘in Christ.’

 

THE BAPTISM BY THE DIETY

Matthew 3:15-17 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. 16As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Christ was the firstfruits (of the Old Covenant believers who were sanctified first) and it is ‘in Him’ that we become part of the kingdom of God through water baptism and baptism by the Spirit under the New Covenant.

I Corinthians 15:20-29 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all. 29 Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?

*Verse 23 In my opinion implies the Old Covenant believers are in Heaven, having already been judged. This could also explain the delay of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in Acts chapter 2.

Acts 2:1-4 The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Conclusion:

Baptism is not the work of man. It is the work of the Deity!! The Deity takes over in all three steps!

Colossians 2:9-14  For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.

So, water baptism is necessary to enter the kingdom of God. It is the death and burial of the old self and the resurrection of the new creature in Christ through the baptism of the Holy Spirit!

Colossians 1:24-27 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.

The baptism by the Deity is what makes us fully mature in Christ!

 

UPDATE:

A few weeks ago, I came across this passage of Scripture that caught my attention in relation to the baptism of the Holy Spirit as it pertains to this paper:

Luke 1:6-20

The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.

Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.

11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”  19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”

In verse 15, we see that John the Baptist, being born under the Old Covenant (before Christ defeated death) and also dying in Matthew 14 by being beheaded by Herod while Jesus was still alive (meaning he also died under the Old Covenant) was filled with the Holy Spirit even before he was born!  Being filled with the Holy Spirit under the Old Covenant is a first and only that I’m aware of anywhere in Scripture!

Now why could this have been? The answer to this is the Baptism of Jesus.

Matthew 3:13-17

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Notice how John thought he needed to be baptized but Jesus did not entertain the idea! It is because John was already baptized with the Holy Spirit in the womb so that he could baptize Jesus and Jesus knew this! Also, John dying under the Old Covenant meant that he did not have to fulfill the requirements of the New Covenant of being born of water AND fire (John 3:5), which would further explain why he did not have to be baptized by water and why there is no mention of his baptism in Scripture.  (**Remember, as pointed out earlier, Nicodemus more then likely died under the New Covenant and this conversation of being born of water and fire was spoken to him.)  It is my personal opinion that these instances with Nicodemus and John biblically point to an eye opening realization of the differences between the sanctification methods of the Old and New Covenant.  It is also my personal opinion that Luke 1:16 (He [John] will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God.) implies it was possible that in some way John the Baptist played a role in the Holy Spirit sanctifying those who died under the Old Covenant and that by him baptizing Jesus it allowed him to do this.

This revelation gives a whole new depth to the importance of Baptism and further illustrates the point that Baptism is indeed an act of the Deity and the sign of the New Covenant!

 

**For More on this please see the paper titled “Old Covenant Justification v/s New Covenant Justification AND Sanctification.”

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