Then, right after that, the Lord Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by the devil. Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to talk Him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by You,” he said, “so why are You coming to me?” But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” So John agreed to baptize Him…Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. Matthew 3:13-15, 4:1 NLT Remember that everything Jesus said and did was driven by His purpose on earth. Everything He did was a living example of life in God's Kingdom.
Many churches and individuals are confused concerning the nature of baptism and why the Lord Jesus himself was baptized. While baptism is treated as a religious ritual by many, it is actually a very practical act that is related to the will of the King and His desire for His citizens here on earth. As Kingdom citizens, our thinking and lifestyle has to change. At the time the Lord Jesus lived on this earth, there was various religious groups with rabbis, teachers, Pharisees and Sadducees who baptized their followers. Remember, baptism in this context meant that you were publicly declaring your allegiance to a particular group or teacher and his philosophy. To a large degree, I would say this was the significance of the baptism of John in which John referred to as a “baptism of repentance”. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Matthew 3:11
In essence, repentance does not mean wailing or falling down crying over the wrong you have done. It simply means to change your mind and to reverse your way of thinking (to reject what you knew…to turn away from what was). This knowledge and understanding has completely changed my life, especially the way I behave. Remember that John came with a message to turn around. John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins [that is, requiring a change of one’s old way of thinking, turning away from sin and seeking God and His righteousness]. Mark 1:4 AMP In essence, the Lord Jesus and His earthly cousin John were saying “Stop, you are going in the wrong direction”!
Keep in mind, the information that you learn over the years has affected your thinking, behavior and decisions. Ambassador Paul made this declaration to the believers at Rome:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1 He went on to say, And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2
Turning away from the sin we were once so familiar with (repentance) is not a one moment action, it is a daily choice.
All of this is a process. The whole time the Lord Jesus was preaching and teaching, it was all concerning the Kingdom of God. The Lord Jesus never preached or taught any other message. Renewing one’s mind is a constant removal process. This is why the King has my wife and I teaching only the message of the Kingdom on a consistent basis. We are students and followers of our Lord and King, and citizens of His Kingdom. His Kingdom is eternal and unchanging. His message never changes. John stated this in his introduction. In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” Matthew 3:1-2 Jesus came with the same message. From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17 He stayed focused on His assignment.
Why did He preach and teach on the Kingdom? He taught on God’s Kingdom because that is what we lost, going all the way back to Adam. We did not lose a religion and we did not need another religion. We needed God’s Kingdom government on earth.
The significance of baptism isn’t the water or even the act of being baptized. It has to do with the transformation of the way you are thinking and living. It is a covenant alliance with the teacher and what He taught. It truly is a Kingdom baptism. This is why I emphasize consistently to always “stay in the Word” and learn to read and see it from a Kingdom foundation with the guidance of the Holy Spirit--our Kingdom Governor.
Remember, your greatest asset in the Kingdom is your faith in the King.
All scriptures are NKJV unless noted
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