YCCM PART 5 GOD OF THE LIVING Chapter 29 JESUS CHANGED EVERYTHING: PLEASING GOD

YOU CAN’T CHANGE ME: Unraveling the Lie

PART 5 GOD OF THE LIVING

Chapter 29

JESUS CHANGED EVERYTHING:

 PLEASING GOD

 

Matthew 21:23-27 King James Version (KJV)

23 And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?

24 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things.

25 The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?

26 But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet.

27 And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

Narrator: On the way home from class, Luke, who has never been baptized, gives his professor’s comments a great deal of thought and decides he wants to be baptized. The following Sunday, he chose to join others to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in the presence of other Believers as witnesses.

At his baptism, Merle, the presiding minister delivers a compelling sermon, entitled, ” Pleasing God.”

Merle: My Friends, What does your heart tell you? Is baptism a ritual? Did John the Baptist believe he was performing a ritual or doing what God had instructed him to do?

Matthew3:1-3 tells us:

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Then, Matthew 3:4-6 states:

4 And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

“CONFESSING THEIR SINS,” it says. Which of us who is truly REPENTANT will do this today, or are we too PROUD, believing baptism to be a private thing to hide our sins?

John the Baptist was preparing the way for Jesus, God’s Son. God is a god of order. Therefore, He always makes preparations. He prepares the messenger and He prepares the way. Word of John’s coming was first foretold to the prophet Esaias to prepare the people. Then, John the Baptist prepares the Jews telling them in Matthew 3:11

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

So, here we are told that baptism is not just done with WATER. God is preparing the MINDS and the HEARTS of the people so that we don’t argue amongst ourselves over doctrine like the Pharisees and Sadduccees.

In Mark 10:35-40, Jesus speaks of another type of baptism

35 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.
36 And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you?
37 They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.
38 But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?
39 And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized:
40 But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.

Jesus explains His baptism in Mark 10:43-45.

43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Jesus, who was without sin, was baptized–anointed and given a specific purpose and sacrifice to make.

However, Jesus did not leave without preparing the people for the next phase of baptism by FIRE, which is the HOLY GHOST or SPIRIT. Of GOD. Did this do away with baptism by water? No, my friends. Before we can come under the FIRE, we must REPENT, SURRENDER AND DIE WITH JESUS TO BE CLEANSED OF OUR SINS AND ARISE, COVERED BY HIS HOLY, SACRIFICIAL BLOOD! 

The potter must BREAK THE VESSEL to make it over again. 

Matthew 21:42-44 King James Version (KJV)

42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

 The Kingdom of God has been opened to us. Which shall it be my Brothers and Sisters? To change from our wicked ways, we must go to the Rock to be broken and die to the flesh, so that love of SELF and the WORLD does not lead us back to drown in iniquity and be destroyed.

Repentance and Baptism is the Process that prepares us for Transformation, where we will come under the FIRE of God’s Holy Spirit to receive a NEW MIND. God is a god of order, who PREPARES. Thus, why wouldn’t and shouldn’t we prepare OURSELVES to come into the PRESENCE of HOLINESS and be PLEASING, WASHED AND CLEANSED FROM THE SMELL OF SIN, HUMBLED, A SWEET AROMA UNTO OUR GOD?

The Disciples understood this and continued to baptize after the Holy Spirit had been sent. Can WE understand this, now. Baptism is not to be taken lightly. Neither is it to be taken for GRANTED. No, baptism isn’t a commandment; neither is the taking of Holy Communion. Wherein, Jesus made a REQUEST for His Disciples to remember Him, as often as they break bread and drink wine together. God wants us to come willingly to surrender all and make him Lord over our lives. Baptism marks admissions of sin, repentance, surrendering all to our Father, the cleansing of our sins, DYING WITH JESUS as we submerge beneath the water and rising again defeating sin and death as we emerge professing JESUS as our Lord and Savior. Can we just skip over the physical act or do we FOLLOW OUR MASTER

Jesus always sought to please His Father. The Disciples obeyed Jesus because they wanted to please God. John’s disciples obeyed because they wanted to please God! That’s what disciples DO! Jesus was showing us this, when He was submissive to John. John, in turn, knowing Jesus was more than worthy, obeyed Jesus and baptized Him, because it was God’s Will. John also wanted to please God. Together, they showed us that it is not about us! It is about pleasing God!

When we stopped being Disciples, the enemy was able to fool us. He confounded our minds and confused us to turn us against one another. We were able to be separated because we started thinking about self and we stopped trying to please God!!

Baptism became a ritual when it began to be used to please man–meaning man believed he could be baptized without truly repenting and turning away from sin and pleasing God. Jesus’ example showed us that it is ALWAYS about pleasing God, no matter who you are!

In Revelation, we find that The Lamb of God was the only one worthy to open the Book of Seven Seals! What makes any man think he can sneak by God, without being covered in the blood of Jesus?! God sees your heart! He smells the sin upon you! His Spirit cannot dwell in an unclean temple!

Jesus came back and walked among His Disciples. He could have very well said, you can stop baptizing those folks now, but He didn’t, because He already told us what was going to happen. He knew that some would stop following Him and be led astray by false doctrine. God can separate the wheat from the tares by those who live to please Him, doing ALL things for the glorification of God.

Children of God, there should be no argument, dispute or doctrine governing baptismal, concerning whether or not it is necessary or a rite. Within the church–the Body of Christ, it is a gift from God to emerge from HIS life-giving water, cleansed from sin.

Now, WE are the Body. CHRIST is the Head. We follow Christ and the Mind of Christ. The Mind of Christ ALWAYS tries to please the Father! Again, Baptism is an act of pleasing God! IT IS NOT ABOUT US! IT’S ABOUT PLEASING GOD!

[Merle sees the sanctuary door open and Bee walks in wearing a floral dress and a pillbox hat. In his eyes, she’s a delicate flower, as beautiful as the day he married her.

Merle’ s heart leaps and he feels a resurgence of joy. Thanking God inside of his heart, he smiles and continues.]

It’s not about us. It’s about doing what will please God.

Jesus didn’t get baptized by John because it was His coming out party into the world, or coming of age. It wasn’t an act of becoming a Christian.

John was telling people that the time had come for God’s people to repent of their sins and enter into HOLINESS, the Kingdom of God. Therefore, they had to prepare themselves: humble themselves ; confess their sins to be cleansed and purged and emerge into the new life.

John was doing what was pleasing to God; what He was sanctified and ordained in the womb to do. It was no coincidence that God told him to take people to the water and submerge them back into the water from which they emerged from the womb to be reborn again. God always has a plan!

Jesus knew John was doing what he was supposed to do and that it pleased God. He knew that what John was doing was the precursor of what was to come; that is, baptismal by water and fire.

My friends, Jesus didn’t come to steal John’s limelight or his followers. He didn’t want to make himself look better than John. He didn’t come to support John because he was a close relative and to keep the business wrapped up and coming to their family.

Jesus came to leave a footnote, a footnote that most people fail to read or understand and that is to ALWAYS– do– what–PLEASES–the Father.

No matter what YOU think the protocol, policy or doctrine should be; no matter who you are; no matter where you came from; no matter what your status or education; no matter how GOOD you think you are.

Oh, my Lord!!

You must HUMBLE yourself!! Baptize me John–Jesus said, the Son of God! He was setting an example. Let no man esteem himself better than the other. Glory to God! Let every man PLEASE God!

And what did our Father tell those present, giving us witness to this Truth?

“This is my Son in whom I am well pleased.”

[Merle can’t help but to glance at Luke. Luke gives him a boyish grin.]

Please God my friends; not because I say; not because it is within your church doctrine; not to please mother, father, friends, relatives, pastor or self. Please God because it is within your heart–a heart that follows Jesus to do so, because, of your love for your Father.

Pleasing God is what many within the church have stopped doing because they’d rather please man first. Yet, knowing this we can begin to turn things around. We can dispel the lies that we have allowed to separate us from one another and our Father. If we humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s face, repent and be born again.

Pleasing Him is what God is asking us to do when He says “seek my face.” I know that I want to please Him, my Brothers and Sisters; not just because of what He has done for me, but because of WHO He is.

What would the world be like without the knowledge of goodness, love, kindness, peace, joy, patience, self-control, faith and long-suffering?

–no beauty; no music; no friendship; no fellowship; no sharing; no harmony; no hope; no grace; and–no–mercy.

Father, we thank you for your presence –your being–your Spirit. Bless these, your children who have come to be baptized in Your name and in the name of Your Son and Your Holy Spirit.

Brothers and Sisters, Baptism is indeed a life-changing moment in the life of a Believer; not to be taken lightly.

Let us Rejoice for their choosing to confess and repent of their sins! Let us Rejoice for the sacrifice of our Savior and His precious blood that was shed for our sins to be forgiven!

Let us pray as One for God’s Holy Spirit to fall upon these repentant souls and rest, rule and abide within them, forever. Let us Rejoice for their choosing to become One with the Father and Son and One with Us, The Body of Christ!

[Each baptismal candidate is taken into the water confessing and repenting of their sins, prayed for and submerged. After joining hands and singing, Merle gives the benediction.]

Now, we are joined with them and they are joined with us! We are accountable to one another, members of the Body of Christ, Children in the family and KINGDOM of God!

I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. Psalm 18:1-2

Amen and Praise God!

Narrator: Luke wanted to thank Bee for coming to his baptism, but, he turned around and she was no where to be found.

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SELF REFLECTION: A Look in the Mirror

Once again, when we look at Jesus’ parables, He is challenging us to examine where our heart lies. Closely examining your heart, answer the questions below.

DISCUSS your answers with a mature Believer who can guide you in your spiritual relationship with Jesus and our Father, and/or have group discussions to learn from those who have different experiences and perspectives.

QUESTIONS: Write down your questions and discuss them with a mature Believer or submit them to this blog.

  1. Have you been baptized? Why or why not?
  2. Do you belong to a religion or denomination that believes in baptism?
  3. Do you have a better understanding of baptism, now?
  4. Would you consider baptism, if your place of worship allowed it?
  5. If you have been baptized, do you feel that it changed your life? Why or why not?
  6. Were you ready to be baptized or did you get baptized to join a church or to please others?
  7. When you were baptized did you understand what it meant to be baptized?
  8. Were you old enough to understand what it meant to be baptized?
  9. Do you feel that it is necessary to be re-baptized if you didn’t understand its meaning?
  10. Have you been Christened (sprinkled with water to be dedicated or given to be raised in the Christian Faith)?
  11. Do you understand the difference between being Christened and being Baptized?
  12. If you were baptized, did you receive the Holy Spirit? How do you know? Were there signs?
  13. Have you been told that there must be signs that you have received God’s Holy Spirit, such as, speaking in tongues?
  14. Are there other ‘Gifts of the Holy Spirit’?
  15. Does everyone possess all the ‘Gifts of the Holy Spirit’ or are these things that can be manifested THROUGH you BY the Holy Spirit as He wishes to give them to each individual?

    1 Corinthians 12:7-11 King James Version (KJV)

    But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
    For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
    To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
    10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 
    11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

  16. When we choose to become a part of something, we must fully understand what it is we are joining and our role and obligations within. Does joining and becoming a member of a church automatically make you a member of the Body of Christ? How are we joined to Christ, The Vine?
  17. Our heart (spirit) plays an important role in repenting, accepting Christ, and receiving God’s Holy Spirit to joins us to the Body of Christ. Do you wish to have a changed heart?
  18. Do you want to please God? What can you do today to please Him?
  19. Will you join me and the Body of Christ in praying for the hearts of our leaders and people throughout the world who have not accepted Christ as their personal Savior?

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REFERENCED SCRIPTURE

1 Corinthians 12King James Version (KJV)

12 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.

Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.

Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

14 For the body is not one member, but many.

15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?

17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?

20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.

21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:

23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.

25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

King James Version (KJV) Public Domain

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