This We Believe (2)
August 28 – September 3, 2022
“Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15, 16
Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 97–108, 167–177
“Christ has made baptism the sign of entrance to His spiritual kingdom. He has made this a positive condition with which all must comply who wish to be acknowledged as under the authority of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Testimonies, Vol. 6, 91
1 JOHN THE BAPTIST
1.a. Who performed the first baptism recorded in the New Testament, and what was the theme of his preaching? Matthew 3:1–6
Note: “John proclaimed the coming of the Messiah, and called the people to repentance. As a symbol of cleansing from sin, he baptized them in the waters of the Jordan. Thus by a significant object lesson he declared that those who claimed to be the chosen people of God were defiled by sin, and that without purification of heart and life they could have no part in the Messiah’s kingdom.” The Desire of Ages, 104
1.b. When many Pharisees and Sadducees flocked to the wilderness to be baptized, what message did John give them? Matthew 3:7–10
Note: “John himself had not directed his hearers to forsake their former duties. He bade them give evidence of their repentance by faithfulness to God in the place where He had called them.” The Desire of Ages, 150
2 THE BAPTISM OF JESUS
2.a. Among the many who came to the wilderness to see John the Baptist, Jesus came also. Why did He do this? Matthew 3:13–15
Note: “Jesus was our example in all things that pertain to life and godliness. He was baptized in Jordan, just as those who come to Him must be baptized.” Our High Calling, 157
“Jesus did not receive baptism as a confession of guilt on His own account. He identified Himself with sinners, taking the steps that we are to take, and doing the work that we must do. His life of suffering and patient endurance after His baptism was also an example to us.” The Desire of Ages, 111
2.b. When Jesus came out of the water, what happened? Matthew 3:16, 17
Note: “A new and important era was opening before Him [Jesus], and He felt the solemnity and responsibilities of the new duties He was to perform, and heavier burdens which He was henceforth to bear. His baptism was the first act of His public ministry; and He here identifies Himself with sinners as their representative, in taking upon Him their sins, and numbering Himself with transgressors. In His prayer, Christ, with His human arm, encircles fallen humanity, while with His divine arm He is reaching for the throne of the Infinite. …
“Never had angels listened to such a prayer. They were solicitous to bear to the praying Redeemer messages of assurance and love. But no; the Father Himself will minister to His Son. Direct from the throne proceeded the light of the glory of God. The heavens were opened, and beams of light and glory proceeded therefrom and assumed the form of a dove, in appearance like burnished gold. The dove-like form was emblematical of the meekness and gentleness of Christ. …
“The thunders rolled and the lightnings flashed from the opening heavens, and a voice came therefrom in terrible majesty, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ The words of confirmation were given for the benefit of the witnesses at His baptism, and to assure God’s dear Son that His Father accepted humanity through Him, their substitute and surety, and that God would connect man to Himself, and open heaven to the prayers of men through the intercession of His Son.” The Youth’s Instructor, March 1, 1874
3 BORN AGAIN, OF THE WATER
3.a. In the conversation of Jesus with Nicodemus, what truth was presented which is valid for every human being? John 3:5–7
Note: “The figure of the new birth, which Jesus had used, was not wholly unfamiliar to Nicodemus. Converts from heathenism to the faith of Israel were often compared to children just born. Therefore he must have perceived that the words of Christ were not to be taken in a literal sense. But by virtue of his birth as an Israelite he regarded himself as sure of a place in the kingdom of God. He felt that he needed no change.” The Desire of Ages, 171
“Nicodemus knew that Christ here referred to water baptism and the renewing of the heart by the Spirit of God.” Ibid., 172
“While Jesus was speaking, some gleams of truth penetrated the ruler’s mind. The softening, subduing influence of the Holy Spirit impressed his heart.” Ibid., 173
“The power of the Holy Spirit transforms the entire man. This change constitutes the new birth.” The Signs of the Times, November 15, 1883
3.b. What is the significance of being “born of water” and “born of the Spirit”? Romans 6:3–7; John 1:12, 13
Note: “Baptism is a most solemn renunciation of the world. Those who are baptized in the threefold name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, at the very entrance of their Christian life declare publicly that they have forsaken the service of Satan and have become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King.” Testimonies, Vol. 6, 91
“True repentance of sin, faith in the merits of Jesus Christ, and baptism into His death, to be raised out of the water to live a new life, are the first steps in the new birth which Christ told Nicodemus he must experience in order to be saved.” Lift Him Up, 79
“We are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost, and these three great, infinite powers are unitedly pledged to work in our behalf if we will cooperate with them. We are buried with Christ in baptism as an emblem of His death. We are raised from the water as an emblem of His resurrection. We are to live as newborn souls, that we may be raised at the last great day.” The General Conference Bulletin, April 4, 1901
4 NEW CREATURES
4.a. Before we are baptized, what does the Lord require from us, and into what relationship do we then enter? 2 Corinthians 6:14–18
Note: “Come out from among them, and be separate, saith the Lord, and I will receive you, and ye shall be sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty. What a promise is this! It is a pledge to you that you shall become members of the royal family, heirs of the heavenly kingdom.” Testimonies, Vol. 2, 592
“Do you have to cut loose from friends and relatives in deciding to obey the elevated truths of God’s word? Take courage, God has made provision for you, His arms are open to receive you. Come out from among them and be separate, and touch not the unclean, and He will receive you. He promises to be a Father unto you. Oh, what a relationship is this! higher and holier than any earthly tie. If you make the sacrifice, if you have to forsake father, mother, sisters, brothers, wife, and children for Christ’s sake, you will not be friendless. God adopts you into His family; you become members of the royal household, sons and daughters of the King who rules in the heaven of heavens. Can you desire a more exalted position than is here promised? Is not this enough?” Ibid., Vol. 1, 510
4.b. When one is born again, how does God consider that person, and what happens in his or her life? 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Peter 1:22, 23; 2:1, 2
Note: “[P]ride is cleansed from the soul. Selfishness is uprooted. The quick, passionate temper no longer masters the man; for Jesus Christ has brought the thoughts into captivity to Himself. Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let no arrogancy come out of your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed.” The Signs of the Times, September 26, 1892
“The old nature, born of blood and the will of the flesh, cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The old ways, the hereditary tendencies, the former habits, must be given up; for grace is not inherited. The new birth consists in having new motives, new tastes, new tendencies. Those who are begotten unto a new life by the Holy Spirit, have become partakers of the divine nature, and in all their habits and practices they will give evidence of their relationship to Christ.” Maranatha, 237
5 UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE GODHEAD
5.a. In what name should converted souls be baptized, and what promise is given them? Matthew 28:19, 20. What privilege and responsibility rests upon them? Colossians 3:1–3
Note: “As Christians submit to the solemn rite of baptism, He [God] registers the vow that they make to be true to Him. … They pledge themselves to renounce the world and to observe the laws of the kingdom of God. Henceforth they are to walk in newness of life. No longer are they to follow the traditions of men. No longer are they to follow dishonest methods. They are to obey the statutes of the kingdom of heaven. They are to seek God’s honor. If they will be true to their vow, they will be furnished with grace and power that will enable them to fulfill all righteousness.” Evangelism, 307, 308
“The rite of baptism is administered in the name of the Father, and of Son, and of the Holy Ghost. These three great powers of heaven pledge themselves to be the efficiency of all who submit to this ordinance, and who faithfully keep the vow they then make.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 6, 27
“You are born unto God, you stand under the sanction and the power of the three holiest beings in heaven, who are able to keep you from falling. You are to reveal that you are dead to sin; your life is hid with Christ in God.” Ibid., Vol. 7, 267
5.b. When we are adopted as sons and daughters of God, what right and privilege belong to us? Romans 8:16, 17; Galatians 3:26–29; 4:6, 7
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What hope did John the Baptist offer to those who came to him?
2 Why was Jesus baptized?
3 What significance does Christ’s interview with Nicodemus have for us?
4 What is baptism to indicate in the life of a soul?
5 In what sense is the entire Godhead involved in the baptism of repentant sinners?
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