This a sermon transcript preached by Timothy Williams. These were preached many years back, some decades ago. Preacher Timothy Williams is not associated with any church, denomination, or ministry. Blessed are those who love the honey of God’s Word!

How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
(Psalm 119:103)

This sermons transcript is located at www.luke1425.org


Sermon Area Basic Introduction

Not Even Death

Not even death can keep a preacher from preaching. A godly preachers words come from fire in the bones. But if I say, “I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. (Jeremiah 20:9)



On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.

There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting. Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead.

Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!” Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted. (Acts 20:7-12)

The sermons normally lasted 45 to 60 but do not grumble that my sermons were long. True by today’s milk toast entertain me Christian standards they are lengthy. But not long when one considers the days are evil and that ignorance floods the church. …making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:16)


Preach The Word
www.luke1425.org


I never preached about the Word of God. Rather I was led by the Holy Spirit to preach the Word.

What I Mean By Sound Doctrine

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season;
correct, rebuke and encourage
with great patience and careful instruction.
(2 Timothy 4:2)

Audio Sermon Files


 

The Full Gospel, Part 1

This is a series on what the full message of the gospel is. In other words, how does someone become a Christian? We’ve already looked at the cross and some of us have been experiencing the baptism of John, getting ready for what it would mean to begin the crucified life. In other words, what should we do in order to be saved? What is it that God requires us to do to begin the process of saying, “OK, I want to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, and I want his salvation?”

Acts 5:17 Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy.

Peter began to preach and talk about the message of the cross and there were those who were jealous of the message. People will be drawn as you begin to preach a full message, rather than half or three quarters of a message.

Acts 5:18-19 They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out.

But God wants a full message declared. We are going to examine something that must be declared in its entirety.

Acts 5:20 “Go, stand in the temple courts,” he said, “and tell the people the full message of this new life.”

So often churches will present maybe one half or even three quarters of the gospel message, if they are lucky. This is where we get the cheap, easy gospel calls, or the hard, narrow, legalistic kinds of gospel calls. We want to be a people that understand what the full message is, not only that we might live it, but that we might teach other people how to begin their Christian walk. Just think if you had been taught the full message to start with, how much time you could have saved yourself in failing and stumbling in many ways.

Acts 5:21 At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people. When the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin—the full assembly of the elders of Israel—and sent to the jail for the apostles.

We should want to do this immediately, in the light, and in the morning. We want to get up and be zealous for it. We want zeal that comes from God that says, “This is the full message.” We need to have the Holy Spirit open our hearts and our minds to learn about the full message. Then when we go to declare it, we need to be standing in the temple courts where everyone can hear it. I don’t care how much the Sadducees or Pharisees say this isn’t the message we should declare. They can say that we don’t have a proper perspective, or we don’t quite understand all the ramifications of what we’re saying. We need to stand in the temple courts and say, “This is the truth. This is the full message of the new life that’s in Jesus Christ.”

Acts 5:21 At daybreak they entered the temple courts…

We’re going to be told directly what the full message is and by the time we’re done with this series, we’ll understand about the full message. Again, we’re to be in the temple courts, in the church, among the people, everywhere; declaring that this is the grace of God.

Acts 5:21 At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people. When the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin—the full assembly of the elders of Israel—and sent to the jail for the apostles.

You see how very organized all these religious people are. They have all kinds of committee meetings and they’ll come together to discuss this new movement and this new church and the message they’re preaching. Yet God says, “Just go stand in the middle of the temple courts and continue to declare this.” Basically, be in their faces with the message. Don’t be shy about it, don’t hide in the corner nor buy into their excuses or threats. Don’t buy into their logic about how you misrepresent part of the gospel, just go and tell the people the full message. Don’t get into a long-winded debate with these guys. There is work to be done. There are people to be saved. The message needs to be presented.

Acts 5:22 But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there. So they went back and reported, we found the jail securely locked…

That is, they have done everything they can to silence this message.

Acts 5:23 We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside.

God wants to free this message. If we want the Lord to be with us in our evangelism, if we want to be released from the prison doors and the guards that hold us back, then let us go stand in the temple courts and declare the full message of the gospel. And let us become a people who understand the full message.

Acts 5:24 On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were puzzled, wondering what would come of this.

You’re going to arouse all kinds of suspicions. As you begin to preach the full message, they’re going to call you legalistic, hard, unloving, and unkind. You name it, they’re going to find every adjective to describe it in a negative light. So you can see all of them getting organized, and thinking, “I wonder what’s going to happen to this movement if we don’t do something about it?”

Acts 5:25 Then someone came and said, “Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people.”

Let us not be afraid or be intimidated by their threats. But let us discover deep in our hearts what the full message is so that we’re not afraid. Let us stand up and say, “This is the full message of God.”

Hebrews 6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,

We’re going right back to the basics of what it means to call oneself a Christian. We ask, “Ok, I want to be a Christian, now what is the process that a person goes through to demonstrate or to become a Christian?” So often people will talk about the message of the cross and denying self and eventually they get to a point where they will say, “How do I start this? How do I begin?” And this is exactly what we’re going to look at here.

Hebrews 6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity…

We want to go through this as quickly as we can. We want to get this deep in our hearts as fast as we can. We want God to burn it within our spirits and our souls so that we preach it with fire, because we’re looking at elementary things. We want to get on to some mature things. There are joyful things in God, concerning what fellowship and the body should look like—there’s a whole host of good things and treasures to grab hold of. So we want to get past this as quickly as we can. Go home and study this. Get this in your heart. This is not something that you want to forget. This is a foundation level where you turn to somebody and say, “This is how you become a Christian.”

Hebrews 6:1-2 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.

You see, if we don’t get this down, then we can’t move forward. We’re going to have to back up and go all over it again. That’s why Hebrews 6:3 says, “And God permitting, we will do so.”

I’ve been among groups that could never get out of the elementary teachings of righteousness, and holiness, carrying the cross and hating their lives. They would never live it and they never would do it. We never had God’s permission to move on to anything more holy or find any other treasures that were richer and deeper. Let us get this down and ask God to make it real. I may not answer everyone’s questions today, and eventually we’ll get to every “what if” question, but the first thing to do is go back and ask the Lord for insight on all of this.

2 Timothy 2:5 Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules.

Obviously, if I was at the Olympics running a race and I cut across the field but then said, “See, I won!” Not only would they say I’m disqualified, they would haul me off! They would lock me up. And yet we seem to approach God’s word and what he has to say about the meaning of being a Christian as if we can bend those rules or break them. God says we don’t gain the victor’s crown unless we compete according to the rules. What we’re looking at is the same for everybody. There are a certain set of rules that God has laid down and demonstrated for a good reason. All of us have to compete according to those rules.

2 Timothy 2:6-7 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.

So I’m sending you back always to seek the Lord and say, “Lord give me insight into all of this, and what it means to be a Christian. How do I approach someone to tell them how to start their Christian walk?”

Let’s begin to move into the message we’re going to preach. We want to preach a full message, not half or three-quarters or even 99.9 %. First John tells us what the full message is, and what it will mean to come to Jesus Christ. For if you notice in Acts, there is no such thing as the sinner’s prayer. You’ll notice there’s no such thing as an altar call. There’s no such thing as all the different things churches come up with. But what we do have is this:

1 John 5:6-7 This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify:

So there are three testimonies about how Jesus Christ came and the message he brought. There are three things declaring the truth, which is in line, of course, with the trinity and who God is. It’s in line with His character. There are three things that Peter was declaring in the temple courts. There were three things that were taking their stand, saying, “This is what it means to follow Jesus Christ. This is what it means to declare the full message.”

1 John 5:8 the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.

They are not opposed to each other in any fashion. If we preach water, it’s not opposed to blood, or if we preach blood, it’s not opposed to water. These three things should all be preached together at the same time, to bring the gospel together. Then it will be a full message and people will have a complete understanding of what it means to follow Jesus Christ. We should, in every aspect of our preaching, talk about the water, the blood, and the Spirit. I know churches that will preach everything but the water. When you leave out the water you leave out the cleansing and washing away of sin. If we preach a gospel without the blood we leave out the cost of what it means to follow Jesus Christ. If we preach a gospel without the Spirit, then what we’re preaching has no life or guidance.

In other words, without water, there is no resting in the mercy of God. So you find churches like that, who are constantly doing one thing after another thing. They have one set of rules after another set of rules, and one more guideline, because there is no rest or refreshment in the grace of God. Those who don’t preach the blood, have no denying or surrender of self, no crucified life. And, of course, those without the Spirit are the pure legalists, because all they are left to do is read scripture, examine it and then apply it as they see fit. There’s no guidance by the power and the voice of the Holy Spirit. We can keep going on, there’s all kinds of combinations. Some people preach the water and the blood, which is works. Other people preach the Spirit, but without the water and the blood, so you’re left with emotionalism. Other people preach the Spirit and the blood, so it’s harsh legalism. Still others preach the Spirit and water, which becomes an indulgence of self. If we’re to be a people that are proper in Jesus Christ, preaching the full message, then we have to preach the Spirit, the water, and the blood. Not just one aspect of those things, but we bring them all together.

1 John 5:9 We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son.

So we are talking about the testimony of God that we are to declare. So many men in churches declare their testimony, but not the testimony of the Lord. We have to know from God, what our testimony is. What do we declare? What do we take our stand on? What do we say is the way a man becomes a Christian? Is it a matter of going back to the end of our Bible and finding the little form that says, “Ask Jesus into your heart, then sign here and now you’re a Christian?” Is that the testimony of God, to sign the legal contract that says, “I’m a Christian?”

1 John 5:9 –10 We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.

What testimony? The three. A man who is truly a believer will have this testimony in his heart. He will declare the Spirit, the water, and the blood. A man who claims to be a Christian but does not have this testimony is simply not a Christian. Because the three are in agreement. He is in unity with the Father and the Father gives him the wisdom. It’s not that this is an intellectual thing, it says that he has this in his heart. He burns with this, and he understands the cost. He understands the blood. He knows the guidance from the Spirit. He understands the water, because God is putting that testimony in his heart and so he naturally declares that which burns in his heart. This is not ten steps on how you become saved. This is a testimony that burns within us.

1 John 5:10 Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.

So when churches present all these other gospel calls they’re calling God a liar. They’re saying they have a better plan than what God had set down. They think they can compete but not according to the rules. They think each of us can have different rules that we want to apply. Each church can decide which rules it wants to walk in. There should be one rule for everybody and each church should declare what the full message is so that anybody who wants to become a Christian knows exactly what they should do. Instead everybody likes to pick and choose what aspects of the testimony they want to declare.

We want to be a church, a people declaring the full message, not parts of the message. It leaves people stranded when we do that.

1John 5:10 Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar because he has not believed the testimony God has about his son.

So why do they make God a liar? Because they do not believe God when he says the Spirit, the water, and the blood are all in agreement and they testify with one another. We don’t believe that testimony. We are declaring God to be a liar, that somehow he is saying something false.

1 John 5:11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

The three are in agreement and the three declare the full message.

Acts 2:29 Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day.

Let’s look at the first sermon and keep in mind that Peter has been fully trained by Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit has just been given, so this is the full message that Peter is declaring. Let us ask ourselves some very simple questions. “Is this the message that we also declare? Is this what my life demonstrates to other people?”

Acts 2:29-32 Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.

He is talking about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, isn’t he? He is beginning to talk about the blood, and the Spirit. He’s bringing all of these things together.

Acts 2:33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.

Do you see him speaking and weaving in the full testimony of God? He is not just talking about Jesus Christ resurrected and leaving out the cost. Nor is he only talking about the Holy Spirit and his gifts and leaving out the cost or the water. He is bringing it all together for the people. It is the full message.

Acts 2:34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, “The Lord said to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’”

Now he has laid out the foundation of who Jesus Christ is and by what power he came. He has given the full testimony and then he says the following.

Acts 2:36 Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.

He makes them fully accountable. He does not say “they” crucified but “you” crucified. He point blank says their sins put him on the cross. He is directly in their face with the full testimony of why they need Jesus Christ. Look at their response.

Acts 2:37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

They are beginning to feel the pain of what they had done. There was no altar call there. Peter is not saying, “Anyone who wants to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior come forward.” We certainly do not see Peter stopping at this point and saying, “Everybody raise your hand and say the believer’s prayer.” Or “Bow your head and close your eyes so no one has to see what you are doing to ask Jesus Christ into your heart.” What we see here is a presentation of the gospel and they ask Peter, “What should we do?” You do not find Peter putting words in the people’s mouths? He is driving them to conviction and doing everything in his power to awaken their souls. He is preaching by the power of the Spirit but they turn to him and ask, “What shall we do?” Yet in our eagerness to see people come to the Lord, what do we do? We see a little bit of conviction and then we start saying to them, “Do you want to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior?” We put the words in their mouth and ease their conscience immediately. We start to make it easy for them to enter through the wide gate. He is preaching and lays the guilt trip on them. Then they cry out and burst forth with, “What shall we do?” How shall we be delivered from this? What does it means to be a Christian?” They are asking the questions and this is what the Holy Spirit wants to work within us as we present the gospel. I know it is frustrating when we talk to someone and see that they are hurting and going through anxiety. We desperately want them to come to the good news and be delivered from their guilt. We try to make it easy for them or to put words in their mouth. In fact, you see churches do it all the time when they say, “Just bow your head and say these words.” Everyone mocks the same words and we go down the list. We have to allow people to be convicted. We must turn to some people, as Jesus did to a woman and call them a dog to make them cry out and ask for it. They must come to a point where they ask, “What should I do to be saved? What does it means to be a Christian?”

Acts 2:37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

You can just see them running around grabbing the other apostles asking, “What are we to do? How are we to be delivered from this? We are guilty and accountable. We have sinned. It is clearly before us and we see what we have done.” The apostles are letting the confusion happen and the conviction take place. We must be in tune with the Spirit to know how long this needs to take place.

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.”

In this passage, the testimony of the three are put together. They asked, “What shall we do?” And Peter said “Repent.” There is the cost, the blood. “And be baptized” The cleansing of the water and refreshing in the removal of sin. A pledge of a good conscience before the Lord. Every one of you must compete according to the rules. You cannot change the rules. You cannot say just repent, repent, repent. Then people will find no rest at all. I know churches that are just like that. That is where they are stuck. Then there are people that baptize, baptize, baptize, or just water, water, water. If you die on the way to the baptismal without being water baptized, you go straight to hell. They miss the whole point of what is going on.

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.”

All three are coming together at once. This is how you should start your Christian walk. This is how you should have been taught and this is what we should be teaching other people. This is the beginning place. We will see that all people were not taught all three aspects of the message but it is rectified every time.

Acts 2:38 And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

This is what God needs to put in our hearts. This is how people become a Christian. This is not legalism or death. Think about it, you turn to God and say, “To obey what Peter had to say is legalism.” We do more than call God a liar.

Acts 2:39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

 

This is a promise! To repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins so that you will receive the Holy Spirit is far from legalism. It is all a promise of God.

Acts 2:40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”

With many other words he warned them. Count the cost and think about what you are doing. Examine and see if this really is what you want. When they are convicted and hurting, our tendency is to run immediately and get them baptized or tell them to ask Jesus in their heart. But it does not say that he does that. It just says that with many other words he warned them. He had a lot to say about this Christian walk. He had a lot to discuss with these people. He declared with many words what it means to say, “I am a Christian.” We too should have many other words for people. We should be able to declare with our life, our words, and our example what it means to walk with God. We should be loaded up with scripture left and right that shows what it means to follow Jesus Christ. This is the full message and the good news. This is the cost. This is the refreshment and dying to self.

Acts 2:40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”

Look at the start they have with God. They are off to a good start. They have the foundation and know what they need to do. They have been taught well. They have been convicted well. He has allowed God to do the work. But we are so eager for the numbers game or to make ourselves feel good because we brought someone to the Lord, that we do not want to present the full message.

Acts 2:41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

Some things are just so simple in the Lord it is almost ludicrous how man comes up with all kinds of schemes to avoid it.

Acts 2:41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

Those who did not accept his message did not get baptized. Those who believe that Jesus Christ has eternal life have this testimony in their hearts.

We are not going to preach just water, or just blood, or just the Spirit. That is why a lot of people go from church to church. They realize something is missing where they are at and they keep searching. Some churches have the water but they do not have the life, so people have to go back and forth. We want to have it all.

Acts 10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”

It is true that they are receiving the Holy Spirit but what is his next immediate thought? It is about water baptism, isn’t it? Would we think of leaving the blood of Jesus Christ out of our gospel calls? Then why do we leave out the water? They are in agreement, aren’t they? Do you understand the three testify and are of equal value in God’s sight? If I were preaching a gospel that said the blood of Jesus Christ is not all that important because it is a tradition we do in Jesus Christ, I would be run out of the church. And rightly so, because the following verse shows the importance of this. The three are in agreement with equal value.

Acts 10:48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

He ordered them to be baptized. There was no debate or discussion about it. These people could not have turned and said, “Well, we have already seen the Holy Spirit, so we do not need water baptism. We are already Christians.” You know, the saved game, “We are already saved so we don’t need to do any of these things.”

Acts 10:48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

Why did they ask Peter to stay with them for a few days? They wanted to hear the many words Peter would preach of what it means to be a Christian. So our attitude is fine when someone comes in and says, “I have the Holy Spirit and have been serving God.” I do not care they have been serving for twenty years. I will order them to be baptized. It is not an option, a debate, or something your church can hang on to. You have to lay hold of the water that is in Jesus Christ. If I meet someone who just emphasizes the water and they deny the Holy Spirit, then I will turn to them and say, “You are in unbelief and are sinning. You need to repent of that.” This is what we are to preach. This is what we take our stand on.

Acts 10:48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

Again, look at the start they had. We should be jealous of them, because a lot of us were not taught the full message. In the same way, we need to be jealous for other people and have enough love for them to tell them about the full message. We should not allow any Sadducee, or Pharisee, or church to alter the full message and testimony of God.

1 Peter 3:18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,

Do we see him talking about the blood? Do we see him talking about the Spirit? This testimony is in his heart and in everything that he speaks. He is beginning to lay out the full message.

1 Peter 3:19-20 through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water

If Noah had some of the beliefs that we have floating around today he would have stood outside the ark and said, “I’m not getting in there because you are making this salvation by works. You are making me do something. I have to build this ark and go through this labor and now you expect me to get in this ark. If you are going to love and save me, then do not make get into the ark because this is just legalism, God.” Suppose a man is drowning and I go throw him a life preserver, pull him in, and rescue him. Then he runs up and down the shore saying how proud he is, “I grabbed hold of it and saved myself.” It’s utter nonsense! He did not do anything but grab on to what God laid before him. How many people refuse to get into the ark.

1 Peter 3:18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,

1 Peter 3:20-21 In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also

The water is equal to the blood. The blood is equal to the Spirit. The three are in testimony with one another.

1 Peter 3:21 —not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

In other words, this is not some legalistic, outward thing. Now we are beginning to get our first glimpse of what water baptism means. It is just the first inkling, because it goes much deeper than this. So what is water baptism? It is a man declaring that he will keep a good conscience before God. Now is all of this legalism or just ink on paper? How does water baptism save? What does Peter say? Peter ought to know. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The three are in agreement and have equal power. Water baptism saves us by the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is not a minor thing. Shall we leave out the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the gospel? This is what we do when someone says, “I want to become a Christian.” And we say, “OK, ask Jesus into your heart and maybe six months from now we will have a baptism ceremony and you can give yourself to God.” You are saying they can lay hold of the resurrection of Jesus Christ six months from now. Then we wonder why they are so powerless and mess up on so many things. It is because the foundation is not properly established.

1 Peter 3:21-22 It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand–with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

Water baptism is not this dry legalistic teaching that goes out. Some groups think it is of no importance at all. It saves us by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The full message is all three in unity declaring, “What shall we do?”

Acts 2:38 Repent and be baptized every single one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

When we meet individuals who have not been taught the full message, what do we do with them? Do we say that they are not Christians? With some individuals you will have to turn and say, “You are not a Christian.” With other individuals you have to begin where they are and bring them to the full message. In 2 Chronicles 30:15 we read about a revival taking place. It was a revival of the word of the Lord and they came to understand what it really means to worship God.

 

2 Chronicles 30:15 They slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and the Levites were ashamed and consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings to the temple of the LORD.

The Passover lamb they are talking about is Jesus Christ. The priests and Levites had realized how they had neglected the word of the Lord.

2 Chronicles 30:16 Then they took up their regular positions as prescribed in the Law of Moses the man of God. The priests sprinkled the blood handed to them by the Levites.

They took up their positions where they were supposed to have been in the first place. They came to a proper understanding, because they had left and neglected the word of God and the house of God. The blood was doing its cleansing and the cost had been paid. Jesus Christ had shed his blood to forgive us of sins. We preached the blood, the water, and the Spirit. We preached it all. As prescribed in the law of God, we take our positions and declare the grace of God. God is all about 2 Chronicles 30:17

2 Chronicles 30:17 Since many in the crowd had not consecrated themselves, the Levites had to kill the Passover lambs for all those who were not ceremonially clean and could not consecrate their lambs to the LORD. Although most of the many people who came from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun had not purified themselves, yet they ate the Passover, contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “May the LORD, who is good, pardon everyone.

I know certain groups that if you have not done it according to what is written and have not gone through water baptism exactly as it specified then you are automatically by that account separated from God.

2 Chronicles 30:20 But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “May the LORD, who is good, pardon everyone.”

We have to approach people with God’s heart. Now the key here is the next verse, because you cannot say this with just everyone.

2 Chronicles 30:19 who sets his heart on seeking God—the LORD, the God of his fathers—even if he is not clean according to the rules of the sanctuary.

If I meet a man whose heart is seeking God, yet he hasn’t been taught the full message, I don’t immediately call him a sinner and a vile corrupt man who is totally separated from God. I do not immediately come down with that kind of judgment. What I begin to do is teach him the full message and if he has a heart after God, he will understand, he will have that testimony and he will begin to obey it. If he will not accept it, then I begin to say to him, “I will have nothing to do with you because you do not have the testimony of God in your heart.”

2 Chronicles 30:19 who sets his heart on seeking God—the LORD, the God of his fathers—even if he is not clean according to the rules of the sanctuary.

The next passage is so beautiful.

2 Chronicles 30:20 And the LORD heard Hezekiah and healed the people.

We will not set ourselves up as self-righteous and arrogant concerning this issue, but instead we will pray for the people and ask God who has the proper heart, “Who is seeking God with all their heart?” If they have that kind of heart, they will accept the full testimony of God. If they will not, then they will be judged for who they are.

Acts 18:24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John.

How did they approach this man? Did they approach him as someone who is not a Christian and who does not belong to Jesus Christ thereby nullifying all the work he has done? No, this is what it says in verse 26.

Acts 18:26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately.

If he had decided he did not want that part of the gospel anymore, that would be a different scenario. They taught and explained things to him in a loving fashion, as a brother. There are a lot of people who have not been taught the full message for different reasons. They need to come to a full understanding and this is why we need to stand in the temple courts and proclaim the full message. There is not this toleration that says “OK, you are a Christian so don’t worry about accepting this part of the message. You just go on your way.” That is total unlove for the individual and for God. Those who love God have this testimony in their heart and they cannot let people get by with half a message.

 

Acts 19:1 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 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.”

There are a lot of groups like that today that have not been taught about the Holy Spirit. You have to explain it to them. Think about the discussion going on here. Since Paul has the testimony of the full gospel the discussion always gets around to what they are missing, doesn’t it? Paul couldn’t be satisfied with the preaching they were receiving because there was an aspect of the gospel that was missing. In the same way, Paul goes down to Ephesus and finds some disciples that are missing something. Paul says, “Let me fill in the blanks for you. Let me give you some more blessings in Jesus Christ.”

Acts 19:3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied.

Everything revolves around baptism, doesn’t it? Everything seems to come back to that central point. Nowhere does scripture say, “Did you say the believer’s prayer?” Ask yourself, what baptism you have experienced? What baptism are you teaching other people? How many people are left handicapped in their walk with God because they have experienced the baptism of John, but it is just repentance and preparation? They think they are Christians because they heard John preaching, but they have not yet given themselves over to Jesus Christ. What baptism are you walking in? Is it a baptism where you have given yourself over to Jesus Christ to be a disciple and belong to him? Or have you just merely listened to the baptism of John that has to do with preparing yourself to get ready to follow Jesus Christ?

Acts 19:4-5 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.” On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.

Once someone comes to a full realization of what the message is there will be obedience to the full message. They don’t wait six weeks and they don’t go through a ten week discipleship course. We don’t say, “Well, I know they are a brother or sister, we just disagree on this one issue and so maybe five years from now he will come to an understanding about it.” We lay it out and order them to be baptized. They have to come to a complete understanding of what it is to follow Jesus Christ. If they do not want to do that, then they cannot have fellowship.

Acts 19:6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.

God is not locked so tight into everything that all things need to be done in a set mode, but it all comes together at the same time, doesn’t it? Part of the reason that Paul laid hands on them was to emphasize the Holy Spirit. He wanted to teach that there are three things in agreement. There are three separate, powerful things that we have to have. Perhaps, some of us have only had the blood and only walk around with that kind of power in our lives. Then maybe some of us only have the water and walk around with that particular aspect in our lives. Some of us only emphasize the Spirit and so we hear God’s voice, but since we don’t have the cost of the water, we get off the narrow road every single time we hear the Spirit’s voice. The full message keeps us in line on the narrow road.

Matthew 3:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

Now if he who did not need baptism saw a need to be obedient to God’s testimony, then why would anyone dare think that he could excuse himself from this? Why would we think that we can leave out certain parts of the gospel call and still be preaching the truth?

Matthew 3:16 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 lighting on him.

Does it all come together at baptism? Yes. Is it a receiving of the water, the blood, and the Spirit all at once? Yes. It all comes together. This is where God has said, “This is what it means to follow me and how you receive my grace. This is where you get the power of the Holy Spirit.” You do not get it by going forward and just speaking in tongues and leave out the water and the blood. It should all come together at one time. They should not be three different events. We are not supposed to be laying hold of the blood and six weeks later laying hold of the water and then six months later laying hold of the Spirit. They are not different events that take place. They should all come together to have that new birth.

Mark 1:10 As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.

Heaven could not wait to pour forth its power. As Jesus was baptized and coming up out of the water, the Holy Spirit was tearing itself out of heaven to come down into his life. How powerless we leave people because we so minimize water baptism to mean nothing. Baptism is so full of power and glory that when you come up out of the water heaven is tearing its way open in order to pour new life into you. This is what we are to preach to people. This is how alive it is supposed to be. It is not something dead or dry that takes place in a man’s life. This is becoming a Christian. It all comes together as we are born again, heaven tears itself open to bring us to completion.

Mark 1:11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

People don’t hear this voice from God because they have to hear it from man. They have heard it in church or from church doctrine to feel justified by what they did. We are not telling them the full message, so they never hear it deep inside their hearts. They never hear God say, “You are forgiven.” We are telling them they are forgiven and showing them ink on paper that says they are forgiven. We are giving them the tracts saying this is how you become a Christian. We are informing them they are forgiven. They do not hear his voice or see heaven tear open. They do not hear him say, “You are now forgiven. You now have my grace and mercy.” They do not ever hear, “I love you.” We have so trivialized the way that people come to God. They do not hear his mercy call. They just do not hear God say, “I love you.” We are so content to just have one portion of it right. We make other people nice little Pharisees or Sadducees. Heaven is not tearing open and the voice is not speaking to them. They are missing the joy of heaven.

Ephesians 4:3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

What is the unity about? Do you notice it says make every effort? Make sure that we are all on the same page and have that bond of unity. Make sure we declare as one man the gospel of Jesus Christ. Make sure as one man we are standing in the temple courts saying, “This is the full message of what it means to come to Jesus Christ.” Make every effort to do so. If you have a question about it then go home and seek God. Examine the scriptures and find out what the message is. If you have some area that you are not too sure about, then go get crucified and hear from God what the full message is. Make every effort necessary to keep the bond of peace and unity. Every effort! This is not a minor thing. This is not something to discuss. This is not something open for argument. We need to know what the full message is. It is not toleration to allow people to present five different ways to come to Jesus Christ. The world has enough of that.

Ephesians 4:4-6 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Do we dare say that there is only one God? Only one understanding of who the body is? Or one faith in Jesus Christ? Why is it when we come to baptism we allow any manner of things to take place?

Ephesians 4:6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

There is as much power in the blood as there is in the water and Spirit.

Colossians 2:9-10 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.

How do we get the fullness of Jesus Christ? Where is the power coming from in my life that can overcome everything? What is it that allows me to say that I am a Christian?

Colossians 2:11 In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ,

How does Jesus Christ do the circumcision? What are the rules that have been set down?

Colossians 2:12 …having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

How can a man run around saying that he’s in Jesus Christ, and is dying to his sinful nature, but has avoided the baptism of Jesus Christ? That’s where the circumcision is done. It’s where the power takes place. It’s where the full message comes together.

Colossians 2:12 …having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God.

Again, it’s all by faith. What gives water baptism its power? Our faith in God. Our trust in what he will work as we go into the water and come up out of the water. It’s all a matter of faith. He forgave all our sins. Where does he say this takes place?

Colossians 2:13-14 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.

Do you see the fullness of the message that is preached? He talks first about the resurrection of Jesus Christ the Spirit. And then what does he talk about? Being buried in Jesus Christ, the water. And then he talks about the cost, which is the cross or the blood. The full message is preached everywhere on every page. It is not just water baptism, although water is a part of it. Being baptized in his blood is part of it. Being baptized in the Spirit is part of it. These three constitute the baptism of Jesus Christ.

Acts 8:26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.”

Oh, what if we’re out in the middle of the desert talking about God, What are we going to in that situation? God even knew that argument was going to come up a long time ago. That is why he took the time to add three little words, the desert road.

Acts 8:27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship…

He was a believer in God, was he not? He made the effort to go worship…

Acts 8:28 …and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet…

This guy is busy searching after God.

Acts 8:29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”

Phillip doesn’t say, “Oh my, he’s a believer so I’ll just leave him alone about the full message.”

Acts 8:30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked…

Let us too run with the full message, wherever we’re at.

Acts 8:31-33 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.”

What do we see here? The Spirit is leading Phillip. First there’s a discussion of the cross. You know where we’re going next, don’t you?

Acts 8:34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?”

He says, “Please.” This guy is hungry, is he not? What shall we do? Don’t waste your breath on people who do not say please. Don’t waste your time in sharing the gospel with people who do not say, “What shall I do?”

Acts 8:35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.

He’s a long way from the issue of baptism, since he’s reading in the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament. Yet what does the very next passage bring up? He began declaring the good news about Jesus Christ and what comes up next?

Acts 8:36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?”

Now how did we get from here to there? Phillip must have been explaining something to this man about the full message of Jesus Christ. And low and behold, we’re in the middle of the desert and there is water. Now, how did that happen? God is able to provide and work. He is able to make his people be in a place where they can be obedient. If we’re in the North Pole preaching the gospel and we can’t go down into the water because we’ll freeze to death, we will find a place and time and means to get it done. But we’re not in the North Pole, we’re right here in Enumclaw and it’s warm and there is water available. “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” Who is asking the question? Is it altar call time? Is it begging time? Is it saying, “Ok, who wants to accept Jesus Christ into their hearts, raise your hand?” They are just talking about the gospel and this man’s heart is convicted. He says, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?” He wasn’t going to let that water pass by him. That’s how important it had become to him. And so when I’m teaching people the full message, when I’m laying out the gospel call and I’ve explained to them the power of the water, they should be turning to me and saying, “Why can’t I be baptized right now? Where is the tub? Where can we get this done?” So if the Lord ever provides a building for us, what is one of the first things we’re going to build? Before we even pay the pastor, we’re going to have a baptismal. What joy would come to men if they would beg for the grace of God.

 

Acts 8:38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.

There is authority, determination and zeal in this man. Philip didn’t have to beg or plead with him. He didn’t have to say, “You need to do this just because it’s written down here.” The eunuch says, “Stop this chariot right now, we’re going to get this matter taken care of, immediately. I want this grace and mercy. I want the full message.” It says, “Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.” This is an immersion in Jesus Christ. That’s what baptism means anyway. But I don’t want to give you some Greek definition, even though I just gave it to you. In our hearts it’s not merely defined as being dipped and immersed. This is life. It means being buried with Jesus Christ and raised up out of the tomb with him. It is a circumcision of the heart and cleansing from sin. This is a pledge before God that says, “I will keep a good conscience before God.” That’s what water baptism means. It’s where I receive the Holy Spirit and the blood cleanses me. It is where I am born again. It’s not some dry meaning about “The word baptism means to dip.”

Acts 8:39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.

No wonder, heaven tears its way open to get to new believers. They hear the voice of the Lord themselves saying, “I love you.” They hear God himself pronounce, “You have received my mercy.” They hear the testimony of God in their heart. No longer do they believe the lie of telling themselves they are right with God or allowing some man to tell them. They know it because they have experienced it from him. They have the full message in the power of the Holy Spirit. I know few people who are allowed to go on their way rejoicing fully in what they have experienced in God because we have so minimized God’s gospel call. They do not see the cost or get to the place where they are broken therefore they do not understand the depth of the mercy that is being given to them. They do not understand the power of the cleansing water in their life or the power of the Holy Spirit in terms of his guidance. For too long we have preached portions of the full message and not the full message. This is what we take our stand on. This is what we declare in the temple court. All men, I repeat, all men must come to an obedience in this. These are the rules. You will not compete in any other way and win. If people call themselves a Christian, then they would accept this testimony with joy. If they do not accept it with joy, then they will receive the judgment that is due them. When I preach to people who have never come to Jesus Christ I want them to begin here. Only if I would have begun here and been told the full message instead of having had to learn it over a period of time. Let us not be so foolish. Remember, this is the elementary teaching. It’s baby stuff. If the baby stuff is this powerful and we can get past this, then how glorious the meat will be!

This transcription has been edited to a reader friendly format. Every effort has been made to be true to the speaker’s original message. Any mistranslations are unintentional.

 


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