Everett Baptist Church
July 25, 2021 AM Service
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  • He is Exalted
      • 1 Chronicles 29:11KJV1900

  • The Lily of the Valley
      • Song of Solomon 2:1KJV1900

  • My Jesus, I Love Thee
      • 1 John 4:19KJV1900

  • Come Just as You Are
      • Revelation 22:17KJV1900

  • When I hear the phrase “Water Warfare,” I am immediately transported to the sweltering summers of my childhood when we would break out our biggest, baddest Super Soakers and water pistols and wage water warfare on all the neighboring kids in our cul-de-sac and those around the block. There was never really a winner, but it was always fun and--the best part--cool!
    Today, however, I do not think of Super Soakers when I think of Water Warfare, unless it involves a mid-pandemic priest squirting Holy Water with one. (see picture)
    Within the Christian church there are many ordinances, some of which are not observed by all denominations, but all of them observe some form of these two: baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
    I want to be sure to give credit where credit is due, so i will mention that a few weeks back, I was reading a book by Dr. Michael Heiser, who has served Faithlife (the parent company of Logos Bible Software) as their Scholar-in-Residence for many years. One chapter of his book, The Unseen Realm, sparked an idea regarding these two ordinances which led to this sermon as well as the one for this evening.
    This morning, we will look at the ordinance of baptism (water warfare), and tonight we will look at the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper (wafer warfare), both as a means of spiritual warfare.
    We will first begin by looking at some examples of baptism throughout Scripture in reverse chronological order, starting with Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist. Then, we will look at a passage in the 1 Peter 3 that contains some language that you might miss at first glance which carries significance in our war which is not against the flesh but against the spirits.

    Baptism Throughout the Bible

    Jesus and John the Baptist

    Luke 3:21–22 KJV 1900
    21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, 22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
    Jesus sought out John the baptist to be baptized. We will come back to the significance of this later. Now, let us look in Exodus to see an example given with Israel.

    Israel Crossing the Jordan

    Joshua 3:17 KJV 1900
    17 And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.
    Exodus 14:15–31 (KJV 1900)
    15 And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: 16 But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea....
    21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left....
    30 Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. 31 And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses.
    Israel, led by Moses and enabled by God, left Egypt, freeing themselves from the oppressive bonds of slavery. They make it to the Red Sea only to be cornered by the Egyptians sent by Pharaoh. Of course, they panic, but God has other plans. God instructs Moses to raise his staff and lead the people through the Red Sea, which will be parted so that they may cross on dry land. After they cross, the water falls down upon the Egyptians who had begun to pursue them through the gap.

    Moses in the Nile

    Exodus 2:3–4 KJV 1900
    3 And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink. 4 And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.
    In loving desperation, Moses’ mother placed him in a basket to float down the Nile in hopes of him being spared from the surety of death at the hands of the Egyptians. The basket served as his water vessel of deliverance (more on this in a moment).

    Noah and the Ark

    Genesis 6:5 KJV 1900
    And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
    Genesis 6:14 (KJV 1900)
    14 Make thee an ark...
    Genesis 6:22 KJV 1900
    Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
    Noah and his family were taken through the flood inside the the Ark, which Noah chose to build in obedience to God over the course of 120 years as he proclaimed the ensuing calamity to the people around him. The ark (same word as used in Exodus to describe the basket of Moses) surely endured waves crashing over itself while it delivered its precious cargo through the onslaught.

    Baptism as Spiritual Warfare

    1 Peter 3:18–20 KJV 1900
    18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
    1 Peter 3:21 (KJV 1900)
    21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
    1 Peter 3:21 (ESV)
    21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
    1 Peter 3:22 KJV 1900
    22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

    To Make a Pledge

    What’s in a pledge?
    Pledges require a choice to be made for or against something. Moreover, pledges might even be thought of as oaths to be taken.
    Isaiah 45:23 KJV 1900
    23 I have sworn by myself, The word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, Every tongue shall swear.
    Pledge of Allegiance (to the flag)
    I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
    Boy Scout Oath
    On my honor, I will do my best, To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.
    Romans 10:9–10 KJV 1900
    9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
    This passage gives us a reference as to what we as Christians ought to pledge.

    Disposition of Loyalty

    Conscience, as it is most often rendered in the English translations, is better understood not as the small voice in your head telling you what right and wrong is but as one’s “attentiveness to obligation or conscientiousness.” In other words, it is how one displays his loyalty to one party or another.
    Jesus displayed his loyalty to his Father by being faithful to the end:
    Luke 22:42–44 KJV 1900
    42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
    Jesus made a request for his duty to be changed, but he remained faithful even in the face of not being spared the torment of the cross.

    Choosing a Side

    We Christians must choose a side. Regardless of whether someone is a Christian or not, all people must choose a side to place their allegiance, and, more than their allegiance, but their life. Without giving their life to Christ, there is nothing left beside eternal damnation and fire.
    John 3:18 KJV 1900
    18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
    Let me ask you this, church: Do you believe in the name of the only begotten Son of God?
    Luke 14:26 KJV 1900
    26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
    Church, we must choose a side. Do we hate our own life in comparison to our love of Christ?
    If you have decided to follow Jesus in your life, you should be baptized so as to make your public profession of choosing the side of Jesus. Once you choose Jesus, expect there to be opposition from both the physical and spiritual world.
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