“Born of water” (Part 5)

“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” (Mk.1:1)

“Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.” (Mk.1:2, quoting the Prophet Malachi in 3:1)

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight.” (Mk.1:3, quoting the Prophet Isaiah in 40:3)

The Prophets prophesied that John the Baptist would prepare the way of the Lord Jesus Christ. They also prophesied that he would be crying (preaching) a message. The message would have to do with “preparing” oneself before one comes to the Lord to receive remission of sins. This message also had to do with “making his paths straight”.

In part 3, we looked at some key words that helped us understand this message. We found out that the key word “prepare” means “to turn”. The word “turn” means “to turn back, turn away” etc. And what brought all this to light was finding out that it is the same meaning as the word “repent”.

This here unlocks the door which leads into understanding what must take place first, before one is “born of water”. Bare in mind, that we also found out that the word “born” here means, “to regenerate”. Regeneration means “rebirth”.

Besides “preparing”, John the Baptist was to “cry”, “make His paths straight”. We found out that the word “straight” here has to do with “make right”. It’s the same as the word, “righteous”.

So, let’s get to the heart of the matter. When John appeared on the seen before Christ, what was his message? Lets go to all four of the Gospels and take a look.

Matthew’s account reads like this:  “In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (3:1-2)

Mark’s account is: “John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins”. (1:4)  It is also very interesting to note that Mark starts out with, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God”. Then he refers to the Prophets as to the coming of John. I believe the word “beginning” here, fits into everything that we have studied thus far.

Luke says, “And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins”. (3:3)

The Apostle John’s account has to do with him being questioned by the Jewish priests and Levites. They ask him, “Who are you?”. John told them that he was not the Christ, and went on and said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord”. (1:23)

This “baptism of repentance” for the remission of sins, had to do with preparing oneself first, before confessing one’s sins as they were being immersed in water. The first message was to “repent”. Why? Because the kingdom of heaven was at hand. If we understand this in the order that Jesus taught in John chapter 3, it would mean that first you would have to repent before “understanding” and also “entering” the kingdom. Repentance would be first necessary before being “born again”, which is being born of “water and spirit”.

John the Baptist was sent to lay the foundation of being born again, and it would have to do with repenting. So we certainly understand just like he said, “I am not the Christ”, but we must not put him in a box, wrap him with mothballs and stick him in the attic, so to speak. Everything that John the Baptist was about was necessary. Was he only sent to point the way to Christ? Was he sent only to say that there was one coming that was greater than himself? If these were the only reasons for his arrival, why than was all this “baptizing” necessary? What about the prophets and what they prophesied? What about his message? Was it only John the Baptist that preached “repentance?”

Jesus, our supreme example, in his first time out preaching, said what? “From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt.4:17). How about Mark’s account? “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:14-15). Can you see what is the “forerunner” to the Gospel is?

I won’t take a lot of time here, but the Apostles also preached “repentance”. When Jesus sent out the “twelve”, after he gave them instructions, they “went out and preached that people should repent.” Then they casted out demons and healed people. (Mk.6:12-13). Peter, in the book of Acts was preaching repentance first off, (Acts 2:38, 3:19, 8:22). The Apostle Paul said that God “commands all men to repent” (Acts 17:30). When he was testifying to King Agrippa, he said that basically, he declared to everyone that they should repent. (Acts 26:19-20).

Not only were the Apostles commanded to preach repentance, but we are also commanded. And where might that be found? Your right, it’s found in Luke 24:47. The Aramaic translation says, “and that repentance for the remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations,”. Repentance is the door before the receiving of the forgiveness of sins. And just like Jesus and the Apostles did, it should be preached as the prelude to being born again and entering the kingdom of God. John the Baptist was no mistake. What he brought us was to be taught and used throughout all generations. It was God’s plan then and now. It has never changed. Without it, there is no true salvation. It’s the only way back. It’s the door.

Just a quick reminder on what “repent” and “repentance” means. There are a lot of misconceptions out there. The word “repent” in Hebrew means, ” to be sorry, or rue” . This word “rue” means, “to feel penitence, remorse, or regret for, to feel sorrow. In the Greek, the word repent means, “to think differently, or afterwards, ie reconsider. Morley, it means, “feel compunction. This word means, “to prick hard, sting, anxiety arising from the awareness of guilt, or awareness of conscience”.

So, when the Gospel is going out in the Spirit, the Spirit will convict of sin. Then, it is up to the individual to own up to the fact of their sins, then to be sorry for the offences that they have committed against God their creator. Also, to be sorry, feel remorse for them, then desire to turn from them. After this process, God knowing the heart of the individual, grants the ability to repent, which is “repentance”. It is the process, or the working out of one having repented.

So, when Jesus was talking to Nicodemus in John 3, and he said that one must be “born of water”, he was referring back to the forerunner, John the Baptist. He taught and preached on a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Things should not change today. Only after repentance is one ready to be baptized in water. This is why it is vital that “fruits of repentance” be brought forth first.

After the initial repentance of sins, one is to be water baptized. This is the outward act of cleansing that symbolizes the inward act of regeneration. Remember in part 2, where we talked about the “water?” The washing of regeneration is finalized with a demonstration of a baptism of water. This completes the “born of water” process.

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6 Responses to ““Born of water” (Part 5)”

  1. Frederick Tuffin Says:

    I couldn’t currently have asked for a more rewarding blog. You happen to be always at hand to supply excellent assistance, going directly to the point for straightforward understanding of your target audience. You’re truly a terrific specialist in this field. Thanks for being there for folks like me.

  2. kyle Says:

    yeah nice

  3. Richard Says:

    Frederick,
    Glad that you have been blessed by it brother!
    Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Richard Says:

    Kyle,
    Thanks brother!
    Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Stella Young Says:

    AMEN BROTHER – YOU NAILED IT. ENJOYED YOUR OVERVIEW.

  6. Richard Says:

    Stella,
    Bless the name of Jesus! and glad you were blessed!

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