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By Curtis Pugh


            One man sent by God was absolutely unique: never another like him before or after. The Bible calls that man John the Baptist. He was called a Baptist because he was a Baptist – not a sprinkler or one who poured, but a Baptist – a dipper – for that is the meaning of the word. Consider these Scriptures:  “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John,” (John 1:6). Referring to Jesus Christ as the “Light” the Bible says about John: “He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light,” (John 1:8).

            He came “ make ready a people prepared for the Lord,” (Luke 1:17). There was never another like him for it was foretold that “...he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb,” (Luke 1:15). Think of all that means: God sovereignly filled John with the Spirit in his mother's womb! He never needed to be born again, but was regenerated while yet in his mother's womb!

            In order to “make ready a people prepared for the Lord” he was the first to preach the Gospel. Proof: “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” (Matthew 3:1-2). Compare this with “Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee... From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” (Matthew 4:12 & 17). John and Jesus preached the same message, but John preached it first.

            Not only did John preach the Gospel: he also was sent by God to institute baptism. John said, “...he that sent me to baptize with water...” (John 1:33). God has never sent anyone else to begin baptism. John's baptism is valid today! Jesus thought John's baptism so important that He walked sixty-odd miles from the clear waters of Galilee to be baptized by John in the Jordan River. We know John dipped or plunged converts in water because that is the meaning of the word “baptizo” in the Greek. (Our words baptize, baptism, Baptist are related to this word.) Besides that we read, “And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there...” (John 1:23). Only those who dip or plunge their converts in water need “much water.” Others may need only a little. “Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water,” (Matthew 3:16). He had to go down into the water before He could come up “out of the water”! Later when Philip baptized the Ethiopian we read, “And when they were come up out of the water...” (Acts 8:39). They both went down into the water and both came “up out of the water.” Do not ignore John the Baptist nor his message nor his baptism since it is the only baptism God ever sent a man to begin. It is the only baptism that Jesus or His disciples had!

Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726

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