A CITY IMMERSED: Compelled By Love

Our introduction to the Gospels and the ministry of Jesus is initiated in Matthew 3 with an essential moment that all four Gospels reference:

Matthew 3:11–17 (ESV)

11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

John The Baptist proclaims three baptisms:

  • A baptism in water.
  • A baptism in spirit.
  • A baptism in fire.

If we desire to see a city immersed, we must become a people immersed.

Baptism – to dip in water, under water, immersion with the purpose to wash, purify, or cleanse.*

It’s not baptized until its been fully immersed.

#1 The first Baptism in water is a call to…Declare WAR on gradualism.

Water Baptism stands as a spiritual emancipation proclamation for believers.

Romans 6:3–11 (ESV)

3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

The two Powerful Statements of Baptism:



John said, “I baptize you with water for repentance” (vs. 11).

“Baptize” = *Immersion in water.*

“Repentance” = a change of mind that results in a new way of living.

QUESTION: What did Jesus need to REPENT for?

Jesus’ Baptism was a declaration of war on gradualism!

“Jesus says let the dead bury their own dead but you go proclaim the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:57-62).

“No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:16-22).

“So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up (renounce) all his own possessions.” (Luke 14:33).

Jesus declared war on gradualism, and so should we. Our war on gradualism must begin today, refusing to adhere our souls to the fallacy that the fully surrendered life is something we are meant to one day attain by progressively giving ourselves over to Him.

#2 The second Baptism in spirit is a call to…Embrace our divine COMMISSION.

“But he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (vs. 11).

What is the purpose of having been fully immersed in the spirit?

– Power to LIVE the LIFE of Christ.

– Power to FULFILL the CALL of CHRIST.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19a).

“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” (Mark 9:23).

#3 The third Baptism in fire is a call to…Redeem the TIME.

“But he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (vs. 11).

What is Baptism in FIRE?

Malachi 3:1

“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord.

What does the refiner’s fire reveal?

– That which is WORTHY and that which is WORTHLESS.

The average American enjoys more than 4-6 hours of free time each day.

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:16).

– redeem “exagorázō” – to “buy the time”, i.e., make a ransom payment; figuratively, to rescue from loss; redeem.

– time= “kairos” – a moment in time