In this episode, Chad and Keith discuss the role of baptism in discipleship and explain why Jesus tied it to the doctrine of the Trinity.
Intro (Keith): Welcome to the Kanakuk Institute podcast, where we continue to equip leaders with biblical skills for a lifetime of ministry.
Chad (00:15): Well welcome back to the Kanakuk Institute podcast, my name is Chad Hampsch and I am in studio with Keith Chancy today, and we are talking, we’re doing a series on discipleship and we have been looking at a key passage for us to understand as believers in regards to discipleship. It’s found in Matthew chapter 28 verses 19 and 20, and last time we were together, we really focused on two aspects, two key words from the text: (1) go, and the passionate desire for us as believers to go, and then the second thing we spent the majority of our time on is “What does it mean to make a disciple and how does that tie together with the idea of repentance?” And so, this afternoon, we’re going to spend a little bit of time talking about the next portion of the passage. And if you’re following along with us, the passage says, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,” and then it pivots and it says, “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” And so we’re going to focus on that portion of the text today. Keith, we are looking at this text that’s critical. It’s Jesus’ last words to his people before he ascends. Why does he take the time to reference baptism when he’s talking about the issue of discipleship?
Keith (01:28): You know, Chad, that’s a great question, and it’s so exciting just to think about that term baptism. You know, when I go to a baptism service at the church, or I go some place and they’re going to baptize somebody, the purpose of the baptism is that they have given their life to Christ and what we’re now doing is we’re giving an open profession for somebody to be at the water, and we put the old into the water and the new comes out. And so, we say, they have been baptized. The old is gone, the new has come, and we are so excited, and we celebrate that new life. And, you know, I think that what so many people do is they want this relationship with the Lord without understanding what Jesus has done. And that when Jesus died on the cross, his blood was given for us, that we were no longer the same person we were, but we’re a new creation. And in the new creation, that we are to live like that, and we are to begin to act like that. Not perfect, because we’ll never be perfect on this side of heaven, but everything that we do should be different. And that’s that picture of baptism. The reason Jesus was baptized was not because he was sinful, but because he was without sin. And because he was without sin, he knew what his mission was, that he was going to go to the cross, that he was going to die for the sins of the world, and that he was going to be resurrected and offer salvation to all who believe. And in that, we, the lost, the ones that didn’t know Christ, sinners, because of the blood, could have a new life, and that in that new life, our old would be gone and the new would come. So, when God said to Jesus in that baptism, “This is my Son in whom I am well pleased,” The reason that God was pleased with the Son, was because the Son was pleased to do the Father’s will. And in that, you just go, “What a great picture of us” being able to go, when we hear the father we want to hear one day, “Well done my good and faithful servant. And so you know, Chad, it’s amazing that word baptism, the old has gone, the new has come. We don’t have to be baptized to be saved, but because we are saved, we want to be baptized. What a beautiful picture.
Chad (03:41): That is so good, Keith, and specifically that he ties baptism to discipleship. So when we talk about being a disciple (we talked about it a little bit), but it means to be a follower of Jesus. What do you think Jesus is trying to do here in the book of Matthew, talking about, what you just mentioned about following the will of God, Jesus being obedient to the will of the Father? How does that directly tie to discipleship and our desire to follow the will of God and our desire to be obedient?
Keith (04:12): You know, Chad, that, once again, such a great question because, in my desire as a new believer, what 2 Corinthians 5 says is that, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation, the old is gone, and behold the new has come.” And so the old self, not that I’ll be a perfect man in the newness of Christ, there’s still sin, but I’m new because of Christ. I’m a new creation, and that my desire now, is to please the Father, and in that pleasing of the Father, I don’t want to revert back to what I used to do in my non-pleasing state. Sin is such a horrible thing, you know, I think the devil, when you understand that he is a deceiver, he’s a liar, and if he can make you believe that you’re bad enough and you’ve blown it bad enough, then he renders you useless. And so, what I’ve seen is a lot of people, they keep going back and they want to give their life to Christ again and again and again and we call that the “walk the isle experience,” because it’s such an emotional thing. But salvation is not an emotional thing. It is a factual thing that’s based upon the Word of God that says, “You’re a new creation, and the old has gone, the new has come, and you desire the things of God. There’s such a difference in the way that you live. Chad, let me just say it this way. When I was 17 years old, I had an experience where the guy that led me to Christ said, “Chancey, I want to identify your sin areas,” and my sin area was that I was angry with my dad and all these things I talked about in session 1. But he said, “Chancey, you need to know Christ.” He knew I was missing joy. He knew I was missing all the fruits of the Spirit: the love, the joy, the peace, the patience, the kindness, the goodness, the gentleness, the faithfulness, the self control. He knew it! He could see it in my face. He could see it in the way that I lived. But at 17 years old when I gave my life to Christ at that conference, I’m going to tell you something, the funny thing about that was, the guy that let me to Christ, Tommy Maxwell, He said, “Open your Bibles to the book of the Philippines.” And I mean, I just busted out, I go, “Even I know it’s Philippians!” This guy was not… He didn’t know his Bible that well, but what had happened to him is he had been transformed by God, and he was new. He didn’t have all the answers, and I think, Chad, that’s so important for us to understand. We think that we’re never going to disciple until we’re ready. And yet, you were ready the moment of salvation. And so the beauty of that is that you have a lot to say, you just need to get busy saying it. Your theology will work itself out, and that takes a period of time. That’s called sanctification. And so time, it’s on our side, but we may not know all the answers, and the best answer sometimes I need to say is, “I don’t know.” But discipleship is something that I do know that I need to be a part of. One, I need to be disciples, and two, I need to be discipling others.
Chad (07:01): You know, it’s interesting in our culture it seems like, there’s almost a… you have to educate yourself until you’re, it’s foolproof. And what I hear you saying, Keith, is when it comes to discipleship, once you get saved, it’s time for us to get in the game. And could it be messy? Certainly. Am I going to mess it up at times? Yes. But the instruction is for us to go and to make. And those are the words that Jesus, through Matthew, is really putting at the forefront for us as believers is to go and make. So again, we are working through Matthew 28 that says, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” So, a little bit interesting, and maybe just to the average reader, they go, “Okay, why bring in the Trinity?” And if you’re listening and you don’t know what the Trinity is, we see God as a triune God. That he is the Father, the Son, and the Spirit all at the same time. And here he talks about Baptism, this identifying with Christ in his death and also his resurrection, and he ties it blatantly to all three members of the Trinity. Can you offer us some insight? Why the connection of all three members of the Trinity when we talk about discipleship and baptism?
Keith (08:18): Wow, that’s a heavy thought right there. I tell you what, that’s a lot of theology within that, and the beauty of it is that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, all acting in different functions, with one another, yet each one has their purpose. When we look at the scriptures we see God was in creation, Jesus was in creation. But yet, God, seeing man’s sin, God had to become something different and that God being holy and he’s in heaven. He had to come to earth, and he came to earth in the form of a man. And being made in this man, he was without sin, a virgin-born man, without sin, that one day would fulfill what God had to have in the forgiveness of our sins, that he would die on the cross, his blood would be shed for our sins, but it wouldn’t stop there, the blood would be the offering, and yet Jesus would resurrect from the dead and he would be alive, offering to all people salvation. And in that death, he would give to man his Holy Spirit. Wow! I mean, I just can’t imagine, God, He knew it all. He wasn’t caught by surprise in his omnipotence of his power, his omniscience of his knowing, and his omnipresence and He’s always been here and always will be. He knew that something had to happen because of our decision in the garden. We sinned, not God. And in our sin, God took our place, and he died on the cross. And that to me is the most beautiful picture of this Triune that I could ever imagine and that I should have gone to the cross. I didn’t because Jesus went there. And so, therefore, I love him because of what he did, and he offered to me the greatest gift ever. It’s not a present like under the tree, it’s the presence of the Holy Spirit so that he gave to me that I get to celebrate every day of my life.
Chad (10:20): Wow, that is so good and I think we probably miss, often, when we see references to the Trinity in the Bible, of what God is really doing when he’s communicating that. I love that you tied the sovereignty of God and this unique plan for God to send down the Son, which I’m sure we’ll talk about at a later time, just all the wonderful pictures in the Old Testament of the Son, but there’s something unique going on here too because he ties discipleship and going and baptizing to the work of the Holy Spirit. Keith, as we close our time together today, I would love for us to end with a question on the work of the Holy Spirit. Specifically, what role does the Holy Spirit play for me as a believer when I think about being engaged in discipleship? For me personally, what is the Holy Spirit doing inside of me, and then how am I led by the Holy Spirit as I try to lead others in a discipleship relationship?
Keith (11:16): That’s, once again, such a great question that I love, because, when I became a new creation, I was filled immediately with the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit began to indwell within me, and I began to act differently. That’s the incredible part about the Holy Spirit, is that I no longer had a choice in the matter. I was filled with the Spirit. Fully filled, meaning I’m new, and my old thoughts, the old is gone, the new has come. Now, will I sin, yes, but it’s like this, Chad. If I’m fully filled can I ever not be filled with the Spirit? The answer is no, because I’m filled. But what I can do, it’s like if I went out to my garden hose, and I turn on the water, but yet, I kink the hose, is the water still there? Yes, it’s still there, but what has happened? There’s a kink. That’s what my sin does. It blocks my relationship with God, but he is still always there. I can’t function without him, but I can block him. He’s still there. And so, when I think about this, I go, “Chancy, when you walk by the Spirit, what do you do?” I no longer desire the things of the flesh unless I feed that flesh, and I can do that. I mean, I know the things that I… you know, when I played football, I wanted to gain a certain amount of yards, I wanted to catch a certain amount of catches, I knew what my goals were because that’s how I measured success as a football player. As a Christian, how do you measure success? You see, the measuring of success in my walk with Christ is that I want to be obedient to him, not because I’m a good person, because I’m no longer saved by works, I’m saved by what God did for me, his grace. And, I go, “I just want to love him!” Will I sin? Yes! But what do I have to help me? The Holy Spirit. He’s always there. He comforts me, he guides me, he convicts me, he is my strength, and there’s about 10 other things I could say about the Holy Spirit, about his part in all of this. In Acts 1:8 it says, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you’ll be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the outermost parts of the world, I have a power source. With Christ, his Holy Spirit in me, I have such an abundance of power and strength and the ability to say no to sin.
Chad (13:50): What a great place to end this podcast, to think about the fact that we have victory in Christ because of his death, but we’re not orphans. He has left the Holy Spirit with us. So, again, we are in the middle of Matthew 28, we’re looking at the great commission. This is part 2 of a 3 part series on the great commission, and we’ve looked at go, the responsibility for believers to go and to make disciples and how that idea is tied to repentance and reconciliation with relationships and today we looked at the idea of baptism, the idea of identifying with Christ in his death, his burial, and his resurrection, and the importance of understanding the Trinity, in that God has ordained all things, he has created all things, he sent his son to redeem us, but has left us with the gift of the Holy Spirit, so that we can walk in victory and comfort and obedience to Christ. Just like Christ did in obeying and following through on the will of God in baptism so we can do the same through the work of the Holy Spirit today in our life, so we hope you are encouraged today as we are reminded of these unbelievable truths. As we get into part 3 this next time, we’re going to talk about two more major things that come out of this passage and we’ll tie a bow around it and hope that as you go back and look at this passage in your own personal study, that you are encouraged, you’re challenged, and most importantly, you’re motivated to “Go therefore, and make disciples,” we’ll see you next time.