FOUR GOSPEL ACCOUNTS
1. Why did the Lord see fit to tell about the live and times of Jesus in four different books by four different men?
2. I do not know the answer to this question. But I do know that each compliments and supplements the other, giving us a fuller and clearer account.
A. This is especially true concerning the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
3. But, in considering the four accounts, we want to pay special attention to what has come to be known as the great commission.
I. ALL FOUR, MATTHEW, MARK, LUKE, AND JOHN GIVE ACCOUNTS OF THIS COMMISSION.
A. Matthew's account reads as follows: Matt. 28:18-20.
B. Mark's account states it this way: Mk. 16:15,16.
C. Luke speaks in this fashion: Lk. 24:46,47.
D. John tells it like this: Jno. 20:21-23.
II. WHEN ALL OF THESE ACCOUNTS ARE CONSIDERED TOGETHER, THEY GIVE US THIS FULL, CLEAR, AND PRECISE INFORMATION WITH REGARD TO THE GREAT COMMISSION:
A. "Go ye therefore, beginning at Jerusalem, into all the world, preaching and teaching, the gospel, repentance and remission, forgiveness, of sins, to the whole creation in every nation or in all nations, in His name, he that believeth and repents and is baptized, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, shall be saved, have remission and forgiveness of sins, but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned, shall have his sins retained, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."
III. I FEEL ASSURED, THAT UP UNTIL THIS POINT, ALL WOULD HAVE AGREED WITH WHAT I HAVE SAID.
A. But whenever I begin to consider these elements, of the great commission, one by one, how long do you think this agreement will hold out?
1. Well, let us just try to find out.
B. Jesus said: "...Except ye believe that I am he, ye shall die in your sins." Jno. 8:24. Also read: Jno. 3:16; Acts l6:31; Heb. 11:6.
1. No disagreement thusfar.
C. Jesus also said: "I tell you, Nay: but except ye repent, ye shall all in like manner perish." Lk. 13:3; Also read: Acts 17:30;2 Pet. 3:9.
1. No disagreements at this point.
D. Jesus also said: "Everyone there who shall confess me before men, him will I confess before my Father who is in heaven." Matt. 10:32,33. Also Read: Acts 8:37; Rom. 10:9,10.
1. No disagreement yet.
E. But the same Jesus that said all the foregoing things, concerning the gospel plan of salvation, also said: "Go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." Matt. 28:19. Also Read: Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16.
1. Lo and behold! We have much disagreement here. Why?
2. I don't really know why, do you?
F. Of course, there are other things in the Bible that people object to.
1. People object to preaching on giving. Even brethren in Christ. 1 Cor. 16:1,2.
a. A couple of weeks of good strong preaching on giving will dry up most any congregation.
b. Why is this so? Certainly people can't believe that God needs them or anything that they have in order for Him to survive.
c. For what purpose should we give then?
2. People object to taking the Lord's Supper every first day of every week. Acts 20:7.
a. One preacher referred to the bread as the "Holy Cracker."
3. People object to baptism in the same way, with mockery and snide remarks bordering on blasphemy.
a. They refer to us that are baptized for the remission of sins, as "Water-soaked Fanatics."
b. One preacher said: "You can be baptized until you know every minnow in the creek by name, and it won't do you any good."
IV. BAPTISM IS SOMEWHAT UNIQUE AND ODD AS AN ELEMENT IN THE PLAN OF SALVATION OR THE GREAT COMMISSION.
A. It is to be done only one time.
1. One repents many times. 1 Jno. 2:1,2; Jas. 5:16,19,20.
2. We are to give every week on a regular basis. 1 Cor. 16:1,2.
3. We are to partake of the Lord's Supper every week on a regular basis. Acts 20: 7.
4. We are to be stedfast and unceasing in prayer. Acts 2:42.
a. Baptism cannot take the place of repentance, even though some brethren seem to think so.
b. There are degrees of faith, little, great, weak, etc. but not baptism.
1) You are either baptized or you are not.
2) Sprinkling and pouring will not suffice, because baptism, by the very definition of the word, means a burial, immersion. Rom. 6:3,4.
B. Baptism is certainly not something that would be done if it was left up to human reasoning.
1. Naaman could see no need in dipping seven times in the Jordan river. 2 Kgs. 5.
2. Gideon, no doubt, could see no reason for reducing his army from 32,000 to 300 and then sending them out to fight overwhelming thousands of Amalekites and Midianites. Judges 7.
C. But yet, many notable, and some not so notable, people were baptized.
1. Jesus, for instance, walked from 65 to 85 miles to be baptized of John in Jordan.
2. The Philippian jailor and his family were baptized at midnight. Acts 16:25-34.
3. People from Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about the Jordan, went out to be baptized of John. Matt. 3:5,6.
D. Baptism begins a new life for us. 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Rom. 6:1-11; Titus 3:3-8.
E. Baptism saves us from past sins. 1 Pet. 3:21; Mk. 16:16.
F. Baptism is the door through which we enter the kingdom of God. Jno. 3:3-5.
G. Baptism is the means by which we enter into Christ. Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Cor. 12:13.
H. Baptism puts us into contact with he blessings of God in Christ. Eph. 1:3.
I. It is one of the ways that we show our need for God and His mercy.
1. No, God does not need us nor ours. Psa. 50:10-12.
a. We are told of a tragic shipwreck that happened in one of our Great Lakes. Over 300 people lost their lives. A man from the shore, that saw the great tragedy, swam back and forth from shore to ship bringing people to safety. He swam the boisterous waters until he fell with deep exhaustion upon the shore. His exhaustion was so great until he was parmanently paralyzed from the waist down. On his 80th birthday, when he was asked what was the most remembered thing about that tragic day many years ago, he said, "Of the 17 people that I brought to safety that day, not one of them even thanked me." Lk. 17:11-19.
V. WHY IS IT THEN THAT WE SHOULD BE BAPTIZED?
A. Because God has commanded it, and we certainly ought to be thankful enough for what He has done for us that we would hasten without delay, to do His will in whatever He commands us to do.
1. Have you been baptized into Christ for the remission of your sins?
2. If not, why not?
By Jim Sasser
Return to Jim Sasser's Outlines page
Return to the Sermon Outlines page
Home / Bible studies / Bible Survey / Special Studies / General Articles / Non-Bible Articles / Sermons / Sermon Outlines / Links / Questions and Answers / What Saith The Scriptures /Daily Devotional / Correspondence Courses / What is the Church of Christ / Book: Christian Growth / Website Policy / E-mail / About Me /