The Significance Of John’s Baptism In Relation To The Kingdom And The Church -- By: Raymond L. Pratt

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 19:1 (Spring 1976)
Article: The Significance Of John’s Baptism In Relation To The Kingdom And The Church
Author: Raymond L. Pratt


The Significance Of John’s Baptism In Relation To The Kingdom And The Church

Raymond L. Pratt

Pillsbury Baptist Bible College Owatonna, Minnesota

Introduction

As one opens the pages of the New Testament and reads the Gospel of Matthew, he is confronted with the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. His genealogy and birth are clearly seen in the first two chapters, for He is the central personage in the New Testament. However, another man was needed to precede Him in order to announce His appearance. This man is identified as John the Baptist. John both preached and baptized (Mt. 3:1–6). The concept of preaching was not new but the practice of baptizing was new in God’s revelation.

In order to have a clear understanding of John’s ministry it is necessary to have an understanding of his baptism. A purpose of this study is to consider the aspects of John’s baptism in relation to the kingdom of heaven which he preached (Mt. 3:1). A second purpose is to show the relationship of John’s baptism to this present church age since baptism is practiced in this dispensation.

The first area of study will deal with the beginning of John’s ministry. This will cover the authority for his baptism and the relationship which it had to Jewish proselyte baptism. The next section will deal with the purpose of John’s baptism in relation to the Kingdom which he preached. The recipients of his baptism will be considered as part of this purpose. Also the relationship of John’s baptism to the manifestation of the Messiah will be noted. The purpose of John’s baptism in relation to the message of this age will also be studied. The primary purpose will be to show how John’s baptism provided a background for baptism as it is known and practiced today.

The study will be in the framework of Biblical Theology and will be on the basis of progressive revelation. The baptism of John appears as a new revelation and will be considered by the historico-grammatical method of interpretation. It will be an attempt to show what John’s baptism meant to the people of his own day.

Scripture quotations are taken from the American Standard Version of 1901.

The Beginning Of John’s Baptism

The promise of John’s coming was announced to his father Zacharias by an angel (Lk. 1:13). This announcement included not only the time of his birth but also the ministry that he would have in the nation Israel. “And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go befor...

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