Jentezen Franklin - It's Your Funeral, Enjoy It
Mark 1:9, “And it came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan, and immediately coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting, and the Spirit descended upon Him like a dove. Then a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.'” If we're not careful, we get to thinking that water baptism is something especially those of who have been baptized as something in our past that, you know, done that, been there, and got the t-shirt and that's great, and I'm excited for these people, but it really, you know, it's a memory. That's about all it is, and it's so much more than that. So much more important than that.
As a matter of fact, I believe that we're supposed to draw from the benefits of water baptism your whole life. There were three things that Jesus did and that happened to Jesus when He was baptized for you and I to understand that there are benefits, three of them, three great benefits from water baptism that are not ending when you get baptized, but you are to remind yourself of these three great truths your whole life. Jesus opened the way for blessings to be received through water baptism that you can draw on the rest of your life, and here they are, three. The Bible said when Jesus went into the water that the voice began to speak. The voice of God from heaven, an God said, “You are my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” A voice spoke. You know what else happened? The heavens were parted, and the Holy Spirit descended like a dove, and here's the three benefits that you are to continually receive from water baptism.
Number one. They're gonna put them up. All of them. Everybody read the first one out loud. Baptism provides an occasion for God's announcement to your soul. You see, when that voice spoke, God made an announcement about His Son Jesus. A divine seal of approval was proclaimed. God was speaking over His Son, and He said, “You are my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” The Father said you've well pleased me why? Because He was pleased with His Son's sinless state. As He was standing in that water the Father looked down, and the Bible is clear. Jesus was in a sinless state. He was tempted, but He had never sinned, and He's standing in that water, and the Father says I am so proud. I love you. You are my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. You're in a sinless state, and look at the humility that you're standing there in that water. You didn't have to do that. You did that in humility, and you're doing it in a sinless state. The Father's confirmation of the purity of His Son.
I'm preaching to people in this room, and I'm preaching to people at every campus and online. Something happened this week. There are many people. You did something. You thought something. You said something. Something happened that tore your life up, and now you feel like you failed the Lord. Maybe you did. We don't make light of sin. We believe in living holy and living clean, but the truth is there comes those times when we all fall short. We feel the deficiency of confidence because we failed the Lord. We feel drained because the joy of the Lord doesn't seem to be there because we feel rejected, we feel unworthy, and then we come to the waters of baptism, and God proclaims the same thing over you that He proclaimed over His Son standing in the Jordan River. He does not see you in your sin, but if you've been to the cross and then washed by the Blood, He sees you in a sinless state, and He pronounces and His voice booms over heaven. His voice booms over the powers of hell, and He says you are a person that I'm speaking over, and you are my beloved son, you are my beloved daughter, and today, not one day when you get in heaven, but today, I am well pleased with you.
We need to hear that. You might have messed up. You wish you could go back and redo some things, but the Father says I see you through Calvary in a sinless state. The Blood has washed you clean, and when you're standing in this water what I see is what I saw when I looked on my Son in the Jordan River, a sinless, beloved son or daughter of the Most High God in whom I am well pleased. Why don't you just turn to somebody around you and say God wants you to know He's well pleased with you today. If your sins are forgiven, you're in that equally true place. You are a sinless child of God. Let that resonate into your soul this morning when the enemy is trying to suffocate you with guilt, with condemnation, accusing you. You are God's child, and He is pleased with you.
The second thing that you are to continually draw the benefit of, baptism provides a setting for spiritual breakthrough in your circumstances. The Bible said that the heavens opened when Jesus was baptized. The word opened in Greek is shizo. It's the word from which we get a negative word, schizophrenic which means the tearing of the mind or the soul, but in this particular case it's used to describe when Jesus came out of the water that there was a tearing in the heavens. One translation said a tearing open into the invisible realm, and that is exactly what happens in water baptism. It suddenly something is supposed to happen in us that we see into the invisible realm not spooky and strange, but we see spiritual things. Our eyes of understanding are made wide open to the fact that I don't battle with flesh and blood, but I see into the invisible realm, and I see the enemy that comes to steal, kill, and destroy, and it's not flesh and blood, but it's the power of they enemy and they that be with us are more than they be with them.
When you understand that, when you understand that you have discernment into the invisible realm because now a whole new world has opened up to you. You don't see things like you saw it before. You don't live like you lived before. You don't want the things you used to want because the heavens have opened up, and you are part and a citizen of another world that is more real to you than this world. That's a powerful, supernatural thing, and you can get a breakthrough even in a baptism service here this morning in that area. And then lastly, baptism provides, everybody out loud, baptism provides a way to ceaseless overflow of the Holy Spirit in your life.
It's this amazing Verse that John 3 where he said, “He whom God sent He gave the Spirit without measure.” John was talking about Jesus, and He said He whom God sent, I notice that He had the Holy Spirit given to Him without measure, and then Jesus, 17 chapters later makes this statement to His disciples. He says, “Receive the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit that was on me, you receive the Holy Spirit,” and then He makes this powerful statement, “and as the Father sent me, so now I send you.” How did the Father send Him? With a measureless outflow of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit without measure. You have a limitless resource of the Holy Spirit that empowers you that comes upon you that is available to you. It's really amazing.
And what is going to happen is when I baptize these people, the Bible said that we're buried in baptism with Christ. When they go down into the water, it's their funeral. I told them in the first service it's your funeral. Enjoy it. The worst thing in the world that you can do when somebody dies is not bury the corpse, and some of you got saved two and three and five years ago, but you've never had the funeral and buried the old you. And the Blood of Jesus saved them while they were in Egypt, but the water is what separated them from Egypt and said that they will never return to the devil's territory because the water was between them and the devil's territory. There is something about burying the old you that is supernatural and powerful.
When people feel dirty inside, they usually wash outside. Pilate said I wash my hands. You know why he did that? He felt guilty inside, and he started washing his hands saying I don't, I won't have anything to do with crucifying Him even though he knew he was crucifying Him and okay with it, and he washed outside because he felt guilty inside. The Levitical priests would wash before they went into the presence of God. Listen to me. Here's what I'm trying to say, and I'm almost done. There is no such thing in the New Testament as an unbaptized Christian. There's not one person in the New Testament who called themself a disciple and Christian who was not baptized, immersed in water. Not one. The forefathers, the writers of the New Testament, the Apostle Paul, etc. would be astonished at how many Christians have never been baptized in water. It was not. Read church history.
There was no early church built that did not have baptism tanks where they baptized the people in water. It did not exist. Only in the modern church are these things happening, and it may be why we struggle so much with the old nature. Do it like God said do it. Repent and be baptized, every one of you. The word baptized means, it's baptizo in the Greek. Listen to this. It means to drench, to dip, to dunk, to deluge. It means to soak, to sink, to swamp, to saturate. I thought this was neat. Do you know that John the Baptist translated a baptizo, John the Dipper. That's literally what it means. John the Plunger. John the Soaker. And then Jesus had the same title, only He doesn't dip you and plunge you and soak you in water, but John said He who is coming after me, He shall be Jesus the Dipper in the Holy Ghost in Fire, the Saturator in the Holy Ghost in Fire. A continual without measure flow of the Holy Spirit.
Are you thankful for the power of the Holy Spirit? And it's without limit. I'm preaching myself happy. In Acts 8, the Ethiopian went down into the water and came out. There was no sprinkling. Not against. If that's how you grow up and what you grow up in, but when you see it in Scripture, do it like the Bible said. Well, I was baptized as a baby. Well, did you repent when you were a baby? Did you believe in your heart when you were a baby? Did you have a clear conscience when you were a baby? Because they are the three requirements for baptism: repent, believe, have a clear conscience with God, and be baptized.
In all due respect, we bring our babies to be dedicated like Jesus's model, “Give me the children. Suffer them. Let me bless them.” He spoke a blessing. That's the baby dedication. You can't baptize a baby. We don't baptize infants here. And I appreciate anything a parent wants to do to have the blessing of God on their life, so I'm not putting that down at all, but it's not in this Book. You can't really be baptized until you're old enough to believe, to repent, to believe in your heart, confess with your mouth, and know that your conscience has been cleansed, and you approach God excited about this place because the old you has passed away. And behold. All things are new. Are you ready? Are you ready to hear what only Jesus can do?
I want them to come on out, and we're gonna celebrate, and I say to you marching out, enjoy your funeral. I want you right now to just open up your heart, and let God speak to you through real life testimonies you're about to hear. As I mentioned at the opening of this telecast, we like to hear from people. We like to hear their stories. The Bible said we're overcomers by the blood of the Lamb, and the Word of our testimony. When we start telling people what Christ has done in our family, and in our life, it brings the power of God's grace to the forefront in our life like nothing else. If you need to know somebody cares about you, pick up that phone, dial the number on the screen, or send us and email. We will have a team that is praying for you. Now, let's go back into the service, and listen Got a fan base out there.
— New Beginnings? You're part of New Beginnings? Wonderful, wonderful. They're a noisy bunch. Pardon the noise, it's the sound of freedom. Amen. What's your name, and tell us a little bit about how you got here.
— My name is Jennifer Freeman. I spent the better part of the last twenty years in and out of addiction, but about a year ago I came to New Beginnings and thanks to God and the staff there I've completely turned my life around, and I couldn't be happier about it.
— Been clean how long?
— Two years. Two years, and I graduated Friday.
— You graduated this past Friday?
— I'm now a graduate, and I'm a staff member. I run the dorm with the mothers and children. And I just, God's done so much for me, I just want to give my life to Him and serve him.
— What would you say to people that are struggling that the enemy's telling them this is just who you are, and this is how it's gonna be, and you can't change?
— It's an absolute lie. You're who God says you are. You're who God says you are.
— And He's speaking over you. Think about that, you are my beloved daughter in your sinless state, cause of the cross, in whom I am well pleased. I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Anoint them with oil and heal them in Jesus' name. Fantastic. Here comes another winner from New Beginnings. And so, did you hear about the program? How'd you end up in the program?
— Actually, someone told me about the program. I've struggled with addiction you know, the better part of my life and I have suicide attempts, depression, and I just ended up at New Beginnings and they've changed my life. They've helped me.
— Had you ever, you know I talked about a few minutes ago the Heavens being opened, and like you see a spiritual side of things. Really, it's not enough just to come down and say Jesus save me, forgive me, and nothing happens. But when you really get saved the Heavens open up, don't they? When you went there did you begin to see who you were and why Christ wanted you free?
— I did, I remember I was on my knees at the cross and I was just surrendering everything that I had and I just knew that what I've dealt with, my main thing was abortions, and I never thought that I would ever be forgiven for something like that, and that, you know, but He can, and He has forgiven me for that, and I just...
— Powerful, powerful, powerful. I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Bless her, Lord. Bless her, Lord. Use her, Lord. Anoint her, Lord. And give us your name please.
— My name is Megan Taylor.
— Megan Taylor, and you're from New Beginnings?
— Yes, I'm from New Beginnings.
— Were you a graduate also?
— Um, no, I have three more months before I graduate, but yesterday was my year sober.
— One year. Everybody shout praise God! One year sober, after many years I assume.
— After eight years of addiction I was an IV user of meth, and I was into prostitution and I lost everything. I lost my son, I lost my family, and God is restoring that.
— I haven't got to see my son yet, but I know the promise that God has made me, and I will get to see him one day. And when he sees me again he's gonna find a changed person.
— I believe that. I feel that. You know, that's the beauty of this. It's your funeral. Enjoy it. You're burying all of that and when you come up we see who you really are, more importantly, God sees who you really are. And your light is shining. Can you see Jesus in this woman? Can you see Jesus in this woman? I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Lord restore what the enemy has taken in Jesus' mighty name. How you doing?
— I'm great.
— What's your name?
— Elton Johnson.
— Elton? How long have you been coming to Free Chapel?
— About two and a half months.
— Good. How'd you hear about the church?
— Actually, at a sober living place called We Are Living Proof. You know, we come here, and so that's how.
— You came with them and what happened?
— Well, you know, I battled with drugs and alcohol for like a majority of my life. Since 17 I've been to prison. I've sold a lot of drugs. I did a lot of drugs, and I never actually thought I could live life sober, but Jesus came and set me free.
— How long have you been sober?
— A little over three months. About three months.
— Three months. That's a great victory. That's a great victory. Praise God. Amen. Anything else you wanna say?
— I used to watch you on T.V., and I was like, man, I like this guy right here.
— Thank you for watching. Thank you so much.
— I never thought I'd be right here with you now. I'm blessed. I'm blessed.
— He's right here with me. This is a miracle I'm touching. We're proud of you. God's hand is on you. He's well pleased with you. Lord, in the name of Jesus, I thank you for this miracle, and I baptize him in the name of the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!