2 Nephi 31

2 Nephi 31: Baptism is Essential

                Nephi explains why baptism is so essential in the Gospel of Jesus Christ;

“…if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!” (2 Nephi 31:5)

If Jesus Christ, being perfect was baptized, how much more are we in need of baptism? Jesus Christ did not have to be baptized, but He did so, to show; “…the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments.” (2 Nephi 31:7)

After Jesus Christ was baptized, the dove descended upon Him as a representation of the Holy Ghost and His willingness to follow the Commandments. Jesus Christ set the example, and those who believe in Him will follow in His footsteps.

 “…He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.” (2 Nephi 31:12)

The Gift of the Holy Ghost is promised to those who follow Jesus Christ and are baptized in His name.

“…if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.” (2 Nephi 31:13)

Here in verse 13, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is outlined… first we must follow Him with full purpose of heart, without hypocrisy. We need to have FAITH, we then need to REPENT of our sins and be BAPTIZED in His name. After having been faithful and baptized in His name we will receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the Laying on of Hands and then the last step is completely up to us… the ENDURE and follow Him throughout our lives, repenting anytime we fall short.

Are we saved by Faith alone? Absolutely not! We must endure to the end and always follow the commandments of God. Nephi explains how just faith and baptism is only the first steps in Salvation….

“…. [after baptism] ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.” (2 Nephi 31:20)

We need to understand that after we have faith in Jesus Christ, we need to abound in good works by keeping the commandments. Good works alone will not grant anyone salvation, but faith without works is dead. Faith requires action.

Nephi reminds us that only through Jesus Christ can we be saved; “And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.” (2 Nephi 31:21)

 

Luke 3

Luke 3: Baptism of Jesus

                In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, the word of the Lord came unto John in the wilderness. John departed from the wilderness and went to Jordan, where he preached “…baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;” (Luke 3:3) John cried out to the people and said; “…Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight…” (Luke 3:4) There came one man who wished to be baptized, yet John must have found him not worthy or lacking in repentance, because he tells the man; “…O generations of vipers…. Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance…” (Luke 3:8) John explains that everyone who does not bring forth the fruit of repentance will be like a bad tree, which will be cut down and tossed aside.

What are fruits worthy of Repentance?

In order to be baptized, one must first find Faith in Jesus Christ, Second Repent of those things not in alignment with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, meaning that you must follow ALL of God’s commandments. It is not just enough to believe in Jesus Christ, for if one truly believes in Him, and accepts Jesus as their personal Savior, then that same person will want to make their life like His, and follow in His footsteps. Third, that person can receive a baptism, for the remission of those sins. But that baptism needs to be done with the proper authority. Why do you think people came to John? It is because John had the Authority given to him. Finally after baptism you can receive the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of hands, again by someone who has the Authority to do so.

Many people who have gathered to be baptized of John ask him, how they can be baptized for a remission of their own sins. John explains that they need to give freely of themselves and their time, talents and wealth.

“…He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none….” (Luke 3:11)

                “…Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.” (Luke 3:14)

The people were astonished by John’s words, but he reassured them that he was only a man; “…I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” (Luke 3:16)

                John then rebukes Herod for marrying Herodias, who was Phillips wife and for all the evils which Herod had done, including putting John into jail.

Jesus then comes to be baptized of John; “…the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:21-22) Jesus was about 30 years old when He was baptized.  Jesus was baptized at a later age to help us understand that baptism should be done at an age of accountability. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that age of accountability has been decided through revelation of being eight years old. Baptizing before that age is a mockery before God.

The Genealogy of Jesus Christ is given, however it differs from the genealogy given by Matthew, giving his actual lineage through Mary, instead of his legal lineage through Joseph.

Lineage of Jesus Christ:

  • Joseph was the son of Heli
    • Heli was the son of Matthat
      • Matthat was the son of Levi
        • Levi was the son of Melchi
          • Melchi was the son of Janna
            • Janna was the son of Joseph
  • Joseph was the son of Mattathias
    • Mattathias was the son of Amos
      • Amos was the son of Naum
        • Naum was the son of Esli
          • Esli was the son of Nagge
            • Nagge was the son of Maath
  • Maath was the son of Mattathias
    • Mattathias was the son of Semei
      • Semei was the son of Joseph
        • Joseph was the son of Juda
          • Juda was the son of Joanna
            • Joanna was the son of Rhesa
  • Rhesa was the son of Zorobabel
    • Zorobabel was the son of Salathiel
      • Salathiel was the son of Neri
  • Neri was the son of Melchi
    • Melchi was the son of Addi
      • Addi was the son of Cosam
      • Cosam was the son of Elmodam
        • Elmodam was the son of Er
          • Er was the son of Jose
            • Jose was the son of Eliezer
              • Eliezer was the son of Jorim
                • Jorim was the son of Matthat
                • Matthat was the son of Levi
                  • Levi was the son of Simeon
                    • Simeon was the son of Juda
                      • Judas was the son of Joseph
                        • Joseph was the son of Jonan
                          • Jonan was the son of Eliamkim
  • Eliamkin was the son of Melea
    • Melea was the son of Menan
      • Menan was the son of Mattatha
        • Mattatha was the son of Nathan
          • Nathan was the son of David
            • David was the son of Jesse
  • Jesse was the son of Obed
    • Obed was the son of Booz
      • Booz was the son of Salmon
        • Salmon was the son of Naasson
          • Naasson was the son of Aminadab
            • Aminadab was the son of Aram
  • Aram was the son of Esrom
    • Esrom was the son of Phares
      • Phares was the son of Juda
        • Juda was the son of Jacob
          • Jacob was the son of Isaac
            • Isaac was the son of Abraham
  • Abraham was the son of Thara
    • Thara was the son of Nachor
      • Nachor was the son of Saruch
        • Saruch was the son of Ragau
          • Ragau was the son of Phalec
            • Phalec was the son of Heber
  • Heber was the son of Sala
    • Sala was the son of Cainan
      • Cainan was the son of Arphaxad
        • Arphaxad was the son of Sem
          • Sem was the son of Noe
            • Noe was the son of Lamech
  • Lamech was the son of Mathusala
    • Mathusala was the son of Enoch
      • Enoch was the son of Jared
        • Jared was the son of Maleleel
          • Maleleel was the son of Cainan
            • Cainan was the son of Enos
  • Enos was the sons of Seth
    • Seth was the son of Adam
      • Adam was the son of God.