And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem…
Last words of our Lord. Dispensation of John: baptised with water, not in.
I. JOHN'S USE OF WATER. Baptism.
1. A sign of universal pollution, from the womb. Repentance.
2. Acknowledgment of guilt, and need of pardon.
3. Acknowledgment of corruption, and need of holiness.
4. Profession of thirst after refreshing comfort.
5. Profession of helplessness. None baptised themselves.
6. Profession of cleansing the outside.
II. INSUFFICIENCY OF JOHN'S BAPTISM.
1. Material water cannot cleanse the soul.
2. It is not saving, witness Simon Magus. "You shall be baptised," etc.
3. The water flows off, dries up; the effect superficial.
4. The testimony of John himself: "I indeed."
5. The declaration of Christ in the text.
III. GENERAL NECESSITY OF THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST.
1. All tainted with original sin, must be born again.
2. All guilty, must be pardoned (chap. Romans 2. and Romans 10.).
3. All unholy, must be sanctified. Catechism (Romans 8.).
4. The corruption is spiritual and deep. Fire refines.
5. All are miserable, and need the Comforter and kingdom.
6. All helpless and Christless till then. "If any man," etc.
7. All are unfit for heaven and bliss, without love, melting — uniting.
8. Particular necessity for ministers:To preach the Word with power. To bear up under troubles and persecutions. To be directed into all truth, and to testify of Jesus, though not to work miracles and speak with tongues.
IV. THE SEASON. "Not many days hence." When prepared with prayer anal faith, united, in one accord and tried. The day is not fixed, that we may expect daily and yet not faint. Application —
1. Unconverted. Rest in no baptism, but that of the Holy Ghost and fire. Water baptism will condemn you alone.
2. John's disciples. Promised, the thing promised, the time. Oh, continue praying with one accord!
3. Believers. You want fresh baptism, till the Holy Ghost, which is grace, fill your soul.
Parallel VersesKJV: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.