Nov 182017

Matthew 28:11-20

The Report of the Guard


11 While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place.

  • “While they were going…” v.8 “so they departed” – The Christian is always to be going – and as it shows in v. 9 Jesus will meet us along the way.
  • “Some of the guard” – who drew the short straw to have to go deliver the bad news? How would you like to be that guy?

12 And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers

  • What does scripture say about the love of money?

13 and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’

  • Is this not a tragedy? – they cannot accept the truth and will both deny and cover it up.
  • From an apologetics point, this does prove that the tomb was empty.
  • Think a
    bout this – they are asking the guards to take responsibility for what could be a capital crime. Compare this to the Philippian jailer who was ready to kill himself when he thought that the Apostle Paul had escaped his prison.
  • But it is funny that they must come in and confess that even though their job was to guard a dead body the lost him.

14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”

  • What is going to be told to the governor? That the guards were paid off or they were incompetent?

15 So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.

  • “And this story…” Which story? The Resurrection story? No, the “someone stole the body” story.
  • To which day = this day? The day Matthew is teaching – 33 to 67AD – for 34 yrs this story was going around – well it is still going around.

The Great Commission

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.

  • Now the 11 = Judas was already gone.
  • Galilee is in the north – the crucifixion took place in the south. They had to believe the women and travel. They went by the direction and the testimony of women.

17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.

  • Is the “they” in 17 referring only to the 11 of v 16 – or is “they” comprised of more? Did the women go?
  • How did they worship him? Compare to your puppy who comes and sits at your side, licks your hand – just because he knows that you love and provide for him. Even down to the ball he plays with.
  • “Some” = more than just Thomas.
  • At this point, what is there to doubt? This is why we are commanded not to forsake the assembly of ourselves together. We have all doubted at times, but we help each other overcome that doubt as God speaks and works through the church.
  • Not going to church is dangerous.

18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

  • How much is ALL authority?
  • Heaven and earth = All everywhere.
  • Jesus is the mighty king, our risen savior – victorious – crucified – and risen Lord gives us the great commission.

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

  • Go therefore – as you are going – along the way, to the post office, to the market, at your job etc – be making disciples.
  • A participle vs an imperative.
  • What is a disciple other than a Christian? How do you make Christians? Through both water baptism and teaching.
  • I have heard people try to make the distinction that you are first a believer and then you develop to a disciple. I don’t see how this is possible – it is usually brought up to get around the claim that Jesus is teaching baptismal regeneration… which he is.
  • This is also the institution of Christian baptism – and… the answer to “what about the thief on the cross?” He died before Jesus instituted Christian baptism.
  • Note that baptism is in the name of the trinity.
  • Important here is Jesus’ recognition of the trinity.

20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

  • What is ‘all that I have commanded’? Simply, be a Christian.

The End



  32 Responses to “The Weekend Word”

  1. Michael, I was with you here until the end, thinking, “Good stuff.”

    Then I saw the sentence where you claim that Jesus was teaching baptismal regeneration.


    Are you really saying this? Are you saying that baptism causes regeneration — that baptism causes the new birth?

    Perhaps I do not have the context in which to process the statement. I’d appreciate it if you could expound and clarify a bit.

    Thank you.

  2. Donner,

    These studies were done by MLD who is both a confessional Lutheran and a fine teacher.

    I’ll let him defend his teaching…but I really don’t have an issue with baptismal regeneration.

  3. OK Michael, thank you for your response.

    So you believe that the ACT of baptism causes a spiritually dead person to become a spiritually alive person?

    Or are you saying that regeneration may occur simultaneously with the act of baptism?

    Just trying to understand, not be critical.

  4. Hi Donner, good discussion points

    Let me touch on one of your points to begin. When one speaks of the ACT of baptism it is very important to identify who you think the actor is. If one believes that man is the main actor and he his doing the baptism – then no, no salvation / regeneration / conversion is taking place.
    However, if you believe that God is the main actor / mover in baptism and he is doing it for his purpose – then yes salvation / regeneration / conversion is taking place. So for clarification when you speak of the ACT of baptism, who do you identify as the mover?

    I really don’t understand why some people have difficulty with God using baptism to save people. All Christians believe that God uses physical means to save people – no one is save by just a spiritual happening – so why the problem with baptism?
    One NOTE – we identify baptism as the word of God mixed and applied with water.

    And to be clear – yes a spiritually dead person does become a spiritually alive person through baptism? Can I get an amen? 😉

  5. It would be interesting to have a thread on infant baptism… unless it went off the rails. The the theif on the cross wasn’t baptized. I had my kids baptized in the RCC out of respect for their Mexican family, yet I know those who were who deny Christ later. My mother, from a reformed Dutch background, used to baptize the remains of aborted babies when she started out in her nursing career (and she said that some were still moving on the waste bins which is sickening).

  6. Donner,

    The sects that hold to baptismal regeneration (Anglicans, Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Orthodox) all have different takes on what happens in baptism.
    There is even diversity among Anglicans on how they parse this, depending on where on the Anglican compass they fall.

    What they all agree on is that “something” happens…that God is taking action on His people.

    It’s beyond my scope to speak to all of that and I’m still studying to see where I’ll land.

  7. Cross posted with MLD.

    So it valid if my kids when older want to get baptized?

    I went to a Lutheran school for a while, but we didn’t get that deep.

  8. Victor,
    I answer the thief on the cross question in the article. He is an old covenant character and was not around at the time Jesus instituted new covenant baptism v. 19

  9. Victor – restate this — “So it valid if my kids when older want to get baptized? “

  10. Does it disrespect God?

  11. Victor – are you speaking of rebaptism?

  12. Yes. That would be the case. They were christened in the RCC, but we aren’t RCC.

    Would I say, “you don’t need to get rebaptized; you already were.”

    I was adopted at 2.4. It’s possible that I was baptized as an infant. In a weird sequence of events. My birth aunt saw us in a Lutheran Church when I was 4 or 5. My mother found this out second hand later. The church was in Sacramento, I was born in Stockton (50 miles seperated cities for non californians).

    I was baptized in the American River when I was 12, the full dunk, in a church that later affiliated with CC.

  13. Let me just say if someone said to me “I was baptized as a baby but I don’t remember it – should I be rebaptized?” I would say no and then explain to them what baptism is, and assure them that it has already been done for them and applied to them and the work is done.

  14. i know when i was saved, born again, regenerated, insert term of choice – water baptism came later… there are good arguments for salvation and baptism being 2 separate processes… i think an argument can be made for the Holy Spirit’s residency in one’s soul occurring at one’s baptism, but i don’t think that is the same as one’s own spiritual birth – but this teaching posted every week is Lutheran dogma of the Faith and i have learned a great deal here…
    baptize your babies, if you must, but then raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, because i’m quite sure that you haven’t presented them with a free ticket to Paradise… i don’t think most who baptize their infants believe that either, BTW

    New Victor, i met some wonderful Dutch Reform folk when i lived in the Seattle area, we bought out first home from a Dutch couple who came from Indonesia after the war, our daughters got a kick out the fact that their first pediatrician who’d come from Holland had lived in what was now their bedroom for a couple years and our wonderful dogs came from a kennel owned by a couple who had survived the concentration camps in Indonesia during WW2 – tough business people all, but honest and don’t get me started on the wonderful Christmas baked goods from the Dutch bakery… that marzipan filled Christmas ring yummm…

  15. Em, I don’t know why you would label this teaching a Lutheran dogma after Micheal has just listed others who teach the same? – Anglicans, Orthodox , the RCC -and there are others.

  16. Verse 19 says making a disciples entails two elements: baptizing and teaching. If both of those elements came only after the disciple is made, then what is left to make a disciple? Zilch.

    If you read Acts and the Epistles, you find that the early Church treated the Lord’s command literally.

  17. I left out the Church of Christ…probably forgot some others, too.
    I was listening to Albert Ammons and got lost in the boogie woogie…

  18. Jean, so those who are baptized yet reject the faith, only have half of it (I think I’m answering my own question here).

  19. Rejecting the faith means rejecting one’s baptism too. Because Baptism bestows promises. As MLD wrote earlier, Baptism is the Word added to water.

    And according to Ephesians, there is one Baptism. Therefore, there is no command nor any promises attached to a re-baptism. What’s called for is faith in the efficacy of what God promises in the one Baptism you received. This assumes the Baptism was Trinitarian.

  20. By Trinitarian, you mean in the name of The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit/Ghost, as Jesus commanded.

  21. Yes, Victor.

  22. I was pleasantly surprised to see this book by the late John Stott, on infant baptism. Though I haven’t read it, I’m inferring that he believed in infant baptism/baptismal regeneration, from the description of its contents.

  23. As Mormons we were encouraged to be baptized for the dead. They’ve gone back to the law. That’s why they build temples, have modern day prophets, worship angels and plan for godhood. Being baptized for the dead isn’t scriptural at all for goodness sake. If they want to find out who is really faithful they should have “circumcision for the dead!” God’s not looking for an apprentice. “He’s got the whole world in His hands”

    Men’s ordinances won’t work because everyone has to make a choice. Baptism is a beautiful outward statement of those watching that I had identified myself in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. I always felt that Pastor Chuck Smith didn’t hold me under long enough.

    Those that have passed have no second chance. And infants must be taught about their God and His sending the Son. “With the mouth one speaks unto salvation”

  24. i thought that i responded to #15 earlier, but forgot that i was on a browser that won’t post here…
    my reference @ #14 to Lutheran dogma was not targeting the baptism conversation as solely a Lutheran view, rather it was in reference to this series of teaching by MLD which IS Lutheran… yes, as Michael noted there are many churches who baptize their infants for salvation… i think that they all are adherents to a sprinkling ceremony rather than an immersion… babies can be safely immersed, but one would want very sterile water…

  25. Lee, we all agree that Pastor Chuck did not hold you under long enough. 🙂
    You see like a pretty bright guy – can you show me the passage in the scriptures that shows a person deciding on his own to be saved without being called? Why didn’t the rich young man just decide to be saved?

    About the reason for baptism, again can you show a passage that says baptism is to identify you as a Christian? If identity as a Christian Is what we are looking for, wouldn’t my bumper sticker be more effective? Perhaps 50 people saw me get baptized, but imagine how many have seen my “Jesus is my co pilot” bumper sticker going up and down the 405 freeway the past 35 years?

  26. MLD,

    Before you a engage Lew (not Lee) on Bible passages, we should probably first ask Lew which Books of the Bible he believes apply to the Church and Christians. Sadly, without agreement on the Bible itself (i.e., which parts apply), it would be difficult to have a fruitful discussion.

  27. Unfortunately,

    Because people don’t study history anymore or value tradition, we read things from Lew, which many of us thought was settled error in the 5th Century.

  28. I am sorry, but my phone auto corrected to Lee. As we are forbidden to mess with the phone gods, he will just need to change his name to Pastor Lee 🙂

  29. What about baptizing in the sense of inducting them into the Trinity?

  30. Richard H,
    Could you expand on that thought? I have not heard of being inducted into the Trinity by any method let alone baptism.

  31. Grateful for assisting in all your discussion over baptism. It’s really an easy concept. It’s ok to read Romans 6. It’s in the New Testament you know? Brian wouldn’t be mad.

    Pastor Lee 🙂

  32. It’s good to see Lew come to the baptismal regeneration side – citing Romans 6 as evidence he himself was brought from death to life in his baptism into Jesus.

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