Sunday, April 14, 2019

Water Baptism

There are some comments and teaching in the audio not contained in the notes below.

Water Baptism

Baptists baptize believers – by submersion. We're in the minority. Denominations that practice "infant baptism" include Roman Catholics, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, some Nazarenes, the United Church of Christ (UCC), Moravian Church, Metropolitan Community Church, Wesleyans, and Episcopalians. There are some who believe baptism is salvific – Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, and those who hold to Federal Vision.

Baptists used to be called “people of the book,” resting on the sure foundation of Scripture and submitting to the authority of Scripture. If we are not tenacious in this matter, we are vulnerable to smooth sounding arguments that end up becoming traditions that cannot be questioned. Just as has happened for those who sprinkle little ones. I do not want to spend much time explaining why the paedobaptist view on baptism is wrong, I will appeal to a few of their finest theologians to tells us they are wrong.

John Calvin: “John and Christ administered baptism totins corpore submersione, by the submission of the whole body … The very word 'baptize' … signifies to immerse entirely, and it is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church.”

Martin Luther: “The Greek word baptizo means 'immerse' or 'plunge', and the word baptisma means immersion.”

Ulrich Zwingli: “Immersion of the whole body was used from the beginning, which expresses the force of the word 'baptize', whence John baptized in the river. It was afterward changed into sprinkling, though it is uncertain when or by whom.”

And the great B.B.Warfield: “It is true that there is no express command to baptize infants in the New Testament, no express record of the baptism of infants, and no passages so stringently implying it that we must infer from them that infants were baptized.”

These four giants of the Reformation and the development of Presbyterian theology unabashedly tell us their position is not based on the Scriptures. It’s what I call “white space theology” – derived from the spaces between the words in the Word; what they call "good and necessary inference." When did this great controversy over baptism start? If believers' baptism is what the Bible teaches, why and when did people start baptizing babies? History records the creeping ignorance and superstition that led to this practice and the religion which institutionalized it. In the 3rd century, some people in the church became convinced that baptism was meritorious and had a magical power to help save the soul. At first, people only baptized infants who were sick – as an insurance policy. Quickly, all infants were baptized, sprinkled instead of dipped – for their physical health. Church men began to argue over when the infant should be baptized – saying on the 8th day? Others argued it ought be delayed as long as possible so that more sins would be covered. Such was the case with Constantine, who refused to be “baptized” until he was on his death bed. Lack of knowledge and trust in the Word of God leads men astray, to trust in the imaginations of men. Something that divides people for centuries, shedding no little blood, ought to be based on clear teachings from Scripture - not inferences needed to support that which is not found clearly taught.

When Christianity was legalized, the church, already suffering from an unhealthy view of “holy clergy”, saw infant baptism as an effective way to number the people so they could be taxed and controlled. And to convince the ignorant masses, these compromised churchmen played up the false notion that baptism plays a part in saving one's soul. This is called Sacerdotalism – using a sacrament (a religious rite) as a means of conveying God's favor to the people. When the Reformation broke out, some were called Magisterial Reformers – they maintained the close connection between church and state. One of these, Zwingli, was stuck between his belief that the Bible commands believers' baptism and his practice, which was more than a thousand years old, the union of church and state and control of the people by infant baptism. So he persecuted those who did not practice what the state commanded because he feared the people. Such is the power of our unexamined presuppositions and the influence of the culture. We must be people of the book!

In the early 17th century, the Puritans fled England in search of religious liberty. They had been persecuted because they believed in salvation by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone and they were persecuted because the state church held to a sacerdotal view. Yet they, like Zwingli, failed to escape the trap they fled – they brought it with them, just like Lot did when he fled Zoar. Baptists also fled to the New World to escape religious persecution. In a report, Ill News from New England, early American Baptist John Clark records how he, Obidiah Jones, and John Crandall were arrested because they had discussed baptism over dinner at a boarding house. These three were hauled before the court in Boston, found guilty of not honoring the state religion. They were beaten, fined, and thrown in prison. The Puritans had established state churches in the colonies and they persecuted those who did not agree with their religious views – just like the Church of England which persecuted them. Our theology affects how we live, just as it did these Puritans and these Baptists.

With that brief historical backdrop, I want to explore the deepest meaning of this ordinance. Why is baptism – baptism of believers – important? What does it signify?

We know what Romans 6:4 says, we rightly hear it every time a child of God gets baptized - We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. This gives us a picture of what has been done to us, that as the Lord Jesus was put to death and raised up, so are we. This is an important truth that we must never forget. But I hope we open our eyes to the greater meaning of this simple ordinance and pray that we see together what a glorious picture has been given to us by our great and gracious Lord.

As with most important truths from Scripture, the spiritual significance of what God has revealed is far, far greater than we at first comprehend. Unless we dig into the Word and pray for wisdom, we may not get to the place where we see more and are given even more reason to humbly thank our God, in awe of Who He is and what, in truth, has been done.

I highly recommend a small book by Baptist Pastor Hal Brunson, titled The Rickety Bridge and the Broken Mirror, a book of parables about baptism, which is most helpful.

The metaphor in Romans 6:4 gives us the active or present reality of the meaning of Christ's death, that introspective reality of the first resurrection, when we die to sin and are raised to new life. But this verse and the act of baptism also point back historically to the death of Christ and prophetically forward to the physical resurrection of all the saints when He returns to judge all flesh. Baptism is a multifaceted word picture that ought to remind us of far more than the glorious change wrought in the life of the redeemed sinner. One aspect of baptism that baby sprinklers cannot lay claim to is baptism as a picture of submersion into great waters, portraying the great waters of Divine judgment. We see in Scripture several passages where great waters are graphic symbols of God's judgment and wrath against sin – which Christ took upon His body as the Lamb sacrificed for our sin. He was submersed into the ocean of God's wrath on our account, and raised up on the third day. There are at least four major word pictures used in Scripture that describe baptism.

  1. The flood of Noah.
  2. The sorrows of David, described as “great waters”.
  3. Jonah being cast into the sea.
  4. Jesus' understanding of His death.

The Apostle Peter points to this great flood of the entire earth as a vivid picture of the believer's baptism as well as a figure or type pointing to the suffering of Christ. In proclaiming (1 Pet 3:18) that Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, Peter then alludes to the flood and how only 8 persons were saved in the ark, brought through the great waters of God's judgment against sin. And Peter goes on in his first letter to tell us that baptism corresponds to this – the flood of Noah, the outpouring of God's wrath in judgment and the only refuge being in the ark which is Christ. In 2 Peter, the flood is listed with another well-known symbol of God's wrath against sin – Sodom and Gomorrah. God's wrath against sin is real, it is certain, it is final. We need a savior, One Who can bear up under this wrath, One Who has no sin of His own to atone for. Not only did Christ provide refuge from God's wrath, He was buried in God's judgment as payment for sin. He is worthy of our praise.

What about the sorrows of David? This man after God's own heart knew of his own sin and the despair of trusting in any mortal man for reconciliation with Holy God. David and other Psalmists described their deep sorrows as a kind of burial beneath the billows and waves of the Almighty. In Psalm 42 we read, Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? In this sorrowful lament with his soul, he describes his afflictions in terms that point to baptism - Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. Three images of water – waterfalls, breakers, and waves – all communicate the idea of a cascading waterfall pummeling the poet, with the brutal breakers and waves of an angry ocean violently washing over his head. These terrifying metaphors of his torment and anguish wash over him, drowning him in his sorrows. Carried along by the Spirit of God to write these things, perhaps the Psalmist knew not that he prophesied of the promised Messiah, but his words anticipate the sufferings and death of Christ as a kind of baptism. The word for deep in the psalm is used as a synonym for sheol, connecting to the death of Christ as a submersion into the deepest waters of sheol. And the water metaphors in this psalm undoubtedly describe the suffering servant of God - Psalm 42:10  As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” This is widely recognized as prophecy of the Lord's sword-pierced side and the cruel mockery of those who blasphemed while He hung on the cross.

David's description of his soul's suffering in deep water takes us more deeply into the sufferings of Jesus. As did the high priest of Israel, we are brought through the first veil, the holy place of Christ's impeccable flesh, gazing upon His physical sufferings; and then through the second veil into the holy of holies, to the very heart of Christ, where we see the spiritual anguish of the Lamb being under the rod of God's wrath. In Psalm 18, David wrote about his persecution at the hand of Saul – but the eternal message of redemption contained in all of Scripture here portrays the Savior's passion, not David's sorrow; death and hell as the persecutor of Christ, not Saul chasing David. The king of Israel describes his trials in terms of sorrow and death and hell which have a human and a divine cause, stark images of his soul's baptism into the lesser sea of man's wrath and the greater ocean of God's wrath. David is immersed in human wrath, Saul's rage is real. But David's words tell of God's judgment on sin and care for His people. Psalm 18:7-17 Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations also of the mountains trembled and quaked, because he was angry.  Smoke went up from his nostrils, and devouring fire from his mouth; glowing coals flamed forth from him. He bowed the heavens and came down; thick darkness was under his feet. He rode on a cherub and flew; he came swiftly on the wings of the wind. He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him, thick clouds dark with water. Out of the brightness before him hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds. The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Most High uttered his voice, hailstones and coals of fire. And he sent out his arrows and scattered them; he flashed forth lightnings and routed them. Then the channels of the sea were seen, and the foundations of the world were laid bare at your rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of your nostrils. He sent from on high, he took me; he drew me out of many waters. He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.

But as God did not leave David's soul in torment, neither would He suffer His Holy One to see corruption, as Christ was not left buried beneath the sea of God's wrath and the ocean of His judgment. As David cried out in his distress and called upon the Lord from beneath the deep waters of his sufferings, so also the Savior, as it were, from beneath the burning waters of the cross, (Matthew 27:46) Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” As deep calls to deep, the Almighty heard the voices of David and David's seed, and thus He bowed the heavens and came down, riding on a cherub and flying on the wings of the wind; God answered the cry of His Son and sent from above and drew Him out of many waters.

The sorrows of David and other psalmists resonate with all who suffer, but they point us to the One Who suffered what we deserve, to bring many sons and daughters to glory. The love of God for His elect caused the Son of God – David's promised seed – to submit to the baptism of His Father's wrath, so we who are called by His name would be reconciled to our Father and not be left to our just deserts.

When we baptize a new convert, we are not drinking His cup, but we bapize in remembrance of what He did – to cut the New Covenant in His blood to reconcile sinners to Holy God. Paul asks, Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? (Rom 6:3) And further he tells us, (1 Corinthians 12:13) For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

Oh, the Savior’s love for His Father – and all those He chose to redeem in Christ! Baptism – it's an ordinance which shows how spiritually dead people have been raised to new life in Christ. But, oh my dear brothers and sisters – it is much, much more than that. I pray you got a glimpse of a better picture of the grand and glorious sacrifice of our Lord and Savior was prophesied and pictured in various ways as a baptism into God the Father's judgment. The price He paid and the suffering He took as He drank the cup of wrath due us, summed up the submersion and emersion as one is plunged beneath the waters of baptism and raised up from the deep as did our Savior. Let us never see baptism as only the celebration of a new-born brother in Christ, and not ever the mere sprinkling of water over a little one who knows nothing and fears not the sprinkled water. Let us always remember the One Who was baptized in a way you and I could never survive. Christ paid the price we could not pay. He drank the cup and underwent the baptism we could never do. Every time we see this ordinance, let us think on His sacrifice, His obedience, His submission. And let us be thankful we have a faithful God Who did not allow His Holy One to see corruption – that we would have the firm hope of life eternal. We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. It is a glorious picture of our Redeemer, but we won't know that if we are not people of the book!

Passover Fulfilled

5 points:
1.       The facts of the crucifixion (the text)
2.       The context – what two groups of people?
3.       The physical pain of the crucifixion
4.       The true suffering
5.       The point for us

1. Mark 15:22-39.

2. Context: Two groups of people. Mark 15:15-21. Paul wrote that men are, by nature, enemies of God and children of wrath (Rom 5:10, Eph 2:3). Those who clamored for Christ to be crucified represent everyone not reconciled by the blood of Christ - this was you and me before He redeemed us. In Luke's account we read that the crowd repeatedly demanded Barabbas be the one set free, not Jesus. Carnal man cannot accept the gospel and they will do what they can to suppress knowledge of it. When we sin, we stand with those who demanded Barabbas be set free. The soldiers mocked the Lord of glory and beat Him.  Enemies of God. 1Cor 2:8 None of the rulers of this age knew this wisdom, for if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

The other group, Jesus' disciples, were not making noise before the throne of this world, they had run away when He was arrested, Matthew 26:56 "But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled. In this passage, we see two things: God had planned Jesus' sacrificial death in pretty precise detail and we see how those who hate God are often more vocal and active in proclaiming their false religion than are the people God has chosen for Himself to proclaim His. Brothers, this should not be so among us!

The two men on either side of Jesus represent these same two groups of people: everyone belongs to the city of man or to the city of God. While both of these criminals initially railed against Christ, Luke reports (23:42) that one became convicted of his sin and cried out for mercy while the other did not. The repentant man represents all the sheep of God and the unrepentant man represents all the goats. There are only these two groups of people. Each one professing the name of Christ needs to examine himself to see if he is in the faith - it is far too easy to think you are a Christian and not be one. We learn from these two men that it matters not when or how I die, what matters is in whom I die ... in sin OR in CHRIST, Who is my righteousness.

In our day, God-haters fill the news, advocating the murder of infants, all sorts of abominations, and the silencing of Christians. Far too many professing Christians are willing to go along to get along with these reprobates who grow bolder by the day; or they remain silent. Just like the scene at the cross. We who are in Christ should take care not to follow after the world; must guard against following Christians who want to compromise with the world in our day; and we must not be silent! No matter our circumstances, we are to be known as God fearing people; making Him known among the people of the world.

3. The Physical Pain of the Cross. Crucifixion is believed to have originated in the Persian Empire; however, Romans are given credit for perfecting it into a heinous means of inflicting death. Romans crafted the cruelty of crucifixion to demonstrate three clear messages. First, it was incredibly painful for the victim (so much so that the person being crucified often was rendered unconscious during the proceedings). Second, it provided a lingering death, which was much preferred for extremely vicious criminal acts. Third, it afforded a horrific deterrent for anyone contemplating a similar offense. Josephus described crucifixion, following the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 66-70, as “the most wretched of deaths.”

Archaeological evidence strongly suggests that criminals during the time of Christ were not forced to carry an entire T-shaped cross, but rather only the crossbeam, which would have weighed between 75 and 125 pounds. The vertical post would be laid down and the cross piece fastened to it, the condemned nailed through the wrists and feet, then the cross would be lifted up and slammed down into the hole made for the post. Archaeological data indicate that the specific nails used during the time of Christ’s crucifixion were tapered iron spikes five to seven inches long with a square shaft approximately three-eighths of an inch across. In John's gospel, Thomas says he would not believe unless he saw and touched the nail marks in Jesus' hands.  

The spikes would have been driven through the wrist, near the heel of the hand. If through the palm, the weight of the man would pull the spike through the flesh. In this part of the wrist (considered part of the hand in ancient times), major nerves and blood vessels would be missed, allowing the man to hang freely, unable to breath. For the feet to be fastened to the post, the knees would be bent and rotated, with the feet lined up side by side and the spike be pounded through the sides of the feet in front of the heel.

To breathe, the man on the cross would have to push up on his feet, scraping his scourged back on the rough wood of the post. With all his weight on the spike through his feet, he couldn't stay up very long - a couple quick breaths. Then back down - scraping his back - to hang from his hands. Intense pain and muscle cramping were inventible, hastening the collapse of the man, leaving him unable to breathe - dying of asphyxiation.

At the ninth hour, which was around 3 PM, Jesus cried out to the Father. We'll look at what He said in a minute. What we need to see now is better recorded by John: John 19:28-30 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. The sour wine on a hyssop branch - same as that used to paint the blood of the Passover lamb on the doorposts during the last plague of Egypt: Ex 12:21-23 Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you.

These details are God quietly screaming His sovereignty and proclaiming His Son to be the fulfillment of that precious sheep from so long before. The Jewish Passover lamb shed its blood to protect national Israel's firstborn from physical death. The Passover Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus, is the fulfillment of that type. He shed His blood to preserve true Israel's children from eternal death.

Jesus was crucified outside the city, at the garbage dump. All these physical things piled one on top of another to humiliate the condemned. The Creator and Judge of all flesh, treated like the dregs at the bottom of a cup.

The temple veil was torn in half, foretelling the certain doom of the temple building, which, in 70AD, would come tumbling down until no stone was left in place - just as Jesus had said. When the centurion saw and heard all this, he declared that Jesus truly was the Son of God. The repentant thief and the Roman centurion both had their ears and eyes opened to see Christ for Who He is.

But physical death was not the worst of it, nor would it have satisfied our great need.

4. The True Suffering on the Cross. Many people, sadly, were crucified by the Roman government. Only one crucifixion satisfied the Father's wrath against the sin that plagues the sons and daughters of Adam. When Jesus cried out, My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me? He was quoting Psalm 22, which provides a rich description of what was happening at the cross. The death of Christ was not an accident of history; it was God’s plan from before time to redeem sinners. For Christ to be forsaken means He was not being treated as a son, but as an enemy of His Father; for our benefit.

The wrath of God was poured out on Christ at Calvary, He drank the cup of death meant for you and me. Earlier in Mark's gospel, we have this response from the Lord Jesus to the request from James and John to sit on either side of Him in glory. Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized.” (Mark 10:38-39). Note how Jesus connects these two, the cup and baptism. The other disciples heard this. Other than the ten being indignant at these two, what might they have thought about the cup and the baptism? They would soon learn that this cup the Lord spoke of was not the cup of communion and the baptism was not a water baptism. Jesus had spoken in terms that left his disciples uncertain, but we know from the record of Scripture that what He was speaking about was the cup of wrath and the baptism of death that awaited Him; of which He lamented: I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished! (Luke 12:50)

The disciples would drink of His cup and be baptized with His baptism vicariously through Him. No mortal man can stand where Jesus did: cursed by God for the sins of others and lay His life down knowing He would pick it back up again. When we take communion, we are not drinking His cup, but we drink in remembrance of what He did – to cut the New Covenant in His blood to reconcile sinners to Holy God. When we are baptized, it is not merely following His example when John baptized Him in the Jordan. Paul asks, Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? (Romans 6:3) And further he tells us, (1 Corinthians 12:13) For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. We were baptized into Christ’s death, the death He died for us, to break down what separates us from God and one another, to make one people that will bring honor and glory to His name. The cup and baptism signify our union with Christ, reminding us of what He did for us in drinking our cup and being baptized into the death we deserve.

At the cross of Calvary, what is called the Great Exchange took place: 2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. This is what Paul spoke of last week in telling us how Christ drank the cup of wrath due us and gave to us the cup of blessing. We have an alien righteousness - that of the God-man - which secures us as beloved in the Father. Without this union with Christ, there can be no peace with God the Father.

Hebrews 8 tells us the priests of the Old Covenant and the sacrifices thereof were copies and shadows of the heavenly things. Because He was the obedient son, the faithful witness, the righteousness of God, He was qualified to appear as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. (Hebrews 9:11-14) The time for the temporary covering of sins with the blood of goats and other animals was finished when Christ shed His blood. There is no need to return to the shadows. The promised One has come and He has finished His redemptive work.

In our day, the news brings us a report of people in the nation of Israel planning to reenact the Jewish Passover in anticipation of rebuilding the Jewish temple. They are trying to move backwards in redemptive history, as if Christ has not come! The Passover was to remind them of God's rescue of His people from bondage in Egypt, with the lamb's blood as the marker. And the Passover was to point to another Lamb who would come and have His blood shed. In a passage where Paul is describing the danger of allowing a bold, unrepentant sinner to remain in the fellowship of saints at Corinth, he uses the image of leaven in in yeast: 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Paul is teaching us that the kingdom of God is pure, undefiled; and we are to work to keep our local fellowship as pure as humanly possible. During the Jewish Passover, they had to make sure no yeast was anywhere in the house, not just in the yeast. This was in preparation for the Passover lamb being sacrificed so its blood could be applied to the doorposts.

Something greater that the blood of animals has been shed on our account: Christ Jesus is the Passover lamb for all who have been given to Him. If the Jews were to be so diligent in getting the leaven out of their homes, Paul tells us, should we not be more so in getting publicly unrepentant sinners out of our fellowship? He applies this to our lives and our message - unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. We should have genuine fellowship with one another and biblical truth in our conversation, teaching, and preaching. We'll review this in our next, final point.

5. What This Means for Us. In real terms, what does the crucifixion of Christ mean to us? Since this happened so long ago, is it necessary to talk about it? Next week we will hear about the resurrection, without which we are no different from those who have no faith. There is no resurrection without a death. And, as mentioned earlier, the death of Christ was no ordinary death. Preaching Christ and Him crucified is the means we’ve been given to bring lost sheep into the fold.

1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. This short statement hits three key points that he will explain in more detail in chapter 2. Frist, He was sent; this sending was to preach the gospel, not to baptize; second, the gospel is plain speech, not smooth words; third, the power of redemption is with God, not man.

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. Same three points, amplified.
Preaching with power from God does not rest in human wisdom or cunning. It grieves my soul to see so many Baptists waste their lives embracing worldly ways to attract people of the world into the local assembly of the saints! Flashy programs and emotionally manipulative messages are not of God. When men called of God stand up to preach, there is a recognition of Whom we represent. We are not our own, we preach a message not of our making. Contrary to the values of the world, we exalt the God-man who allowed Himself to be treated horribly, Who has a kingdom not of this world, Who bids us to serve one another with love as He loved us - giving ourselves to one another. He gave Himself to us by submitting to taking the cup of wrath due us.

Crucifixion was a humiliating, grotesque method of killing the dregs of society. The Christian faith embraces what the world considers shameful; we preach a Lord and Savior who was treated like refuse by the powerful of the world. False religions pursue charismatic leaders who gather lots of followers who are eager to hear that they are prized above all. True religion cherishes faithful servants who preach what they need to hear, that they are not good in and of themselves and that the only One Who is good in and of Himself submitted to be crucified by the hands of sinful men and suffer the wrath of God on our account.

Back in 1 Cor chapter 1 we read about carnal behavior, the saints were following this man or that. Paul would have none of it. 1 Corinthians 1:10-13 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? Notice how he finishes this rebuke of these dear people - three diagnostic questions: Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? When we have a party spirit we follow a man rather than the God-man. Following carries the sense of being in union with the leader. The only true leader was crucified for you - no mere man could have been. Our water baptism reflects our union with the leader, signifying our death and resurrection in him. The Lord’s Supper declares His death for sin and soon return. Can any mere man suffice as your leader or mine? Let us not be drawn aside from the truth of God's Word, the sole sufficiency of the blood of Christ. The time for shapes and shadows is over. The true Passover is our Lamb of God. Seek refuge in Him. Trust Him. Speak gospel truths to one another.

John Owen, The Glory of Christ, as quoted by Rick Holland in Uneclipsing the Son, page 141:
"A constant view of the glory of Christ will revive our souls and cause our spiritual lives to flourish and thrive. The more we behold the glory of Christ by faith now, the more spiritual and the more heavenly will be the state of our souls. The reason why spiritual life in our souls decays and withers is because we fill our mind with other things. ... But then the mind is filled with thoughts of Christ and His glory, these things will be expelled. ... This is how our spiritual lives will be revived."

If you want your spirit revived, fill you mind with thoughts of Christ and His glory. Seek those thing which are above, and spur one another on while it is still today. And tell others where you found bread and water that truly satisifies.