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Lesson # Luke 3:19-22
Study Material - Luke 3:19-22
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19 But when Herod the tetrarch was reproved by him on account of Herodias, his brother's wife, and on account of all the wicked things which Herod had done, 20 he added this also to them all, that he locked John up in prison. 21 Now it came about when all the people were baptized, that Jesus also was baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, 'Thou art My beloved Son, in Thee I am well-pleased.'
Herod was living in incest with his brothers wife, and was the recipient of apparently a lot of criticism from John the Baptist, for his incest as well as all the many other bad things that Herod was doing. Herod was not the typical candidate for 'Dad of the Year' award. He was an evil ruler, evil to the core of his soul.
Evil cannot be called out, so it tries to silence the criticism from those who oppose it. Any mature believer stands in opposition to evil and therefore will become a target for evil. This has nothing to do with the person who is spiritually mature. Remember that all opposition is against God, and with doctrine in your soul you are just caught in the middle of the cross fire. Now we, each of us have our faults and failures. None of us are perfect, so there are always skeletons of some kind hidden in the closet of us all. But in the spiritual life our skeletons are not the issue. Evil people make them an issue because they are convenient for them and they depend on the superficiality of people and the opinions of people to gain their audience.
Paul was an extremely self righteous person who went so far as murder in the name of good. David had his failures in murder and adultery. Now each of our flaws might not be quite so dramatic, but that isn't the issue either. Sin is sin. And the worst sins are mental sins and sins of the tongue. Arrogance and gossip are far worse than many overt actions. Murder is also named in the list of the seven worst sins, but it is the last of the seven. No, no, sex is not listed in this short list. Anyway!
John had lived 30 years and had a six month ministry. That was his purpose as appointed by God. As soon as he had baptized Jesus, then the transition from John to Christ was to take place. John had been baptizing the public and so too, he baptized Jesus Christ. Jesus is portrayed as a man in the book of Luke, because this is one of his characteristics. He is God who became a man and was God and man in the same body of Jesus Christ.
Here he is baptized, and is identified with sinful man and the failures of mankind. Once lifted up out of the water, which represents the victory of Christ's work on the Cross, over sin and death, the Jesus prayed, then the heavens opened up and the Holy Spirit came down on him in bodily form. The whole being of God the Holy Spirit came down on Jesus.
Once the work of the Cross was completed, our salvation security was no longer left to the future work of Christ, but was an actual historical event, a promise fulfilled. Christ prayed, just as we believe. His prayer was offered to the Father as we offer our expression of faith to the Father when we believe in Jesus Christ. Father, I believe in Jesus Christ, period. That is the mechanics of salvation. You do not raise your hand, you do not walk down an isle, you don't get up and confess your sins to the audience, who would only probably laugh at your exaggerations anyway.
The work of Christ comes before the function of faith is real. God gave us a promise of a savior with the certainty that it would come to pass. So in faith those people who believed in the savior were saved because they believed in the certainty of the occurrence of the Cross, just as much as we are saved because of the actual event of the Cross in our historical past. But you cannot approach God apart from the work of Christ on the Cross. Baptism first, the work of the Cross, then salvation. And that is the principle of the teaching of baptism. Apart from the Cross, there would be no salvation for anyone.
And again, just as in the first three books, the confirmation of God in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and the acceptance of Christ by God the Father as to His work which would be performed with certainty.
John was imprisoned by an evil man, and the evil man failed in life and the one he imprisoned, John, went on to heaven a winner in eternity. Christ went to the Cross to free us all from the prison of sin and was successful. And anyone who believes in His name will be successful as well. Even more, anyone who advances to spiritual maturity after they have become saved is a winner in eternity to even a higher degree. Anyone who believes in Christ and of course is saved, will certainly go to heaven, but if they become negative in life and reject spiritual growth, or just don't get around to it, will miss out on those rich rewards promised to the mature believers, and they will live a miserable life here in time.
God expresses His acceptance for Christ with whom he is well pleased. He will also accept you and be well pleased with you if you study your Bible, and load your soul with Bible doctrine, which is the mind of Christ, who is the Word, and since Christ is in you as a mature believer, than you too will have Gods well pleasing attitude toward you. Not because of you or who and what you are, but because of the doctrine in you, doctrine which comes from God and is God.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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