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Lesson # Matthew 3:5-8
Study Material - Matthew 3:5-8
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
5 Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea, and all the district around the Jordan; 6 and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins. 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, 'You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?' 8 'Therefore bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance;'
Heb. 10:9, the mosaic law had a variety of washings and cleansing rituals. By following these rituals, all Israel was baptized into Moses, 1 Cor. 10:2. Now we have a transition coming from the baptism of the Old Testament ritual, to the real baptism of the Holy Spirit which Christ will initiate in the next few verses. But here we have a large number of people coming out to see John the Baptist.
This was a novel event. Nothing like this has happened since Elijah. Certainly no one could remember a prophet because no prophet has existed for over 400 years. But now this novelty has everybody talking and coming out to see.
Interesting priorities people have. Christ's birth has been foretold for thousands of years. The Israelites were the custodians of the scriptures that pointed to these events. Yet they missed the birth of Christ, didn't even notice it until some strangers from another land, the Magi, came inquiring about the birth of the King of the Jews. Even then they had to look it up to confirm it. Now John is in the desert baptizing and proclaiming the kingdom of God is at hand, and they are not sure if he is the King or Elijah, or some other prophet. They just do not know who he is.
Rather than listening and learning, they decide what they want to hear, and then refuse to consider anything else. Many came to check it out. Not many took it all seriously. When Christ does finally emerge, He receives a generally cool reception from the vast majority of the people. The minority at best saw and learned from Him. You, by the way are a part of that minority as well. The vast majority of this world does not care much for Christ or doctrine for that matter.
Many were baptized, and even John recognized their insincerity, 'brood of vipers' as he called them. We have other contemporary language which we generally reference to the offspring of female dogs, the sons of ... anyway ..... you'll figure it out.
John called them for what they were, hypocrites and sightseers, nothing more. Checking out the competition. They probably felt some sigh of relief when they realized that John at least was not conducting sacrifices out in the desert. If that were the case they would be losing their meal ticket. But John did have the publics ear for the moment at least, and the concern of the religious leaders as well. John was a threat to their social way of life. They loved being in the spot light and anyone who was teaching, the Kingdom of God was at hand, was either a lunatic or a threat to their positions of power. So rather than being positive toward God and changing their attitude, they became resentful and plotted against John for now, and later they will plot against Christ.
The perfect question was posed. 'Who warned you that wrath was coming?' Of course they were not out there for fear of God, but for selfish fear of the attention that John was getting from the public. This was politics nothing more. So they had no answer to the question. They did not even consider the question John posed.
And then the statement, 'Bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance.' This is not an apple or banana kind of fruit. This is the production of your positive volition decision to believe in Christ. The fruit is salvation by believing in Christ. First you change your mind, then you believe, and that is the fruit of repentance. This has been the way of salvation since Adam, and will never change. Heb. 10-11 gives us a rundown of how every believer, even in the Old Testament times came to be saved, by faith. They believed in the second person of the trinity, the savior who would come and pay the price for their sins in their place, who would provide a way to escape the slave market of sin and receive eternal life. They all believed, just as you did at some time in your past.
John did more than just get people wet, he taught salvation and demonstrated it through the ritual of baptism. Some believed and became saved. Many did not believe. Most went away and did not pursue their spiritual growth after salvation.
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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