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Lesson # Matthew 3:13-17
Study Material - Matthew 3:13-17
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.
13 Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to prevent Him, saying, 'I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?' 15 But Jesus answering said to him, 'Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.' Then he permitted Him. 16 And after being baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him, 17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.'
Now we are some 30 years after the birth of Jesus. Jesus, who is the Christ, the Son of God, and even God himself, the second person of the trinity, had been living in the midst of the people in Galilee, yet they did not know he was there.
John who was born 6 months before Jesus and began his ministry 6 months before Jesus, had created quite a stir with his ministry, even though he was way out in the desert on the Jordan river. Out in the middle of nowhere came the message of the savior long before prophesied, to come at this very time in history. John knew what his job was, and that soon he would see the Christ when He appeared. John did not go looking for Him, but instead waited on Gods timing. God would choose when to appear and make His presence known.
But still even during these 30 years, and especially these last six months, no one inquired as to where the Christ was. No one went seeking for Him. They came blindly to John, most just interested in the curiosity of this strange ministry. Remember that this is the first prophet for over 400 years and no one had ever seen a prophet in this generation.
Were it not for God presenting Himself to man, mankind would be eternally lost, never able to search out or even find God. Unlike the science fiction movies where space ships seek out alien civilizations and suddenly fly through the pearly gates, bumping into 'Q', and introducing the arrival of man into heaven, which all makes for great Hollywood fantasy and entertainment, the truth is that man would not have made it to this 21st century were it not for the grace of God. Christ and doctrine have been with man for all of mans existence and yet mankind is at a loss when he separates himself from God, by either being antagonistic, or just disinterested in God.
Yet now Jesus comes to John at the river to be baptized. One must first learn to serve before one can lead. Jesus humbles himself and enters into the symbolic area of sin, voluntarily submitting himself to the will of the Father in order to win His victory over sin and death.
John, who has been filled with the Holy Spirit, first hesitates to baptize Christ stating that it was he who needed to be baptized. Note John realized that there was a difference between the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the filling of the Holy Spirit. A new dispensation was on the verge of its beginning and the dispensation of Israel was about to be interrupted. This of course would occur in three years.
Jesus came to fulfill the law and then abrogate it, presenting a new law, the law of Christ. The Law of Moses was flawed and could not save. It could only demonstrate that man lacked the ability to save himself. In the Old Testament days various people were filled with the Holy Spirit to accomplish specific tasks, and this filling was temporary, not permanent. Christ was about to be indwelled by the Holy Spirit as well as the Father, whom He would lose when He went to the Cross, and only for three hours during the punishment phase of sin while He hung on the Cross. Once the work of the Cross was accomplished, then this indwelling would become permanent. Everyone who believes in Christ in this dispensation, the Church Age, the Age of the Royal Family, would receive the indwelling of not only the Holy Spirit, but also the indwelling of Christ as well as the Father. All three members of the trinity indwell you if you have believed in Christ, and you probably did not even know it. You cannot feel it, nor see it. There is nothing to experience. It simply exists. See the 'blessings' list chart on the index page.
Then John baptized Jesus and thus Jesus identifies symbolically here, what He would actually do on the Cross in about three years. He went below the water in death. Death to sin as a voluntary sacrifice as he was submerged, and then he rose up out of the water in resurrection a victor over death, and the heavens opened up immediately and the Spirit of God, which is the Holy Spirit, descended on Christ, to indwell and sustain Him over the next three years, just as we are sustained in our lives.
Then came the announcement of God the Father, acknowledging this as His Son, identifying Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. There could be nothing uncertain about His identification. God identified God. Even still there were people around who did not believe what was happening, nor did they believe in Christ. Many would still follow John the Baptist, rejecting Christ, but John would set them straight. Even with all the evidence of God before them, people still reject the obvious. They have a tendency to want to believe that which is more appealing to them. People get predetermined ideas and sometimes have difficulty in making the change if one is called for.
Man left to his own devices generally makes the wrong decisions. But if a person is positive and persistent in their Bible study, then God reveals and makes clear to them that which is true, and they will make the transition from their old taboos, which ties them down, and embrace the truth. God is pleased with God and the work of God. God is not pleased with man and the work of man. Human works and effort have no place in the plan of God, and are totally rejected at the Cross.
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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