TEXT: Matthew 3:13-17:
13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
After preaching the Gospel every day for 367 days straight throughout the 2016 presidential campaign season, I am preaching the Gospel every day throughout the first 100 days of President Donald Trump’s term. If you think a new president being in office is the only thing needed to save America and ‘make America great again’, you are woefully deceived. The church must follow through and “keep the main thing the main thing: and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, ‘Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,’ and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to ‘pray without ceasing’ for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders.” So, we encourage you to pray for the new president, but not to get caught up in the political happenings like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord. And that is what this campaign is all about.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 73, day 443 since Jan. 1, 2016.
S.D. Gordon said, “Jesus was God spelling himself out in language humanity could understand.”
The baptism of Jesus is one of the events of His life that is recounted in all four Gospels, testifying to its importance. It was, as we see here, the first unveiling of the Son of God on a large scale. “Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Three aspects of Jesus’ presentation to the world are given in these verses.
First, “the heavens were opened unto him.” The heavens being opened is a symbol for revelation from God. For 400 years, the Jews had been without revelation from God. Now, by opening the heavens, God was saying that He was ready once again to speak not only to His chosen people, but to the whole world, through Jesus. Matthew specifies that the heavens were opened “to him,” that is, to Jesus. God did not provide His new revelation directly to men; rather, He sent them a mediator in Jesus Christ who would convey the message of God through His life, His words, and His actions.
Then, we see “the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon” Jesus. The Old Testament Jews were familiar with the idea of God’s Spirit filling His prophets. They respected one who had the Spirit of God, and God let them know that they should afford Jesus that same respect by giving them a visual representation of His Spirit being given to Jesus. The dove that symbolizes the Spirit is likely an allusion to the dove that Noah sent out after the flood. The dove, unlike the ravens sent before him, came back to the ark with an olive branch in its beak, bringing good tidings of the new world.
Finally, God gave audible approval of Jesus and declared Him as His Son. He said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Many of the people didn’t know about Jesus’ miraculous birth (if they had known, they may have forgotten by this time or not connected the dots). People needed to know that Jesus was not just another Spirit-filled prophet. He was different. He was the Son of God. And as such, He bore the same divinity that God possessed. He was God in the flesh, God walking among men. Certainly, by this declaration, the people realized that John’s words were true and that a new era of salvation, mercy, and judgment was upon them.
Nicolas le Tourneaux wrote:
The Son of Man from Jordan rose,
And looked to God above;
When lo, the opening heavens disclose
A swift descending dove.
The Spirit, lighting on His brow,
Anoints the Holy One;
The Father’s voice declaring, ‘Thou
Art My belovèd Son.’
So when, through His baptizing blessed
The Fount new birth conveys,
Man kneels the Son of God confessed,
Heaven opens as he prays.
Redeemer of a world undone,
We praise Thee and adore,
Jesus, with God the Father One,
And Spirit evermore.
A new day came when Jesus was revealed before men as the Son of God and the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. If you are ready to place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as your Saviour, allow me to show you how:
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to GospelLightSociety.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.