THROUGH THE BIBLE IN THREE YEARS


DAILY DEVOTIONS

HI!

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I'm a Southern Baptist. I'm an ordained minister of the Southern Baptist Convention. We believe in immersion. It ain't necessary for salvation, but it is something we WANT to do because our Lord showed us the way.

We Southern Baptist like to "dip 'em."
That's why we call our President of the Southern Baptist Convention,
THE BIG DIPPER!

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Matt 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.
KJV

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Now Jesus is the incarnate God; God in flesh. Why then would He Who had no sin come to be baptized? Jesus was confessing His relationship to us! He also came in baptism to reflect His perfect obedience to God's will. He had come to redeem us by giving His own life and blood for our sins. And through His baptism, Jesus demonstrated He was the "Author and Finisher of our faith" and that though He was "despising the shame," would endure the cross for our sakes (See Hebrews 12:2). John did not feel worthy of baptizing the Christ, and argued that it was not proper. But Jesus said it was necessary in order to "fulfill all righteousness." That "righteousness" is the fact that even Jesus had to openly and personally submit Himself to the will of God in His life. How much more should we, who are filled with sin, openly and personally submit ourselves to Him? Through public confession of our faith in Him, and through baptism, we are submitting who we are to Christ, and asking Him to make us what He wants us to be.

When Jesus came up out of the water, John saw the Spirit of God descending upon Jesus in the similitude of a dove. And, by the way, the Scripture does NOT say that Spirit left. Rather the Spirit REMAINED in Christ! He came upon Jesus WITHOUT MEASURE in the pureness, innocence and beauty of the dove which is a reflection of peace.

Later, John the apostle describes John the Baptists experience this way:
"31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;
36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!"
(John 1:31-36)

John the Baptist had received from God a revelation that the Spirit of God would descend upon the Messiah like a dove and remain. When he saw this happen to Jesus, John KNEW that Jesus was the One Who came to die for our sins.

Not only did John the Baptist see the Spirit of God descending and remaining, but He HEARD the voice of God speak: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." God's confirmation was audible: THIS is the ONE!

And God was "well pleased." I cannot tell you all that implies! God came in the form of a baby. He grew up like you and me. Through His childhood and youth He never sinned! And during that time He came to the full realization of WHO He was, and WHY He was on earth. And, here, at 30 years of age, Jesus humbly submitted Himself to the will of God for His life. That will of God was that He would DIE for you and me. He would be the perfect "Lamb of God" sacrificed for the "remission of sins."

This was the perfect emptying of self for the purposes of God! Later, Paul would describe it this way:
"5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."

(Philippians 2:5-8)

And THIS I believe is the meaning of Jesus' baptism. That you and I should empty our SELF, and surrender to becoming what God wants of us in our lives.

Love ya,
Bruce