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Sunday school blog

“The Son of God Is Baptized”

April 2, 2017

Matthew 3:1-17

Quick Facts:

Matthew is one of the four Gospels.

Matthew connects the Old Testament (Malachi) with the New Testament.

The time between Malachi and Matthew was about 400 years, called the silent years.

Written by Matthew (also known as Levi- Matthew 9:9-13), a tax gatherer.

The date for writing is commonly accepted as 37 AD

Matthew records the teachings and events of Jesus Christ from birth to His ascension

Each of the Four Gospels focus on certain aspects of Christ:

Luke - “the Son of man”

Mark – "the suffering servant"

John – the “Son of God”

Matthew – "Jesus, the King"

Pastor’s Notes:

John the Baptist (Baptizer) connects the Old and the New Testament.

John’s message of repentance rejects self-righteousness and one’s confidence in their nationality as the basis of their relationship with God.

John’s message challenges those who trust in themselves and their religion as the basis of their salvation (a works oriented salvation).

Note: You will either be blessed by the Spirit or burned by the fire!

God’s messenger prepares the way for Jesus (Matthew 3:1-6).

John the Baptist:

The Man – The miraculous son of Zechariah and Elizabeth … the forerunner of Christ … he identified with a prophet by his lifestyle (where he lived – “wilderness”), by his clothing, by his food, and by his message. He is compared to Elijah by Jesus.

The Ministry – “preaching”

Read Romans 10:13-14 and answer the question presented by Paul

The Message – “repent”

Repentance – to disavow sin and self, and come under the rule of another (Christ). Note the negative to the positive. Repentance requires both a turning from and a turning to.

The Motivation – “because the kingdom of heaven has come”

Why repent? Because the King is coming and you will have to give an account to Him for the life you live. Why repent? Because of the rule of the King (His way, not yours).

“The kingdom is defined as the rule which God exercises through the person, work, and teaching of Jesus” (quarterly).

DISCUSS - How should believers today emulate the man and ministry of John the Baptist?

Read Luke 13:3, 5 and Acts 20:20-21 and discuss the necessity of repentance for salvation.

God’s messenger preaches repentance and baptism (Matthew 3:7-12).

Who/what are the Pharisees and Sadducees?

What was the basis of their relationship with Jehovah God? Nationality and personal righteousness (adherence to the Law).

John makes it clear that a relationship is not based on “who” but rather “what”

John was not politically correct addressing the religious leaders a snakes… CONFRONTATION ALWAYS PRECEDES CONFESSION. How does John’s description of the Pharisee and the Sadducees relate to Christ’s message that only the sick will seek a doctor (Matthew 9:12-13). Answer – only those who recognize their sinfulness will seek the Savior. Until the Pharisee and the Sadducees recognized the sinful state they would continue in their false confidence and not be saved.

DISCUSS – What are people depending on for their relationship with God?

Humility is an essential prerequisite to salvation (Like John we must recognize our utter sinfulness and Christ perfection)

What was the purpose of baptism at this time? (1) Ceremonial cleansing (2) Symbolic act of conversion from paganism as a gentile to Judaism (Symbolic act of repentance of sin).

What is the purpose of Christian baptism?

It is a symbolic act of the believer, identifying with Christ’s own death, burial and resurrection. Baptism is a declaration of one’s own death to sin and self, burial, and resurrection (See Romans 6:3-4).

DISCUSS THE MEANING AND THE MODE OF BAPTISM …. Is baptism symbolic or efficacious (redemptive)? Is baptism by immersion only? May the formula of baptism by anything other than “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:18-20)? What about the name of “Jesus Christ?”

Discuss the meaning and mode of other denominations…


Share you baptismal experience.

God’s Son identifies with His people through baptism (Matthew 3:13-17).

John’s initial refusal to baptize Jesus was because baptism was a symbolic act of one’s turning from sin, and John understood the sinless nature of the Messiah (no reason to be baptized).

John insistence of Christ’s baptizing him was an admission of his own sinfulness and Christ’s sinless perfection.

Why did Jesus insist on being baptized? The purpose of Jesus’ baptism was one of identification; by being baptized Jesus identified with sinful man (though He had not sinned). Jesus was not confessing sin but was fulfilling righteousness by identifying with those He came to save culminating in His death on the cross for the sins of man.

The baptism of Jesus not only identified him with sinful man but identified His relationship with God. Believer baptism identifies the saved with Christ and identifies our relationship with God.

Theological Theme: In His baptism, Jesus identified with sinful man.

Christological Theme: The baptism of Christ ultimately pointed to Christ death, burial, and resurrection for sinful man.

Missional Theme: God calls us to repent and be saved, and then be baptized as a sign/symbolic act of our identification with Jesus.

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