April 6 - Matthew 3
Updated: Apr 7
As Matthew introduces Jesus' ministry in chapter 3, he introduces it in three main components which summarize what being a Christian is all about (I guess Matthew knew that preachers would like things to fit in a 3-point presentation):
REPENT, FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS NEAR (v2): The call to repent is actually a very Old Testament concept, which makes sense, because after all, John is really the last of the Old Testament prophets in that he comes before Jesus. Christianity begins with repentance.
PRODUCE FRUIT IN KEEPING WITH REPENTANCE (v8): The Pharisees and Sadducees who came to check out what John was doing (likely because they were jealous of the crowds John was attracting) were professional repenters. Nobody repented in a finer fashion than did they. Of course, it was all a big show and they weren't truly repenting of anything, which is why John lights into them so aggressively. John makes it clear that once we've confessed and repented of sin, those who are truly God's children will live in a way that reflects their repentance.
[I WILL] FULFILL ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS (v15): The one thing you need more than anything else in the world is perfect righteousness: perfectly obeying & producing fruit for the King of Heaven. But notice this third aspect of Christianity is different than the first two: the first two were commands that you must adhere to. This third, and most crucial aspect, has been fulfilled on your behalf by Jesus. This is the essence of the Gospel that makes it so different than any other religious system. All other religions insist upon some aspect of the first two points (repenting / living a certain way), but only Christianity provides you with what you need the most (righteousness) which is freely given to you in grace, not depending upon your efforts at all.
Because Jesus was fulfilling all righteousness, look at how God responds to Him. This will be our first memory verse from Matthew 3:17 -
And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased."
Jesus is the Son of Man. As we read in Galatians, Paul will teach over and over in his letters that you are in Christ. Since you are in Christ, and God is pleased with Christ, God is now pleased with you as well.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Father, Son & Holy Ghosts, three in person, one in essence (v16-17)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Repent (v2), and produce fruit in keeping with your repentance (v8).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
GOOD FRIDAY &
RESURRECTION DAY CELEBRATIONS
Friday: service will post at 6 PM, but since there are no interactive elements to it, you can watch it anytime Friday night.
Sunday Morning: Service will post at 9:30 AM. There are several interactive elements where we can share fellowship, so try to participate then, but the service will be available all day long.
Sunday Evening: We close our day of rest in the Psalms, with a time of prayer, and a short lesson about the importance of what's at stake in Genesis 1:1 with Dr. Ligon Duncan. After the service, we will facilitate a Zoom based Q&A time about difficulties we may experience in interpreting what the Bible teaches about creation science. This service will begin at 6 PM.
Use the same address for all of the services. Subscribe to receive a text reminder for the services.