3:16 – The Gospels

In my last post, I told you about a book named:  3:16 The Joy of the Gospel and how I was going to share more from that book – so here I am with some more juicy gospel truth. Some Quick Disclaimers – I may not actually go through all books of the New Testament (well 6 books don’t actually have a 3:16), but I will try to share as much as I can.  This post will cover the 3 other gospel 3:16 in Matthew, Mark Luke.

Matthew 3:16

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:

Matthew’s 3:16 discusses The Gospel in the Baptism of Jesus. Did you know that baptism is about the only doctrine that is in the New Testament but not in the Old Testament? It was introduced during the intertestamental period (time between the end of OT and start of NT). The word baptism or baptise comes from the Greek word baptizo – to immerse or dip or plunge. Jesus did not go to have water sprinkled or poured over Him, he was fully immersed under water which correlates with what Paul says in Romans 6:4 –“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism [immersion]  into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life [resurrection].”

You may have wondered was it  necessary for Jesus to be baptised and “thus  fulfil all righteousness”? Jesus was pure, he didn’t  have sins to be repentant of. However, Jesus identities himself with us – His people and leaves an example for us to follow. Although there was  No sin in Him, every sin was on HimJesus had the sins of the world on Him thus needed to symbolically wash them away. Verse 17 of Matthew 3:16, further illustrates the unity of the Godhead during Jesus’ baptism and how each one is a necessary component of the Good News of Salvation.

Mark 3:16
And Simon he surnamed Peter;

A rather small and insignificant looking text. Mark’s 3:16 explores The Gospel where you may not expect itIf you recall, Jesus had an inner circle out of all the disciples who were given special privileges on at least 3 recorded occasions; raising of the daughter of Jairus, Mount of Transfiguration & in the garden of Gethsemane when Jesus went to pray. It is no surprise that Peter whom he names – Cephas which meant a Stone, is part of this circle. In several instances in Peter’s life before the cross he displays a lack of understanding of Jesus’ mission.  Peter, in his usual speak-before-you-think manner, declares his undying loyalty to Jesus and we all know how that ended – denies Jesus  3 times and the last one included swearing & cursing.

So what has the Mark 3:16 verse got to do with the Gospel ? Peter is a person of complex nature, which I’m sure we can all relate to in one way or another. Peter is impetuous, well-meaning, loyal, frail-of-faith, unconverted-though-we-think-we-are, remorseful when our spirituality is revealed for its weakness, talented, able to achieve beyond our ability when we are really converted [not just on paper], self-opinionated Jesus said to Peter “when you are converted, strengthen your brethren” Luke 22:32 This same message applies to us, we need to examine ourselves to see whether we are truly converted. But when you see the latter part of Peter’s story, you see he dedicated his life to spreading the good news. That is the glory of the Gospel when it touches the hearts of men & women, you and I. It transforms the character, it puts a backbone into spineless “Christians”.  When you are indeed converted, when you understand the Gospel, you will certainly strengthen your brethren just as Peter did.

Luke 3:16
John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

Finally Luke – The Beloved Physician – And the Gospel. From this 3:16 text we can see John the baptist’s greatest quality ; Humility. The well known text “He must increase, but I must decrease” was by John. Additionally, John reveals 2 things: 1. He was a forerunner. 2. Christ would baptise with the Holy Spirit and fire.

To put simply this text tell us that John’s baptism with water symbolised the washing away of sins, which is in line with his message about repentance and reformation. Jesus’ baptism with fire equips a person with power to carry out God’s Will. This began on the day of pentecost when the Holy spirit came upon the disciples and they began speaking in tongues which enabled them to proclaim Jesus’ resurrection in a variety of languages. Having said that speaking in tongues is not the only way in which you can be baptised by the Holy Spirit, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t speak in tongues. The Bible says you can tell if someone has the spirit by their fruits (love, joy, peace …) not gifts. Different people get different gifts and you don’t prove that someone has the Holy Spirit by their gifts. The Holy Spirit comes in different degrees, It can come as waves in our lives. When we need more of the Holy Spirit we get more. Jesus said when you’re brought to bear witness for your faith, the Holy Spirit will be given to you in special portion men, to defend the truth. When the Holy Spirit came on Samson, he was given supernatural strength. The Holy Spirit came on King Saul and he prophesied. The Holy Spirit came on David and he was able to write Psalms.

The Holy Spirit is working in your life to bring about conviction for sin before you’re ever baptised or saved. It’s the Holy Spirit that leads us and teaches us in our understanding as we hear the truth.  Additionally, The Holy Spirit guides us in our day-to-day decisions.

Finally 3 take home points from this undiluted word…

  1. Jesus is our model for baptism, and we should follow suit when we feel like the time is right.
  2. The Gospel can transform our lives just as it transformed Peter’s.
  3. The Holy Spirit comes in different degrees throughout our lives. The fruits we bear show that we are lead by the Spirit.
Stay Blessed
Dara x
P.S – Stay tuned for more upcoming posts
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3:16 : John

It’s that time of the year when everyone around the world remembers/ celebrates the death & resurrection of our saviour either by easter egg hunts, going to services or just relaxing during the break. Oh yeah I only just found out that eating hot cross buns was an easter tradition and Jamaicans celebrate Good Friday with fried fish. Haha.. guess you are always learning new things.  But what does this season mean to you specifically?

About 4 years ago I read a book about all the 3:16s in the new testament, it was a great read so I thought it was only right to share what I learnt. In this post I will speak specifically about the verse that encapsulates the gospel : John 3:16 then in subsequent posts I hope to share the other 3:16s with you.

Let me start with a question, Who was the initial recipient of this sentence? It was, Nicodemus, a troubled Pharisee who had come to Jesus in the middle of the night probably because he was afraid or ashamed to be with seen with Jesus. Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be born again, however he did not understand how this could happen. Then Jesus gave him a fundamental element of the goodness of God and the ultimate gateway to Heaven; For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 

Here are the basics of John 3:16 (J.H):

God The Author
So loved The Measure
The World The Object
Whoever believes should not perish The Purpose
Have eternal life The Ultimate Result

This analysis also shows why John 3:16 is classed as the greatest  (Anon):

God The greatest lover/giver
So loved The greatest motive
The World The greatest number
That he gave The greatest act
His only begotten son The greatest gift
That whoever The greatest invitation
Believes The greatest DECISION
In him The greatest attraction
Should not perish The greatest promise
But The greatest difference
Have The greatest certainty
Eternal life The greatest possession

and my favourite The Triune (Trinity) God in John 3:16 (Anon).

God Ruler Micah 5:2
So benefactor Psalm 68:19
Loved Lover 1 John 4:8-10
The Creator Genesis 1:1
World Maker Psalm 95:6
That Purpose Ephesians 3:11
He Governor Matthew 2:6
Gave Giver 1 Timothy 6:17
His Father Isaiah 9:6
Only Saviour Luke 2:11
Begotten Mediator 1 Timothy 2:5
Son Redeemer Job 19:25
That Intercessor Isaiah 53:12
Whoever Provider Genesis 22:8
Believes Counsellor Isaiah 9:6
In Revealer Daniel 2:22
Him Messenger Malachi 3:1
Should Commander Isaiah 55:4
Not Comforter John 14:26
Perish Deliverer Romans 11:26
But Restorer Ruth 4:15
Have Bestower Isaiah 63:7
Eternal Keeper Psalm 121:5
Life Preserver Psalm 28:8

Beautiful, right? So once again what does this easter season mean to you? Do you recognise that you’ve been given the greatest promise (shall not perish) to have the greatest possession (eternal life), by the greatest giver (God) who gave the greatest gift (life of his son)? What does this mean for you and me, saved or not, believer or not? – we are told to BELIEVE in Him.

To believe means much more than agreeing with the facts; it means personal commitment. You can believe that Barack Obama is a real person, but knowing that might not affect you personally. Similarly you can believe that Jesus lived over 2,000 years ago and died on the cross, and this may not affect your lifestlye. Believing that Jesus existed is not enough because even the devil believes {Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. James 2:19}. We know that the devil will not be saved, but what makes our belief different from his? To truly believe In Him as specified in John 3:16, we don’t stop at believing Jesus Christ existed but we commit our lives to Him and trust that He is our LORD & SAVIOUR. The devil doesn’t believe that God can save him and that is a decision you and I can make that differs us from him. The greatest decision a person can make is to trust that only Christ can truly save him/her.

I will leave you with this verse from Hebrews 11:6 : And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Believing that God exists is only the beginning, He will not settle for your mere acknowledgement of his existence. He wants to have a personal, dynamic, life-transforming relationship with you. The reward of those who earnestly seek Him is the greatest possession we could ever be certain of having : Eternal life.

Stay Blessed,

Dara x