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

To Gain the World or lose your Soul? 

Today, 10.03.2015, is my Baptism Birthday ( as I like to call it). Whenever I’ve said this to someone, I usually got the same reaction ( a confused & puzzled expression). This day is important to me as it’s a reminder of the decision I made 3 years ago to be BORN AGAIN and start a new life in Christ. I can honestly say my life has been different ever since I decided to accept Jesus as my personal Saviour. I’m obviously not perfect (all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of The Lord), but my personal relationship with Christ has developed and in turn, I have begun to reflect His nature. Thanks be to God! 😄

As a young Christian living in the 21st century, it can be difficult to not get carried away with the ways and customs of our society. We live in a “YOLO” society where life can often be about having fun NOW, living life to the fullest, which initially isn’t wrong but it is very easy to allow the things of the world distract you from a purpose-driven life in Christ. Such things grab our attention and divert us off the journey to our final destination: Heaven.

“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul [life]? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul [life]? (Matthew 16:26) When we don’t know Christ, we make choices as though this life were all we have. In reality, this life is just the introduction to eternity. How we live this brief span determines our eternal state. What we accumulate on earth has no value in purchasing eternal life. Our level of popularity, the highest social or civic honours, the contacts & connections we have cannot earn our way into heaven. I ask you today to evaluate what happens in your daily life with an eternal perspective and hopefully, you will notice that your values and decisions are/ should be changing.

In the ancient world slave markets, a slave had to be redeemed or ransomed in order to be freed. Jesus paid that very price for us, in order to be set free from slavery to sin and to begin living a new life in Him. “No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them— the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough— so that they should live on forever and not see decay [never see the grave]” (‭Psalm‬ ‭49‬:‭7-9‬ NIV) From this we know that it’s impossible for a person to buy eternal life with God. Only God can redeem (save us) from sin. If you are relying on wealth and physical comforts to keep you happy, understand that you will never have enough wealth to keep yourself from death.

The Christian rapper Lecrae once said; “If I’m wrong about God then I wasted my life. If you’re wrong about God then you wasted your eternity” wow!!  Food for thought! We don’t have anything to lose if we follow God and abide by his Word. However, if we do the opposite and have no regard or belief in God, we lose the opportunity of an eternity. So how do we ensure that we are living on the right track and accepting God’s redemption? By placing him first place in our lives. The fasting habit is one way I’ve cultivated in placing God first.  When I got baptized in 2012, I abstained from secular music and Eastenders for 40 days through the help of the Holy Spirit.  During that period I was able to restore my “first love” in the Lord, and have a dynamic personal revival in my life. Thanks be to God, ever since then I’ve stopped watching Eastenders and listening to secular music ( with the small exception of afrobeats 🙊). I discovered that when you fast you’ll discover more time to pray and seek God’s face. It’s also a biblical way to humble yourself in the sight of God, King David ssaid: I humble myself by fasting” (Ps 35:14). When you fast, no matter how long, the blessings shall continually be showered upon you. 

By abstaining from certain things that constantly demand your attention, you are ensuring that you do not lose your soul. It is very easy to purse worldly happiness, but the truth is that they will not satisfy you. Only God can give you the satisfaction you want. The answer to the question: What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul [life]? is NOTHING, there’s no good, no profit! Make the right choice to turn your focus from things in this world and have an eternal focus. We can save our souls by having a relationship with God, notice the difference it makes.Lord forgive us when we get consumed by the things of this world that fight for our love and our passion. As our eyes open wide on You, grant us the privilege of Your world And may Your kingdom be what wakes us up and lays us down.

Stay blessed,

Dara x