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

Nail Holes

A father was trying to explain the consequences of careless living to his son. So the father told his son to drive a nail into the post each time he did something wrong. Whenever the boy did a kind act he was allowed to pull out the nail. The son followed his fathers instructions but he found out that although he could pull out the nail he could do absolutely nothing about the nail hole. Thus, one might change his ways, but the scars remain

Nail Hole

David disobeyed God when he numbered Israel. The real issue was not that David took the census it was that he disobeyed God by carrying it out. David insisted on things being carried out in his way, even when God had said “No”. An iron law of life is that evil will not go unpunished, and  the sin David committed was no exception. Judgement did come for David, but fortunately for him he was given the opportunity to make a choice out of the punishments.  Here is an account of this major Bible prayer;

2 Samuel 24:10-14

10 And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the Lord, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.11 For when David was up in the morning, the word of the Lord came unto the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying,12 Go and say unto David, Thus saith the Lord, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.13 So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me.14 And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man. 

David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into human hands” (Verse 14) Out of the 3 choices David was given he chose to take his chances with God than rather than man. David wisely chose the form of punishment that came most directly from God. He knew how brutal and harsh men in war could be, and he also knew God’s great mercy. From this we can learn that whenever we sin greatly, we should turn back to God. To be punished by him is greater than to take your chances without him.

There are 2 important lessons that can be derived from this major Bible prayer.

  1. We can never get away with evil. We are always going to suffer with the scars of sin
  2. We can always rely on their mercies of God to restore us, if and only if we come before God in full confession and sincerely seek His help. Wouldn’t it have been better to just obey him in the first place?

Now remember, just like the son in the story one can change his ways, but the scars of sin remain. 

Stay blessed,

Dara Dare

P.S- Please share with friends, family and your social media. The next blog post is about Spiritual Atrophy and will be entitled Prayer Practice, Be sure to check back for that post, on Monday. If you have any prayer requests, no matter how big or small they are send them through this form (click here for the form) 🙂

The Blot 

Now we are going to move into the book of Joshua. I found this entry particularity interesting, when I read it on the bible plan. 

An author went to visit his friend, and he found her very upset. She had ruined an expensive handkerchief by a blot of indelible ink. She cried out “Nothing can be done about it”. The author took the cloth home that night, and returned it to her a few days after. The blot that was on the handkerchief could not be recognised . The author had made a spectacular design by using the blot itself as the basis for a pattern. The cloth was even more valuable than it was before it got stained. 

This story is also illustarated in the book of Joshua. After the great victory the Israelites had at Jericho, they were embarrassingly defeated at Ai.  Joshua was very frustrated because of their defeat and questioned God, on why he let such happen to them. Joshua also complained that such a defeat would be a blot on Israel’s reputation and would reflect badly on God as well. This account is in Joshua 7:6-13;

‭‭Joshua‬ ‭7:6-13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

6 Joshua and the elders of Israel tore their clothing in dismay, threw dust on their heads, and bowed face down to the ground before the Ark of the Lord until evening. 7 Then Joshua cried out, “Oh, Sovereign Lord, why did you bring us across the Jordan River if you are going to let the Amorites kill us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side! 8 Lord, what can I say now that Israel has fled from its enemies? 9 For when the Canaanites and all the other people living in the land hear about it, they will surround us and wipe our name off the face of the earth. And then what will happen to the honor of your great name?”10 But the Lord said to Joshua, “Get up! Why are you lying on your face like this? 11 Israel has sinned and broken my covenant! They have stolen some of the things that I commanded must be set apart for me. And they have not only stolen them but have lied about it and hidden the things among their own belongings. 12 That is why the Israelites are running from their enemies in defeat. For now Israel itself has been set apart for destruction. I will not remain with you any longer unless you destroy the things among you that were set apart for destruction.13 “Get up! Command the people to purify themselves in preparation for tomorrow. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Hidden among you, O Israel, are things set apart for the Lord. You will never defeat your enemies until you remove these things from among you.

God pointed out the problem that Israel had to Joshua, and then Achan’s sin was corrected. ( if you are not familiar with this story read chapter 6 &7 of Joshua) The second time the Israelites went against Ai in battle they were victorious. God had taken the blot, being defeated terrible because of Achan’s sin, and made something beautiful from it. Just like the author in the story told earlier. It has been said that when the Israelites where in Jericho they learnt the lesson of faith and at Ai they learned obedience. No one can argue that the lives of the Israelites were enriched by the blot of Ai. In the same way the lives of Israelites were touched by the incident, our lives are sometimes touched with defeat. If at those times we remember to pray and seek the face of God, He will point out all our problems and take the handkerchief of our lives to make a beautiful and valuable masterpiece.
While we are looking at this passage I would like to point out some things I discovered while studying.  We are told in verse 6 that Joshua and the elders tore their clothing and put dust upon their heads as signs of deep mourning before God. They were all confused about their defeat of Ai, which was a small city compared to Jericho where they had conquered. Their actions demonstrated that they went before God in deep humility and sorrow in order to receive instructions from Him. When our lives fall apart, we should turn to God for direction and help. Likewise, we should humble ourselves so that we will be able to hear His Word

Another thing we can learn from this major prayer, is how we pray. Re-read verses 7-9. Imagine if you prayed in that same way to God. It is far from being formal, at that time Joshua was afraid and confused by what happened, so he poured out exactly what was on his mind/chest. It is pointless to hide your needs from God, because that’s like ignoring the only person who can truly help you out. God welcomes our honest prayers and so we should express our true feelings to Him. A believer can become more honest in prayer by remembering that God is all knowing (Psalm 139) and powerful and his love for each of us is everlasting. 

Remember when you are defeated seek The Lord in prayer; He will point out all your problems and take the handkerchief of your life and make an unrecognisable masterpiece out of it. 

Stay blessed,

Dara x
P.S- stay tuned for more posts in this series. Feel free to also send in your prayer requests on the prayer request page