Serving The Church – 3

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Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”

But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.

When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” – Matthew 3:13-17

The Objective of the Kingdom—Redemption

The baptism of Jesus reveals that the prevailing attitude of the kingdom of God is humility, the dynamic of the kingdom is Holy Spirit power, and the objective of the kingdom is redemption.

We can see that objective symbolized in the baptism of Jesus. The Bible tells us that when Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, the Spirit of God descended upon Him like a dove. God spoke and said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” In the baptism of Jesus, God was saying in three ways that the object of the ministry of His Son was to win people to salvation and life everlasting.

A. Baptism

First, what does baptism symbolize? It symbolizes that Jesus was buried and was raised from the grave (Romans 6:4). So when Jesus was baptized, He was pointing toward His death and saying, “I’m going to die to redeem humankind.”

B. The Dove

Second, the Bible says that when Jesus was baptized, a dove came out of heaven. The dove was the little bird offered by a poor man in the temple so that his sin could be cleansed and forgiven. The baptism of Jesus was stating that through the death of Christ people can be forgiven of sin.

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C. God’s Voice

Third, when Jesus was baptized, God spoke and said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” That sentence is composed of two quotations from the Old Testament. “This is my beloved Son” is taken from Psalm 2:7. That psalm is a description of the Messiah. So when God spoke at Jesus’ baptism, He revealed from heaven that Jesus was to be the Messiah: “This is my beloved Son”; Jesus is the Christ. “In whom I am well pleased” is taken from Isaiah 42:1, which is a description of the Suffering Servant. In that statement, God revealed that as the Messiah, Jesus would die for His people—His throne would be a cross.

As workers in the kingdom of God, we need to know the objective of the kingdom. The objective is to win people to Christ and to help them to grow in discipleship—the objective is redemption. Jesus summarized His entire ministry in one sentence, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” – Luke 9:10.

Teacher, are you teaching to win your students to Christ? Choir member, are you singing to bring people to a saving knowledge of Christ? Usher, are you ushering people into church so that they might be saved by the grace of God? Are we witnessing so that lost souls can be saved? We must, because the object of the kingdom is redemption.

Years ago, an hermit lived in the mountains of Virginia. The village boys laughed at the old man. One of them decided to play a trick. He said to his friend, “I know how we can fool him. I’ll take a live bird, hold it in my hand, and ask him what it is. When he answers, I’ll then ask whether it’s alive or dead. If he says it’s dead, I’ll let it fly away. If he says it’s alive, I’ll crush it.”

The boys trapped a bird, then found the old hermit at the door of his house. “I have a question for you. What is it I hold in my hand?”

“Well, my son, it looks like a sparrow you’ve caught.”

“Right, then tell me, Is it alive or dead?”

The old man knew their intention. He fixed his eyes on the boy for a long moment. Then he said, “It is as you will, my son.”

How goes the work of your church and the individuals within? It is as you will! But characterized by humility, energized by the power of the Holy Spirit, and with redemption as our goal, we cannot fail!

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Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of teaching, encouragement and intercessory prayer from the Holy Bible, the written Word of God and author of the ministry website, For The Love of God. He lives in Delta, Colorado with his beautiful wife of 50+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom they affectionately call Bella.
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