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New Beginnings

As a child my family started each day reading and discussing the Bible together. My dad read a Scripture passage and we all took turns praying. During one prayer time, I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior, to save me from my sins and lead my life. Several years later my dad baptized me, a sign declaring I had begun a new life with God. I wanted to follow in the Savior’s footsteps and publicly profess my faith.

Have you made a decision to follow Jesus? Have you been baptized, publicly professing new life in God?”

The Lamb of God

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)
All the ancient sacrifices foreshadowed a sacrifice perfectly fulfilled by Christ, a sacrifice approved by God. Jesus bore the consequences of sin in order for guilt to be removed, opening a way to God. John refers to “the sin of the world,” the cross of Christ is completely adequate for everyone.

The God Man

He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ I did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.”  (John 1:30-31)
Jesus was the God/man. He existed before creation and came to earth in human form. John’s baptism led people to repentance and to Jesus. John knew his baptism ministry would reveal the Messiah and remained faithful to his calling.

The Holy Spirit

Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ (John 1:32-33)
Jesus was baptized by John at the start of His public ministry. Followers of Jesus are baptized as a way to identify with Christ, declaring a desire for a new beginning with God. At Jesus’ baptism, the Holy Spirit came down upon Him in a form of a dove. This indicated to John that Jesus was the Messiah.

beginning

Photo credit: ghINDIA (cc)

The One true God

After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” (Matt 3:16-17)
In a moment’s time, came the witness of the one true God — God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. A commissioning of Jesus into His public ministry.

God’s Chosen One

And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God. (John 1:34)
The descent of the Spirit on Jesus was the climax of John’s testimony. John designates Jesus the Son of God, God’s Chosen One. As His Son, Jesus reveals God in an understandable way. The prophets spoke for God, yet none could say they were “near to the Father’s heart” (John 1:18).

Confronting sin

John’s role was to confront sin. He raised the issue, pricked the conscience, and surfaced the conviction. He could not forgive, redeem, or eradicate sin. He pointed people to Jesus for cleansing, forgiveness, and renewal.

The challenge

Ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. Publicly profess faith by being baptized in water. Dedicate your life to Him, pointing others to the One who restores fellowship with God.

How are you pointing others to Jesus? Share your comments below.

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