* Matthew 3 *
John the Baptist prepares the way preaching in the wilderness of Judea telling people, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
People came to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
John gave a very powerful warning in verses 10 - 12 saying, “The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
Then Jesus came and was He himself was baptized by John, in order to fulfill all righteousness (my paraphrase from verse 15)
This next part I would have loved to have seen! Check out verse 16-17:
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water.
At that moment heaven was opened,
and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.
And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
It is vital that we recognize baptism is out of obedience to God as a display of our choice to follow Him as Lord over our life.
Baptism is NOT the way to salvation. If you have not confessed your sins and accepted Jesus into your life, then baptism is a display without any change in the heart’s condition.
Notice that John did not tell the people, “Be baptized, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” No, he said, “REPENT, for the Kingdom of heaven is near.” Do not get confused about the way of salvation. It is not by your deeds, your tithes and offerings, your kindness, your love, or your church attendance. Salvation is through JESUS alone.
Today I’d like to give an invitation to come to the feet of Jesus.
Answer the following questions to yourself:
1. Do you believe you are a sinner?
2. Do you believe that Jesus came to die on the cross to bring salvation to all mankind who choose Him and rose to life on the 3rd day?
3. If you said yes to # 1 and # 2, are you ready to confess to God and tell Him that you recognize you are a sinner in need of a Savior and that you believe He is the one and only true God?
Pray to Him now, “Father in Heaven, Jesus, King of Kings,
I recognize I am a sinner in need of a Savior.
I believe you are the one and only true God, that Jesus is the Son of God,
that He came to die on the cross for my sins,
that He rose again the 3rd day,
and I want you to come into my heart and be Lord over my life.
Thank you for this free gift of salvation. Amen.”
If you prepared that prayer, you are indeed in the family of God and promised the FREE gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ!
If you have prayed this prayer, please reach out to me and let me know in the comments or private message me if you prefer to remain anonymous. I would LOVE to help you get connected to a Church family, pray for you and answer any questions you have about what to do next as you grow in your faith in Christ!
Be blessed my brothers and sisters!
Your beloved sister in Christ,