Good Tuesday AM. I think today's Bible study will be fun and possibly very engaging. Today I want us to discover What Did Jesus Do?
Before we begin our study let us get our heat and mind focused on Jesus.
Wow! - Brag on God.
Now... - Tell God what's going on in your life. This includes the good, the bad, and the ugly.
How? - Stop talking and start listening. What is God saying to you by his Holy Spirit and his Word?
Re-read these verses and list out exactly how Jesus started toward the "hope of his calling" (Paul's prayer in Ephesians chapter 1).
Don't read ahead. Don't let me chew this for you. Dig into these verses and discover how Jesus started.
When you think you've got it continue reading.
1. Jesus came from Nazareth
2. Jesus was baptized
3. The Holy Spirit was sent upon him
4. The Father affirms Jesus
5. The Holy Spirit leads Jesus to a 40 day fast
6. Jesus starts his ministry
7. Jesus makes disciples
Did you notice all of those?
How might you explain each of these or what do these mean to you? (Chew on this)
This is what I think.
1. Jesus came from Nazareth - this is the picture of salvation. For each follower, there is a time when you came from somewhere and began following God. As Paul writes in Ephesians, this is not because of your good works, if so, you could brag about it. But rather, you were saved by faith when God opened your eyes to see the salvation he provides in his one and only son Jesus!
God revealing his salvation is where everyone starts.
2. Jesus was baptized - this is our first act of following Jesus. Jesus died on the cross and resurrected from the grave. Jesus' command for baptism is our way to show, that, like Jesus, we have put to death our old life and how been resurrected as a new creation in Christ Jesus.
(personal note...As a pastor I see way too many followers skip this step. Baptism is the first thing a new follower should do. It's impossible to live a new life in Jesus when you haven't buried the old.)
3. The Holy Spirit came upon Jesus. When did this happen? As he was coming up out of the water. When the old you is put to death (going under the water) and the new creation is given life (as you come up out of the water) you receive the very spirit of God, the Holy Spirit. It is in the new you that the Holy Spirit resides. Think on this...the very Spirit that lived in Jesus lives in you = mind blown!
4. The Father affirms Jesus. Notice what the Father says, "You are my one dear Son; in you I take great delight." Question, What has Jesus done up to this point? He hasn't done one miracle yet. Nothing. Nada. Please get this...God's love for you have NOTHING to do with what you are able to do for God. God loves you because you are "in Christ." Your identity must be found in Christ and NOT in what you do for Christ. Even if you stopped doing all your good, God would still love you and be pleased with you because you are "in Christ."
5. The Holy Spirit leads Jesus to 40 days of fasting. Salvation, baptism, receiving of the Holy Spirit, Identity in Jesus, and then comes the hard part...the time of preparation. What other examples of "40" can you find in your Bible? What you will find is each one is a time of preparing. But preparing for what? I would submit this...40 days to prepare you for the "hope of your calling." The reason you might have skipped this part is because it is painful and very very hard...and we sometimes can't see how God could use pain or discomfort to prepare us. But he does. I see these 40 days as a time when God gets bigger and you get smaller (literally because you're not eating).
6. Jesus starts his ministry. Now Jesus is ready. Here's what I bet you did. You "came" from your past life and started in some sort of ministry. Hmmm...you might have skipped some steps?
7. Jesus makes disciples. Jesus invited people into his life to watch, listen, and do. That's what discipleship is. It's not a course you take but rather a life you watch being lived and then you mimic that life. Paul says to the younger Timothy, "Follow me as I follow Christ."
What is God saying to you? What step(s) did you skip?
What will you do about it?
Will you do what Jesus did?
Live like Jesus.