“The Baptism of the Beloved Son” – Matthew 3:13–17

January 16, 2022

“The Baptism of the Beloved Son” – Matthew 3:13–17

Passage: Matthew 3:13-17
Service Type:

Hear now the word of the Lord from Matthew 3:13-17.

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”Matthew 3:13-17, ESV

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God endures forever.

If you follow the news, you probably are aware that there are a number of stories and a number of information coming out about a lot of breakdowns that are happening in the worldwide supply chain. You may have even experienced this firsthand yourself. Things are being delayed when you're ordering them. Not all the parts are being able to get to certain places for bigger things to be manufactured. Some things just aren't available at all. You go to some stores and the shelves are empty. So you may have heard about this, you may have experienced this.

I talked to a deacon this morning and some of the efforts that we're trying to work on at this church have been delayed by supply chain issues. I talked to someone right before the service who mentioned that he's having difficulty getting a vanity for a bathroom because of supply chain issues. A lot of people are experiencing this, and it's causing Americans to reflect on a question that by God's grace, we haven't often had to ask ourselves, what if I can't get what I want? What if I can't get what I need, possibly even.

You see, by God's grace in America, we very often taken for granted that if there is a product out there that we want and we have the money to pay for that product, then we can pay someone who will take our money and give us that product. We've largely taken that for granted. We see how a few things here and a few things there going wrong can really interrupt that supply chain. We see that what we took for granted may not have been on as firm of foundation as we thought it had been.

Now my goal this morning certainly isn't to dive into the problems of worldwide supply chain issues, we are certainly not to solve them. I bring this story up because I think it illustrates something that's happening in the passage, we're looking at today. Last week, we talked about the fact that this doctrine of repentance was central to the mission and ministry and message of John the Baptist. When he came preaching, he came preaching repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. When people came to be baptized by him, he said that his baptism was by water and for repentance, so that people came confessing their sins when he baptized them. Furthermore, he turned away the Pharisees and the Sadducees because they were coming for baptism, but they did not bear fruit in keeping with repentance. Repent, repent, repent.

The promise of the gospel that we talked about last week is that for all those who repent from our sins, turn from our sins and look to Christ in faith. Jim reminded us of this and the liturgy this morning that for all those who look to Christ in faith, your sins will be forgiven. That's the promise of the gospel. Maybe we need to ask, why is that the case? Is that something that we take for granted, but that might go away? What kind of a foundation does that rest on? Is that something that I might lose tomorrow or is this dependent on how well I repent? Unless I repent then will God not be pleased to forgive me?

Well, what we see in this passage is the grounds for why repentance works. It's not because of anything that we do. It flows from the love of the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit for his people.

And so this morning, our big idea is this that King Jesus came to cleanse sinners.

It's in this, as Jesus is baptized and submits to baptism, that we see the way in which he came to cleanse sinners, and to grant that through repentance and faith his righteousness might flow to sinners like you and like me.

So three parts to this morning's sermon.
1. Christ's Association with Sinners
2. Christ's Anointing from the Holy Spirit
3. Christ's Approval from the Father

Christ's Association with Sinners

So first, we see Christ's association with sinners in verses 13 through 15. In verse 13, Jesus rather abruptly comes on the scene. We talked about how in the last passage last week that John the Baptist just very abruptly comes on the scene in Matthew's gospel. We don't have the back story of John the Baptist's life. However here we have some of the back story of Jesus's infancy, but we don't have, for example, the account that we have in Luke, where Jesus goes into the temple at the age of 12 and is discussing and teaching really the teachers of the law in that place. We find that Matthew has skipped over the rest of Jesus's infancy after he was carried off in exile to Egypt and brought back and settled in in Nazareth in Galilee.

Matthew skips over the rest of Jesus's infancy, the rest of his childhood, the rest of his adolescence, the rest of his early adulthood. We know from the gospel of Luke that Jesus is 30 years old when this takes place. Matthew skipped over the rest of 30 years of Jesus' life, and now we find out only one thing about Jesus as Jesus is reintroduced to us, that's that Jesus bursts on the scene with one intention of being baptized by John. That's all we know about him.

We read Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John to be baptized by him. Now, why would this be the case? Well, this we are going to see the baptism of Jesus marks the beginning the entrance of Jesus into his phase of public ministry, that's the general answer. But again, we have to ask the question why then does he need to be baptized for this purpose? Why can't he just go and like John, start preaching and teaching and healing and doing all the miracles that he's going to do? Why does he need this baptism?

Well, apparently this was a sticking point for John as well, because we were reading verse 14 that John would have prevented him. This is written to sort of describe John as starting to prevent him, trying to prevent him getting in his way until Jesus tells him to stop and to move forward with the baptism.

Now, John's confusion probably stems from a couple of issues that we see represented in verse 11 from the previous passage. So I want to show you what John the Baptist says about himself and his own baptism to illustrate why he was confused that Jesus would come to him to be baptized. So in 3:11 John the Baptist is speaking, and he says, "“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."

So three issues you might see there. First of all, John, the Baptist is recognizing that he is inferior to Jesus. Jesus is superior to him, "there's one coming after me who is mightier than I who sandals I am not worthy to carry." Jesus is superior to John. Why, then, would John baptize Jesus? Second, John's baptism is inferior to Jesus's baptism, John says, "I just baptize with water for repentance, but the one who comes after me, he will baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire." Well, if that's the case, if Jesus wields a greater baptism than John, why should John give his water baptism for repentance to Jesus? But the third has to do with this issue of repentance since Jesus has no sin. He has nothing to turn from, he has nothing to repent from, nothing to change his mind about his sin because he has no sin.

Why, then, should this Jesus receive a baptism of water for repentance from John? Well, it's interesting when John says this, and he says, "“I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" Jesus doesn't reject that thinking. He doesn't say, oh no, you're wrong, actually, I am inferior to you, actually, I am a sinner in need of repentance, actually, your baptism is greater than mine. He doesn't say any of that. He agrees with John. He agrees that he is superior to John. He agrees that he is sinless. He agrees that he is has the superior baptism to John's baptism.

Yet what he says in verse 15 is not to reject anything that John has said, but to simply cite an exception. To see there's another reason an overriding reason for this, and so he says, "Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then again, what does this mean? What is the righteousness that Jesus has to fulfill at the hands of John, who administers the baptism?

Well, again, this is not spelled out, but there are probably three major reasons that are behind this. The first has to do with a background motivation. The initial prompting for Jesus to be baptized. That would have to do with the will of the Father. Jesus came to take the form of a servant we read in Philippians 2:7. He came to humble himself in obedience to everything the Father wants, so this baptism is apparently a part of that. We know that to be the case because in verse 17, a little bit later, the Father declares from heaven, "This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased." That's in response to the fact that Jesus humbly submitted himself to baptism. So that's the first reason the background motivation for this in the will of the Father.

The next two reasons really have to do with the function of this what does this accomplish? What does Jesus do by receiving this baptism? Well, the first thing is that a very general level Jesus is here associating with sinners. He is identifying with sinners. He is not a sinner, but by receiving this baptism for repentance, he is stepping into the shoes of sinners to receive what sinners need to receive, namely this baptism for repentance. The third thing is that Jesus isn't just associating with us. He isn't just chumming around with us, paling around with us and hoping that it all works out from there. Jesus, by entering into the waters of this baptism for repentance, Jesus himself being pure and even holy Jesus is sanctifying these waters of baptism so that by these waters of baptism, we too are cleansed. It's not the water that cleanses us, it is Jesus Christ working through the water to cleanse sinners like you and like me. King Jesus came for this purpose, he came to cleanse sinners.

So in other words, if you take all of this together, John writes that Jesus did not need this baptism. More than that, Jesus was right. He didn't need this baptism, but we needed him to receive this baptism. Jesus had no need of it. We needed for Jesus to submit to this baptism. Jesus humbled himself indeed, he humiliated himself by receiving this baptism for sinners like you and me.

If you want to be humbled, learn a new language. Language is something that we all sort of do because we grow up doing it and our own language seems so easy. We just speak it. It just flows off of our tongues and our lips, and we don't have a problem with it. But if you want to be humbled, try to learn a different language and realize that a lot more goes into language than we realize. I remember after spending three years learning French that I went to France in high school, and I remember being humbled and in awe of watching the five year old French child in my host family, babbling fluently in a language that I had worked for so long to learn and he did so, so effortlessly. This child was outdoing me in this language. It was humbling. It was humbling.

If you really, really want to be humbled, it's not enough just to learn a language, try to teach someone else a language that they don't know. Because when you try to teach someone else a language, even a language that you may know very well, you have to really get down to their level. You can't just speak above them fluently in your own language that you speak quite well. You have to teach them the very basic building blocks and until they master those basic building blocks, you can't move beyond that.

I think if two language teachers I had during the course of my life, one was a German professor. I tried to learn German a little bit while I was in seminary and they let me audit a class at the undergraduate level where I was. I remember this professor who was a dear man, but his strategy for teaching was to teach you nothing but German from the very beginning of German. Well, all of it just totally went over my head. I had no ability to hear anything from him. He spoke at this high perfect German level, wonderful accent, wonderful man, but I learned nothing from that class.

I contrast that against my high school French teacher, who year after year took a bunch of ornery, rowdy high schoolers who spoke not a word of French and got down on their level. She did this for over 30 years, she was a magnificent French teacher, and she taught those bare basics once again and went through all the little drills and little silly songs year after year after year. Humbling herself to bring us up so that we could speak French as well.

What Jesus is doing here is to humble himself to get down on our level, not because he needs it, but because we need it. What Jesus is doing here is necessary to God's plan of redemption. Without this baptism, Jesus cannot save his people because he cannot cleanse his people. If Jesus doesn't do this, his people are doomed to never making any progress toward their salvation. Apart from him, we can do nothing. Make no mistake, there is an undeniable humiliation in what Jesus Christ is doing here, because he has to come down to our level. Because he must humble himself under an inferior baptize of John and under an inferior baptism, the baptism of repentance. He must humble himself by associating and identifying with sinners.

One author, Frederick Dale Bruner, points out a really important correlation both here and at the end of Jesus's life he is numbered among the transgressors. Here it's by entering into a baptism that sinners entered into. At the end of its life, it's when he's nailed between two thieves numbered among the transgressors. This is what Jesus came to do to humble himself by coming down to our level, by submitting to what we need and what he gives us on our behalf, to associate and identify with sinners.

In doing this, what we see clearly in this passage is that Jesus is not working alone. Not even John the Baptist, he's working with beyond that. Jesus is not acting independently as the Son of God in the flesh, he is working in concert and coordination with the other two persons of the Trinity. The next thing we see this is when Christ is anointed by the Holy Spirit.

Christ's Anointing from the Holy Spirit

So the second part is Christ anointing from the Holy Spirit in Matthew 3:16. So we read, and when Jesus was baptized. Now to dig a little bit into this, literally the grammar here is saying in Jesus having been baptized. In other words, the baptism is over, and the next thing that happens is that immediately Jesus went up from the water. That is, he left the river and got out onto the riverbank. The coming up out of the water is not a part of the baptism, it happens after the baptism.

Now the reason I point this out is our session is produced a study paper on the question of mode of baptism. Some Christians believe that immersion is necessary, and they would point to a passage like this. Seeing this coming up from the water as being the part of Jesus first being immersed under the water and then coming up from the water. But mode here is actually not at all in view. You might try to make that argument from other places, our church teaches that pouring and sprinkling is the right mode of baptism. Although immersion is not entirely wrong, we have immersed those who have requested that under certain circumstances. You can read more of our paper on our website.

I come here to point to this passage as we're here to say that what's happening here, what you are seeing is that Jesus is baptized, that's step one. Then after that, something else happens, that Jesus departs, he comes up out of the water, out of the river, onto the riverbank. Then a third thing happens, and this is what's particularly important. That when Jesus comes out of the river onto the riverbank, behold, the heavens were opened to him. We are not given many details about what this would be, except to say for a brief moment, the invisible things of heaven were made visible on Earth.

The heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him. Now, why does this happen, why does the Spirit of God descend upon Jesus like a dove? Some people have made connections to the Book of Genesis for this. So the first connection may be to Genesis 1:2, at the beginning of creation, we read in the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. So here we see the beginnings of a of a new creation. Once again, we find the Spirit of God hovering this time over Jesus.

The second possibility of a reference back to Genesis is from Genesis 8:12. Noah, as he's floating around in the ark waiting for the water to dissipate so that he can come back onto dry land, sends out a dove to find dry land somewhere out there. Once he sends a dove out and the dove comes back with a branch so that some of the water has dissipated so that the trees are sticking out again. The next time he sends out a dove, the dove does not return. Some people suggest, well, maybe there's a connection to the dove that does not return to this Holy Spirit, who comes down as a dove from heaven to rest upon him. Those may be possible connections. I won't go too deeply into them, but because the primary significance is a little bit different.

The primary significance is that here we are seeing that Jesus is anointed with the Holy Spirit. Remember, Matthew has told us at least four times so far that Jesus is the Christ. We saw that in Matthew 1:1, Matthew 1:16, Matthew 1:17, and Matthew 1:18, Jesus is the Christ. The Greek word Christ is the translation of the Hebrew word Messiah and both of those words in their respective languages mean anointed one in English. He is the anointed one.

The anointed one refers to the fact that there were three anointed offices, there were three categories of anointed ones, lowercase anointed ones. There were prophets, there were priests and there were kings. Prophets were anointed with oil, priests were anointed with oil and kings were anointed with oil to begin their ministry, their public ministry as prophet priests or as kings. They were anointed with oil as symbolic of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon them to equip them for the task at hand.

We see this very vividly, for example, in the anointing of David to the office of King. 1 Samuel 16:13 we read, "Then Samuel the prophet took the horn of oil and anointed David in the midst of his brothers, and the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward." The anointing with oil symbolized that this anointed one was equipped with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit rushed upon him from that day forward.

What we are seeing here is that the Holy Spirit is equipping Jesus, anointing him, setting him apart, empowering him for the ministry that he must embark upon in this earthly ministry, this is state of humiliation. Jesus first came in humiliation under the waters of baptism, and now remember, we are talking about God incarnate. But as God incarnate, he's not going to make full use of his power and prerogatives as the Son of God, as God himself. Instead, he is going to live in faith driven dependence on the Holy Spirit as the man Jesus Christ, in the same way that we must do.

You know, my wife and I recently moved, some of you know this and as we've readied one house to sell it and as we've done some minor repairs on the new house to get it fully readable, ready and livable for what we were looking for. It's interesting how much time and even money we've spent, not just on materials to do some of these repairs, on paint and caulking, on screws, on some door handles and things like that. But how much time and money we've had to spend on tools and training to do these sorts of things.

Now, I should be very clear, this is my wife doing all of this. I don't do any of this. I do some of this, just the basic stuff that I can't screw up. She's the handy woman in our house. What's interesting is that, you know, sometimes we'll find these projects and they're doable by people like us, by people like my wife. But we might not have the tool we need. We might have the equipment we the materials to use. We don't have the necessary tool to do the task and we don't have the training. So we spent a lot of time at Menards and on YouTube trying to get equipped for the task ahead of us.

Well, again, in this divine nature, Jesus is the eternal Son of God. He doesn't need any equipment. He is all powerful. He possesses the full power of the Father and the Son and the Spirit in himself, but in his earthly ministry. He is submitting in humiliation to not make use of his divine powers, his divine attributes to instead live in the way that we must live in faith driven dependence on the power of the Holy Spirit to equip him for everything that he must do as our redeemer. Again, Jesus doesn't need the Spirit's anointing. We need Jesus to receive the Spirit's anointing for the public ministry. He is about to embark upon for our salvation. The Son of God took upon a human nature to save miserable sinners like you and me.

The salvation will require absolute humiliation from the Lord of glory. We're seeing just the beginnings of this in his public ministry and toward this end. God, the Father gave his Spirit from heaven to empower and equip and comfort Jesus during the time and the ministry that he must do. This ministry is not the Ministry of the Son and the Holy Spirit alone, we see the third person of the divine trinity, God the Father is standing behind all of this.

Christ's Approval from the Father

This brings us to our third section Christ's approval from the Father. Matthew 3:17, look at this verse again, "Behold", we got to behold to talk about the heavens being opened in verse 16, and we get another behold here, "And behold, a voice from heaven said, 'This is my Beloved Son with whom I am well pleased.'"

Who is speaking here? The speaker is not named, but we can infer if the speaker is calling Jesus his Beloved Son, this is the Father speaking. The Father speaking of his Son, his Beloved Son. Now what is he saying exactly? Well, the Father isn't sort of making this philosophical theological declaration that the Father has eternally begotten the Son from all eternity passed. That would be true, and the rest of the Bible bears witness to that, but that's not what's being articulated here. The Father is rather saying something about this man who is God the Son, but God the Son incarnate, God the Son in the flesh. The Father is saying this man, though he may not look like it, though his glory may be veiled, though he may not be making use of his divine power and prerogatives.

This one is my beloved Son, and with him, I am well pleased. Now, why does the Father need to say this? Well, for two reasons, first of all, for Christ's sake and we know that because in the very next passage. Lord willing, we're going to look at this next week and the very next passage, Satan is going to test Jesus at precisely this point. If you are the Son of God, Satan says, then do this or that in rebellion against God. If you are the Son, let's test the boundaries of that, otherwise, maybe you're not really his Son. Well, before this happens, the Father declares, this is my Son, this is my beloved Son, in him I am well pleased.

Jesus knows his identity as he goes to face the devil himself for our salvation. This is done for Christ's sake, but this is also done for our sake. Because as we see God declare this message about God, the Son in the flesh, God the Son incarnate, we are hearing a gospel word that God counts us as his children, ff we are in Christ. If you are in Christ, if you are looking to Christ by faith, if you have been united to Christ by faith. This blessing flows like oil over the head of our high priest Jesus Christ, and flows down to the rest of his body, the church. You and I are accepted by Jesus Christ, because we are in here and we are accepted by the Father because we are in Christ. What Christ is doing here is to associate with us sinners, so that we sinners may then associate with the Father. If we are in Christ, this is the Father's stance toward us. We are his beloved Sons, in whom he is well pleased.

Now, it's important to know about this is that Christ didn't come into this world to persuade the Father as something that the Father didn't want to do. The fact that the Father's will was for Jesus to come into this world. The fact that the Father's will was for Jesus to identify and associate with sinners through baptism to be numbered among the transgressors tells us that this please the Father to send his Son into the world for the salvation of sinners that God so loved the world that he did not spare his only begotten Son, but gave him up for us all. It's the Father's will to cleanse sinners through Jesus Christ into his adopted children.

Have you ever been invited somewhere that you didn't entirely belong? Maybe to a wedding? Someone invited you to a wedding and you're like, oh, I don't know the bride or the groom that's going to be weird. Or maybe to a party where you didn't know the host. Maybe it's a small party, so you know that when you walk in the door, everyone's going to turn and look at you and say, who's this guy? What are you doing here? Are you a party crasher? Are you a wedding crasher? And you're worried that you just won't fit in. You're like, oh, I'm not really willing to do that. No, thanks.

What difference does it make when your friend says, no this is this isn't from me, I'm not just trying to slip you into this party on my behalf. I was asked by the host of this party to invite you. The host knows you; the host wants you at this party. He's the one who invited you to come to this. That makes all the difference in the world.

Christ is not smuggling us into heaven, much to the chagrin and surprise of God the Father. God the Father sent Jesus into this world. God the Father poured out his Spirit on Jesus Christ to equip him for everything that Christ and humiliation needed to do to procure your salvation, to accomplish everything necessary for righteousness, your righteousness so that you could be reconciled to God the Father in heaven. You're not crashing a party if you're looking to Jesus Christ. God, the Father has welcomed you, come in, come in.


Well, application from this, as we see what God is doing in and through Jesus for us is this repent for salvation is at hand. We saw the message and the ministry of John was repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, and what this means for those who believe is that salvation is at hand, repent for salvation is at hand.

Again, we talked about repentance a little bit last week. The repentance is a change of mind. That's literally what it means in Greek, to change your mind about something, to think about something differently. This stems from a change of heart, and it leads toward a change of life. This change of mind means that you no longer think about your sin as something that's permissible, that's fine, that's not a big deal in your life. You learn to think of your sin and judge your sin and the way that God does. That from the depths of your heart, this is the change of heart, you learn to hate the filthiness and odiousness of your sin. From that in your mind, it changes. You judge it differently, and from that, your life changes. You look in faith to Jesus Christ, you turn from your sin and you endeavor to follow after him by the grace of the Holy Spirit.

This is repentance, and this is what John the Baptist was preaching to prepare people for the coming of the king. But we have to consider one fact. Namely, that there is nothing about repentance itself that guarantees us anything from God. It's entirely possible that if repentance were only dependent upon us that there would be a massive supply chain issue of getting the righteousness of Jesus to us, because our repentance just isn't that strong. It just isn't that solid, just isn't that perfect and complete. A repentance earns us nothing from God, you can't take your repentance to God and demand that by contract, he gives you something that he owes you.

Indeed, our confession of faith, chapter 15, paragraph three, says that repentance is not to be rested in as any satisfaction for sin or any cause of the pardon. God does not forgive us on the grounds that we have repented. It isn't a good work that earns you something from God. Repentance is a grace. It's a gift from God. It means that God is not stood at a distance watching you from afar, maybe from the corners of heaven, with his arms folded and his and his face grumpy toward you. God instead with great love sent his Son into this world and through his free love and his free mercy and his free grace, he's made the first move toward you. As Romans 5:8 says, "God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." The love of God overflowed before you were born, before you could do anything to move to him when God knew that you were a sinner in need of salvation.

Out of infinite love, the Father worked, he worked to send his beloved Son into this world for your salvation. Out of infinite mercy, the Son worked, he worked by willingly being sent into this world, willingly condescending. When we use that about people who are equals, if I condescend to you, that would be rude. But when God Almighty condescends to come down to us, that's grace, free grace. Out of free mercy to the Son willingly came into this world, condescended in humiliation by taking the form of a servant, by associating with and identifying with sinners to wash you in the waters of baptism, not just water, but by the Holy Spirit and fire by his word and his Holy Spirit to cleanse you. He came to do this.

Also, thirdly, out of his infinite grace, God, the Holy Spirit, it worked. He worked to anoint Christ ,to accomplish everything that this task would require. The same Holy Spirit comes to us bearing God's love for us and all the riches of Christ accomplish work on our behalf, the Holy Spirit brings this to us and applies it to our lives. The gospel is a declaration of the measureless love of the triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit for sinners like you and like me.

This is how repentance works. Not because of how well you have worked, but because of the surety and certainty of the promises of God. As a confession of faith says in chapter 15, paragraph four, as there is no sin so small, but it deserves damnation, so there is no sin so great that it can bring damnation upon those who truly repent. Repentance and faith do not save you because you earn something from God by them. Repentance and faith save you because of the power of God's promises. He willingly promised that for all those who turned to him in repentance and faith will be saved.

This gospel promise was made clear from the very first Christian sermon that was preached on the day of Pentecost by the Apostle Peter himself in Acts 2:38-39, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit for the promise is for you and for your children, and for all who are far off everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself."

Friends, do you think yourself too great a sinner to be saved? Understand Christ's grace abound all the much more for your sin. Your sin is great, but Christ's grace abounds, much more repent and believe.

Do you think yourself to righteous a person to need to repent? I'm fine. This isn't real. I'm OK where I am. Thank you very much. Understand the abomination of your sin required the Lord of Glory to be crucified for you in your place. Repent and believe in Jesus.

Do you worry about the cost of letting goods and kindred go? The goods of this world, your friends and your family who may oppose Jesus Christ and would certainly oppose you if you turn to him? Friends repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. The king is coming. Don't look to his enemies, look to the sweeping power of the Almighty King, Jesus Christ.

Do you fear maybe, on the other hand, to approach the high king of heaven, the Lord of Hosts, the Holy One of Israel? Are you afraid to come into his presence? Do you wonder if he will say this is a party crasher, this person does not deserve to come into this place. Understand this God, this triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit is well pleased to save sinners. It has been his plan from all eternity past that has worked out in the fullness of time through his Son, Jesus Christ. He wants to save sinners. Jesus came to save sinners. Repent and belief and be saved.

The unimaginably good news of the promises of the gospel is that for all those who turn in repentance from their sins and look to Jesus Christ in faith will be saved. If this is you, if you're looking to Christ in faith, the word that God the Father spoke to Jesus is true. You are God's beloved Son. With you God is well pleased through Jesus Christ, who came to save sinners like you and me.

Let's pray. Heavenly Father, we pray that you would wash us and you would make us clean. We pray that you would give us Jesus Christ crucified for us. That not just by water, but by the blood of Christ sprinkled upon us, you would wash us and we would be clean. Our sings that are like scarlet, you would make us as white as snow. Father, I pray that if there are any here who do not yet know Jesus, you would turn their eyes to the savior in faith. Turning away from their sin and sorrow and hatred for its filthiness and odiousness, and look to the purity and the perfect righteousness of Jesus, who was once brought low in humiliation but now has been exalted over sin, death in the devil and is reining at your right hand until he comes again to put his final enemies under his feet. Oh Lord, haste that day. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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