1- Those were the days when Baptizing John first showed up, proclaiming the truth in the wilderness of Judea. 2- He shouted out, “Turn your live around! Heaven has come down to rule the world!” 3- Isaiah the Prophet wrote about Baptizing John long, long ago…
“Out in the wilderness, a voice is crying out…
‘Make way for the coming of our Lord,
Clear the paths, Welcome Him here!’”
4- John dressed himself with came fur and bore a leather belt around his waist, and he feasted on locusts and wild honey. 5- People travelled far to see him from Jerusalem and Judea and all around the Jordan River region. 6- People came and admitted all the sins they made and John washed them clean in the waters of the Jordan.
7- Eventually, even Pharisees and Sadducees came out to the river to see him—but when Baptizing John saw them all, he shouted—8- “You slimy snakes! Why are you here?! To escape God’s conquering of sin? 9- OK, then really repent and turn your lives around and change! Don’t think you’re safe because your great-great-great-great grandfather was Abraham. God could turn these ugly stones into children of Abraham! 10- Listen, the axe is sharp and ready to chop at the root of the trees, and every broken, barren tree will be cut down and burned to ashes. 11- I wash you with water as a symbol of your turning, renewed life. But He is coming soon after me, the One who is more powerful than me, the One who is so wonderful I don’t deserve to carry his shoes. He will really wash you clean with the power of God’s spirit and the refining of fire. 12- He is ready to separate us all, gathering his heat into the barn and destroying the chaff with never-ending fire.”
13- And then Jesus showed up by the Jordan riverside from Galilee to be washed by Baptizing John. 14- John wouldn’t have it! He kept telling him – “You must wash me clean– who am I to baptize you?” 15- Jesus told John, “For now, It must happen just like this to fulfill the plan of redemption.” So finally John did as she should. 16- John dipped Jesus under the water and the moment he emerged from the River, the heavens opened and shone with glory, and Jesus saw God’s spirit soaring down from above in the form of a dove and softly landing upon him. 17- A voice echoed from above: “Jesus is my dearly loved son– He brings joy to His Father’s heart!”
1- God’s Spirit guided Jesus and brought him out to the wilderness in order that he might undergo the testing and temptations of Satan. 2- After 40 days and nights of abstaining from food and water, Jesus was truly famished.
3- Satan came to him, whispering, “If you are God’s son, why don’t you feed yourself by turning these stones to bread?” 4- Jesus answered Satan—”It’s written in the Law…
‘People may eat their bread,
but they are nourished and filled by God’s word’”
5- Satan stole him away to Jerusalem, to the pinnacle of the Temple, whispering, 6- “If you are God’s on, JUMP! It says in the Psalms-
‘God has his angels watching over you,
they will you up in their hands,
so that you never even stub your toe against a rock’”
7- Jesus answered Satan, “It says in the Law…
‘Don’t test your God, your Lord.’”
8- And once more, Satan led Jesus to a high mountain peak and pointed out every land on earth, the glory of this world, 9- whispering, “I will give you all you see, if you merely bow down and worship me as your God” 10- Jesus replied with a shout– “Get out of here Satan! In the Law, it says…
‘Solely worship and serve Yahweh, your God.’”
11- And Satan fled from Jesus as angels drew near and brought him comfort.
12- Jesus heard the news that Baptizing John had been lock up in prison, and he rushed to Galilee. He left Nazareth and moved to live in Capernaum (by the lake in the land of Zebulun and Naphtali). 14- He did this to fulfill the words of Isaiah the Prophet…
15- Land of Zebulun! Land of Naphtali!
Beyond the Jordan, the way of the Sea!
Galilee, the land of the Gentiles,
16- the people so blind to the truth
have seen a great and glorious light
a light has dawned on those who live
in the land of the shadow of Death.
17- From then on, Jesus started proclaiming the truth, shouting out, “Turn your lives around, Heaven has come down to rule the world!”
18- Jesus strolled beside Galilee Sea and saw the brothers, Andrew and Simon the Rock. They were fishing with a net, for that was their job. 19- Jesus called to them, “Come join me, and I will give you a new job– You will fish for people now!” 20- The brothers dropped everything they had and joined Jesus to follow Him. 21- They strolled together and Jesus saw the Zebedee brothers—James and John. They were with Zebedee their dad in a boat, about to cast out their nets. Jesus called out to them and invited them to join Him, 22- and they jumped out of the boat, leaving their dad behind, and joined Jesus to follow Him.
23- Jesus travelled around Galilee—he taught in the synagogues, he told everyone the news of Heaven’s coming kingdom, and he healed every disease and every sickness of every person who came to Him. 24- People talked about Jesus all over Syria, and they brought Him the sick and suffering, those wrecked by the powers of evil, those having seizures, those who were paralyzed—and Jesus healed them all. 25- Enormous crowds came and travelled with him – people from Galilee, the Ten Cities, Jerusalem, Judea, and all over the Jordan River region.
1- Because we’ve been made right by trusting in Jesus Christ, we have peace with God once more through Jesus our Lord. 2- By trusting in Jesus, we now stand in the realm of grace and sign the story of hope, of God’s coming glory. 3- We see His glory in our pain, because perseverance grows in pain; 4- our character emerges from perseverance, and hope becomes the song of our character. 5- Hope is a neverending song, for God fills us with His Spirit and pours out His love into our hearts.
6- Right when we needed Him, while we were weak, while we were still sinners, Jesus Christ died for us. 7- Someone might dare to give his life to save a good man, but rarely will someone actually die for a righteous soul. 8- This is how God shows just how much He loves us: While we were still sinners, Jesus Christ died for us.
9- We have been made right by the healing blood of Jesus and through Jesus we will be made safe from God’s coming wrath. 10- Even though we were against God, Jesus died and reunited us with God. Now we are one with God once more, and we are continually made safe and made right by the abundant life of Jesus Christ. 11- And now we sing God’s great song, because of Jesus our Lord, who has given us sweet reunion with our Father.
12- Cursed Sin invaded the world because of the actions of just one man, and Sin brought Death. Death has overpowered every person on earth, because each and every one welcomed in Sin.
13- Sin had invaded the world before God gave Moses the Law—but no one is charged with choosing Sin where there is no Law to give direction. 14- Still, Death overpowered every man and woman from Adam’s day til Moses came. It even conquered those who did not choose the sin of disobedience (like Adam did- but he is a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ).
15- God’s gift is not like Sin. Many died because one man chose to follow Sin, but God’s grace is exponentially better, for the gift of grace from one man—Jesus our Lord—has overflowed like a flood to all. 16- You can’t compare God’s gift with the power of Sin. Death followed one Sin and brought separation from God. God’s gift was given, even after a multitude of sins, and made us right again. 17- One man welcomed in Sin and Death reigned because of that one man. But now anyone who welcomes God’s gift of grace and rightness will reign over Death—all because of the life of that one man- Jesus Christ!
18- So then, just as one sin brought Death to all people, so also one right action made all people right once more and gave abundant life to all. 19- Just as one man’s disobedience made many choose Sin, so also one man’s obedience made many right again. 20- God’s Law was given so Sin might show itself everywhere. But wherever Sin reared its ugly head, God’s grace took over. 21- Just as Sin reigned by the power of Death, so also grace reigns by the power of redemption, that the everlasting life of our Lord Jesus Christ might come and be known to all.
1- So now what? Should we welcome in Sin to let grace conquer it again? 2- No! We have rejected sin- We’ve died to escape it. How can we welcome it in once again? 3- When we were baptized and made one with Jesus, we joined him in His death. 4- We were buried with Him, and died with Him. And just as Christ rose up from the dead by our Father’s glorious power, we too may rise up and live His new life. 5- And since we joined Him in His death, we will definitely join Him in His resurrection. 6- Our broken self was killed with Christ so that Sin-controlled body might lose its power, that we may reject and turn away from slavery to sin— 7- Anyone who has died has been freed from the power of sin.
8- Since we joined Christ in His death, we will also join Him in His life. 9- Since Jesus Christ rose up from the dead, He will never die again—Death is not His master. 10- The death Jesus died, he died to sin, once and for all. But the life Jesus lives He lives for God for ever and ever.
11- Just like Jesus, be dead to Sin, but be fully alive for God in the name of Jesus. 12- Don’t let Sin take over and reign in your human body again and don’t obey its commands of evil desires. 13- Do not welcome Sin in any part of your being, or else it will become a wicked instrument of discordant sin. Instead, welcome God and turn to Him, as a grateful soul taken from Death and brought to life—Dedicate every part of your being as an instrument of rightness, playing the hymn of redemption. 14- Sin shall not be your Lord, because you are not condemned by the Law, but saved by God’s grace.
15- So now what? Can we sin now because we aren’t ruled by the Law but by the grace of God? No! 16- When you give yourself away and obey someone or something, you are a slave of that power. If you are a slave of sin, soon you shall be conquered by Death. If you are slave of obedience to God, you will be made right once more. 17- Thank you God! Though you used to be slaves to the Lord of Sin, you have chosen in your heart to obey this teaching and have pledged allegiance to this truth. 18- You have been freed from Sin and are now slaves of the power of rightness. 19- This all is merely an example from everyday life that you would understand. You used to be slaves of Impurity and Cancerous Evil, but now you are giving yourself to the power of redemption and rightness. 20- When you were slaves of Sin, you didn’t need to obey the power of rightness. 21- What benefits did it bring you? Death! 22- Now that you are no longer slaves of Sin and slaves of God, your benefits are being made right again and life everlasting. 23- Your payment from your old Lord Sin was nothing but Death- but God’s gift comes by Jesus Christ our new Lord, and it’s everylasting life.