from Rachel: Water, Blood, and Spirit

By what two ways did Jesus come? “water” and “blood”

According to Matthew 3:1-2,4-6,11, what act of the heart accompanied those who were being baptized? “repentance”

Who descended upon Jesus after His baptism (see Matthew 3:13-17)? “The Spirit of God (like a dove)”

Since Jesus was sinless, what reason did He give for being baptized? “to fulfill all righteousness”

By whose blood did Jesus enter The Most Holy Place on our behalf? “His own”

What does the shedding of blood accomplish (see Hebrews 9:22)? “cleansing for forgiveness”

What comes as a result of the glorious blood of Jesus? “purification from all sin (and fellowship with one another)”

Jesus’ coming by water reminds me that… “even though He is fully God and perfectly sinless, He is also fully human and knows how I feel.”

Jesus’ coming by blood reminds me that… “He could save me and there’s no way I could have saved myself.”

All the force of… ‘God showed his love to us’ by sending his son to die disappears if the One who died was not in fact Jesus Christ

If the Son of God did not take to Himself our nature in his birth and our sins in his death, He cannot reconcile us to God

What defining word does verse 6 say that the Holy Spirit is? “truth”

What significant role does the Holy Spirit play in this passage? “He testifies truthfully”

Have you ever had to testify (or bear witness) to something in a serious matter? If so, what influence did your testimony have? “Not that I can recall.”

Read John 14:25-26. What did Jesus say the Holy Spirit would remind them of? “everything He had said to them”

Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would ‘live “with” you and be “in” you’ (John 14:15-17)

Jesus says the Holy Spirit will take from what is Jesus’ and “make it known to them” (John 16:7,13-15)

What characteristic or role of the Holy Spirit means the most to you at this time in your life, and why?

“I feel like I sometimes hear insight and guidance.”

Who is God’s testimony about? (1 John 5:9) “Jesus”

What about Jesus do you doubt? Write your prayer asking the Holy Spirit to reveal His testimony of Jesus to you. Remember, as a believer, this testimony is already in your heart (see verse 10).

“I’d like to think I don’t doubt anything about Jesus, but considering my choices, actions, behaviors, and habits, I guess I doubt that He minds if I skimp on time with Him, or interrupt it with my own pleasures.

“Father God, please help me to better hear Your Holy Spirit, especially when He wants me to know Jesus’ words to me, feelings about me, and grievances about my behavior. Send me the conviction I need to make changes.”

Re-read verses, 11-12, where John sums this up beautifully. Fill in the rest of the phrase. ‘This is the testimony God has given about his son… “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.”

John closes this passage with one of his now famous couplets:
● Whoever has the
“Son” has “life”
Whoever does not have the “Son of God” does not have “life”

Embrace the idea that when it comes to something as essential as he turn on life, we don’t have to guess, wonder, strive, hope, or grasp. We can know.

Dearest Rachel –

As weird as it sometimes is to remember that our denomination of Christianity isn’t particularly mainstream, it seems almost unfathomable, that there are those who have to be told that Jesus not only was both fully man and fully God, but had to be in order to fulfill His mission to serve as a sacrifice in our place. Were He not fully human – and therefore incapable of being tempted – it would’ve been meaningless for Him to come down in the first place; not only could he not relate to us and the temptations we endure, but the temptations extended to Him would have been pointless. There would be no investment in us on His part if there was no penalty, no sense of loss, on His part. And yet, the blood He sweat in the garden was proof of His humanity, and the fear inherent in it. Even though He knew His death wasn’t even permanent (or even long-term), those twelve to fifteen hours ahead of Him had his mortally terrified.

Likewise, if He were not God, He could not have responded perfectly to those temptations, thereby serving as the one and only possible perfect substitute for all of us. And, of course, how else could He have defeated sin and death by rising again? It seems so strange that, even by John’s day, people were insisting that He could not have been both God and man, when both aspects were necessary to do what He needed to do.

Of course, it’s not as if you had any doubts about who He was, and what He could do. The only thing you could think of was whether He was necessarily concerned with how you spent your time. And while I agree that he doesn’t mean for us to be working 24 hours a day (He did have a hand in creation, after all, and somewhere along the line, it was agreed between Him, the Father and the Spirit to give us a circadian rhythm, requiring a regular sleep cycle), there’s always more we could do, and could have done. Still, it’s not as if any of those choices would have locked you out of heaven. At worst, it may have diminished your reward, which all of us will eventually return to Him and we cast our crowns before Him at the end of days in any event, so I don’t know how much it matters in the long run.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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