The two main parts of our passage today talk about the baptism of Jesus and the lineage of Jesus.
When I was a sophomore in college I went on a summer long mission trip, and spent 3 weeks in San Fransisco, CA. A part of what we did there was go to a dinner that a church in downtown San Francisco hosted every week for homeless people. One night I got in a conversation with someone about Christianity. He had some bizarre beliefs to say the least, not limited to him thinking that Daniel rode dragons in some visions he had. But one of the less insane things he said was that he didn’t believe that the Bible taught that the Holy Spirit was God. When he first said that, I of course knew that he was wrong, but when I proclaimed his error, all he said was “show me in the Bible where it says the Holy Spirit is God and I’ll believe you.” And I had nothing. For some reason, this pillar of Christian orthodoxy was something I believed but was not ready to defend. I was stunned. Needless to say, I researched the topic and had a lot more confidence in defending the Trinity from there on out. Why do I say all that? One of the greatest proofs of the Trinity comes from the baptism of Jesus.
The doctrine of the Trinity means that there is one God who eternally exists as three distinct Persons — the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Stated differently, God is one in essence and three in person. These definitions express three crucial truths: (1) the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons, (2) each Person is fully God, (3) there is only one God.
This passage of Scripture shows all three persons of the Trinity: Jesus the Son is baptized, the Holy Spirit is present in the form of a dove, and the Father’s voice is heard. Why is the Trinity meaningful for you? Because the Trinity is necessary for salvation. Allow these words by Phillip Ryken explain what I mean:
God plays the symphony of our salvation in three movements. Each of these movements is associated with and facilitated by a different Person of the Trinity.
The Father: Salvation originated with the Father.
Ephesians 1:3–6 tells how the Father chose us before the foundation of the world, and predetermined our adoption as his children through Jesus Christ. The Father is the administrator of salvation, and he oversees the process from beginning to end.
The Son: Salvation is brought to fruition in the Son.
Everything the Father does for our salvation, he does through Christ. The work of the Son means redemption, adoption to the Father, reconciliation, sanctification, and glorification (Ephesians 1:7-12). It operates horizontally as well as vertically, and it is for Jew and Gentile alike. It is through the Son that we achieve salvation and come into full relationship with the triune God.
The Spirit: Salvation is communicated by the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit changes us from the inside out, preforming the gracious act of regeneration. With this comes the gift of faith and the spiritual ability to believe in the Resurrection. Through the Holy Spirit, our salvation becomes a present reality, applicable to our lives in our own specific context. It is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives that serves as a seal, establishing us as children of God (Ephesians 1:13–14).
My encouragement to you today is to allow the truth of who God is overwhelm your heart and lead you to worship Him! How does growing in your understanding of the Trinity help you apply the Gospel today? Comment below!
By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Apprentice