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Summary: The Spirit reminds us who we are in Christ.

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Knowing The Holy Spirit May 8, 2005

The Spirit and Identity

Matthew 3:13-4:11

Donald Miller writes in “Blue Like Jazz,” “everybody wants to be fancy and new. Nobody wants to be themselves. I mean, maybe people want to be themselves, but they want to be different, with different clothes or shorter hair or less fat. If there was a guy who just liked being himself and didn’t want to be anybody else, that guy would be the most different guy in the world and everybody would want to be him.”

Jesus’ Baptism and Temptation

Jesus was a guy who just liked being who he was – he knew who he was.

Read Matthew 3:13-4:11

This passage is all about identity

Jesus is baptized to fulfill all righteousness – he is the righteous one

The Spirit descends upon Jesus like a dove. The Father speaks and says, “This is my Son, whom I love, with him I am well pleased.”

Jesus lives his whole life in the knowledge of who he is – he is the well loved Son of God. It is in this knowledge that he is able to walk the walk that he does. It is in this knowledge that he his able to live in obedience and respond to people in compassion and righteousness. It is because of this knowledge that he is able to pour himself out and serve the whole world

This is exactly what the Spirit does for us – he enables us to hear the voice of the Father saying, “this is my son/daughter, whom I love, with him/her I am well pleased.

Like Jesus, our baptism fulfills all righteousness (but in a different way)

Jesus was the only completely sinless person to walk the earth. Baptism was seen at the time as a symbolic gesture of repentance – of turning away from sin. So why was Jesus baptized? He had no sin to turn from! Jesus answer to the same question put by John was “to fulfill all righteousness.” It lets us know that righteousness is not just not doing the things that God tells us not to do, but it is also doing the things that God tells us to do.

For some of you, this might be a good reason to be baptized – just to do what God has asked you to do!

But our baptism isn’t something that we do to fulfill all righteousness, our baptism is a sign that Jesus, through his life, death and resurrection has fulfilled all righteousness for us.

When Jesus went to the cross and died, he died to deal with all the wrong that we have ever committed, Our baptism is a sign and a symbol of our unity with him in his death and resurrection – in Christ, our sin is paid for, in Christ we have been made righteous. Our Baptism is a sign that we have been washed clean. Our baptism is also a sign that in Christ we have been adopted by God and we become his children.

Ephesians 1 4Long ago, even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure.

In the same way that the Father declares his love for, and pleasure in Jesus at his baptism, he declares his love for us and his pleasure in us through his Spirit.


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