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2) GG Questions 02/11/2018
Seeking First: The Baptist and the Baptism Matthew 3
1. Close Reading: An effective Bible study approach encourages the following steps: (1) Pray, asking God to speak through his Word. (2) Read the passage a minimum of two times. (3) Look for these three things: LIGHTBULB – something that shines from the passage, draws your attention; QUESTION MARK – something difficult to understand; ARROW – a personal application. Now you try with Matthew 3! Share the results of your study with your group.
2. Repent, Kingdom at Hand: The first half of the book of Matthew depicts John the Baptist (3:1-2), Jesus (4:17) and the disciples (10:7) all proclaiming the same message: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” While a remnant of Israel did repent (Matt. 3:5-6; Rom. 11:1-5), the majority did not (Matt. 11:20-24; 12:41-42) and the consummation of the kingdom was delayed. Hard hearts block blessings. Is there a time in your life when you let go, softened your heart and experienced God’s blessing? Are there any areas of your life right now which might be characterized by a hard heart?
3. Meaning/Purpose of Baptism: Have you been baptized? If so, retell the story. How do these passages (Mark 10:37-39; Luke 12:50) hint that baptism is meant to symbolize Christ’s death? What does it mean for us to be “united with Christ in His death” (Rom. 6:3-4; Col. 2:11-12)? How does this new position
give us a new power over sin and our old way of life (Rom. 6:4-6; Gal. 2:20)?
4. Jesus’ Baptism: In our country, the president is sworn into office at his inauguration. In ancient Israel, kings were anointed before beginning their rule (1 Sam. 9:15-16; 10:1; 16:1-3). Read Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:16-21; Acts 10:36-38. Given these passages about anointing, what are we meant to learn about Jesus’ baptism? What is it like to have a King? Is your day to day life influenced by the fact that you are under the authority of a (supremely benevolent) King?