The Inner Life of God
Pastor John Sloan
Introduction: Despite John’s protestations, Jesus is baptized by the Baptizer. And as soon as Jesus emerges from the water, two incredible things happen: First, the Spirit of God descends and, second, the voice of the Father pronounces his divine pleasure with the Son. As remarkable as this is, this is not the first time in Scripture that we have all three persons of the Triune God present and active. There’s something incredible that Matthew is revealing about God’s interior life.
Questions for Discussion & Discovery
- Why would Jesus insist on being baptized, even though he was completely without sin or any behavior of which to repent?
- Read Isaiah 53:11-12. How is Jesus’ baptism a fulfillment of the prophecy concerning the Suffering Servant?
- The coming of the kingdom of God demonstrates that God has begun his work of making all things new. In what ways is God’s redemption good news for people whose lives are filled with bad news?
- Do you long for Christ’s return? Why or why not?
- “Our Triune God is a God of mutually self-giving love.” What does that mean? How do we see this evidenced in this passage?
- What are some specific ways that you have experienced the love of God recently?
- Read Matthew 3:13-17.
- “Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities … he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.” – Isaiah 53:11-12
- “Jesus might well have been up there in front standing with John and calling on sinners to repent. Instead he was down there with the sinners, affirming his solidarity with them, making himself one with them in the process of the salvation that he would in due course accomplish.” – Leon Morris
- 01. By his baptism, Jesus identifies with us—broken and sinful—so that he can represent us in his perfect obedience.
- Read Matthew 3:16-17.
- “Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him.” – Isaiah 42:1
- “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” – Genesis 1:1-3 ESV
- “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” – John 1:1-3
- 02. Just as the creation of the world is a project of the Triune God, so is the redemption of the world.
- “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.” – John 17:4-5
- “The persons within God exalt each other, commune with each other… Each divine person harbors the others at the center of his being. In constant movement of overture and acceptance, each person envelops and encircles the others. … God’s interior life, [therefore] overflows with regard for others.” – Cornelius Plantinga
- 03. As those made in the image of this Triune God, we find our greatest joy in demonstrating self-giving love.