a.m.: Mark 1:9-13 p.m.: Joshua 1:10-18

Here was Jesus approaching John the Baptist for baptism.

Once complete, the eternal trinity was revealed. The Spirit descended on the Son and the voice of the Father was heard from heaven. All three persons were present at the same time, acting distinctly but as one. All three confirmed pleasure in this mission.

Now the baptism of John was one of repentance, but Jesus had nothing to repent from. This was God the Son identifying with sinful man. He had taken on flesh, he became fully human. He was without sin though, for the Father was pleased with him.

He felt everything any other human felt – he needed water, food and sleep – he felt thirst, hunger and weariness. He suffered – he was betrayed, mocked, unjustly tried, abandoned by his friends and crucified, eventually being abandoned by the Father. Yet, he didn’t just become a man to identify with us, for through his crucifixion and separation from the Father, he took on sin. He is our substitute, he is our sacrifice, he is our saviour. He was willing to take away our sin that we might be restored to fellowship with God.

This baptism signified the eventual taking on of sin by Jesus, and having to deal with it.

If we have become followers of Jesus Christ, we are not alone. We are to act are a body of believers, with the church rather than apart from it and against it.

Much like Joshua was appointed by God to mobilise the people and organise them into an effective fighting force, so there are those who are called to shepherd the church that it might be able to fight the spiritual war effectively. This is not a war of physical weapons but one of spiritual weapons, with the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that faith in him might grow.

The officers of the army were ordered to go and inform the troops of their orders. This involved knowing who the troops were and knowing what tasks they were capable of carrying out. This implied a membership and commitment to that army. Those in Joshua’s army were organised for the impending battle and given tasks to enable them to fight the battle effectively as a body.

Similarly, believers are to be committed to a local church. If there is no committment, it is impossible for the officers of the church to know who is part of the church and what they are capable of achieving. Without membership of a church, a believer is unable to aide the body in its spiritual fight and only able to fight alone without the support and backing of a local church.

Above all this, God must be primary. For without looking to Jesus for direction and strength, the fight is pointless. We must always seek to do God’s will and seek his blessing.

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